Forest honey and bee experts from Asia, Australia and Europe gathered online last August 20, 2021 for the Apis cerana (Asian honey bee) Expert Consultation and Workshop to discuss sustainable harvest and management protocols for NTFPs, the Forest Harvest Collective Mark (FHCM), and expanding the FHCM standards and NTFP protocols to include Apis cerana.
In the workshop co-organized by NTFP-EP and the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, the morning session featured an introduction by Nola Andaya (NTFP-EP Asia) of the FHCM, with Theophila Aris Praptami (Dian Niaga) presenting the existing standards and protocols for Apis dorsata honey. Diana San Jose (NTFP-EP Asia) then presented the NTFP Sustainable Harvesting and Resource Management Protocols for Honey, which was part of the guidelines adopted by the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry last October 21, 2020.
Presentations on Apis cerana began with an overview of the species and types of honey production system by Dr. Phung Huu Chinh (Mountainous Bee Development Centre), a discussion on sustainable beekeeping and native bee subspecies conservation by Eric Guerin, and management of Apis cerana in its natural environment by Dr. Ranchit Wasanta Kumara Punchihewa (Apiculture for Government and NGO).
Rounding out the morning session are presentations by Robert Leo on Apis cerana Harvest Techniques and by Sunnti Duangtavanh (Green Community Development Association) on the beekeeping experience in Laos and the implementation of the Participatory Guarantee System for honey.
The workshop resumed in the afternoon with breakout room discussions on different themes such as threats, legality, sustainability, quality, socio-cultural aspects, ethical trade, and traceability of Apis cerana.
“[The] expert consultation workshop on Apis cerana or Asian honey bee is a key step in this important partnership. We believe that working together with NTFP-EP, our works will ultimately contribute to the greater benefit of indigenous peoples and local communities engaged in the value chain development of biodiversity-based products,” said Clarissa Arida, the director of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity.
“We hope to live up to the NTFP network so we may look at continuing our earlier biodiversity-based product works towards participating in the development of the FHCM, and that we would be able to continue our cooperation so that we can continue to support these initiatives that we have successfully initiated in these pilot countries,” she added.
The workshop presentations and inputs will be consolidated and presented on the upcoming CBNE Forum 2021: A Season of Learning on 13-14 October 2021 which will inform policy and practice in the region.