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Priority Forest Issues Discussed at the St.Petersburg Forestry Forum

On October 4-6, a broad range of critical questions related to the development of Russia’s forest sector became the subject of discussion at the XIII St.Petersburg International Forum with the participation of WWF. Issues concerning the implementation of the ENPI FLEG Program in Russia were also tackled.

The Forum was opened by a panel discussion “Forest Code. Modernization and Innovation. Joining the WTO”, at which WWF Russia Director of Conservation Policy Evgeny Shvarts pointed out that although the new Russian Federation Forest Code that took effect on January 2007 was initially aimed at increasing the competitiveness and enhancing the economic potential of the forest sector in the national economy, practice has shown that it contains fundamental systemic mistakes and deficient provisions such as, for example, the lack of environmental and social requirements to forest management. This alone is already putting constraints on the export of timber from Russia to the most economically attractive international markets. “Today, as never before, we need to develop such a national forestry policy that will become a long-term strategy for the government regarding forest resources,” said Evgeny Shvarts. “Such a policy should become the outcome of an orderly national discussion process, as well as of democratic procedures of its development and approval.”

The participants displayed much interest in the presentation of Andrei Ptichnikov, Forest Stewardship Council CIS Countries Regional Office Director, who spoke about changes in the European forestry legislation, specifically, the new Regulation EU No 995/2010 that will come into effect in March 2013, introducing stricter control of the legality of timber exported to European markets and undoubtedly affecting Russian suppliers. WWF Russia supported Mr. Ptichnikov’s statement by distributing among the forum attendees a translation of the Regulation published in the framework of the ENPI FLEG Program. WWF Russia is broadly publicizing the new EU Regulation among the country’s forest sector at events of various levels and intends to continue with this activity in the future.




About ENPI FLEG Program in Russia

The ENPI FLEG Program “Improving Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in the European Neighbourhood Policy East Countries and Russia” supports governments, civil society, and the private sector in participating countries in the development of sound and sustainable forest management practices, including reducing the incidence of illegal forestry activities. Participating countries include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. This program is funded by the European Union.

The major priority areas for ENPI-FLEG program in Russia defined by the project implementing partner organizations - the World Bank, WWF and IUCN and approved by the National Program Advisory Committee (NPAC) are the following:

Increasing efficiency of the extremely complicated system of the forest legislation;
Increasing transparency of the forest logging, processing and trade chains;
Improving coordination between governmental agencies responsible for forest governance;
Support of rural livelihoods located in forests and securing their rights for access to forest timber and non-timber products;
Safeguarding access of citizens and other stakeholders to information about forest management and timber trade.

The priority is given to the activities which can provide immediate results to relief current tensions in the forestry sphere and provide practical tools for the forest law enforcement and governance.

ENPI FLEG Program Partners


European Commission
The European Union is the world's largest donor of official development assistance. EuropeAid Development and Cooperation, a Directorate General of the European Commission, is responsible for designing European development policy and delivering aid throughout the world. EuropeAid delivers aid through a set of financial instruments with a focus on ensuring the quality of EU aid and its effectiveness. An active and proactive player in the development field, we promote good governance, human and economic development and tackle universal issues, such as fighting hunger and preserving natural resources.
http://ec.europa.eu/index_en.htm


World Bank
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Our mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting results and to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors.
www.worldbank.org


IUCN
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. IUCN works on biodiversity, climate change, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice. IUCN is the world's oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,000 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN's work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.
www.iucn.org


WWF
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
www.panda.org

15 октября 2011






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