16 Jun

PRESS RELEASE OF REMOTE ASIA-PACIFIC REGIONAL MEETING (APRM) 2020

by Dewanti Uma Rahmaningtyas and Rizka Afif Muhammad

PRESS RELEASE REMOTE APRM 2020 DAY 1

(Figure 1. Poster of Remote APRM 2020. Source: APRM OC 2020)

Remote APRM 2020 was held from 8th June until 10th June 2020 via Google Meet due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was organized by National Chung Hsing University Forestry Students’ Association (NCHUFSA), Taiwan. There were around 120 participants from LCs in Indonesia, Taiwan, India, Japan, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Australia, and Nepal. IFSA LC UGM sent 15 delegates to attend this meeting. They were Rizka Afif Muhammad, Dewanti Uma Rahmaningtyas, Zinedine Agustine Damayanti, Arya Yudha Aditya, Nabila Anggita Asyrofi, Rhatasya Kana Azzahra, Etha Widya, Christina Ayu Andari, Megantara Massie, Rezky Putri Piawanza, Dana Rizqy Prihandi, Geraldy Kianta, Nabila Putri Hafshari, Daniel Joy Sitorus, and Brandy Befani Herdin Jevona.

(Figure. Opening session from Prof. Wan-Yiu Liu. Source: APRM OC 2020)

On the first day of Remote APRM 2020, we had an opening session from Prof. Wan-Yu Liu and Yu-Tung Hung. After this session, we had an introduction about National Chung Hsing University (NCHU) in general which was led by Prof. Wan-Yu Liu. NCHU was found during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan and it is regarded as one of central Taiwan’s top universities. It has eight colleges: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Science, Life Sciences, Liberal Arts, Law, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, and Management. From this session, delegates could find out the history of NCHU.

(Figure 3. Introduction of Forests in Taiwan. Source: APRM OC 2020)

In the third session, we had the Introduction of forestry in Taiwan. This session talked about the basic and biological information of Taiwan’s forest which was explained by Shih-Hsiang Huang and Hsuan Shao from NCHUFSA. Taiwan is a tropical and subtropical country zone located on the edge of Eurasia (between Eurasia and the Pacific Ocean). Forest coverage in Taiwan is about 60.71%, with 92.8% forest land owned by national, 0.3% forest land owned by communal, and 6.9% forest land owned by the private sector. There are six vegetation zones in Taiwan which consist of the Ficus-Machilus zone, Machilus-Castanopsis zone, Quercus zone, Tsuga-Picea zone, Abies zone, and Alpine vegetation zone. From the third session, delegates could broaden their knowledge about the forestry sector in Taiwan.

(Figure 4. Lecture session by Prof. Ying-Hsuan Sun. Source: Prof. Ying-Hsuan Sun)

The last session on our first day of APRM 2020 was Application Cases of Molecular Biology in Taiwan. This topic was explained by Prof. Ying-Hsuan Sun from NCHU. First, he talked about Forest Tree Breeding. He said that it was hard because most trees are largely undomesticated, with lots of genetic variation, long breeding cycles, poor juvenile mature correlations, late expressing traits and delayed flowering, and logistically complex, large, and multiple sites. Besides, he talked about major changes in forest policy in Taiwan such as to emphasize sustainability, conservation, protection, and the restriction of logging.

After his explanation about Forest Tree Breeding, he talked about the current condition of  Taiwania cryptomerioides (Taiwania) and Acacia confusa (Acacia) breeding in Taiwan. Even though Taiwania is useful as a breeding population, foresters in Taiwan were set back by the logging ban policy, hindering them to do more research and development on Taiwania’s benefits. Meanwhile, for Acacia confusa (Acacia), the tree identification is still from scratch, with unknown site cultivation history, and in need of genetic dissection to know the trait of heritability while doing pest prevention breeding. Nonetheless, Acacia has some advantages such as a short breeding cycle and largely-scaled progeny tests to obtain fundamental trait information. We did get a lot of new information on the first day.

