A substantial network had been built prior to this project through collaboration in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in China, Australia and the USA. Through this project, the network has been intensified and expanded, thereby facilitating capacity building and knowledge transfer in order to support and strengthen decision-making regarding forest management responses to climate change.
Research team and steering committee
This project formed a valuable research team and advisory committee. The advisory committee members consist of climate and forest research experts in the Asia-Pacific region from Canada, China, USA, Australia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The research team members are from universities, government agencies, and research institutes throughout the region.
Events and network building activities
The network has been expanded gradually through various activities including conferences, workshops, seminars, and visiting scholars. In the initial stages of this project, the management team members visited pilot sites and formed a local communication network. This network, as well as the expert network, have been further expanded and enhanced throughout the progression of the project.
Table 1. Summary of network building activities and people involved
|Item||Number of Events||Total number of people involved||Duration|
|Visiting Delegates||12||280||Less than a week|
|Training and Workshops||4||350||One week|
|Academic training, graduate students and visiting scholars||6||6||3 months and up|
|Conferences||7||380||Half day seminars|
|Seminars||16||860||Half day seminars|
We helped to organize a conference held in Yichun, Heilongjiang Province, China (International Conference on Response of Forests and Adaptation Management to Climate Change), which invited experts from all over the world to discuss the nature of the project and any knowledge gaps that may exist. Project team members also attended international meetings and conferences such as the Asia Pacific Forestry Commission in New Zealand, the Sustainable Forest Management Conference in Malaysia, and the Ecosystem Services Conference in Costa Rica, where they discussed the project’s research as a means of achieving practical solutions to management and adaptation problems and enhancing ecosystem resilience.
We helped to organize a workshop held at the University of British Columbia, Canada (Climate Change Adaptation – Sustainable Forestry Management Workshop) that invited experts from all over the world to discuss the project. A training workshop was then held in Kunming City, China, during 1-12 July 2013 to discuss strategies and approaches for sustainable forest management in a changing climate. This workshop brought together technical officers and practitioners from twelve countries in the Asia-Pacific region and all participants received a training handbook. As a result of the conference, a booklet was produced compiling 10 reports from participants of the workshop on topics relating to management and climate change adaptation of forests in their country.
Team members of this project co-organized and ran a policy-training program at The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Congress in Salt Lake City. Three project team members gave presentations on the latest developments of the project related to their corresponding research. These presentations were well received by participants of the congress and yielded informative discussion on each topic.
Team members participated in 16 seminars over the duration of the project with audiences ranging from 50 to 120 people. Seminars were conducted at several universities and research institutions in Taiwan, Mainland China, Australia and Canada. The research seminars were half-day presentations held in conjunction with other local research presentations and were targeted towards the local region, with the topics and tools discussed being relevant to the adaptation of local ecosystems. These events contributed significantly to the project’s successful networking and were an essential means of expanding the scope of the network beyond academic researchers to include government agencies and industry.
The University of British Columbia hosted six visiting scholars from multiple universities in China for time periods ranging from 3 to over 17 months. They worked with members of the research team at UBC, strengthening the relationship between team members, increasing collaboration and bringing together knowledge from different backgrounds.
In addition to the activities above, we have kept our collaborators updated on the project’s progress through reports, policy briefs, and evaluations. A mid-term project review took place in Kunming, China in July 2013, and a terminal evaluation of phase 1 in British Columbia, Canada in April 2015.
Survey of experts’ opinion
A questionnaire was developed and distributed to experts of various backgrounds on climate change and forestry in the Asia-Pacific. This helped to facilitate the transfer of knowledge in both directions – it made participants aware of the research being conducted by this project and provided the project’s research team with insight into experts’ opinions on topics such as the impacts of climate change, the availability and success of actions/policies, challenges for adaptation, and shortcomings in current science and management tools for dealing with climate change. Results of the survey were compiled into a paper and will be shared once findings are published.
Coops, N.C., Xu, L., and Wang, G. (Eds.) (2013). APFNet Tools for Forestry Under a Changing Climate. Vancouver, BC: The University of British Columbia.
Seely, B., and Wang, G. (Eds.) (2013). Sustainable Forest Management in a Changing Climate Participants Report. Vancouver, BC: The University of British Columbia.
Wang, G., Huang, J., Xu, L., Innes, J.L., Seely, B., and Mang, S.L. (2015). Impacts of climate change and forest adaptation in the Asia-Pacific region: From regional experts’ perspectives. Society and Natural Resources, [Manuscript].