Payback: South Korea commits to help ASEAN preserve forests
South Korea took an important step in nurturing global green growth by agreeing last month with ASEAN member states to form the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO), the Korea Forest Service (KFS) told the Korea Herald on Thursday.
The agreement, signed at the ASEAN Summit in Bali, Indonesia last month, is expected to pave the way for international cooperative networks in the field of forest preservation.
ASEAN leaders welcomed the agreement at the 14th Korea-ASEAN summit talks, expressing hope the pact would help strengthen and sharpen the adaptability of Asian regions against climate change.
The agreement also reaffirmed that member nations will work together to accelerate the establishment of AFoCO, the KFS said.
Under the plan, the first Asian international agency will be set up by 2013 and its headquarters will be based in Seoul.
Korea’s endeavor, led by the KFS, traces back to 2008 when the country considered setting up an organization through which it could provide advanced forestation solutions with other Asian countries.
The move has much to do with Korea’s rapid economic growth in the aftermath of the Korean War. The country received help in various forms from advanced countries, which was followed by one of the fastest economic developments in the world.
Now, many see it as Korea’s turn to return the favors it received by offering what it has learned to other developing countries in Asia.