On October 24, FLEG II held a roundtable “Improving Forest Law Enforcement and Governance” during the 8th International Forum “Forest and Man”
8th International Forum "Forest and Man" and the international exhibition "Lesdrevmash-2016" took place in the Central Exhibition Complex "Expocenter" in Moscow on October 24-27. The forum brought together representatives of business, government, and national industry associations from around the world to discuss the development of the forest sector.
"I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to the organizers of this event for giving us this opportunity to discuss the burning issues of forest governance and law enforcement in the framework of the 8th international forum", said deputy chairman of the Committee on Nature Use and Ecology of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation Yuri Shuvaev.
The roundtable gathered representatives of executive and legislative power, the timber industry and trade companies and associations, non-governmental organizations and research and educational institutions. They summed up the results of FLEG I and FLEG II in Russia and discussed new challenges and tasks.
Marina Smetanina, coordinator of the FLEG II Program in Russia from the World Bank, noted the key role of the FLEG process in improving the situation in the forestry sector of Russia: "Ministerial initiatives to improve law enforcement and governance in the forest sector primarily generate a political space at the level of a country or entire regions. This political space allows to start a dialogue and to talk openly about difficult issues - such as illegal logging - with the active participation of other parties - public, non-governmental organizations, and businesses".
Marina Smetanina also noted the key achievements of the FLEG II program, among them, the analysis and improvement of the systems aimed at decreasing illegal forest use and at preventing and combatting forest fires, the development of professional training and educational programs, and many others.
Aghasi Harutyunyan, FAO Representative in the Russian Federation, highlighted the role of FLEG II in the capacity building in Russia. “Textbook "Law Enforcement and Governance in Forest Use, Protection, and Renewal", designed by FLEG II, was recommended for students enrolled in master's and bachelor's programs, and already enjoys a wide popularity in educational institutions", said Aghasi Harutyunyan.
According to Elena Kulikova, a senior expert of the European Forest Institute, after the completion of the FLEG II program in 2016, Russia continues to be relevant to the FLEG process. "The level of illegal logging has dropped, but the issue of the effectiveness and sustainability of forest management remains highly relevant”, said Kulikova. “Russia continues to export significant volumes of wood products - legal and illegal - to EU directly or through third countries". According to Elena Kulikova, we need to strengthen the interaction between the instruments of FLEGT (the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan) and the FLEG Program.
Information about other similar events (in Russian)
A roundtable on improving law enforcement and governance in the forest sector was held in the Northern (Arctic) Federal University in Arkhangelsk during the Conference on Sustainable Management of Biological Resources.
A joint meeting of the Committee on Nature Use and Ecology of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia for Nature and Environment and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Union in Voronezh Region on improving law enforcement and governance in the forest sector at the federal and regional levels.