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FAO Releases Publications on Forestry in Asia-Pacific Region

April 2011: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released reports on forests and forestry in the Asia-Pacific region, looking forward to 2020, and including subregional reports and analyses for Southeast Asia, East Asia, the Pacific and the Greater Mekong. An additional report examines "Forest policies, legislation and institutions in Asia and the Pacific. Trends and emerging needs for 2020."

In "Asia-Pacific forests and forestry to 2020," the FAO follows up on the 1998 Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study. The report synthesizes findings from almost 50 country reports and analyzes factors driving changes, following three trajectories for: "Boom," "Bust," and "Green Economy." The report was developed through the open contribution of data from countries. It notes an increased interest in forest-derived ecosystem services, but states that willingness to pay for services have not yet delivered. The report examines both opportunities from and potential limitations of REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation  in developing countries, as well as conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks). It underscores the critical impact of societal changes on forests, particularly demographic changes, globalization and increasing demand for food, fiber and fuel. The report suggests that use of wood as a source of energy is likely to decrease and that improved governance will be central to the success.

In "Southeast Asian Forests and Forestry to 2020," the FAO highlights the changing economies and forest trends across the subregion, particularly the growing concern over trade legality and sustainable resource management in major markets. The report notes the possibilities from participation in a REDD+ mechanism, but suggests that reductions in deforestation and degradation will be hard won. The report suggests that national priorities should center on economic production and biodiversity protection, but that these can only be effective with improved governance.

In "Forest policies, legislation and institutions in Asia and the Pacific: Trends and emerging needs for 2020," the authors describe the current status and key trends in illegal logging and governance, institutional arrangements, forest policy and forest legislation. It underscores that international REDD+ efforts and Forest Law Enforcement and Governance and Trade (FLEGT) programmes have the potential to provide support to efforts to increase and sustain forests, and highlights the need for consensus on the role of forestry in national development. [Publication: Forest policies, legislation and institutions in Asia and the Pacific. Trends and emerging needs for 2020] [Publication: Asia-Pacific forests and forestry to 2020] [Publication: Southeast Asian Forests and Forestry to 2020] [FAO Website for Forestry Sector Outlook Studies]