PRESS RELEASE REMOTE APRM 2020 DAY 2

On the second day, the meeting started at 5.30 p.m. (UTC+7) with the theme of “IFSA Day”. The second day was aimed to introduce IFSA to the participants deeper and to get to know the applicants of the Asia-Pacific Regional Representative (APRR) 2020/2021 and APRM OC 2022 better. This meeting was opened with a small speech from Yu-Tung about the rules and regulations for the participants of the meeting which overall was the same as the first day.

(Figure 5. Forest Education and Employment Projects talk with Lisa Prior and Khalil Walji. Source: APRM OC 2020)

The first session for the second day was Forest Education and Forest Employment Projects with Lisa Prior (Junior Researcher of European Forest Institute) and Khalil Walji (Project Management Consultant of The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). Lisa Prior explained about the “2 Projects – 2 Surveys” that they are currently working on. The first project is a global student networking and green jobs in the forest sector with EFI, IFSA, and IUFRO as the partners. The second one is the creation of a Global Forest Education Platform and Launch of a Joint Initiative with FAO, IUFRO, ITTO, and several other partners that they didn’t mention.

The joint project with EFI, IFSA, and IUFRO is called the “Green Job” Project. This project aims to provide insight into the future of the forest sector labor market through analysis of global employment trends and competence needs. It also aims to assist IFSA and showcase the strength of the largest network of forest students in the world. The project is a student survey and it was launched last week before the APRM 2020 took place. Lisa Prior and Khalil Walji hoped that the participants could help them share the link of the survey to more forestry students around the world through https://www.surveygizmo.eu/s3/90242538/3d7754c25d73.

(Figure 6. Introduction to IFSA with APRR 2019/2020. Source: APRM OC 2020)

The Introduction to IFSA was the second session of the meeting which was led by the APRR 2019/2020, Jilian Bathan and Yu-Tung Hung. IFSA is a globally organized and locally operating students’ organization. It connects forest and related science to their peers and forest-related organizations as well as policy platforms. It facilitates student meetings, enables participation in scientific debates, and supports the involvement of youth in decision-making processes regionally and globally. Currently, there are more than 130 member associations divided into 7 regions (Asia-Pacific, Northern America, Latin America, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Southern Africa). The way that IFSA connects forest and related science is by doing a partnership with organizations such as CIFOR, EFI, FAO, UNEP, UNCBD, ITTO, Youth in Landscape, ALECIF, IFISO, and IAAS.

After the presentation about IFSA ended, Jilian and Yu-Tung asked the attending IFSA Officials to share their experiences while working in IFSA. Those who shared their stories with us were Simone Massaro (Head of Web Sub-Commission), Damiano Cilio (Vice President), Kirsten Langmaid (Executive Secretary), Daniel Guerra (Council of Membership), Barbara Öllerer (Head of Forest Europe Sub-Commission), and Sylvannisa Putri (Head of Design Sub-Commission). They said that IFSA’s environment was really supportive of everyone, including someone new. They also stressed that IFSA gave them many skills that were useful to be implemented in the future and in their daily lives.

(Figure 8. Updates of APRM 2021 with Yumiko Hongu. Source: Yumiko Hongu)

The third session of APRM 2020 was the update of APRM 2021 by Yumiko Hongu from IFSA LC Hokkaido University, Japan. The location of the APRM 2021 will take place in Sapporo City, Hokkaido, one of the biggest cities in Japan. Yumiko also presented the 6-days agenda of APRM 2021 with IFSA Day on the third day. In this session, Yumiko gave us information on what became the problem of their progress. During the Q&A session, Yumiko gave us further information that each LC could only send a maximum of two delegates.

            The fourth and fifth session was the explanation of the selection processes and a Q&A with applicants for the APRR 2020/2021 position. The applicants for the APRR positions are Aditi Mishra (IFSA LC FRI, India), Christina Ayu Andari (IFSA LC UGM, Indonesia), and Kent Daniel (NTUFSA, Taiwan). Each applicant got 3 minutes of a brief introduction and 5 minutes for Q&A with the participants of the meeting.

