Chapter 1: Introduction
In 1998 and 1999, the Government of Japan hosted a series of workshops on Model Forest development in Asia. Through funding provided by Japan, a regional Secretariat was established at FAO in Bangkok. The regional secretariat was supported by Japan for three years and then by the International Model Forest Network Secretariat (IMFNS) for an additional year. Subsequently to that, secretarial duties were provided directly by the IMFNS.
Model Forests were developed in China (1999), India (2005), Indonesia (2000), Japan (2007), the Philippines (2000) and Thailand (2000). Since 2000, the model forests and a National Model Forest Focal Point for each country with a Model Forest met regularly as a group for meetings and workshops although a formal governance structure had not been established.
Since the inception of the regional network, the participating countries and the Model Forests have continuously confirmed that they would be better positioned and more effective if they were organized into a structured network. Discussions on creating a formal government structure for the RMFN–Asia began during the September 2004 Regional Model Forest Network workshop held in Lin’an, China and followed up in October 2005 at a meeting of the Regional Model Forest Focal Points that took place in Kodagu, India and again in November 2005 during a meeting of the Asian representatives attending the 2005 IMFN Global Forum in Costa Rica.
In 2006, the development of a Regional Model Forest Network, Asia Strategic Plan was initiated involving a series of country-based consultations. Two regional workshops on the plan were held in Bangkok, Thailand in September 2006 and January 2007. In October 2007, the National Model Forest Focal Points and representatives from the regional model forests attended a regional meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was agreed that a RMFN–Asia Advisory Committee be established to provide a more formal governance structure to the regional network.
The purpose of this document is to establish a set of clearly defined operating principles to guide the development and efficient operation of the Regional Model Forest Network–Asia Advisory Committee.
Chapter 2: RMFN–Asia Principles and Purposes
The Model Forest approach is based upon a view that broad-based local participation is a key to achieving the sustainable management of natural resources and forested landscapes. This approach helps the various stakeholders recognize the impact of their activities on the land-base, develop a shared understanding of sustainability and learn what it means in operational situations.
Creating and maintaining an effective partnership poses particular challenges. Among the partnership-building tools available to Model Forest partners is a set of commonly held attributes on which activities can be structured and that form the basis for the International Model Forest Network. Among the attributes that define the model forest approach to the sustainable management of natural resources and forested landscapes, the following six are considered fundamental:
The RMFN–Asia would assist in setting the strategic directions for model forest development and network initiatives in the region. It would also help in linking Model Forests with other like-minded regional organizations so that the success of Model Forests can be integrated in mainstream interventions. The Advisory Committee will provide an entry point for working together with key international and regional organizations which may have potential to contribute to the success of the model forest approach in the region.
Chapter 3: Network Members
Membership of the Regional Model Forest Network, Asia is comprised of model forests that have been accepted into the RMFN–Asia. Model Forests, as participants in the Regional Model Forest Network, must adhere to the IMFN Principles and Attributes of Model Forests as well as the IMFN Charter.
The IMFNS and the RMFN-Asia Secretariat will facilitate a review of prospective model forests within the region who wish to participate in the regional network and the IMFN.
Chapter 4: RMFN–Asia Advisory Committe
4.1 Mandate and Purpose:
i) National Model Forest Focal Point: Each country in the region with a Model Forest can nominate one National Model Forest Focal Point and an alternate to the RMFN–Asia Advisory Committee.
ii) Model Forests: Each Model Forest that is a member of the RMFN–Asia can nominate one representative and an alternate to the RMFN–Asia Advisory Committee.
iii) FAO (Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific) can nominate one representative and an alternate to the RMFN–Asia Advisory Committee.
iv) IMFNS can nominate one representative and an alternate to the RMFN–Asia Advisory Committee.
4.5 Duties of Members:
4.7 Membership Dues:
4.8 Secretariat Duties: