Guyana, Guatemala and Suriname are now members of the Forest -11 (F-11), following the outcome of a Ministerial-level meeting of group members held yesterday in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia.
The F-11 group consists of countries with rainforests and is a forum intended to increase effective cooperation and partnership in sustainable forest management (SFM) in order to overcome the challenges of deforestation, a release on the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry website said.
The other members of the F-11 group are Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Peru.
According to the release, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, who co-chaired the meeting with Indonesian Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan explained that “the F-11 member states agreed to accept the three new members not only because of their rainforest, but because of their shared vision and mission on forests.” Representatives from all 11 of the pre-existing members attended the meeting.
The release further said that apart from the agreement on the new member states, the meeting was also marked by the inauguration of the F-11 website, www.forest-eleven.or.id as a means for stakeholders to interact and better understand the work being undertaken by the F-11 countries on forest-related issues and management. “Another milestone in the co-operation was the launch of the program of work and strategic plan that will serve as the implementation mechanism for the F-11 to be completed in the period of 2010-2011”, the release added.
The cooperation among rainforest countries is expected to increase awareness on forest and biodiversity conservancy in international fora. According to the Indonesian Foreign Minister, “Prior to the establishment of the F-11, discussions on forest issues at the international-level had the tendencies to be negative.”
The F-11 is expected to change the paradigm so that future discussions on forest issues can be more constructive.