"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Announcement on Renewal and Revision of the Mandate, Focus and Operational Modalities of the Asia Forest Partnership for 2008-2015

[Place] Yokohama
[Date] November 12-14, 2007
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Representatives of the Partners:

RECALLING the launch of the Asia Forest Partnership (AFP) at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg 2002) for an initial period of five years (2002-2007), and the achievements of the Partnership during that period;

RECOGNISING that forest resources in the Asia region play vital economic, environmental and socio-cultural roles in sustainable development, including an increasingly recognized role in the provision of ecosystem services, including climate change mitigation and adaptation;

CONCERNED that the forests of the Asia region face intensifying threats to their sustainability, productivity and, in some cases, their very survival;

REALIZING that forest loss and degradation also threaten the livelihood security and well-being of forest dependent households and communities;

REITERATING the Partners’ commitment through the Partnership, individually and collectively, to strengthen multi-stakeholder cooperation to address these threats and promote action towards sustainable forest management (SFM) in the region, as a contribution to the UN Millennium Development Goals and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the WSSD;

WELCOMING the adoption by the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) at its seventh session of the Non-Legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests (NLBI) and UNFF Multi-year Programme of Work (MYPOW), in particular the Global Objectives on Forests and the strengthened regional dimension in the Forum’s work;

NOTING the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Declaration (Sydney, September 2007) including a regional goal of increasing forest cover in the APEC region by at least 20 million hectares of all types of forests by 2020;

WELCOMING the proposal by China, endorsed by the APEC Leaders’ Summit (Sydney, September 2007), for establishment of the Asia-Pacific Network on Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation;

REAFFIRMING the continued importance and relevance of AFP as a multi-stakeholder mechanism to facilitate and promote dialogue, information exchange, and cooperative action to realize sustainable forest management in the Asia-Pacific region;

RECOGNISING the need to provide a new mandate and terms of reference for AFP’s second phase (2008-2015) that takes into account evolving circumstances and new opportunities affecting forests and sustainable forest management in the Asia-Pacific region;

TAKING NOTE with appreciation of the work of the AFP Evaluation Working Group contained in its report Asia Forest Partnership Phase I Assessment and Recommendations for Phase 2 (November 2007), and the complementary independent evaluation contained in the document An Independent Assessment of Phase I of the Asia Forest Partnership and Suggestions for Enhancing Success in Phase II (November 2007);

Hereby decide to renew AFP’s mandate for a second phase of eight years (2008-2015) as follows:


1. The goal of AFP is to:

Promote cooperation and catalyze action among governments, civil society and business to achieve sustainable forest management in Asia and the Pacific and thereby maintain and enhance the provision of forest products and ecosystem services, and their contribution to human well-being.

2. AFP focuses on key themes and emerging issues that are of concern to its Partners. At present, these include:

• Reducing forest loss and degradation and enhancing forest cover to maintain the provision of forest products and ecosystem services, including mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, watershed and land resource protection, and conserving biological diversity; and

• Combating illegal logging and associated trade.

3.In addressing key themes and emerging issues, important considerations for Partners include:

• Protecting and enhancing the livelihoods, rights, security and well-being of forest-dependent people;

• Improving forest-related governance;

• Strengthening institutions and capacities for sustainable forest management; and

• Securing and diversifying finance for conservation and sustainable use of forest resources.


4. AFP’s core functions are to facilitate and promote:

• Multistakeholder dialogue to support progress on key themes and emerging issues;

• Partners’ engagement with and inputs to relevant national, regional and global institutions and processes;

• Increased synergy among existing projects, programs and initiatives;

• Opportunities for Partners to develop collaborative initiatives; and

• Information sharing among Partners concerning relevant ongoing and planned projects, programs, and policies.

5. The AFP workplan mechanism is discontinued; however Partners are encouraged to continue to use AFP to collaborate and share information.


6. All interested parties who support AFP’s goal, including governments, inter-governmental organizations, international organizations, the private sector, civil society organizations, including indigenous and local communities, and research/academic institutions, are eligible to join the Partnership.

7. Eligible parties are invited to become Partners by expressing interest and providing relevant information in writing to the Secretariat. After the Steering Committee has approved an application, the Secretariat will notify all Partners accordingly.

