Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Asean execs meet in Subic on climate change

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines—Representatives of Southeast Asian countries are meeting here to draw up measures to mitigate the effects of climate change during the 3rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Social Forestry Network (ASFN) conference.

“While there have been programs to address these issues on the national level, this is actually the first time that these efforts are focused at the regional level. Our hope is that the member countries learn from each other’s experiences in dealing with this important issue of climate change,” said Sagita Arhidani, ASFN secretariat officer from Indonesia.

“Taken together, the policies of Asean nations will have a dramatic impact on climate change all over the world,” she said.

The conference ends on Saturday.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization said Asean countries have approximately 283.2 million hectares of forests, covering 33.4 percent of these countries’ land area and accounts for 16 percent of the world’s tropical forests.

Neria Andin, assistant director of the Forest Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said social forestry can improve the socio-economic situation of upland farmers while taking care of the environment.

Dr. Rodel Lasco of the World Agro Forestry Center analyzed the potential benefits of agro-forestry farms. By Robert Gonzaga - Inquirer Central Luzon Desk

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