(Figure 10. Presentation from APRM OC 2022 applicant. Source: Yu-Tung Hung)

The last session on the second day was a Q&A session with the applicant of the APRM OC 2022, NCHUFSA (Taiwan). In their presentation, most of the agendas were the same as the APRM 2020 agendas before the pandemic. Some questions that popped up were around the flight and registration fee, or if some of the requirements such as visa and immigration documents will be sponsored. They also implied that they were considering other payment methods other than SWIFT Payment, such as PayPal. At the end of the meeting, Jilian and Yu-Tung reminded us to do the online voting for the APRR 2020/2021 positions and the APRM OC 2022. This second day was quite long and tiring because the agendas were deeply substantial. Nevertheless, we are happy to get to know more about IFSA and its operations, including the process of choosing regional representatives and APRM OC.

PRESS RELEASE REMOTE APRM 2020 DAY 3

On the final day of Remote APRM 2020, there were four sessions started from Online Voting, Online International Night, Nomination of the Voted Applicants, and Closing of Remote APRM 2020. In the first session (Online Voting), each LC votes for the applicants through Google form which had been provided by the OC. The voting started from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (UTC+7).  Every LC had 3 votes that include two votes for the APRR 2020/2021 positions and one vote for the APRM OC 2022. However, Online Voting was continued until after international evening because there were only 7 LCs who had voted for the applicants out of 32 LCs in the Asia-Pacific.

(Figure 11. Online International Night presentation from Taiwan. Source: APRM OC 2020)

In the second session, we had Online International Night. In this session, each country would explain and present their culture, food, traditional clothes, and also fun facts of their country. Taiwan is the first country that presented its culture with a video titled “Culture Travel in Taiwan”. They also talked about their iconic beverage, pearl milk tea, which is a popular beverage that is now served across the globe and more commonly known as bubble tea or boba tea. The next country to present its culture was India. It is a country with vast diversity and amazing cultures. India is dominated by strict Muslims and Hindus. There, it is prohibited to drink alcohol. Other than that, bread is used to scoop up food in India.

The next country to present was the Philippine where they took the stage to present their natural beauty and facts as well as the crisis they are currently facing. Pakistan was the next country to present after Philippine. It was presented by Muhammad Juaneid using PowerPoint and video as the media. Muhammad talked about their graphic arts and Pakistani handicrafts. There are a wide variety of graphic art examples, including the hand-painted clay products, the hand design for batik products, and block printing called Ajrak. Moreover, Pakistani handicrafts are as varied as the ethnic backgrounds of the craftsmen which include the process of work in wood, beaten brass and copperware, pottery, and jewelry, a wide variety of fabrics that feature embroidery, and the hand-designed carpets for which Pakistan is internationally recognized.

            In the middle of Online International Night, we played games using Kahoot in which questions were related to culture and food in the Asia Pacific countries. The winner of the game was Daniel Joy Sitorus from IFSA LC UGM. After the game, there was a presentation from Korea where they talked about South Korea in general followed by a short introduction to the World Forestry Congress 2021 that will take place in Seoul. Indonesia was the next country to present their culture. We had IFSA LC IPB and IFSA LC UGM presented Indonesian’s cultures. The first presentation was from IFSA LC IPB where the culture in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, such as soto and bajigur, was presented. Furthermore, they explained about Indonesia Raya as the national anthem of Indonesia. After that, IFSA LC UGM presented Indonesian’s culture in general by Rizka Afif Muhammad and Dewanti Uma Rahmaningtyas. IFSA LC UGM explained about Tokecang, O Ina Ni Keke, and Rayuan Pulau Kelapa as the song. IFSA LC UGM also presented papeda, woku komo-komo, and beef rendang for the traditional foods, meanwhile bir pletok, air mata pengantin, and bandrek as the traditional drinks.

After Indonesia, a presentation from Japan was given by Yumiko Hongu. She explained about Sapporo City, Hokkaido, and its natural beauty through a short video. Sapporo is the only major city in Hokkaido that has industry and population exchange with the rest of Japan while its culture is not much different from other Japanese. Hokkaido is known best for forestry, agriculture, and its dairy-product. In the last session of International Night, OCs made a game session using Kahoot for about 5 minutes to kill time while we waited for the nomination to take place. The winner of the game was Yumiko Hongu (IFSA LC Hokkaido, Japan). From this session, delegates could get to know other cultures from Asia-Pacific countries.

