A new day began with a closed session, which was attended by members of the Steering Committee of the Program (SC members and observers) and focused on the performance specifications of countries, and country and regional plans. The meeting covered the recommendations and approval of country workplans and regional workplans, as well as the finalization and approval of the terms of references for Program management bodies (the SC and subsidiary bodies - NPAC, PMT, PCTs).
The Chairman of the SC, Tuukka Castrén, Sr. Forestry Specialist (WB), announced the results of the closed session: the CWPs were unanimously approved for activities to be implemented by June 30, 2014 with minor amendments (such as legal misspellings) or amplifications. Selected regional activities were approved for October to December 2013: i) communications; ii) participation in international forest related conferences taking place prior to approval of the RWP (particularly, European Forest Week; Metsä 2013 in Rovaniemi, Finland); and iii) preparation of the baseline survey for results indicators.
Reviewed and approved was the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the SC (subject to technical edits and final translation by the Secretariat). It was agreed by SC members to include in the ToR a procedure to allow the SC to make decisions by e-mail by written procedure, in addition to the annual meetings.
Minutes of the SC meeting is available at this link:
Then the floor was given to Mathieu Bousquet, a representative of the European Commission, to finalize the results of the closed session. For his part, he stressed the main elements of the discussion - consensus and flexibility.
Then the floor was given to Nina Rinenberger for a more technical discussion of the management and implementation of the project, namely the monitoring and evaluation system and reporting systems.
During FLEG I, progress was monitored for seven results areas, but there were no measurable indicators. FLEG II must set the framework for integrated monitoring, to provide a more qualitative assessment of the process and the interim results at national, regional and sub-regional levels.
The following 2 types of indicators were set to establish responsibility for monitoring and data collection: on PCTs and/or PMT:
- Project Development Objective (PDO) Indicators
- 3 Core Sector Indicators (World Bank-wide)
- 4 Custom Indicators (FLEG II Program specific)
- Intermediate Results Indicators
- 7 Custom Indicators (FLEG II Program specific)
After Nina’s speech was a discussion about the underlying index baseline - an indicator of assessment. The calculation will start from zero.
Tuukka Castren spoke in defence of this baseline:
"It begins at a moment when nothing happens; when the measurement of activity is on the rise, the effect is measured. And most of the figures begin at zero. This indicator gives us the right information on the impact of the project. "
Marina Smetanina said "If we set this to 0, then we seem to forget about the results of FLEG 1. For example, we have created a textbook for schools, and are now moving forward to work with universities.This fact means that we are not starting from scratch. You have to make some kind of note, as we estimate the figure, considering the fact that we have already made some advances."
Andrew Mitchell said "It is important to ask the question ‘How do you understand the principles of FLEG’, and keep track of the answer. This response can be considered a kind of snapshot of the work that was carried out, and will reflect the fact that more needs to be done to raise understanding.”
Mr.Bousquet called it the most heated discussion of the second day. He called for "contextual analysis", developed in line with the results obtained over the course of the program.
It was agreed that the ultimate goal will now be spelled out completely, after the approval of all country and regional plans, and technical specifications.
After all the discussions, Bella Nestorova (European Comission)was invited to indicate the position of the EU on monitoring and evaluation, and to summarise the most interesting ideas put forward. She did so, and called on all countries to develop key recommendations to be taken into account by the EU.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Arcadie Capcelea, Senior Environmental Specialist (WB), presented to the audience on the preliminary results of the CWPs environmental screening and further EA activities. Arcadie spoke about the stages of various environmental assessment tools, goals and objectives.
"The responsibility of the parties for environmental impact assessment lies with the party that is implementing the project. The program FLEG II (pilot projects) belongs in Category B, regarding the effects on the environment and ecology, as the impact in the implementation will be minimal."
The last discussion in the framework of the official program of the day was devoted to a quiz among countries regarding regional and national activities that are planned in the near future.
The forthcoming national events and other activities organized by participating countries, include the tasks that lie ahead in the near future - for example, forums, meetings, exhibitions, conferences, round tables and seminars. Some countries have not planned events before the end of the year, but are already finalizing the initial project activities.
At the close of the session, Andrew Mitchell concluded :
"Maybe this is the first meeting of the supervisory committee where we achieved a strategic recommendation. I am very pleased about what we have heard, and we all have many things to work on at home. "
The next SC meeting is expected to take place in May or June 2014. It was tentatively agreed to hold it back-to-back with a technical regional forestry event. Armenia extended an invitation to host the 2nd SC meeting in Yerevan. The co-chairs – together with PMT – will inform the SC members on the exact dates and location of the meeting in due course.
Other Day 2 pictures:
Detailed feature story and photo-report for the 1st Steering Committee meeting, October 1-3, 2013