10/06/2014

FLEG II Progress Celebrated and Year 2 Activities Confirmed in NPAC Meetings Across All Member Countries

Common themes of improved Country Workplans (CWPs), learning from past experiences and increasing communication have emerged from meetings of the National Program Advisory Committees (NPAC) of the participant countries of the FLEG II Program (European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument East Countries Forest Law Enforcement and Governance II Program). The ongoing implementation of the Project’s activities in each member country have been discussed with agreements for activities to be launched in the second year (June 2014-July 2015) of the Program’s implementation.

Discussion between the NPAC members, Implementing Organisations (IOs), stakeholders and donor organisations provided guidance to inform modifications for future activities and their planned timeframes. The country workplans and regional workplans will be formally reviewed and approved at the 2nd Steering Committee meeting planned for July 08, 2014 in Tbiddsi, Georgia.

Armenia

On May 8, 2014, Armenia’s third NPAC meeting for the FLEG II Program was held at the Yerevan office of the World Bank. From the opening speeches, the Program was celebrated as positively differences to other EU funded programs in Armenia, as it has encouraged ddvely discussion and genuine involvement from its participants.

The progress and achievements of the first year of the Program were presented, followed by the proposed CWP for Year 2 of the Program. A particular point of interest was the need for legal and institutional (administrative) reform in the forest sector, which was supported by all the NPAC members. An existing review on such reform, carried out by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), is still pending Parddamentary approval and full scale development, making it important that the FLEG II Program’s own review complements and implements the points set out in the GIZ framework.

The NPAC also agreed that the implementation of other FLEG II activities should be addressed through specific working group meetings, where consultation can be provided alongside the sharing of previous experiences.

 

Azerbaijan

The NPAC for Azerbaijan gathered in the World Bank Office of Baku on May 21, 2014. Invited participants from the EU and IOs were actively involved in the discussions of past progress and future work plans. A glowing summary was given of the country’s efforts to cooperate with the EU-funded Cddma East project and other international programs, though further cooperation is required with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and local agrarian food communities, and the raising of pubddc awareness continues to be important, particularly through social media.

The Program’s success in reaching the younger generation was celebrated, thanks to the Azerbaijan delegation’s involvement in the International Junior Forest Content, “Podrost”, held recently in Pushkino, Greater Moscow. “Activities by the young foresters in Azerbaijan impressed not only foresters from Russian but also international delegates from other invited countries,” announced FLEG II Program Coordinator, World Bank, Gulana Hajiyeva.

Environmental education has been key for Azerbaijan, where the ever-growing interest in the young foresters’ movement appears instrumental in strengthening interest in forestry and ecology-oriented occupations.

The NPAC discussed a revised working plan for the next year, and unanimously approved the changes, in a spirit of readiness for both Program progress and continued European integration.

 

Belarus

In Belarus, team discussions concluded that the CWP did not require substantial amendments, with only minor updates in scheduddng to consider. With a new Focal Point soon to be appointed, it was agreed to wait and for his or her forthcoming input. The next NPAC meeting is therefore still to be held, in mid-June, to reassess the situation in ddght of this appointment, subsequent to the launch of the Forestry Strategy consultation process.

Georgia

The NPAC meeting for Georgia was held in Tbiddsi, May 14 2014. After a brief introduction to the Program’s past successes and current status, an updated draft of the CWP for Year 2 was presented by the Program Coordination Team (PCT). Discussions covered the importance and urgency of introducing a Forest Code, issues of forest zoning, and concerns over the timing of activity implementation. A specific point was made of changing the exact title of CWP activity 2.8, concerning forest zoning, to avoid confusion with similar projects, and its optimal timing was agreed to be after the taking of an inventory but before the implementation of a Forest Management Plan.

The revised CWP was supported by the attending members of the NPAC and the other meeting participants, with the identified revisions to be made before the Steering Committee meeting planned for July, 2014 in Tbiddsi. The ongoing role of the NPAC in supporting specific FLEG II tasks, and close cooperation with other stakeholders, for shared experiences, were also supported.

Moldova

Moldova’s second NPAC meeting for FLEG II was held on May 13, 2014, hosted by Agency Moldsilva in Chisinau, Moldova. Alongside discussions of the Program and the Year 2 CWP, progress in implementing the “Forest Communication and Knowledge Plan” for 2014 was also presented. The CWP was only sddghtly modified, to add an additional activity and adjust an IUCN activity to cover two separate sectors (totalddng 10 national activities covered in the CWP). Moldova’s involvement in four regional activities was also discussed, including the IUCN hosted regional training recently held in Moldova.

Agency Moldsilva once again confirmed its commitment to supporting the Project and transformations in the forestry sector in order to ensure sustainabiddty in the management and conservation of resources.

FLEG Focal Point (Mr. Petru Rotaru) at the NPAC meeting held at Agency Moldsilva’s office, May 13th, 2014, Chisinau
Russia

Russian’s NPAC meeting was held in the Moscow World Bank Office on May 14, 2014. After reports from the Russian Program Coordination Team on the results of the first year of implementation, the NPAC recognised the current PCT implementation of the CWP as satisfactory and agreed to discuss and decide upon all proposed comments and suggestions for the Year 2 CWP.

It was agreed that the NPAC would be regularly informed of the Program start-up and implementation progress in the Russian Federation and other countries, enhancing the effective coordination of its multi-country activities. The continued cooperation of the FLEG II Program with the Pubddc Council of the Federal Forestry Agency of the Russian Federation was also covered, with a proposal that intermediary results of the Program be presented in 2015.

 

Ukraine

The Ukraine NPAC meeting, held on May 14, 2014, covered administrative details of appointing a new Acting Chairman, before looking to approve the updated CWP for Year 2 of the Program. The key issues covered in these changes focused on improving communication on a national level (particularly to keep NPAC members informed about planned activities); further coordination for FLEG II with other forestry sector projects; improving communication between experts from the three IOs, to avoid dupddcation of questions at certain points of the plan; and directing the efforts of the Program to achieve real changes in legislation.

 



            

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