8. By joining AFP, a Partner commits to:

• Participate actively in achieving AFP’s goal;

• Nominate at least one focal point, who will facilitate communication and exchange of information from their organization to the Partnership and distribute relevant information from the Partnership within their organization; and

• Encourage wider participation in AFP by other organizations in their country, sector, or networks.

9. Partners are encouraged to contribute to the cost of maintaining the work of the Partnership and its Secretariat.

10. A Partner may withdraw from the Partnership at any time by giving written notice to the Secretariat. The Secretariat will notify all Partners about the withdrawal of a Partner.


AFP Meetings

11. Partners will endeavor to meet once a year in an AFP Annual Meeting hosted by one or more Partners and supported by the Secretariat. Wherever feasible, these meetings will be held in conjunction with the meetings of other regional forest-related processes.

12. The AFP Annual Meeting will comprise two parts:

(a) A Partners’ Forum – AFP’s decision-making body – which will take decisions on the Partnership’s activities. Non-partners may attend as observers; and

(b) A Public Forum, which will be open to all interested parties and will serve to promote the Partnership’s goal and activities through information exchange and dialogue on key themes and emerging issues.

13. Partners are encouraged to organize AFP events on key themes or emerging issues, after seeking agreement from the Steering Committee and identifying sufficient financing outside of the ordinary AFP budget.

The Steering Committee

14. The Steering Committee comprises a Focal Point nominated by each interested Partner and the Coordinator of the Secretariat. The role of the Steering Committee includes:

• Identifying Partners’ common interests;

• Providing over-all direction to the Secretariat in managing opportunities and issues that arise in the course of the operation of the Partnership;

• Facilitating and encouraging efficient communication and idea sharing between Partners;

• Soliciting Partners’ ideas and interests aimed at strengthening the implementation of concrete activities;

• Ensuring that Partners’ proposals for AFP activities support the Partnership’s goal;

• Facilitating AFP meetings and events; and

• Identifying sources of funds to operate the Secretariat and other AFP activities.

15. The Steering Committee has two concurrent Chairs – A Chair and a Vice Chair. The term of the Chair shall end at the end of each Annual AFP Meeting. The Vice Chair will take over as new Chair and a new Vice Chair will be appointed by the Steering Committee. The Terms of Reference of both Chair and Vice Chair are attached to this Announcement as Annex I.

16. The Steering Committee will approve the nomination and terms of reference of the Coordinator of the Secretariat after consultation with the members of the Secretariat and the host organization.

The Secretariat

17. The AFP Secretariat is hosted by an AFP Partner (currently CIFOR) as agreed by the Partnership, and led by a Coordinator.

18. The AFP Secretariat has the following roles and responsibilities:

• Assist and advise parties who are interested in joining the Partnership and process their applications;

• Facilitate information-sharing activities for the Partnership through mail, maintenance of the website, e-mail, newsletter, etc., giving priority to information that will promote synergies between the activities of Partners and support the AFP goal;

• Support the organization of AFP meetings and other related events;

• Prepare documents related to AFP meetings;

• Facilitate collaboration with initiatives related to and organizations involved in AFP’s core themes; and

• Regularly communicate with the Steering Committee and update members on the status and activities of the Partnership.

19. It is recognized that the capacity of the Secretariat to fulfill these responsibilities is dependent on the level of financial and other support.

Done at Yokohama, 14 November 2007


Terms of Reference for Chair and Vice Chair of the AFP Steering Committee

The AFP Chair shall perform the following roles and responsibilities:

• Provide broad guidance and oversight to the AFP Secretariat’s functioning and set clear guidelines for performance;

• Work closely with the Secretariat, in consultation with the Steering Committee to define the agenda for Partnership meetings, make arrangements and explore resources for Partnership meetings;

• Be responsible for identifying and negotiating with the host of AFP meetings;

• Ensure follow-up on Steering Committee decisions and agreed activities;

• Serve as Chair during AFP Steering Committee meetings;

• Represent the Partnership in relevant forums as mandated by the Steering Committee, including identifying prospective new members and encouraging them to join the Partnership;

• Work with the Vice-Chair to ensure a smooth transition in AFP coordination and leadership.

The AFP Vice-Chair shall have the following roles and responsibilities:

• Assist the Chair in performing the roles and responsibilities listed above;

• Be responsible for specific tasks and activities consistent with these roles that may be assigned by the Chair from time to time.