The workshop on "Traditional Forest Knowledge for Ecosystem Services in ASEAN Countries" was held at the Crystal Crown Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on February 2 - 4, 2015. The said workshop was attended by Dr. Antonio M. Daño, ERDB OIC Assistant Director; Dr. Aurora S. Jose, Planning Officer and Ms. Karen Rose M. Fortus, project staff. The workshop aimed to share information and data for a better understanding on traditional forest knowledge in the context of ecosystem services.


Twenty-four (24) participants from six (6) ASEAN Countries, namely: Indonesia, Korea, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Philippines composed of sixteen (16) males and eight females participated in the said workshop. The participants were composed of the following: eight from (8) Malaysia, 4 from Indonesia, 4 from Korea, 3 from Vietnam, 3 from the Philippines and 2 from Cambodia.

One and half (1 ½) day of the workshop was devoted to the opening program and presentation of six (6) country reports on traditional knowledge. In the welcome address, Dr. Sung Joohan, Secretary General of Asian Center for Traditional Forest Knowledge (ACTFOPK) of Korea Forest Research Institute (KFRI) expressed his gratitude to Dr. Sim Heok Choh, Executive Secretary of APAFRI and the participants who attended this workshop. He mentioned the importance and timely conduct of this workshop because the forest cooperation among Asian countries are highly required to discuss the changing environment. He said that there is a need to understand the traditional forest knowledge which is now at the extinction stage due to the continuously decreasing population size in rural areas or urban migration caused by rapid economic developments that affected the cultural and social binding of local community.

In the opening address, Dr. Abs. Latif Mohmod, Chairman of Asia Pacific Association of Forest Research Institute (APAFRI) and Director General of Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) expressed his utmost gratitude in behalf of APAFRI and FRIM for hosting and thankful to KFRI for the generous contribution on funding support to this workshop. He gave a short background of the meeting conducted a year ago in the same place to discuss the issues on documenting traditional knowledge related to environmental services from countries in Southeast Asia. It was agreed that a survey will be conducted to collect information on traditional knowledge and practices related to environmental services.

Six (6) country reports were presented: (1) Documenting Traditional Knowledge in Cambodia - SokhHeng, Institute of Forest and Wildlife Research and Development Forest Administration; (2) Documenting Traditional Forest-Related Knowledge for Ecosystem Services in ASEAN Countries: Case Studies of Sundanese Ethnic in Sukabumi District of West Java Province and Dayak Tobak Ethic in Sangau District of West Kalimantan Province, Indonesia - Ellyn K. Damayanti, Ethnobotanist, SEAMEO BIOTROP Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Tropical Biology; (3) The Use of and Perception of Forest Resources by an Aboriginal Community in Peninsular Malaysia - Lim HinFui, FRIM; (4) Trends of Thno-Ecosystem Services in Sabah, Malaysia - Julius Kulip, Institute of Tropical Biology and Conservation, University Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia; (5) Traditional Forest Knowledge on Ecosystem Services Obtained from Natural Forest in Selected Watersheds in the Philippines - Dr. Antonio M. Daño, Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau, Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, Philippines; and (6) Diachronic Change of Ecosystem Services in the North of Vietnam - PhanDucChien, Research Institute for Forest Ecology and Environment, Ha Noi, Vietnam.

To enlighten and to have better understanding on the traditional knowledge and its data analysis by the participants; three (3) papers were presented by the Korean group namely: (a) Mapping and Comparing Forest Ecosystem Services in Two Regions of Korea - Dr. Park ChangRyul, Forest Ecology Division, KFRI, Seoul, Korea; (b) Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystem Services in Asia - Kang Wanno, Asian Centre for Traditional Knowledge, KFRI, Seoul, Korea; and (c) Finding New Meanings to Oral Traditional in the Light of Climate Change - Kim GoWoon, Graduate School of Environment Studies, Seoul National University, Korea.

Another one and half (1 ½) day of the activity was a field visit to different places in Malaysia such as: (i) Botanical Garden-Ecotourism Site at Forest Research Institute Malaysia; (ii) Denai Razak, National Park, Malaysia (Razak walk); (iii) Eagle Watching and Fireflies in Protected Areas of Natural Mangrove, Kuala Selangor; (iv) Mah Meri Cultural Village; (v) Kampung Orang Asli Tanjung Sepat (Aborigines Settlement); and (vi) Tanjung Sepat (Moyang House at mangrove and land areas)

After the workshop, Dr. Sim Heok Choh discussed the plans to be done in this project. The next plans will be: (a) additional studies on traditional knowledge in the context of sustainability of ecosystem services through conservation practices and rules and regulations, beliefs, among others; and (b) traditional knowledge in the forms of folk stories, poems and songs. Aurora S. Jose, FERD