April 23, 2012, - The World Bank and the Federal Forestry Agency are holding a conference to present and discuss the results of the DFID funded, World Bank Forest Governance Diagnostics Project in . The Conference will review the assessment framework and findings from the project.
The diagnostic tool for assessing and monitoring the status of forest governance was developed as the result of an international process led by the Bank and FAO. The assessment framework contains core guidelines on structuring relevant governance information which could be used both at a country level and internationally to assess and monitor forest governance and forest resource management.
According to Mr. A. Panfilov, State-Secretary, Deputy Chief, Federal Forestry Agency, “the World Bank offered an assessment framework which can become an important tool for independent diagnosis of forest governance at the federal level. The results of its piloting will help to assess the baseline situation and make assumptions for the development of ’s forest policy”
The Russian project to test this tool was the first effort to collect and consolidate forest governance information in a boreal country, possessing the largest forest resource in the world.
In view of its potential practical value, the tool was tested in four Russian regions: the and Voronezh Oblasts, and Khabarovsk Krays. Three of these four regions are expected to participate in the Forest Fire Response Project (Forest Project-2).
The Conference discussion will focus on key results of the diagnostic project, forest governance assessment framework, and prospects to apply and upgrade the framework at the federal level and in Russian regions.
Andrew Mitchell, Senior Forestry Specialist, World Bank, will tell the audience how the Forest Governance Assessment Framework had been developed by the World Bank and FAO, dwelling in detail upon the history of designing the set of indicators, results of testing the tool in a number of other countries and importance and usefulness of this tool.
Andrew Mitchell noted that “this excellent work builds on the collaboration between the Bank and Russia in the forestry sector, notably on the technical assistance provided through the EU funded ENPI FLEG Program and also the investments of the Sustainable Forestry Pilot Project and the proposed support with the new Forest Fire Response Project.”
Drawing upon the results of the undertaken diagnosis exercise, Mr. E. Kuzmichev, Lead Project Consultant to the World Bank, will make a presentation, including an analysis of strengths and weaknesses in forest governance in . According to Mr. E. Kuzmichev, “the tested forest governance diagnosis tool could be used to identify of bottlenecks in forest governance in a systemic manner, and areas to be reformed in order to improve forest governance, as well as to monitor forest governance reform. Forest governance diagnosis is also helpful for forest policy-making in the Russian Federation, development of partnerships among public authorities, managerial entities, civil society and the private sector.”