SOCIETY
International experts working to improve Forest Sector Policy and Governance in Georgia
04 June, 2018
Georgia is facing many environmental problems, including deforestation that is caused by natural disasters, massive forest fires and illegal logging. In order to improve and support the operational effectiveness of the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture of Georgia CENN, a non-governmental organization working to protect environment and fostering sustainable development, involved international expertise in the process.

Main photo courtesy: Lasha Gigauri

As reported, currently, Austrian and Slovenian experts are working on a document An Institutional Model to Improve Forest Sector
Policy and Governance.

The experts met with representatives from both the public and private sectors during their visit to Georgia. The meetings were also conducted with foresters as well as representatives involved in current international projects and academic circles. During the field visit, the experts made an on-spot evaluation of forest conditions and spoke with foresters and representatives from the Regional Office of National Forestry Agency.
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Photo courtesy: Tamar Kopalesihvili

As CENN says, the results of the meetings and field visits were reflected in the working version of the document that was presented by the international experts at a stakeholder meeting. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion on building the capacity of the Ministry in terms of institutional management. The final presentation of the document is scheduled for the near future.

The initiative is implemented by CENN together with the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture of Georgia, supported by the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) within the Sustainable Forest Governance in Georgia – Phase II project.

As the website of CENN reads, forest in Georgia not only accounts for maintaining unique biodiversity, but also performs social and environmental functions of state importance, supplies local residents with vital resources and provides welfare, poverty eradication and sustainable development of such sectors of economy as agriculture, energy and tourism. The need for forest protection is a globally accepted truth. Georgia is a signee of a number of international treaties and agreements, thus committing to ensure forest management according to sustainable principles

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Mariam Sekhniashvili

A series of Community Development and Forest trainings were conducted in regions of Georgia at CENN’s initiative. During the event, experts discussed the necessity of the multifunctional use of forests in order to implement sustainable practices, as well as the importance of recreational forests in Georgia for local populations, an institutional model for its management, and the need for developing an action plan.

Close attention was focused on opportunities to make profit from non-wood forest products in terms of multi-purpose planning and use, which entails the development of alternative forest use (i.e. recreation and tourism, hunting, non-wood forest resources, etc.).

The training was also attended by a representative of Kera, a bio-fuel producing company in Georgia who discussed alternative heating resources.

The initiative was implemented within the Sustainable Forest Governance in Georgia – Phase II project with the support of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC)

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