By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, SEOUL

25 March 2024, Seoul - The Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) in partnership with the Korea Forest Service (KFS) on 21 March 2024 commemorated the 2024 International Day of Forests at the National Institute of Forest Service (NIFoS) in Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, ROK.

Under the theme "Forests and Innovation ? New Solutions for a Better World", AFoCO and KFS shared Korea's forest policies and provided updates on technologies and achievements in the international forest cooperation. Participants likewise witnessed demonstrations of advance forest management systems such as forest ICT using digital twin technology and forest fire command stations.

Philippine Ambassador Theresa Dizon-De Vega, delivered a message during the event emphasizing the important role of forests in responding to climate change. Being home to more than 20,000 endemic species and one of the megadiverse countries in the world, saving the Philippine forests is critical for the environment. Ambassador Dizon-De Vega said that, "Healthy forests should be our collective goal" and thanked the AFoCO, KFS and NIFoS for being the Philippines' partners in its journey towards healthier forests including past and current joint projects to promote community-based foresting in the Philippines.

The event was attended by H.E. Dr. Nam Sung Hyun, Minister of the Korea Forest Service, Dr. Park Chongho, Executive Director AFoCO, H.E. Kim Hyo-Eun, Ambassador and Deputy Minister for Climate Change of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassadors of AFoCO Parties and Observers and potential partner countries, FAO representative, KOICA and other AFoCO partner institutions.

The Philippines is a member party to the AFoCO, a treaty-based intergovernmental organization established in Asia in 2018. Its membership consists of 14 parties and 2 observers cooperating to provide support in the implementation of the organization's programs and projects. END