(Figure 12. Results of the online voting. Source: APRM OC 2020)

After Online International Night, we moved to the Nomination of the Voted Applicants session. In this session, Yu-Tung Hung and Jilian Bathan as the APRR 2019/2020 announced the voting result for APRR 2020/2021 positions and APRM OC 2022. The result for APRR 2020/2021 was Aditi Mishra from IFSA LC FRI, India with 3 votes, Christina Ayu Andari from IFSA LC UGM, Indonesia with 11 votes, and Kent Daniel from NTUFSA, Taiwan with 7 votes. Afterward, they announced the voting result of APRM OC 2022 with 15 votes for NCHUFSA and no votes for abstaining or to go for an open call. With these results, Christina Ayu Andari and Kent Daniel were chosen as the APRR 2020/2021, and NCHUSFA, Taiwan as the APRM OC 2022.

(Figure13. APRM OC 2022, NCHUFSA. Source: APRM OC 2020)

The final session of Remote APRM 2020 was Closing of Remote APRM 2020. In this session, there were speeches from APRR 2019/2020 and APRR 2020/2021. The first speech was from Kent Daniel followed by Christina Ayu Andari’s. They thanked all part of Remote APRM 2020 and hoped to be able to work and strive for the Asia-Pacific region together. Jilian Bathan and Yu-Tung Hung also gave their speeches where they took the chance to thank all who supported them throughout their service. After Remote APRM 2020 was over, some participants decided to stay to have an “after-party” with online karaoke to get to know each other. Kim Cyrus and Tina from AFFS UPLB decided to sing “A Whole New World” together with Muhammad Junaeid. Muhammad then decided to show us some more videos about Pakistan.

After a 3-days of laughter and amusement, it is sad that APRM 2020 has come to an end. Nevertheless, we know that it would forever be the memories that we would never forget. We got a lot of new and interesting information here that we wouldn’t get outside of this forum. Thus, we thank everyone who took part to make this meeting possible, especially the OCs and IFSA Officials. We hope to meet everyone again in the future but without screens as barriers. It would be a more fun and exciting experience to have. That being said, see you in another IFSA adventure, folks!

Being one of the attendees in the remote APRM was such a great opportunity for me. I was able to know more not only about forestry information from another part of the world but also the culture of those countries directly. Unfortunately, not all of the participants turned on their camera so I was not able to see all of their faces. Regardless of the effort to make this event possible, it would’ve been more interactive if the meet was held using zoom or similar platform with selected delegates. That meet can be live streamed in Youtube so all of IFSA members could access it.

Megantara M.

Remote APRM 2020 was the first international IFSA event that I attended. This being the first, I was excited and a little nervous going into it as I knew that a lot of people from different countries will be there. As the event proceeded however, I was just happy to be able to learn and see the way IFSA works which in turn motivated me to do better.
I was glad that I am able to take on this opportunity. Though the event did not go as originally planned, it was still very enjoyable. I hope that by the next APRM the situation will get better so that future delegates will be able to experience APRM in its whole glory.

Rhatasya Kana Azzahra

It was a great chance for me to be given the opportunity to attend one of IFSA’s international level events. Though I must admit that I can’t participate so actively, due to the lack of preparation. Regardless, I got lots of new information that broadened my knowledge in forestry science.
I appreciate APRM for being adaptive with the current global pandemic situation by doing the events through virtual meets. This adaptation brought new opportunities for more members to join and get the experience together.

Geraldy Kianta

Remote APRM 2020 was the first time for APRM to be held online, so it was the first experience both for us as the participants and for the OCs. I was thrilled to join the online meeting and nervous at the same time because there are so many people that I have never met. The event ran smoothly, I got to learn many things about Taiwan and its forest from the professor and the OCs also I got to see some of my friends that I’ve met from the previous APRM so I got excited when I saw some of them.
I really enjoyed the new opportunity that I got to have although there are some changes that’s not according to the schedule. Even though there are little disadvantages of the meeting to be held online like we didn’t really know about the other participants, enjoy the live experience of the forest of Taiwan and also their fantastic food and cultures, I really want to thank everyone who involved both the OCs and the participant that makes the meeting ran really well and enjoyable.

