Tbilisi (Georgia), October 16, 2013 – The first meeting of the Georgian National Program Advisory Committee (NPAC) for the second phase of ENPI FLEG II took place in Tbilisi, in the National Forest Agency office on October 16, 2013. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the details of the ENPI FLEG II Country Work Plan for Georgia, and to present the results of the ENPI FLEG II Steering Committee meeting, which took place in Minsk on the 1-3 October, 2013. The presented Country Work Plan was supported by the NPAC at the end of the Meeting.
During the meeting FLEG Georgia Country Work Plan was introduced by the Chairman, Bidzina Giorgobiani, the newly appointed Head of the National Forest Agency (NFA), and was commented on by representatives of the EU Delegation and the Implementing Organizations (The World Bank, World Wide Fund for Nature, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). The details, time-line and scope of work for the first year of the program were reviewed, discussed, and finally confirmed. It was noted that, for some priority activities, the Terms of References have already been outlined - in particular for Act. 1.1. Improvement of the draft Forest Code to harmonize it with the new State policy framework and to ensure balanced coverage of all aspects of the forest management.
The Meeting Chairman, Mr. Giorgobiani, pointed out “the urgency of immediate and parallel actions to improve and/or modify the secondary legislation”. He mentioned that the Government needs “promptly available technical assistance in this endeavor, as well as cooperative activities among the various stakeholders within the scope of the National Forestry Program, to contribute to the improvement of forest law enforcement and governance.”
NPAC consists of representatives of the Georgian forest authorities, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, representatives of Implementing Organizations (WB, WWF, IUCN) and NGO (Green Movement of Georgia). Its function is to provide guidance concerning the development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of program activities at national and subnational levels.
The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection (MENRP) is the main institution responsible for developing forest policy and legislation in Georgia. There are two units under the Ministry umbrella in charge of public administration of Forestry: National Forest Agency (NFA), responsible for actual management of the State owned forest, and the Environmental Supervision Department of MENRP, responsible for monitoring and control.