Mr. Kunihiro Yamauchi, Director General of JICA (left) and Mr. Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director of ITTO sign and exchange the MOD. Photo: T. Yanuariadi/ITTO
An agreement extending collaboration between ITTO and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was signed by Mr. Emmanuel Ze Meka, the Executive Director of ITTO and Mr. Kunihiro Yamauchi, Director General of JICA, on 30th
of June 2015 at ITTO headquarters in Yokohama, Japan.
The agreement (formally called the “Minutes of Discussion” or MOD) aims at facilitating the implementation of joint activities for the conservation and sustainable use of tropical forest resources within the context of the ITTO Action Plans, Biennial Work Programmes and the Thematic Programmes and JICA’s programme of work in the field of nature conservation. The key objectives of this MOD over the next six years are to: (a) identify, develop and implement targeted joint activities in the conservation and sustainable use of tropical forest resources in support of the overall sustainable development of ITTO developing member countries assisted by JICA and in accordance with their national development policies and (b) promote capacity building in developing countries and facilitate knowledge sharing between ITTO and JICA and interested countries, to advance the implementation of sustainable forest management in the tropics. The MOD is an extension of an earlier agreement signed by ITTO and JICA in 2010.
ITTO and JICA have identified the following potential areas of cooperation under this MOD for joint activities:
- Joint project development and financing at sub-regional to regional levels;
- Mutual coordination in the implementation of projects between ITTO and JICA to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness, especially for their sub-regional and regional projects;
- Provision of services by ITTO for JICA project implementation in countries where ITTO has comparative advantages due to extended field experience;
- Joint activities in dissemination of information and sharing of experiences in the field of sustainable management of tropical forests;
- Opportunities for the dissemination of Japanese technology and know-how for the conservation and sustainable use of forest resources, the sustainable development of forest industry, and the promotion of trade and marketing of sustainably produced and legally harvested forest products;
- Promotion of markets and market-based approaches to increase the value of tropical forests through the payment of environmental services;
- Conservation, rehabilitation and restoration of tropical forests, including through forest fire prevention and management;
- Forest management for the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, including REDD+; and
- Contribution to the achievement of internationally agreed forest-related global objectives, goals and targets, including global objectives on forests, forest-related Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Bonn Challenge and the emerging forest-related Sustainable Development Goals and the associated targets and indicators.
Joint activities for the 2015-2016 period have been outlined and proposed, as follows, subject to the availability of appropriate resources:
- Development and implementation of collaborative actions to assist conservation and sustainability efforts of tropical countries in implementing conservation and sustainable use of tropical forest resources and contributing to the achievement of internationally agreed forest-related global goals and targets, including regional and sub-regional level entities such as COMIFAC, ACTO and SADC and countries in major tropical forest sub-regions, namely the Congo Basin, the Amazon, and South-East Asia, and information sharing, consultation, and collaboration between ITTO and JICA to enhance collaboration between projects and programmes in the areas and countries of their common interest;
- Organization of joint events for knowledge sharing, capacity building and the promotion of visibility at relevant international conferences such as:
- the XIV World Forestry Congress to be held in Durban, South Africa (September 2015);
- UNFCCC COP 21 to be held in Paris, France (November-December 2015) and COP 22 (2016);
- the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 to be held in Hawai’i, USA (September 2016); and
- CBD COP 23 to be held in Los Cabos, Mexico (November 2016)
- Cooperation in knowledge management through inter-office visits and discussions, joint revision, publication and distribution of publications, timely uploading of information on joint activities on each respective websites, and ITTO’s participation in the Japan Public-Private Platform for REDD+ established by JICA to enhance collaboration among stakeholders on REDD+ and related activities
Through these joint activities and more, ITTO and JICA will strive to continue and strengthen their cooperation in the conservation and sustainable use of tropical forest resources as well as advancing the implementation of sustainable forest management in tropical countries.