IMFNS-FAO Kick off Asia Regional Consultation on Establishment of a Regional Model Forest Centre for Asia

The first official consultation toward establishing a regional model forest centre for Asia took place in Hua Hin Thailand, on May 21 and 22. The meeting was attended by representatives from Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia (with regrets from China, due to SARS), as well as institutions and organizations (FAO, RECOFTC, ICRAF, UNDP-EU Regional Small Grants Scheme and IMFNS).

The meeting was designed around a facilitated logical framework analysis of the proposed regional centre and participants were successful in arriving at a shared understanding of the main goals, objectives, and activities of the centre. Next steps include refinement of the logical framework's contents and joint development of a concept paper to share with current and proposed new partners.

This first consultation took place under the terms of "bridge" funding provided by the IMFNS to FAO. Over the coming year, collaborative work will be undertaken to draw together the consensus and resources needed to establish a regional model forest centre for Asia, to work with potential donors and collaborators, and to provide targeted support to model forests in China, Thailand, and the Philippines. Parallel collaboration is already taking place directly between Indonesia and IMFNS on its proposed sites. This work follows the successful conclusion of a three-year effort led by FAO under sponsorship of the government of Japan, to assist four regional countries - Thailand, China, Myanmar, and the Philippines - to establish model forests.

The International Model Forest Network saw the establishment of its first regional centre, for Latin America and the Caribbean, in October 2002. For more information, please contact Christa Mooney at

cmooney@idrc.ca

.