Vladislava I. Nemova
Tel. +7 915 041 98 34
Minsk, October 2013 - The first Steering Committee Meeting for the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) East Countries Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Program Phase II Program (FLEG II), incorporating seven countries, took place in Minsk from October 1-3, 2013.
The FLEG II Program is funded by the European Commission and implemented by the World Bank in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The Program builds on and further develops the initiatives and activities undertaken during implementation of the first EC funded ENPI FLEG Program (2008-2012).
The meeting brought together representatives of governments, and partners from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine, international organizations, including the European Commission and the World Bank to foster dialogue, discuss the objectives, overall direction of the FLEG II Program, country specific priorities and work plans for dealing with different aspects of law enforcement as well as forest management.
The FLEG II Program promotes sustainable forest governance, management, and protection of forests in the participating countries, ensuring the contribution of the region's forests to climate change adaptation and mitigation, to ecosystems and biodiversity protection, and to sustainable livelihoods and income sources for local populations and national economies. This is being done through improving implementation of relevant country processes; enhancing their forest policy, legislation and institutional arrangements; and developing, testing and evaluating sustainable forest management models at the local level on a pilot basis for future replication.
Bella Nestorova, Program Manager for FLEG II Program, European Commission comments:
“We have very high expectations from the second phase. We look forward to building on the achievements of FLEG I in particular by following up on the successful actions and the lessons learned over the last four years. I am confident that all these have been taken into account in preparing the country work and regional work programs. I’m happy to say that now the implementation of activities will officially start and we very much look forward to the outcomes.”
According to Andrew Mitchell, World Bank Senior Forestry Specialist and Team Leader for the Program, “Particular emphasis during the Steering Meeting has been given to forestry’ governance in the context of structural change and economic transformation, result monitoring at program and country levels and spreading of good practices around the diversity of reforms, approaches and experiences that are being implemented by forestry sector practitioners of the seven FLEG II countries.”
The FLEG I Program met its program development objectives, in that it contributed to the results areas in all seven countries. It supported improvements in legal and sustainable forest management and utilization, strengthened the rule of law and improved local livelihoods while focusing on environmental sustainability, human rights and gender equity. The program supported selected pilot activities, which were implemented with the active involvement of governments, civil society, private sector, and media.