Christina Ayu Andari

Remote APRM 2020 was my first experience in participating in delegation on an international scale. What a valuable and enjoyable experience to be able to join as one of the participants of this event. Although organized online, the atmosphere created remains fun, because I gain a lot of new knowledge, get to know new cultures, and also get to know many new friends. And of course this event can improve my English skills. And I hope that all friends are always given safety and health as well as the COVID-19 pandemic is coming to an end so that we can all meet again in remote aprm 2021 next year in Japan.

Etha Widyahastari

Being able to attend Remote APRM 2020 was a great experience for me. Although the meeting was held online, I could still learn many things. The time before the meeting started, I was a little bit nervous about what could happen, plus it was my first participation on an international scale, in this case Asia-Pacific region. As the meeting ran, I enjoyed every session. The officials and delegates from other countries were all friendly. I also enjoyed the topics delivered by the speakers. My favorite session was the cultural night. I always like to learn about other countries’ culture. I encourage the members of IFSA LC UGM to attend this meeting in the future. I think this meeting would be suitable to expand your experience and relations.

Daniel Joy Sitorus

Attending Remote APRM 2020 was quite a memorable experience for me. Even though you couldn’t meet in person, it was also nice to be able to meet online and get to know the members of other local committees. Likewise with the culture of their countries, very interesting!
In addition, the topics presented by the speakers were very interesting. Knowing the forests in Taiwan also gave me broader insights into the forestry sector. I really wanted to take part in the next APRM, unfortunately I couldn’t because I had to focus on my thesis immediately. Thank you to the Remote APRM 2020 committee, hopefully the next APRM can be better.

Dana Risqy Prihandi

Attending the very first Remote APRM 2020 was a great experience for me. In this pandemic situation, Remote APRM 2020 was a good way to change APRM annual agenda so I could join this event and get a lot of knowledge about forest in Taiwan, also knowing more about IFSA from the APRR 2019/2020. Maybe I was rarely active in that event, but I had a lot of fun there. What an unforgettable moment! Thanks to all friends and all delegates of Remote APRM 2020. Hope we can meet again at APRM 2021!

Nabila Anggita Asyrofi

Remote Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM) 2020 was my very first time participating in an international event and I am so grateful that I could attend this event. I got friends, experiences, knowledge about forests in other countries, and new perspectives. I got a bunch of information about other cultures and we really had a lot of fun there, even if it was online. I also got information about how IFSA works and it was so amazing!! I do hope in the future I could attend another event like this, and better if I could meet the other participants directly. Thank you for the amazing memories and experiences, I hope I could meet the delegates in person soon. Stay healthy and hydrated guys!

Nabila Putri Hafshari

It was my first time participating in an international event like Remote APRM (Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting) 2020. I learned many things from other countries. Mostly I got culture, international forest issues, and people’s characteristics. Thanks to all friends and all delegates of Remote APRM 2020. Hope we can stay healthy and still stronger, don’t forget to pray, learn, eat, and sleep.

Arya Yudha Aditya

It was an unforgettable moment where I could attend an international event, which was the Remote Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM) 2020. Starting from the topics, I gained new knowledge and also new friends from other countries, especially in the Asia-Pacific. Due to this pandemic the meeting was held via Google Meet for three consecutive days. I really enjoyed it although I couldn’t meet in person. Big thanks to all of the committee who were involved in this event. I learned a lot from this big event. I hope we can meet at the other opportunities, hope you guys stay safe and healthy wherever you are. <3

Zinedine Agustine Damayanti

I was very thankful and glad that I got to attend the Remote Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting 2020. Although the event was conducted online, I could still feel the vibe of an international event on it. I’m grateful that I could learn new knowledge about international forests out there. I also learned many cultures from other countries that were really beautiful each one of them. Thank you IFSA for conducting such a beautiful event that could be attended by many members this year. Hoping that there will be many events that could be attended by IFSA LC’s members freely!

Brandy Befani Herdin Jevona

This was my first international event I attended. Although it was held online, I got a lot of knowledge about other countries’ forest management, culture of Asia-Pacific countries, international forest issues in other countries and particularly about IFSA. I hope in the future I can attend other events like this, and it’s better if I can join them offline. This was the most amazing event and experience I’ve ever had. Thank you, IFSA fellas, for Remote APRM 2020. I hope we can stay healthy and I hope we can meet again in APRM 2021.

Rezky Putri Piawanza

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