The Executive Yuan’s Council of Agriculture Minister, Dr. Chen, Bao-ji attended the Third APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry (MMRF3) held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea along with Forestry Bureau Director General Mr. Lee, Tao-sheng and Forestry Research Institute Director Huang, Yue-hsing. On Oct. 27, Minister Chen delivered his keynote speech entitled “Chinese Taipei’s Achievements in Promoting Sustainable Forest Management” at the conference. During the event, Taiwan held productive and fruitful bilateral meetings with 7 member economies. Furthermore, in the closing event on Oct. 29, Taiwan put forward a concrete suggestion to counter illegal lumbering based on IUU Fishing regulations. Subsequently, the organizers announced the EDA Statement (EDA meaning “Our” in host country’s native language) at the end of the event.
Minister Chen proposed concrete suggestions to counter illegal lumber trade
Minister Chen delivered his keynote speech “Chinese Taipei’s Achievements in Promoting Sustainable Forest Management” at noon on Oct. 27. In the speech he shared with the other 17 member economies Taiwan’s experiences and efforts in its relentless pursuit of achieving sustainable forest management which include: strengthen forest conservation and rehabilitation; stop excessive deforestation and degradation; promote forest carbon sinks and natural reserves management; support strengthening efforts to combat illegal logging; promote trade in legally harvested forest products; integrate public sector R&D resources; assist privately-owned forests to achieve sustainable operation; adjust mountain-area settlement and forestry development to forge eco-friendly and resilient communities. Minister Chen’s presentation included colorful pictures and photographs that illustrated his point which left a deep impression on the participants.
In his remarks at the closing ceremony on Oct. 29, Minister Chen thanked Papua New Guinea for its warm hospitality. Chen stated that the Taiwanese delegation had gained a quite productive participation through experience sharing and bilateral talks with other member economies on issues of forestry development. He hopes to obtain further cooperation with other member economies on related technologies and technical applications. Moreover, Minister Chen had also proposed concrete suggestions on the important issue of combating illegal logging and trade. He recommended taking UN’s “International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU)” as reference in order to create a clear definition and regulations against illegal forest products so that all member economies may propose concrete plans of action to combat illegal logging and trade.
The EDA Ministerial Statement was announced
Acknowledging the 2015 APEC theme “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World”, the Third APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry focused on the following key agendas: supporting sustainable forest management; forest conservation and forest rehabilitation to mitigate and to adapt the impact of climate change; challenges in maintaining and strengthening efforts to combat illegal logging and associated trade, and private-public dialogue on mechanisms, policies and best practices to attract and maintain suitable investment in the development of forests and forest resources.
After a 2-day discussion, the event organizing committee officially announced at the press conference on Oct. 29, the proclamation of the EDA Statement which encompasses 12 resolutions that include increasing forest cover area; strengthening efforts to combat illegal logging; enhancing trade in legally harvested forest products; assisting capacity building; establishing dialogue mechanisms; sharing information and best practices; and coordinating cross-sectoral cooperation to achieve sustainable forest management. Leaders reaffirmed the Sydney Statement of the 2007 APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry by demonstrating their strong commitment to increase forest cover in the APEC region by at least 20 million hectares by 2020.
Minister Chen engaged in bilateral talks with many member economies
During the event, Minister Chen held bilateral meetings with delegations from the United States, Japan, China, Australia, Malaysia, Peru, and Indonesia. In these meetings, they exchanged ideas and opinions on issues concerning illegal lumber trade prevention, sustainable forestry, eco-tourism, under-forest economy, forest certification, carbon sink registration by forestry establishments, and results from the forestry revival plan implemented by the Japanese government after the 3/11 earthquake disaster in 2011. At the same time, Taiwan also shared its experiences in forestry management with the aforementioned member economies, thus successfully establishing communication channels for future cooperation and exchange in forestry affairs.