This year, the 2018 Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit (APRS) will be held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The Summit provides the opportunity for countries across the region to showcase their work on forest conservation and demonstrate their progress on implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

This event builds on the success of the 2016 APRS held in Brunei Darussalam, which RAFT has attended, and the 2014 Summit held in Sydney, Australia.

In preparation for APRS 2018, Allison Lewin, RAFT Program Manager, reminds us of some of the key highlights of APRS 2016:

Timber producing forests really do matter.

The sheer numbers really illustrate how important timber-producing forest continue to be – 25% of forest globally; or in the case of Indonesia, nearly half of the forest area, with an average of 160 tons of carbon per hectare!

REDD+ can be an entry point for cross-sectorial approaches to sustainable development.  

In Indonesia the idea of REDD+ as a “national approach with sub-national implementation” is being translated into reality in East Kalimantan through a broad multi stakeholder working group – including central and local government, universities, NGOs, local communities and the private sector, among others – that is having a real impact on policy, including the integration of sustainability in development planning for that Province through the Green Growth Compact (GGC) initiative, launched in May 2016.

The potential contribution of the wood products sector to poverty alleviation in the region is significant and far from fully explored.

There is clearly an important role for added-value wood products manufacturing in delivering inclusive economic growth in countries like Lao PDR and Myanmar, including the potential to create more jobs, but also higher returns, noting the opportunities created by the growth of new consumer markets in Asia and the potential for niche products and uses for lesser known species that has not been fully explored and requires further investment and consideration.

Efforts to improve forest governance can teach us what it really takes to turn the idea of participatory decision-making into reality.

We talk about the need for participatory/multi-stakeholder approaches all the time, but getting to a point where participants with different perspectives and experiences are able to communicate and work together constructively from a basis of shared understanding requires a lot of work and investment, especially in a country like Myanmar with a long history of centralized decision-making. Before even getting to the point of being able to grapple with issues like defining legality in the forestry sector and creating more opportunities for local communities to manage and benefit from the forest in Myanmar, it will be necessary to create the conditions for constructive communication that must be a foundation for more democratic and better governance for the country as a whole.

This year, RAFT renovates its commitment to raise awareness on the critical role that timber-producing forests play in delivering on global and national priorities, and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and climate change mitigation targets. Jack Hurd, Conservation Director of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Asia Pacific explains the important timing for the Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit to take place and the added value of the RAFT partnership.


To learn more about the 2018 Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit (APRS) click here.