Cusco, Peru, 15 August 2013 –Concluding their two-day meeting in the highland city of Cusco, Peru on Thursday, APEC Ministers Responsible for Forestry released the Cusco Statement.
Photo by Andina Perú
…Building upon the Declaration of the First APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry in Beijing in 2011 to contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change through sustainable forest management, conservation and carbon stock enhancement to reach the goal of increasing forest cover in the region by at least 20 million hectares by 2020;
…Recognizing the 2012 Vladivostok APEC Leaders’ Declaration with respect to the growing challenges to regional and global food security, the risks facing the world economy, and the unique role and contribution of forests to enhancing local and rural livelihoods of APEC members;…
Recognizing the crucial role that forests play in APEC economies, the Cusco Statement contains 17 aspirations for APEC member economies to address the challenges related to green growth and sustainable development.
Recognizing the crucial role that forests play in APEC economies, not only as a source of services, but also as a means to provide livelihoods, meet different development needs and objectives, and address the daunting challenges related to green growth and sustainable development, we aspire to:
- Maintain and further strengthen support to sustainable forest management, forest conservation and forest rehabilitation;
- Advance the important contributions of forests to the emerging green economy including through research, innovation and demonstration in new wood-based and non-timber forest products, services and applications;
- Promote policies, technologies and investments, for the well-being of all forest users, including indigenous people and local communities;
- Strengthen private sector investment in sustainable forest management across the APEC region, along with access to better technology and markets, by promoting enabling policy environments that attract investors, including sound forest-related legislation, effective law enforcement and forest governance frameworks, market-based instruments such as certification, and social and environmental safeguards;
- Recognize, where applicable, the key role of indigenous people and local communities and traditional knowledge in sustainable forest management, and promoting linkage of that knowledge with the management and planning of other economic sectors;
- Recognize the importance of integrating concern for forests into the development of other sectors with a view to harmonizing economic development with sustainable forest management;
- Enhance environmental education and improve access to forest-related information to support policymakers, communities, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector in their efforts to understand, manage, conserve, and monitor forests;
- Encourage international and regional organizations, when appropriate, to support APEC economies to better assess and monitor the region’s forest cover, forest biodiversity, and the role of forests and forest ecosystem services in the economic dynamism of the region;
- Promote technical cooperation among APEC economies to share best practices, lessons learned and experiences in governance, especially institutional and legal frameworks, regulation and public policies to promote sustainable forest management at all levels;
- Promote capacity building in sustainable forest management for all levels of governments of economies , the private sector, civil society organizations and local NGOs;
- Encourage the development of local forest industries that generate employment and value-added products from sustainable sources, and explore approaches for strengthening their market competitiveness at the domestic and international levels;
- Maintain and strengthen the efforts of APEC economies to combat illegal logging and associated trade including through relevant education programs, promote trade in legally harvested forest products, and support capacity building activities in member economies;
- Recognize the important role of meetings of Ministers responsible for forestry to promote forestry cooperation among APEC economies and to encourage progress towards leader’s statements with respect to sustainable forests, and invite member economies to offer to convene such meetings, when necessary;
- Consider establishing mutually agreed policy partnership dialogues consistent with APEC procedures or other arrangements within the APEC framework, as appropriate, to address the implementation of APEC forest objectives, bearing in mind the need to streamline APEC’s working structures;
- Recognize the contributions of forest goods and ecosystem services to domestic economies and to rural and urban communities, and include these contributions in domestic accounting systems, development policies and plans at all levels, as appropriate;
- Integrate sustainable forest management and conservation into member economies´ development policies and strategies to maximize benefits from forests and minimize or avoid the negative impact of other sectors on forests; and
- Engage as appropriate with other international organizations whose interests are in keeping with APEC‘s forestry goals.
Source: APEC News.