In August 2015, on the eve of the new academic year, Russian higher schools will receive a new textbook on Law Enforcement and Governance in Forest Use, Protection and Renewal.
This textbook was prepared by Consultants to the World Bank with advisory inputs from faculty members of top higher education providers, practitioners and employers in the forestry sector. It is recommended by the Academic Resource Association of Forestry Education for students of forestry master’s and bachelor’s degree programs, and is meant for teaching staff, graduate and postgraduate students of forestry-focused programs.
The textbook addresses forest law enforcement and governance in the following four key domains: forest use, forest fire management, forest pest management and forest renewal. It will provide answers to hundreds of questions across a broad range of areas, e.g.: What are the grounds for rejections of applications to participate in auctions for lease-based use of forest parcels? How to estimate the number of needed watch towers for forest fire monitoring within a given area? Which of insect pests are the most hazardous for Russian forests in the first decade of the 21st century? What are the signs of corruption risks in forest renewal?
The textbook contains tasks/exercises, including a variety of practice simulation business games. E.g., students play the roles of Forest Rangers, Heads of Municipal Administrations, Representatives of Forest Fire Authorities and Chairs of Emergency Committees to show how they would prepare plans of forest fire fighting operations and distribute the responsibilities thereunder. Or: a Forest Lessee is to hold business negotiations with a Forest Ranger to decide upon forest pest management, silvicultural or salvage operations within a given forest area. This simulation business game starts with the following words of the Forest Lessee: “We have discovered that the number of dead trees is increasing within this parcel while according to the forest development plan, this is a parcel of healthy forest”, and each of the participants of the game should defend the interests of his party, referring to respective legislation.
Speaking about the educational aspect of the program, Marina Smetanina, Country Program Coordinator for Russia from the World Bank, said: “Educational activities are a priority for the FLEG II Program in Russia because sustainable forest management is impossible without human resource capacity building. This new textbook consists for four modules, covering the knowledge and skills, needed for professional performance of public functions and provision of public services related to forest governance and law enforcement. We expect this textbook to be useful for higher education, professional development and retraining and help to build up professional capacity of present-day and future forestry specialists and raise Russian forest management to a new level”.
Another publication in support of the FLEG process in Russia is under preparation and will be issued soon: it is the second edition of the textbook on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in the Russian Federation. Its first version was published in 2011 and was highly demanded by professional development and higher education institutions, specializing in forestry. However, in view of the need to reflect the broad range of new government efforts in this area, that textbook was substantially updated which is of particular importance on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the FLEG Ministerial Process in Europe and Northern Asia (ENA FLEG).