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ASEAN-Korea Forestry Meeting Adopts Seoul Declaration

30 August 2012: The Korea Forest Service (KFS) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) concluded the first session of the Governing Council of the Agreement on ASEAN-Korea Forest Cooperation, adopting the Seoul Declaration on Forestry. The meeting also noted the establishment of the Asia Forestry Cooperation Organization (AFoCO), which will encompass the 20% of the world's tropical forests that lie within the ASEAN countries.

The meeting took place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 29-30 August 2012. It focused on forest conservation and investments in forestry, and discussions addressed: projections on the future of the forestry sector; the contribution of forestry to low carbon, green growth; and technologies and activities for continued sustainable forest management.

The resulting Seoul Declaration is intended to support capacity building within the forestry sector and livelihood development for forest-dependent communities, as well as provide a platform for sharing the Republic of Korea's low-carbon and green growth technologies with the rest of Asia.

The Governing Council meeting was chaired by Dr. Ty Phommasack, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao PDR, and included the participation of forest ministers from ASEAN countries, and representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, forest organizations, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). [IISD RS Sources]