Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The importance of integrating socio-economic aspects in sustainable forest management was discussed at a meeting for ASEAN officials overseeing forestry cooperation.

The meeting was officially opened by the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN, Bagas Hapsoro, and Swiss Ambassador to ASEAN, Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn, here, Thursday (Jan 20).

The meeting was part of the implementation of the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change, according information on the official website of the Jakarta-based ASEAN Secretariat here Friday.

The CHF 5 million project aims to assist ASEAN in adapting to and mitigating climate change through socially- and environmentally-responsible forest management and protection.

The project is implemented through three main areas: policy development; knowledge sharing and networking; and learning interventions.

Spanning from 2009 to 2013, the project is supported by the Swiss Government through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

DSG Bagas thanked the Swiss Government for its timeliness in supporting the ASEAN community building efforts. While more issues on social forestry will arise in upcoming years, said DSG Bagas, he was optimistic in the significant achievements that good partnership with stakeholders would bring.

Social forestry cooperation in ASEAN is mainly driven by the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN). Established in 2005, the ASFN`s main goal is to strengthen ASEAN cooperation in social forestry through the sharing of information and knowledge.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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