ASEAN Institute of Forest Management

The ASEAN Institute of Forest Management (AIFM) was established in 1986 as a joint project between the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). At the time, ASEAN members included Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The first phase of the project (1986–1991) was directed towards the management of commercial forest resources.

The ASEAN countries are the world’s largest producers of timber from tropical forests. The project was initiated to introduce advanced technologies to obtain the necessary social and economic benefits of the forest resource on a sustained yield basis.

Three CNRG principals that were involved in the project are Chris Hermansen, Martin Watts, and David Barker.

Chris Hermansen's role in the project was to share in project management and coordinate Canadian staff for implementing a technologically advanced forest inventory framework. This framework included a practical Canadian-built geographical information system and remote sensing technologies. Chris Hermansen was responsible for project management, sourcing remote sensing and GIS equipment and technologies and was involved in the training component.

Martin Watts was involved in developing the growth and yield portion of the program. This involved the introduction of pilot projects to introduce growth and yield techniques and assisting counterparts in developing and maintaining these techniques.

Results from the growth and yield program included:

  • Computerization of existing growth and yield data
  • Derivation of individual tree volume equations, site index equations and yield functions for plantation species
  • Derivation of growth functions for the tropical mixed/moist forest
  • Introducing counterparts to database development, database management, the use of statistical software and computer programming.

David Barker was responsible for in-Canada training of ASEAN foresters, consisting of one to two representatives from each of the ASEAN nations. He conducted a cross-country Canadian tour of forestry operations to illustrate aspects of forest management while focusing on technologically advanced forest inventory and forest modelling methods.

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