The first meeting of task force for APEC Forestry Ministerial Meeting was convened on May 14, 2011. The meeting was chaired by Mr. QU Guilin, Director General, Department of International Cooperation, State Forestry Administration of China (SFA).
The meeting was chaired by Mr. QU Guilin, Director General, Department of International Cooperation, State Forestry Administration of China (SFA), and joined by about 30 representatives from Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States and V iet Nam. Ambassador Muhamad Noor, Executive Director of APEC Secretariat attended the meeting, which aimed to establish a Task Force among APEC member economies in support of developing program and outcomes for the First Forestry Ministerial Meeting, and to initiate the Task Force by the first-round discussion on developing program and proceeding with the organization of the Ministerial Meeting.
Mr. QU started the meeting by appreciating all the participants’ attendance and introducing the background of the Forestry Ministerial Meeting proposed at the 18APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Japan in 2010. In his introduction, Mr. QU pointed out the aspirational goal of increasing forests by 20 million ha by 2020 in the region, in the Sydney Declaration adopted at the 15 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Australia in 2007. It was thought to be necessary to review the progress made in forests and lessons learned from the past years and to figure out the next step to bridge the gap between what’d been achieved and the goal ahead of regional forests coverage. Meanwhile, common concerns and shared interests should be presented and focused on.
The draft Term of Reference for the Task Force was briefed by Ms. LIU Xin, Deputy Director of Multilateral Cooperation, SFA, including composition, responsibility and the proposed working mechanism of the proposed task force. The consensus was reached upon establishing the task force with but not limited to the 14 APEC economies represented at the meeting as a core group to provide perspectives to developing the program, identifying the organization and drafting the outcome documents for the Forestry Ministerial Meeting. The possibility of extending the Task Force after the Ministerial Meeting would depend on the interest of APEC economies.
The concept note of the Forestry Ministerial Meeting was introduced then by Ms. LU Qian, APFNet and Organizing Committee of the Forestry Ministerial Meeting, stressing the theme of the Ministerial Meeting would be stick to the forest cover goal set forth in the Sydney Declaration, and insights and comments from all the APEC economies would be encouraged and welcome to integrate with the preliminary agenda proposed by China.