Baku, January 8, 2016 – The National Program Advisory Committee (NPAC) met in the premises of the World Bank in Azerbaijan. Members and invited guests who include representatives of the Implementing Organizations and the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan discussed the progress of Program’s implementation, challenges and ways to improve the ongoing stance.
Program’s National Focal Point, head of the sector in the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan, Mr. Rahim Ibrahimov spoke on outcomes of FLEG II in Azerbaijan. Participants learned about the recent Steering Committee held in Chisinau attended by the Focal Point. “Since 2010, the FLEG Program has pioneered many important activities in Azerbaijan”, he said. “We witness revived regional cooperation in strengthening of forest education. The results of the recent regional forest dependency study have invoked debates among the professionals in terms of the necessity to conduct a similar study in other forest regions”. Mr. Ibrahimov mentioned that these initiatives have strengthened international cooperation, improved cooperation in the forestry sector in general and intensified sustainable forest use and forest management in Azerbaijan.
“Just a couple of days ago Minister Baghirov ordered to develop the State Program on sustainable recreation and forest rehabilitation in Azerbaijan. We are proud to say that FLEG Program’s contributions such as numerous analytical data of various background will be used in the due process”.
The increased number of education experts and officials in NPAC became visible during the last meeting. Alongside the head of the Republican Center of Ecological Education and Experience Firuza Sultanzadeh of the Ministry of Education (MoE), two key employees of the MoE’s extra-curricular department Maral Suleymanova and Ayla Hasanova are currently the members. “Let’s make it clear – thanks to FLEG, a new generation of environmentally aware Azerbaijani youth is growing to take a lead in promotion of sustainable practices in the country”, said Mr. Sultanzadeh. “The recently published tutorial “Safe Forest” was highly welcomed by experts and children”. Group of education experts mentioned the solid tutorial base developed with the Program’s support and representing a unique experience of its kind.
Another discussion point was a proposal by the Focal Point to replace Activity 4.2 (“Development of pilot household on growing of planting materials for the restoration of the tugay forests on the community and municipal lands”) in the country work plan by a different one: supporting the conduction of a study tour for forestry and education experts. “In light of the plans to develop a study program on sustainable forest management this kind of study tour is an urgent one to ensure the productive exchange of experience and acquisition of necessary knowledge”, said Mr. Rahimov. The decision to replace the activity was endorsed by all members of NPAC.
Interesting initiative came from the NGOs representatives, Nariman Aghayev and Alihaydar Mamedov. They proposed to develop a special vocabulary of forest terms in three languages including Azerbaijani. This initiative has been supported by the Focal Point and EU representative, which asked to consider this idea in case of the Program’s possible extension.