Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), is a forum for Asia-Pacific economies to facilitate economic growth and prosperity, cooperation, trade and investment in the region and to strengthen the regional community.
APEC has 21 members - referred to as Member Economies - that account for approximately 40 per cent of the world's population, approximately 53 per cent of world GDP and about 44 per cent of world trade. In addition, the Member Economies account for approximately 53 per cent of the world’s forests, 60 per cent of global production of forest products, and 80 per cent of global trade in forest products.
Since its inception in 1989, APEC has worked to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers across the Asia-Pacific region, creating efficient domestic economies and increasing exports. Key to achieving APEC's vision are what are referred to as the 'Bogor Goals' of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialised economies and 2020 for developing economies. These goals were adopted by Leaders at their 1994 meeting in Bogor, Indonesia.
APEC Leaders’ commitments to forestry and forests
In the APEC Leaders’ Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development in Sydney, September 2007, the APEC Leaders agreed that economic growth, energy security and climate change are fundamental and interlinked challenges for the APEC region.
The declaration noted the importance of forests and land use and agreed that sustainable forest management and land use practices play a key role in the carbon cycle and need to be addressed in the post-2012 international climate change arrangement.
The declaration included an Action Agenda in which it was noted that forests can play a critical role in the carbon cycle and that ongoing action is required to encourage afforestation and reforestation and to reduce deforestation, forest degradation and forest fires, including by promoting sustainable forest management, combating illegal logging and addressing the underlying economic and social drivers.
In 2010, at Yokohama, Japan, APEC Leaders committed to enhance work and take concrete steps on meeting the aspirational goals in the Sydney Declaration relating to forests and forestry, and to enhance our cooperation to address concerns with illegal logging and associated trade and to promote sustainable forest management and rehabilitation.
In 2011, at Honolulu, Hawaii, APEC Leaders committed to promoting green growth including through working to implement appropriate measures to prohibit trade in illegally harvested forest products and undertake additional activities in APEC to combat illegal logging and associated trade.
In 2012, at Vladivostok, Russia, APEC Leaders committed to strengthen efforts to combat illegal trade in wildlife, timber, and associated products, to implement measures to ensure sustainable marine and forest ecosystems management, and to facilitate sustainable, open, and fair trade of non-timber forest products.
APEC Leaders also committed to promote agricultural research and collaboration that looks to mitigate the effects of agriculture on climate change and in support of efficient and sustainable use of agricultural and natural resources, including forests.
APEC Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade
In response to commitments made by the APEC Leaders in 2010, and under direction of APEC ministers responsible for trade in 2011, the APEC Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT) was formed in 2012, to promote trade in legally harvested forest products, combat illegal logging and associated trade, and to build capacity.
This was supported by APEC leaders in the commitments made in 2011 and 2012.
The first meeting of the APEC EGILAT was held in Moscow 9-10 February 2012.
The meeting timetable follows the APEC program for the first and third Senior Officials’ Meetings in each year.
APEC Ministers Responsible for Forestry
The meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Forestry held in China in 2011, was the first meeting to bring together ministers and senior officials from APEC economies to focus solely on forestry and forests in the region.
Arising from this meeting, the Beijing Statement on Forests and Forestry built on:
- the 2007 Sydney APEC Leaders’ Declaration commitments to increase forest cover in the region by at least 20 million hectares of all types of forests by 2020 and to establish the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation,
- the 2010 Yokohama APEC Leaders’ Declaration to enhance work on meeting the aspirational goal in the Sydney Declaration and to take concrete steps toward this goal, and to enhance our cooperation to address concerns with illegal logging and associated trade and to promote sustainable forest management and rehabilitation, and
- the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development Forest Principles and the United Nations Non-Legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests, and noting that they have raised awareness of the important roles and contribution of forests in socio-economic development, ecological, sustainability, poverty eradication, climate change, and green growth
and committed to aspirational goals for sustainable forest management, forest conservation and forest rehabilitation for the region.
The full Beijing Statement on Forests and Forestry is available.
The second APEC Ministers Responsible for Forestry meeting was held in Cusco, Peru, 14 16 August 2013. APEC Ministers Responsible for Forestry released the Cusco Statement that contains 17 aspirations for APEC member economies to address the challenges related to green growth and sustainable development.