European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) East Countries Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) II Program

Project Description

The European Union (EU) funded “European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) East Countries Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) II Program” (the “Program”) is aimed to support the participating countries strengthen forest governance through enhancing their forest policy, legislation and institutional arrangements, and implementing sustainable forest management models on a pilot basis. The Program will be implemented in seven countries of the EU’s European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) East region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation.

The Program builds on initiatives undertaken under the first EU funded FLEG Program. It started in 2013 and will be carried out till December 31, 2016. The Program is supported by the European Commission contributing to a single-donor trust fund administered by the World Bank (WB). Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) provides additional funds supporting Program activities in Armenia and Georgia. Implementation of the Program is led by the WB, working in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Objectives

The Program has three Development Objectives (PDO):
1. To make progress implementing the 2005 St. Petersburg FLEG Ministerial Declaration in the participating countries and support the participating countries commit to a time-bound action plan to ensure its implementation and follow-up activities (regional level).
2. To review or revise (or establish a time-bound action plan to review or revise) forest sector policies and legal and administrative structures; improve knowledge of and support for sustainable forest management and good forest governance (including the impact of related EU regulations) in the participating countries (national level).
3. To test and demonstrate best practices for sustainable forest management and the feasibility of improved forest governance practices at the field-level on a pilot basis in all participating countries (sub-national level).
Main Program activities which will be implemented by WWF-Caucasus Programme Office in Georgia will include evaluation of biodiversity and ecosystem functions of forests, promotion of forest certification and exploration of related market opportunities, implementing sustainable forest management planning, restoration of natural forest landscapes and conservation of forest biodiversity. Awareness raising activities about the importance of sustainable forest management and the respective role of the FLEG2 program will also be conducted.

Expected key deliverables of the project (WWF activities in Georgia)

• Voluntary forest certification potential has been identified, including relevant market opportunities for certified wood
• FSC-based Controlled Wood National Risk Assessment is completed, relevant document is available and is used for promoting the purchasing of Georgian timber by FSC-certified companies
• Report is available on the TEEB scoping study for the Southern Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan), representing a basis for the subsequent full-scale national-level TEEB studies
• Full-scale TEEB study report for forests located in Ajara (Georgia) is available (including policy recommendations)
• Sustainable Forest Management plan is prepared and implemented in the selected forestry unit and first steps towards FSC-based voluntary forest certification have been made
• Awareness of the key stakeholders about the importance of the sustainable forest management has been raised
• Sub-alpine mountain forests have been restored in the selected region in Georgia (Ajara)
• Pontic Oak Nature Monument has been formally designated and is functional in Guria Region (south-western Georgia).

Social and environmental safeguards

For the FLEG II program, WWF will follow a formalized assessment process to ensure that deliverables are environmentally and socially sound and sustainable, consistent with the Environmental Assessment and Management Framework (EAMF) and Resource Access Restriction Process Framework (PF). Please, see the links to the related documents (in pdf format).
Funding Organizations / Donors:
European Union, Austrian Development Cooperation

Implementing Organizations:
World Bank, WWF and IUCN

Project Duration: 2013 – 2017

For Further Information:
Mr. Ilia Osepashvili
Project Coordinator
Tel: 99532 223 7500 (ext. 112) 
E-mail: iosepashvili@wwfcaucasus.org

Mr. Tamaz Gamkrelidze
Regional Partnership & Communications Manager
99532 223 7500 (ext. 119)
Email: tgamkrelidze@wwfcaucasus.org

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