The Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP) has welcomed two new Members since June 2019: the Department of Protected Forest Management (DPFM) under the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), Thailand.
The Department of Protected Forest Management (DPFM), formerly known as Department of Nature Conservation (DNC), was established in 2017 with the responsibility to oversee the management of forest biodiversity including the Special-Use Forests (SUFs) as well as the Protection Forest system, the official protected area system in Vietnam. DPFM operates under the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), which was established on 25 January 2010 by the Prime Minister under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
As part of its mandate, it oversees the management of national parks, conservation areas, landscape protection areas and scientific research forests.
Also joining APAP recently is Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP). The DNP is the primary agency supervising protected areas in Thailand, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The principal objective of DNP is biodiversity conservation for the well-being of the country. It is responsible for the management of 155 National Parks, 60 Wildlife Sanctuaries, non-hunting areas as well as forest parks, botanical gardens, non-hunting areas, and arboreta.
DNP was established in 2002 under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment after a restructuring of agencies responsible for conservation and protected area management.
With the addition of VNFOREST and DNP Thailand, APAP now has a total of 21 Members from 17 countries and two Associate Members in Asia.
The Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP) has been designed as a key platform to help governments and other stakeholders collaborate for more effective management of protected areas in the region. The partnership was initiated in 2013 at the first-ever Asia Parks Congress held in Japan, and formally launched the following year at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Australia. It is chaired by IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, and co-chaired by an APAP member organisation on a rotational basis, beginning with the Ministry of the Environment, Japan. The Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea, is the current co-chair.