The protagonist of the 5-minute video is Angela Timoshenko. She is the head of the executive committee of her village and, in her daily work, deals with the management of forest resources. She knows what forest means to her community in Belarus.
The FLEG II Forest Heroes series is dedicated to people who take care of the forest and save it for future generations. All Forest Heroes have something else in common: they have all worked in partnership with FLEG II. The Program, funded by the European Union, is completing its work this year. The Forest Heroes series is one of the ways to talk about the work done over the 5 years since the launch of FLEG II.
Forest is life. Human life. Rural communities often need forest products to survive. The Forest Dependency Study released by FLEG II – a research which attempts to quantify human dependency on forests - helps people like Angela to better understand the issues at stake and make wiser decisions.
“Forest and wild products are vital to the livelihoods of many rural people in Eastern Europe. Forests are important for subsistence and cash income at the household level, particularly in areas where poverty and a lack of jobs are forcing many people to move away”, said Riyong Kim Bakkegaard, one of the consultants who carried out the Forest Dependency Study.
“This study brings to light a significant reliance on forests that has gone unmeasured until now and which is at risk. It also highlights the importance of incorporating the needs of people most dependent on forests into the policies which govern natural resources”, said Richard Aishton, FLEG II Program Coordinator for IUCN.
The video was produced by Panda Agency.