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APEC Forestry Ministers Commit to Increased Cooperation on SFM

apec15 August 2013: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forestry Ministers have released the Cusco Ministerial Statement, which sets out their aspirations for future cooperation in the area of forestry. The Statement was released at the close of the Second APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry, held in Cusco, Peru from 14–16 August.

Ministers and senior officials attending the meeting discussed the importance and potential of forest resources in the APEC region, conditions for sustainable forest management (SFM), as well as threats and challenges to SFM. APEC notes that its economies produce 60 per cent of global forest products and 80 per cent of global trade in such goods, with annual revenue from trade valued at over US$150 billion.

The key outcome of the meeting was the Cusco Ministerial Statement in which APEC forestry ministers aspire to, inter alia: advance the important contributions of forests to the emerging green economy through research on, innovation in and demonstration of new wood-based and non-timber forest products, services and applications; strengthen private sector investment in SFM across the APEC region, along with access to better technology and markets, by promoting, among other things, market-based instruments such as certification, and social and environmental safeguards; recognize, where applicable, the key role of indigenous people and local communities and traditional knowledge in SFM; promote technical cooperation among APEC economies to share best practices, lessons learned and experiences in governance, especially institutional and legal frameworks, regulation and public policies; encourage the development of  local forest industries that generate employment and value-added products from sustainable sources; maintain and strengthen the efforts of APEC economies to combat illegal logging and associated trade including through education programs; promote trade in legally harvested forest products; and consider establishing mutually agreed policy partnership dialogues to address the implementation of APEC forest objectives.

APEC member economies include: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; China; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; the Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; the Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; US; and Viet Nam. [APEC Press Release on the Cusco Statement] [APEC Ministers Cusco Statement] [APEC Press Release on Cusco Meeting]