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24/03/2016

Local Forest Governance under the Loupe

Fuelwood harvested by villagers in Kharagauli, Georgia. (Photo by Stefan Michel)

The new FLEG study on Governance of Local Forests in the ENPI East Countries and Russia is now available online

For this research Local Forests are defined as “forests that are located in close proximity to rural and urban settlements and are of special importance for the well-being of the respective local inhabitants in relation to the provision of forest resources and ecosystem services”.

In spring 2016, a new Regional Study on the Governance of Local Forests in the ENPI East Countries and Russia was launched within the framework of the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) East Countries Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) II Program funded by the European Union.

The main purpose of this Study was to serve as valuable contribution to policy review and reforms by documenting, analyzing, and comparing the existing schemes of forest governance in rural settings in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine. These seven countries constitute a region that contains approximately 20% of the world’s forests.

After providing an in-depth overview of the current forest governance systems in the region, the study presents illustrative Case Studies from participating countries.

The study will be used to inform decision makers and provides concrete examples that will significantly contribute to the knowledge base so that projected reforms in governance will have an additional source of updated and reliable information that will provide the context for reforms related to the governance of local forests that is currently on-going in the seven countries.

This study represents an invaluable tool to assess the quality of governance of local forests in the FLEG II countries, and governance is a fundamental factor that determines whether forest resources are used efficiently, sustainably, and equitably. Its added value rests on the combination of a detailed overview of local forest governance in the region with illustrative cases, which show how and in what way concrete governance systems can influence natural resource management” said Stefan Michel, IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature) Consultant and author of the study.

For the ENPI East FLEG region, this is the first time that a study has assessed and compared the legal, regulatory, and organizational frameworks of local forest governance in such a comprehensive and detailed manner. The identification of common trends and national differences, and the discussion of best practices as well as common obstacles and difficulties, contribute to defining the components of effective governance. I am sure that policy-makers and other relevant stakeholders will find this study extremely useful for their work” said Ekaterine Otarashvili, ENPI-FLEG II Project Officer for IUCN.

In the upcoming weeks, three subsequent articles will be issued to present some of the most interesting aspects that emerged from the analysis of the systems of governance of local forest.

The Regional Study on the Governance of Local Forests in the ENPI East Countries and Russia is available at this link.



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