What makes a successful forester? For Mykhaylo Popkov, a Ukrainian researcher involved in the science of managing forests for nearly 30 years, a forester’s job covers everything from ecological restoration and timber harvesting to the protection of natural resources and implementation of forestry laws.
According to Popkov, there have been several attempts in the recent past to change the forest management system in Ukraine to bring it in line with best practices, but the outdated model has prevailed.
“In order to preserve the forests and use their full potential for the benefit of the people, environment and economy, we need to start managing forests better or we could lose them forever. We have to save them,” Popkov says.
The World Bank and the European Union have been working together to help forestry experts like Popkov and those responsible in the government forestry agencies design and implement much-needed reforms, based on the sustainable use of forest resources.
The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument East Countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia) Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Program, or FLEG Program, is an initiative funded by the EU and implemented by the World Bank in partnership with the international NGOs – International Union for Conservation of Nature and World Wide Fund for Nature.