| Lyna Mohamad |
A SEMINAR on National Forest Resource Assessment, under the Asean-Republic of Korea Forest Cooperation (AFoCo) Project “Capacity Building on Improving Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) and Enhancing the Involvement of Local Communities to Address the Adverse Impacts of Climate Change”, was held yesterday at the Rizqun International Hotel in Gadong.
The Director of Forestry, Awg Hj Saidin bin Salleh, was the guest of honour. The event began with recitations of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa Selamat, followed by opening remarks from the guest of honour.
Under the project, host Brunei and eight other Asean countries – namely Singapore, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines – are committed to organising a national workshop in each country on the ‘Capacity, Capability and Science and Technology Development of Forest Resource Assessment’ (FRA). A process led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FDO) involving all member countries and other partners, the Global Forest Re-source Assessment reports on the worldwide status and trends of forest resources, their management and uses.
The many functions of the global FRA include providing very accurate information on the status and trends of forest resources worldwide for the facilitation of improved policies in relation to forests and forest management as well as presenting relevant information on forests to wider communities, including various sectors, NGOs and the general public.
It also enables countries with the ability to view their forest sector within regional and global environmental and socio-economic contexts, contribute some of the validated and harmonised data required for monitoring and assessment functions of some international processes.
At the same time, it also provides data that can be used in scientific and technical studies and can contribute to investment decision support and private sector developments; create awareness on the FRA and its importance, as well as to explore the capacity, capability and technology development on FRA for Brunei.
Among the seminar’s objectives were to share information on the FRA and related activities to Brunei’s forestry stakeholders and policymakers as well as to obtain information about local support in the assessments of forest resources to support the FRA with the correct information and data.
In line with the objectives, the seminar obtained data and information identifying Brunei’s strengths and weaknesses in the assessments of forest resources, information of support capabilities in the area of human resources in the implementation of FRA as well as to identify and acquire information about technology in the assessments of forest resources in the country.
The seminar focused on creating awareness on FRA and its importance to the forestry sector, including to all forestry stakeholders and policymakers, on acquiring the correct forestry data and information in aid of policy legislations and their effective implementation.
The Department of Forestry is currently the focal point and agency responsible for activities related to the FRA and its submission to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The seminar’s participants were introduced yesterday and informed on the technology and capability needs for the FRA’s successful implementation and also shared their experiences, lessons learnt as well as current global FRA trends.
The event was attended by resource people from the Korea University, Bogor Agricultural University, Brunei Survey Department and Brunei Forestry Department, who specifically provided comprehensive information on global and national forests as well as forestry situations, technology and capability needs concerning FRA activities and a way forward for Brunei’s FRA activities.
The seminar was also attended by Brunei’s forestry stakeholders who are directly and indirectly involved in the management of the country’s forest and forestry resources, with a total of 60 participants from different government offices.