Our ENPI FLEG II project has passed the midline of its implementation and we had the chance to review it properly and formally but also to reflect on its achievements, space for improvements and natural follow-ups.
I’m honored dear partners, stakeholders and readers to open this autumn edition of our newsletter with some thoughts linked to the stock-taking time offered by the 10th anniversary of the St. Petersburg Declaration, the recent review of the EU FLEGT Action Plan and our most recent Steering Committee that has also analyzed the Mid Term Report of our project.
We are happy to see that most of the evaluations have very positive signals in terms of the registered progresses towards the main objectives and also about the areas that need more focus or strengthened efforts in the coming years.
The EU FLEGT Action Plan has been designed with three main pillars ((I) supply-side support, (II) demand-side measures and (III) the dialogue and international collaboration for timber trade agreements) and seven action areas. Among the three pillars, our ENPI-FLEG II has significantly contributed to the first two, using all the relevant and efficient tools available within the forestry sector. Education, capacity building, developments of strategies, legal framework improvements, promotion of credible certification systems, demonstrative models on the ground, pilot initiatives, knowledge transfer and many other have been used to consistently contribute to a better forest governance within the seven participating countries. Looking back and also ahead, I’m so delighted to see the way our project has brought together the main stakeholders for a joint effort towards a shared goal, and this goal is basically our future.
The forestry sector is facing huge challenges worldwide because of the climate change, the competition for land brought by the key commodities, the increased need for renewables and a huge ignorance towards the importance of the woods. In our seven countries we are facing mostly forest degradation and basically we cannot afford it any longer. Luckily, we are not in a deforestation front but this is something we should not take as an advantage but as a big responsibility for the way we manage our forests’ goods and services.
I’m looking forward to the coming year for a strengthened effort to make the required steps forward on our way and then to continue based on the wonderful teams we established in every single country FLEG II is present, because ultimately, forestry and good governance is about people!
FLEG II Program Manager from WWF