During his working visit to the Republic of Korea, Executive Director of Mekong Institute (MI), Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Chongho Park, Executive Director of Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO). Other key members of AFoCO’s senior management team also joined the meeting on June 29, 2023, among them Mr. Sunpil Jin, Vice Executive Director, Ms. Yeongjoo Lee, Operations & Resource Division Director, Mr. Pham Duc Chien, Project & Program Division, Director.
Mr. Suriyan kicked off the discussion by providing a brief overview of MI and its environment portfolio and pointing to the opportunities for collaboration between the two organizations. These include addressing the importance of forest covers, biodiversity conservation, community forestry, and transboundary issues such as transboundary haze. As people’s livelihoods and the economy rely on the forest and its ecosystem services, MI could contribute to this through awareness raising and linking the topic of sustainable forest management with the existing Greater Mekong Subregion/ Mekong cooperation frameworks as well as with industry cooperation and initiatives.
The visit underscored the potential for partnership between MI and AFoCO in addressing pressing challenges facing the Mekong region.