6 Facets of FLEG’s Legacy
1. The structures that FLEG has created – such as the National Program Advisory Committees (NPACs) - helped the institutional reform process, and provide independent and valuable data at the right moment to the right people.
Shamil Huseynov, representative of the National Parliament of Azerbaijan:
“NPAC has become the most successful forestry structure in Azerbaijan, which brings together government, NGOs, donors, international organizations, and other stakeholders”.
2. FLEG has contributed to making forest management and governance more transparent.
Yuri Marchuk, advisor to the Head of the State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine:
“The most important thing is to form an environment where society is ready to take the correct decision. FLEG has prepared a fertile soil for taking these correct decisions in Ukraine”.
3. FLEG has built educational and professional capacity in the forestry sector and involved a younger generation and a broader society in forest management.
4. FLEG has fostered collaboration between local communities and the forestry sector and has facilitated community participation in the sector for sustainable forest management.
5. FLEG has boosted intersectoral collaboration and partnership of national governments with international organizations such as the EU and the World Bank.
6. FLEG has increased collaboration between neighboring countries on forest management.
Martun Matevosyan, head of state non-commercial organization “Hayantar”, responsible for managing forests in Armenia:
“It is very important that there are regional and international forest protection and anti-wildfire projects because forests and fires don't know borders. The cooperation between Armenia and Georgia started on FLEG initiative and will continue beyond FLEG ”.
Learn how FLEG impacted lives from seven 5-minute video stories on our Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/enpifleg (English subtitles available)
Examples of FLEG II work throughout the region
FLEG II’s regional forest dependency study showed that many Eastern European communities still depend on what they collect from forests to meet their household needs, and even to survive. The study surveyed over 1250 households from all seven countries and was one of the first of its kind in Eastern Europe and non-tropical forests. The results have helped policymakers make informed forest management decisions across the region.
The Parliament of Ukraine incorporated FLEG II recommendations for forest sector reform into the Coalition Agreement, a crucial document that would define the country’s path of development for the next years. A wide array of FLEG II studies, such as the analysis of Ukraine’s anti-corruption legislation and practices, is helping the country improve forest management. To put forests on the national agenda, FLEG II held a competition for journalists for the best reporting on forest issues, which increased the quantity and quality of forest journalism in the country.
FLEG II supported the transfer of forest management within the Tusheti Protected Landscape from the central Government of Georgia to the people of this mountainous province. Having been under centralized and uncertain authority for almost 100 years, the valuable and beautiful forests of the Tusheti Protected Landscape had not received adequate attention. This was the first case of decentralized forest management in Georgia and the first time these forests have been under local control since the Soviet period began there in 1921. Lessons learned from this activity were disseminated to other countries covered by FLEG II.
As the result of cooperation with FLEG II, Agency Moldsilva, the main governmental institution responsible for forestry and hunting in Moldova, launched a National Forestry Consultancy Office to provide necessary expertise and assistance for improved forest management and sustainable development of natural resources. It serves all those interested in forest management across Moldova regardless of forest ownership. It also contributes to the implementation of the national afforestation plan by creating around 13 thousand hectares of forest plantations on degraded lands by 2018 and rehabilitating thousands of forest shelterbelts.
Belarus developed its Strategic Forestry Development Plan for 2015-2030 with FLEG II support. The purpose of the Plan is to create highly productive and sustainable forests, along with the conservation and efficient use of their biological and landscape diversity. FLEG II’s first direct “people-to-people” bilateral cooperation efforts between Belarus and Russia explored the benefits of the “resource center” model of ecotourism and ways to engage local communities, businesses and public officials.
In Armenia, old-fashioned community engagement and modern satellite technology have put illegal forest activities on the map, quite literally. A new website has been exposing these once secret operations to the world since 2015. The program, supported by FLEG II, has benefitted national level forest managers and local forest communities. Another FLEG effort brought Georgia and Armenia together to work on a Memorandum of Collaboration in order to find solutions for common forest problems such as illegal logging and fires.
In Azerbaijan, forestry-oriented education and climate change were top priorities. FLEG II supported active young foresters’ groups for children and developed tutorials and curricula for graduate technical schools, ministry training institutes, and schoolchildren to ensure that coming generations have a better and more widely disseminated understanding of the basic principles and advanced techniques for forest management.
FLEG II set building up human resource capacity as a priority area in Russia. A textbook on “Law Enforcement and Governance in Forest Use, Protection and Renewal” developed by FLEG II was recommended by the Academic Resource Association of Forestry Education for students of master’s and bachelor’s degree programs, and is in high demand at training institutions. FLEG II has also helped establish and replicate local models of sustainable forest management in Russia. One model of local reserve management has led to increases in household incomes of 15 per cent on average, and the ecotourism successes around the Polistovsky Nature Reserve are spreading to other forest communities, inspiring them to become more active in counteracting illegal logging.