Since the inception of its current strategy in 2018, APFRGEN reports regularly about its work to the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission. View here the latest report at the 29th meeting of the Commission in Febryuary 2022, given by APFORGEN's co-Chair Dr Rekha R. Warrier from the Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, India.
Created in 1949, the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) is one of six Regional Forestry Commissions established by FAO. The Commission provides a policy and technical forum for countries to discuss and address forest issues on a regional basis and it meets every two years.
APFORGEN's statement is provided in full below:
Asia-Pacific Forest Genetic Resources Programme (APFORGEN)
Presented by Dr Rekha R. Warrier, co-Chair of APFORGEN
The Asia Pacific Forest Genetic Resources Programme (APFORGEN) is a regional programme networking 15 member countries to advance the conservation and sustainable use of the region’s rich forest genetic resources. APFORGEN was established in 2003 through a collaborative initiative by FAO, the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (currently the Alliance of Bioversity International and the Center for International Tropical Agriculture, Alliance for short), and the Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions (APAFRI).
APFORGEN has developed a regional strategy (2018-2022) with an explicit aim to support the implementation of FAO’s Global Plan of Action on Forest Genetic Resources (GPA-FGR) in the network’s member countries. The strategy consists of four interrelated objectives and its contributions are mapped to 12 Strategic Priorities of the GPA-FGR.
- Mobilize political and financial support for the implementation of the GPA-FGR in the region
- Make available information about the forest genetic resources in the region
- Develop conservation and sustainable use strategies for regionally important and threatened tree species
- Strengthen tree seed supply systems to facilitate ecosystem restoration, support local livelihoods and climate change adaptation and mitigation
Through its network of geneticists, forestry professionals and funding partners, APFORGEN shares knowledge and good practices, implements multi-country research and development projects. Collaborative project proposals are developed for each objective to mobilise funding for implementing the work. Between 2018 and 2021, APFORGEN pursued its objectives mainly through the following activities (for details, see www.apforgen.org):
- Regional initiative “APFORGIS – Establishing an Information System for Conserving Native Tree Species and Their Genetic Resources in Asia-Pacific” (2017-2019). The project was funded by the Government of Germany and brought together 11 institutions and over 60 species experts from 16 countries to improve the availability of information on native Asian tree species and their conservation status.
- Regional initiative “Conserving Rosewood Genetic Resources for Resilient Livelihoods in Greater Mekong” (2018-2021), implemented in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam with funding from the UK Darwin Initiative. Additionally, a related project “Conservation, integrated genetic evaluation and analysis on key germplasm resource of Dalbergia spp. in Asia and Pacific” (2018-2022), focusing on some of the same species was implemented in China with funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and coordinated by the Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry.
- Regional Training Centre, which provides training workshops and distance learning opportunities for trainers, policymakers, forest managers, and researchers to conserve and manage forest genetic resources. The centre was established in 2016 and has received funding from China Happy Ecology Ltd. and Hainan David Investment Croup.
- Regional workshops funded with support from the Government of the Republic of Korea and the CGIAR Research program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry. Several of the workshops were organised in collaboration with APAFRI.