MOSCOW, RUSSIA, October 24, 2012 - The 6th International Forest Forum – Forest and Man -- to be held on October 22–26, 2012, in Moscow, will include a roundtable to highlight country and regional dimensions of the FLEG role in the development of the forest sector. The event is jointly organized by the FFA and the World Bank and supported by the European Commission.
The FLEG process is a major on-going intergovernmental process called to promote sustainable forest management and improved forest law enforcement. Countries with different development levels, timber exporters and importers are equally concerned about forest crime, and, in particular, about illegal logging, trade of illegally harvested timber and corruption. The 2000-ies saw the development and strengthening of the FLEG processes (in Africa, East Asia, Europe and North Asia) which had a strong catalytic effect on countries’ efforts to develop national programs and plans of action in response to these illegalities.
The Eurasia Ministerial Process, the EU FLEGT Program and other international initiatives permitted to look at forest development issues differently in the context of discussions of ways towards sustainable forest management in the East Region of the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument.
The Program titled Improving Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in the European Neighborhood Policy East Countries and Russia (the ENPI FLEG Program) was successfully implemented in 2008-2012 in Russia and other 6 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and the Ukraine) by its Implementing Organizations. This international program is implemented in support of the intergovernmental ENA FLEG Process and contributes to country efforts initiated by governments, business and non-governmental organizations in response to threats posed to forests by their illegal uses. Currently, the second phase of this regional program is under preparation and is expected to benefit Russia through the following activities:
- Improving the FLEG planning and monitoring at the national, regional (local), and interagency levels;
- Building human resource capacity to address FLEG issues;
- Causing specific FLEG actions to be implemented by top Russian forest companies and their international trading partners;
- Safeguarding the rights of local communities and small businesses to forest resource use;
- Increasing transparency of action and raising stakeholder awareness.
The Roundtable will serve as a channel to communicate information about the priorities and implementation of the EU’s policy of using its ENP Instrument, preparation status of the EU Timber Regulation and its potential impact on the EU’s partner-countries. The event will include a panel discussion among representatives from the ENPI FLEG Program countries to cover such issues as the need and ways to mainstream ENPI FLEG activities into National Forest Policies; practical use of program outputs; roles and effectiveness of regional activities of Phase 1 of the ENPI FLEG Program; and the dialogue at the country, regional and interregional levels.
Stakeholders invited to participate in the event include representatives from (federal and regional) executive and legislative authorities, the European Union/EC, participating countries of the ENPI FLEG Program and the Program Management/ Coordination Team, timber industry and trade companies and associations, non-governmental organizations, research and education institutions and other stakeholders.