FAO Asia Pacific Forestry Week - 2016


FAO Asia Pacific Forestry Week - 2016

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Spent last week (Feb 23-28) in Clark Freeport Zone Philippines at FAO’s Asia Pacific Forestry Week

As part of Stream 3 – Serving Society – Forestry and People

For my part – I was invited and supported by CIFOR (thanks to Principal Scientist, Daniel Murdiyarso) to participate as a “Discussant” in a special side event on Friday, 26 February 2016 entitled;

Enhancing the resilience of coastal wetlands to promote sustainable livelihoods in changing climate


Coastal wetlands ecosystems provide a wide range of goods and services, including timber/wood; fish/selfish; protection of the inlands from high wave, storm surge, and tsunami; and carbon stored in the ecosystem. Low-lying coastal wetlands are among the most vulnerable landscape to climate change/sea level rise and subsequent land-use change for economic development. Finding the balance between conservation and development, including restoration requires innovative actions to enhance the resilience of the ecosystems and minimize loss and damage for the society. It is widely acceptable that climate change mitigation actions may go through various mechanisms recently adopted in COP21. In the context of wetlands, the need to familiarize the guidelines provided by the IPCC may be explored to enable countries to adopt. These may be synergized with the long-term adaptation strategies to cope with rising sea level whereby options for local livelihoods may be considered.

The event will explore the existing mechanisms while considering national circumstances in terms of social, legal, and technical challenges. Engaging private sector may broaden the opportunity to synergize with public sectors to work in coastal wetlands.



  • To bring like-minded individuals together to explore the challenges and opportunities of climate change adaptation and mitigation in the coastal zone
  • To share information and experience to improve understanding, preparedness and capacity to respond to climate change and sea level rise
  • To explore network of regional stakeholders having common interests in coastal wetland conservation and development in the region




Daniel Murdiyarso, CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia


Rodel Lasco, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the Philippines

The role of mangroves in super typhoon Haiyan-affected areas in the Philippines: Vegetation resistance, regeneration potential and social perceptions


Coastal wetland resilience: Unlocking the potential of mangrove palms


Vien Ngoc Nam, Nong Lam University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Restoration of degraded coastal wetlands in the Mekong Delta


Wahyu C Adinugroho, Forestry Research and Development, Indonesia

Assessing mangrove C-stocks as part of MRV and national mitigation actions


Taryono Darusman, Puter Foundation

Mapping mangrove distribution and carbon storage in southern Papua, Indonesia


Mulyadi Tantra, Green Forest Products and Tech, Singapore

Green coastal forestry for coastal development



Policy brief informing the challenges and opportunities to enhance the resilience of coastal wetlands in the region in sustainable manners.

For my role as Discussant – I utilized a "System Regimes vs Optimal States" curve from Holling’s explanation of Resilience Theory to contextualize components of the various talks; depicting examples of social and ecological thresholds, a pair of system states on both sides of the threshold (desired and somewhat degraded), examples of slow-moving variables on the x-axis to be monitored, and examples of building resilience in the desired system state (by realizing theoretical values such as sustainable mangrove timber and industrial –scale Nypah sugar production). 

I also used Holling's curve to demonstrate the cost of rehabilitation (re-crossing the threshold from degraded to desireable system state), and juxtaposed this to the intentional transformation of the degraded system to a stable, but less desirable system, using the Ca Mau silvafisheries system in Vietnam as an example (which has been well documented by Clough, 2002)  I closed by demonstrating the government’s monitoring of carbon stock as an example of a critical step in adaptive management.

Meetings – Project Develop – New Potential Partners/Partnerships

As we all well know – most of the benefit of attending a conference comes from the people we meet inside and outside of the sessions.  This conference was no exception.  Amongst the variety of folks working towards resilient forest management across the region – two fortuitous and related opportunities presented themselves.

World Resources Institute & IUCN

On Wednesday, February 24 – WRI and IUCN led a session entitled; 

Assessing forest and landscape restoration opportunities to support the achievement of national and international commitments

One focal point – was the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM )developed in collaboration by IUCN and WRI – and being used in the Forested Landscape Restoration (FLR) program, which was ratified by nearly all Asian nations at this conference (with the exception of China) for adoption starting in 2017 – as a major strategy to assist member nations in achieving their post COP 21 mitigation targets.

This strategy is also related to the Bonn Challenge – the world’s largest coordinated forest restoration effort.

Both WRI and IUCN have invited me my NGO, Blue Forests, to formally partner in the application of the ROAM toolkit to assess Indonesia’s potential for landscape scale mangrove rehabilitation at national and sub-national levels.  The launch of this national program will take place April 19-20 in Jakarta.

IUCN has also requested the Blue Forests – CDU-RIEL joint proposal “Restoring Blue Carbon Habitats” to seek support for Phase I of landscape scale Ecological Mangrove Rehabilitation in a selected landscape in Indonesia.