Pushing for Greener Forests in Asia

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By: Seoyeon Park, KGGTF 2024 Youth Intern

On March 5, 2024, KGGTF’s interns visited AFoCo in Yeouido. Ms. Suzin Ryang introduced AFoCO's work. AFoCO, established six years ago, fosters green alliances among nations. Since 2015, it's been a key international forestry body, achieving milestones like observer status at the UN Convention to Combat Desertification in 2020 and opening an education center in Myanmar in 2021.

AFoCO's "Greener Asia" vision aims for resilient forests, sustainable landscapes, and empowered communities. Its 2024-2030 plan focuses on forest restoration, community bioeconomy, and climate risk management.

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Ms. Ryang cited projects like the Forest Genetics Research Center in Cambodia, addressing economic gaps in ASEAN. Also, the Village-Based Forest Rehabilitation in Laos promotes local wisdom.

Interns inquired about target area selection and monitoring methods. AFoCO adapts strategies to member states' capacities and fosters dialogue for unified approaches. Discussion also touched on emissions trading and carbon credits, emphasizing carbon financing awareness in Asia. 
The program concluded by returning to the question on the definition and drives for cooperation casted in the beginning of the lecture. AFoCo's significance lies in its action-oriented ethos reflected in its hands-on projects, where planting trees is not just a metaphor but a tangible reality. All in all, the site visit to AFoCo was an inspiring time for KGGTF interns learning about forestry cooperation. 

All images courtesy of Seoyeon Park