The “ENPI East Countries FLEG II Program – Complementary Measures for Georgia and Armenia”, supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) with funds of Austrian Development Cooperation, is being implemented by the World Bank in partnership with WWF and IUCN. It complements the EU-funded FLEG II Program.
The objectives of the Program are to support Georgia and Armenia in strengthening forest governance through improving implementation of relevant international processes, enhancing their forest policy, legislation and institutional arrangements, and developing, testing and evaluating sustainable forest management models at the local level on a pilot basis for future replication.
Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) supports countries in Africa, Asia, South Eastern and Eastern Europe as well as the Caribbean in their sustainable development. The Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (MFA) plans ADC strategies. Austrian Development Cooperation aims at reducing poverty, conserving natural resources and promoting peace and human security in partner countries. Long-term programmes and projects support help towards self-help. The ultimate goal is to bring about a sustainable improvement in conditions of life.
The Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Program (FLEG II) organized two trainings, one in Borjomi and one in Kvareli this July. The sessions were the first time Georgian natural resource law enforcement officials have received legal and practical training directly from active judges, one from the Tbilisi Court of Appeals and one from the Borjomi Magistrate Court, whose jurisdiction includes a significant part of Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park in southern Georgia.
On July 14, 2015 a session about fire prevention and control was delivered in the frames of the school forestry education program. The program is implemented in Tatev, Svarants and Tandzatap communities of Syunik Region of Armenia for school children and teachers with the aim to increase their awareness and knowledge about forests.
FLEG II has purchased a mini-tractor, drilling mechanism, cultivator and rotating cultivator for the Forestry Agency of Ajara (FAA). Under this Program, forest restoration works were initiated in Khulo Municipality of Ajara Autonomous Republic, Georgia. FLEG II contributes to fencing of more than 100 ha of degraded forest near village Bodzauri to protect it from cattle grazing.
Overgrazing is a major cause of forest degradation in Ajara region as in many other parts of Georgia. FLEG II will support forest restoration works in Ajara region. WWF-Caucasus will purchase wooden poles, barbed wire, forest restoration tools and mechanisms and transfer to the Forestry Agency of Ajara (FAA) to contribute to fencing of about 100 ha of degraded forest to protect it from cattle grazing. The actual fencing work will be conducted by the FAA by end of July – August 2015.
In the frames of the FLEG I Program, optimization of forest sanctuaries of Northern Armenia was initiated and feasibility study was conducted for establishment of a forested protected area. The study was aimed at assessing the possibility to have one well-managed sanctuary instead of 3 existing ones. The study revealed rather rich biodiversity in the target area including flora and fauna with a number of species registered in the Red Book of Armenia and IUCN Red List.