On November 12, 2013 the first meeting of the National Advisory Committee Program (NPAC) took place in Kyiv. The NPAC functions in the framework of the second phase of the EU financed programme ENPI/East-2 FLEG II («European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument East Countries Forest Law Enforcement and Governance II Program») to develop a strategic vision on the forest sector of Ukraine and work on proposals for forest law enforcement.
The meeting was divided into two stages – the first was a meeting with NPAC members and invited guests. The second meeting was an open round table for all major stakeholders to discuss the current problems and needs related to the forest policy development.
The NPAC meeting started with the election of Mr. Yaroslav Makarchuk, First Deputy Head, State Forest Resources Agency, as NPAC’s Chairman. The participants received the information on the results of the Steering Committee Meeting, which took place in Minsk in early October 2013 and marked the beginning of the second phase of the FLEG II program. A work plan for Ukraine for 2013-2014 was also adopted during the NPAC meeting.
The round table that followed the NPAC meeting was an open event, where all the major stakeholders of the program were brought together publically. Representatives of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, the State Forest Resources Agency, the State Land Resources Agency, NGOs, the wood processing industry, FSC representatives, academia, journalists and FLEG Program Partners (EU, IUCN) attended the event.
It was the first round table in a series of planned activities to support a dialogue on forest policy development in Ukraine. The purpose of the event was to get the stakeholders’ views on the problems and challenges facing the forest sector today, and to lay a foundation for further discussion on developing the vision for the future of the country’s forest sector. Two presentations were made on the basis of analytical studies by the FLEG Program experts: "Topical issues related to developing the institution of forest ownership rights in Ukraine" and "Forest Policy and Strategy of Ukraine: assessment, problems and solutions". The presentations led to constructive discussion from all sides and showed the need for continuation of the open dialog on the forest sector issues.
In his closing remarks to the round table participants Yaroslav Makarchuk, First Deputy Head, State Forest Resources Agency and newly elected NPAC’s Chairman expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to establish a platform for open discussion of the FLEG program. He stressed the importance of developing a strategic vision for Ukrainian forests and of the need to get concrete, justified proposals on issues related to forest law enforcement.