EFEAntipolo, Philippines

Forestry leaders from more than 30 Asia-Pacific countries have started a conference in the Philippines aimed at mapping out strategies towards sustainable forest management.

The 26th Session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission, which was organized in conjunction with the third Asia-Pacific Forestry Week, kicked off in Pampanga province on Monday and will run until Friday, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The FAO said the event will focus on topics including climate change, governance, and investment in natural assets.

It added that the conference 'reflects the need for society to proactively integrate forestry into the wider context of sustainable development.'

As leaders discussed plans for the future, environmentalists in Antipolo city, east of Manila, were at work planting new trees, according to witness reports.

With the new trees, they mounted signs reading: 'Yes Save The Earth'.

The Philippines placed fifth out of 234 countries in a recent FAO report ranking the greatest annual gains in forest areas.

From 2010 to 2015, the country was able to increase its forest area by 240,000 hectares per year.