APEC forestry ministers’ Chiang Mai meeting hailed a success Warawut puts forward BCG model for sustainable forest management

Ministers Responsible for   forestry from Asia – Pacific Economy Cooperation (APEC)  have successfully concluded their meeting in Thailand which called for the inclusion of Bio-Circular-Green Economy (BCG) model to support the region’s operative framework.

 H.E.Warawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, said he has spearheaded the BCG concept at the Fifth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to drive the goal of sustainable forest management through building relationships to strike a balance through by means of ‘Open. Connect. Balance,’ the theme adopted for 2022 APEC meetings being hosted by Thailand.

 “I have stated unequivocally to my counterparts from 21 economies that the BCG is the way to go and asked them to adopt the Thai brainchild,” he said.

The Fifth APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry, known under the acronym of MMRF5, was held in Chiang Mai from 23 to 25 August, hosted by Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE).   The MMRF5 is about promoting cooperation in sustainable forest management especially in the fight against illegal logging, and most importantly, encouraging stakeholders from all sectors, particularly local communities, to contribute to sustainable forest management leading to the increase of green areas in order to response to climate change.

 “The forest sector indeed plays a very crucial role in tackling problems of climate change and enhancing biological diversity to bring about the well-being of the APEC people in our generation and the next,” Mr Warawut noted.

 In his speech at the opening of MMRF5’s conference on 24 August at the Le Meridien Chiang Mai Hotel, the Thai minister congratulated the APEC members economies in achieving a collective effort that surpasses forestation target. That means boosting the region’s forest area to 174.38 million rai or 27.9 million hectares,” he pointed out. He has thanked the APEC forestry ministers and representatives for working constructively together to ensure fruitful deliberations

 The MMRF5 is all about promoting, developing cooperation and enhancing the conservation, restoration and preservation of forest areas to raise green areas   as well as promoting trade in wood products in accordance with relevant guidelines and criteria. Holding the MMRF5 meeting showed that forests play an important role in driving and promoting opportunities for the legal trade in timber and related products. Meanwhile, it helps to increase income for the economic zone and local people which will drive the balance among economy, environment and society under the theme of APEC 2022 meetings hosted by Thailand

 Mr Warawut explained the BCG Model will be instrumental to the sustainable forest management by leveraging on modern technology and innovation to create value and promoting a sustainable business model together with the endeavours to solve climate change problems. That envisions the absorption of greenhouse gases by the forest sector which will support the missions towards achieving carbon neutrality goals and net-zero emissions.

 The MMRF5 conference in Chiang Mai meeting was also held under a greenhouse gas reduction format. After the morning session on 24 August, delegations from all APEC economic zones were taken on a tour to the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden at Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai Province.  There, they observed the conservation of Thai plant resources, indigenous plants and rare floras.

 The Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden is the first international botanical garden in Thailand named after The Queen Mother. It is a large garden under the supervision of the Botanic Garden Organisation with a world-class management.  MMRF5 delegates also visited Thung Kwian Forest Plantation, Lampang Province, which is a forest plantation under the supervision of the Forest Industry Organisation, which shows the potential of Thailand in sustainable forest management according to international yardsticks.