Hello everyone!!
We would like to share our experience on the 8th “Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM)” which was held on 1st—3rd June 2021 organized by LC Hokkaido University, Japan via Zoom Meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. IFSA LC UGM sent two delegates, Anastasya Tesalonika Ambarita and Faiha Azka Azzahira, to this meeting.

On the first day of Remote APRM 2020, we were welcomed by the Head of the 8th APRM Organizing Committee, Yumiko Hongu and President of IFSA, Alina Lehikoinen.

Then, we were introduced to Hokkaido Forest and Hokkaido University by Yumiko Hongu. She talked about the geography of Hokkaido which is located in the north of Japan and classified to have a subarctic climate (boreal climate) according to Köppen climate classification. The total forest area in Japan is around 25,050,000 ha and the area of forest in Hokkaido is around 5,540,000 ha.

In the third session, Professor Keiichi Koda presented a lecture on “Woody Biomass Refinery, Its Significance and Future Perspective”. Professor Koda explained that forest biomass (woody biomass) is attractive from a viewpoint of resource of material and energy because forest biomass shows the highest abundance (over 90%) among all biomass resources on the earth. It has sustainable use for balancing environmental conservation and resource exploitation and it’s possible in principle. Use of forest biomass as an industrial resource also can avoid competition with other types of biomass utilization, such as food production. Then, we talked about biorefinery (biomass refinery). Biorefinery means a refinery that converts biomass to energy and other beneficial by-products. For example, direct combustion, particle board, etc. It also includes application of woody biomass-derived products consisting of a variety of cellulose-based products around our daily life like paper, cosmetic dispersant, and protection film for liquid crystal display.

The next session was the second lecture by Prof. Junko Morimoto titled “How to Mitigate and Adapt to the Climate Change in Forest Ecosystems”. Here, Prof. Morimoto gave an example about typhoon cases, and explained that climate change risk arises when hazzard (strong winds and heavy rain), exposure (topographical features), and vulnerability (forest structure) overlap. There are three ways to reduce the risk of typhoons by minimizing hazzard, vulnerability, and exposure with promotion of CO2 assimilation and CO2 emission control, making forest structure with high resistance, and safe topographic features. Prof. Morimoto also explained how the Japanese policy salvage logging and planting in the form of compensation for economic losses, prevent forest fire, and prevent the mass attack from bark beetles and recommended forest management disasters. Mitigation and adaptation to climate change is done by planting conifers to avoid deer foraging, use species other than Fir (Abies s.) to encourage natural succession in the form of regeneration from advanced seedlings and fallen trees.

At last, we were introduced to the Regional Representatives voting process by Christina Ayu and Kent Daniel, the Asia-Pacific Regional Representatives (APRR). Then, proceeded with the speech from each APRR candidate.

On the first session of day 2, we had a workshop session and discussed “Community Forest and Challenges for Forestry Students under The New Normal” with Ms. Jana Thuaud, as the Program Officer of Partnerships and Resource Mobilization in RECOFTC. Here, she explained about the five principles of successful community forestry consisting of adaptive management and learning, availability of natural resources, effective governance and participation, rights and institutional setting, and addressing community needs.

Then, the participants were divided into breakout rooms to have further discussion of the workshop materials.

For the last session, each LC presented the results of their research followed by a Q&A session. Here, we presented our research regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our forestry titled “The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic towards Eco-Tourism Activities in Kalibiru Local Community Forest”.

The last day of the 8th APRM began with the introduction of APRM 2022 which will be held in Taiwan. Here, Che Yen Chuang from NCHUFSA (Taiwan) did a presentation about their country, and their plans for APRM 2022.
(Figure 11. Introduction about IFSA by Daniel kent and Christina Ayu. Source: Yumiko Hongu)
After that, we had an IFSA Workshop with our Regional Representatives, Christina Ayu and Kent Daniel as speakers. Here, we were explained further about IFSA.

At last, came the announcement for best presentations and the pre-selected Asia-Pacific Regional Representatives (APRR) 2021. The award for “The Best Overall Presentation” was given to us, IFSA LC UGM, while the award for “The Most Unique Presentation” was given to LC AFFS-UPLB (Philippines). Then came the long awaited result for the next APRR which was given to Sofia Anne from AFSS-UPLB and Ali Baluee from IFSA LC Sanru.

Finally, we moved to International Night. Each country showcased their own culture to other APRM participants. Here, we introduced our country Indonesia, especially the location of our Local Committee, Yogyakarta. We also introduced our traditional clothes, the function of Batik as Wayang, traditional food, and Yogyakarta’s tourism. Other LCs also presented really interesting features of their country, most memorable to us are from LC Hokkaido (Japan) who presented the traditional bow and arrow dance in Japan, and From LC AFSS-UPLB (Philippines) introduced their traditional food namely Halo-Halo. Through this meeting we were able to learn from wonderful presenters as well as have a good time with the new friends we made. We want to thank parties who have guided us for all the help and support! We are looking forward to the 9th APRM in Taiwan!