Developing a Strategic Plan for the Regional Model Forest Network–Asia

The Regional Community Forestry Training Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC) based in Bangkok, is facilitating the development of a strategic plan for the Regional Model Forest Network—Asia. The regional strategic plan will incorporate expertise/competencies, experiences, issues and aspirations from the Model Forests within the region. One important outcome of this mapping process will be the identification of shared priorities and issues that can link the region’s Model Forests more deliberately and more strategically. In turn, this will form the foundation for a dialogue with current and potential institutional and ODA partners on strengthening regional approaches to shared problems. The five-year regional strategic plan will also provide a regional basis for further Model Forest development, as well as the scope to establish links to national and regional forest-policy processes and initiatives.

A critical part of the regional strategic-planning process is the interactive participation of Model Forest partners at site, national and regional levels. To ensure this a series of country-based consultations has begun. The consultations are expected to generate information on i) national trends, priorities, issues, challenges and stakeholder needs in sustainable forest management; ii) key Model Forest issues and challenges; iii) highlights of Model Forest achievements and competencies; iv) priorities for the future of Model Forests in the country; and v) national expectations from a Regional Model Forest Network strategic plan.

A final regional consultation to complete the strategy has been scheduled for January 2007 in Bangkok. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific is helping in the development of a document that will highlight trends in sustainable forest management and other issues of interest to Model Forests in the region. This regional trend analysis will also be used in developing the FAO’s upcoming State of Forestry in Asia-Pacific report.