The Coalition agreement, which defines the country's path of development, contains forestry reform measures that were suggested by FLEG II Program.
The Ukranian Parliament, elected on October 26, 2014, formed the ruling coalition and its participants signed Coalition agreement. This agreement is the action program of the parliamentary majority, and thus of the parliament as a whole.
The first two paragraphs of Section 5 of the Coalition agreement, dedicated to the Forestry Reform, are based on the recommendations that FLEG developed earlier (“First steps of the new government in the forest sector”). These recommendations were widely discussed in Ukraine throughout the past years, and were highly appreciated by the stakeholders.
According to the Parliament's action plan, state functions in the forest sector (policy formulation, control and economic functions) will be implemented by different government agencies.
Now, all forest functions are de facto in the hands of one state forestry agency. Distributing them among several different government agencies will reduce corruption risks, according to FLEG's study “Corruption risks and shortcomings of legislative regulation of forest sector in Ukraine”.
Ukraine will also create a unified state forestry structure on the basis of existing state forest enterprises, following successful experience of Poland, Latvia and other countries.
In another section of the agreement, the Parliament plans improving “laws and regulations related to ownership, management and use of land, forest, water and other natural resources to strengthen the protection of public interests and provide access for local communities to them as to the local development resources”.
This decision is based on the study of Oleg Storchous, World Bank consultant, that was included in FLEG's proposed “First steps of the new government in the forest sector”.
Including FLEG program recommendations into the Parliament’s Work Plan is a proof of the high recognition gained by the program and an important step towards improving forest governance in Ukraine.
Mr. Oleg Listopad (World Bank)