The Launch and First Meeting of APFNet Steering Committee convened successfully in Beijing, China, on 1 June 2011, inviting representatives from 8 economies in Asia and the Pacific and 2 international organizations to the meeting. APFNet secretariat provided technical support for the meeting.
Mr. QU Guilin, Director General of International Cooperation, State Forestry Administration (SFA), chaired the meeting on behalf of China. Madame Yin Hong, Vice Minister of SFA, addressed the opening session, stressing that a sound development of APFNet in long term lied in a mechanism that enabled multi-stakeholder participation and equal consultation. Mr. Phillip Antweiler, US Department of State, and Mr. Ben Mitchell, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, representing 2 co-sponsors of APFNet, appreciated progress made and welcomed the establishment of an interim advisory body to facilitate APFNet governance and policy development.
Based on the consensus reached in previous consultations, The APFNet Interim Steering Committee was then formally announced, composed of Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, the U.S. and Viet Nam; and FAO Regional office in Asia and the Pacific(FAORAP) and The Nature Conservancy(TNC). Madame Yin Hong was elected as first Chair in the following 3 years. The Rules of Procedure to guide the Committee in serving its functions were also adopted with suggestions on modification of the text.
During the following session, attendees probed into the draft APFNet Charter and explored the possible arrangement of APFNet’s institutional arrangement. The revised draft Strategic Plan was and discussed for final revision and adoption hopefully by 2011.