The demand of society on forests has continuously changed. Initially, forests were mainly seen as resources for timber. Over time, the role of forests has expanded as our society expects various economic, social and environmental products and services from the forests. Forests now are seen as a component of broader landscapes. The interconnectedness of forests to other sectors has become much more understood. Also, there is a better appreciation of the environmental and cultural role of forests. Looking into the future, it is very important for governments, organizations, the private sector, and other stakeholders to understand the roles of forests and forestry in the next decades. This will help them in designing their interventions, investments and strategic planning.
In the past, in collaboration with governments and partners, FAO has undertaken regional and global outlook studies to assess how the future is likely to unfold and to identify challenges and opportunities that are likely to emerge. FAO completed the first Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study (APFSOS I) in 1998 and APFSOS II in 2010. Governments appreciated the results of the studies as they used them for strategic planning at the national and sub-national levels. Policy dialogues involving key stakeholders such as private sector, international organizations, donors, youth, etc. on issues such as investment, partnership, and priorities in the forestry sector were also informed by the results of these studies. Additionally, various organizations have used the studies for research and capacity building.
An Advisory Committee for APSOS III consisting of leading experts and representatives of key institutions has been established to provide strategic advice and support for undertaking the APFSOS III.
As data and information have been collected through desk review, technical group discussion, expert contribution, and surveys, this meeting is organized in order to share and review the progress of APFSOS III and get the feedback from the Advisory Committee to address technical issues and gear towards the completion of the publication.
This meeting is co-organized by FAO, CIFOR, World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), and the Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions (APAFRI).