26th SESSION OF THE ASIA-PACIFIC FORESTRY COMMISSION
Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines, 22-26 February 2016
"Growing our future!"
INFORMATION NOTE


Venue and Dates

At the kind invitation of the Government of Philippines, the 26th Session of the Asia Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) will be convened as an integral part of Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2016, in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines, 22-26 February 2016.

The formal APFC Session will be convened on Monday, 22 February 2016, and the session is scheduled to close in the afternoon of Friday, 26 February 2016. The opening ceremony for Asia-Pacific Forestry Week will commence at 0900 hours on Tuesday, 23 February 2016. Field trips will be organized on Thursday, 25 February 2016.

The Commission session will be held at the following venue:

Fontana Convention Center
CM Recto Highway, Clark Freeport Zone 2023, Pampanga, Philippines
Tel No: 63 (45) 599-5000
Fax No: 63 (02) 843-9123
Website: http://fontana.com.ph

Enrolment and Information

Participants are requested to complete the online pre-registration form on the APFCW2016 website: http://apfw2016.denr.gov.ph. To minimize administrative costs, online pre-registration is encouraged.

Pre-registration procedures:

  1. Sign up by providing your first name, family name, valid e-mail address, password, country, security question and answer of your security question;
  2. Login using your e-mail and password; and
  3. After successful login, you can now fill-out the registration form.

NOTE: Please keep your login details SAFE. If you encounter any difficulty in the registration process, please notify us by sending an email to apfw2016@denr.gov.ph..

Registration will take place in the Fontana Convention Center (APFC meeting venue) on Sunday 21 February 2016, from 1300 hours. Late registration will be possible at the same location from 0800 hours on Monday, 22 February 2016.


Documentation

Documentation will be provided in English. APFC documents will be made available in advance to delegations, which should bring them to the session, as only a limited number of additional copies will be available during the session.


Geography and Climate

Clark Freeport Zone is a sprawling, cosmopolitan metropolis that offers many places of interests and a host of events and activities accessible to a wide spectrum of tourists and visitors. Almost the size of Singapore, Clark occupies over 33 000 hectares of prime land located in the culture-rich Central Luzon. It is a natural entry point to the Asia Pacific Region, with only 3 ½ hours flying time away from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Korea and other key points in Asia. With a highly improved road network and increasing flights at Clark International Airport, Clark is setting out to become the hub for business, aviation and tourism in the Philippines.

The Philippines has two distinct climates, rainy and dry. The rainy or wet season normally begins in May and runs through October, while the rest of the year is the dry season. The warmest period of the year occurs between March and April, while the coolest period is from December through February. The average temperature range in Clark Freeport Zone on the month of February is 22°C - 31°C.


Currency

The Philippine Peso (₱, PHP) is the official currency of Philippines. The exchange rate is approximately 1 US Dollar = 47 PHP.

Bank notes currently in circulation are in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1 000 PHP, as well as coins of 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, ₱1, ₱5 and ₱10. Major credit cards are widely accepted in Philippines.

You may visit FX-RATE.net for an updated exchange rates.


Formalities for Entry into Philippines

Passports should be valid for at least six months from the time that the visa is to be issued and the time of planned departure from Philippines.

Delegates are requested to check with Philippines diplomatic or consular mission at their points of origin whether they are required to obtain an entry visa to Philippines in advance. For official visits with official passports, visa application procedures are always required depending on delegates' nationalities. Please visit http://www.dfa.gov.ph/index.php/list-of-countries-for-21-day-visa to view the complete list of countries that allow nationals to enter the Philippines without a visa for a period of stay of thirty (30) days or less. Delegates should ensure sufficient time for processing of visa applications.

Please visit http://www.dfa.gov.ph/index.php/guidelines-requirements for more details.


Arrival Details and Transportation

APFW2016 delegates travelling to Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga by air may arrive at any of the four prime international airports of the Philippines near the area, namely: Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals 1, 2, and 3 in Metro Manila, and Clark International Airport (CIA) in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. Several airlines offer domestic and international flights to Clark International Airport. For complete and updated airline schedules, visit www.clarkairport.com.

Transportation on a scheduled basis will be provided to participants arriving from the NAIA (Manila) to Clark Free Zone. Flight details are requested to be informed in advance or posted in the online registration to facilitate appropriate scheduling. Travel by land between NAIA (Manila) and Clark Freeport Zone will take approximately 3 hours.

See Logistical note for Arrival and Departure for more information.


Accommodation

Special conference rates are available for APFC delegates at hotels listed on the APFW2016 website as the following:

Hotel Options Philippine Peso
Holiday Inn Hotel (Hotel rooms and family garden villas) P 4,200++ to P 9,130++
Widus Hotel and Casino P 4,500++ to P 7,200++
Xenia Hotel P 4,300++
Hotel Stotsenberg P 2,800++ to P 4,350++
The Oxford Hotel P 3,600++ to P 4,000++
Lohas Hotel P 3,500++ to P 5,000++
Park Inn Radisson P 3,800++ to P 4,000++
Lewis Grand Hotel (accommodation only) P 3,500++ to P 4,600++

Delegates can book accommodation at these hotels via the following webpage http://apfw2016.denr.gov.ph/accommodation.php.


Excursions

The field excursions are being organized on Thursday, 25 February 2016. This will be an excellent opportunity to visit and discuss some of the interesting features of the Philippine forests and forestry of Central Luzon. Delegates planning to join the excursion are requested to bring suitable clothing and comfortable walking shoes.

Visit http://apfw2016.denr.gov.ph/field-trip.php for more information.


Exhibits and Publications

APFC delegates and APFW participants are invited to bring posters, publications, reports, including materials describing their successful forestry projects and programmes. Areas will be available for displaying exhibits, posters and other materials.

Visit http://apfw2016.denr.gov.ph/booth-info.php for more information.


Additional Information

Please refer to the APFW2016 website established by the Government of Philippines http://apfw2016.denr.gov.ph or http://J.MP/APFW2016 for further information and updates on the session, visa, hotel bookings, and travel logistics. For specific queries, and individual concerns, contact the APFC Secretary (patrick.durst@fao.org) or his assistant (kallaya.meechantra@fao.org).