FLEG II engages local population in the Preparation of a Sustainable Forest Management Plan in Azerbaijan.
Public engagement is vital for achieving FLEG II goals: supporting good forest governance, sustainable forest management and forest protection. The senior consultant was hired by WWF Azerbaijan to prepare SFM plan for Ismailly Forest Unit. Consultant has developed a questionnaire that covered main services of Ismailly forests area. Public opinion pall aims to get detailed information about locals’ needs and their dependency on the forest products and services.
Questionnaire meant to be a very crucial tool in identification of social zones during the planning, as much as the social aspects of forest use are the most sensitive issue. The questionnaire considered getting opinion of families that live in the villages around Ismailly forest area, In order to obtain information about importance of the forests for local population of the Ismailly, FLEG II experts identified 6 villages (Rushan, Galinjag, Gurbanaphandy, Xanagah, Galachig and Topchu), that represent different social-economic groups in\near by the Forest Unit. In general, about 100 citizens participated in the public opinion poll.
The questionnaires showed dependence of local population on forest and its products. Particularly 80% of population use firewood for cooking and 2/3 interviewees use forest as pasture. Nevertheless the results indicate that collection of non-wood forest products is not vital for the local population. They are affordable for the majority and can be found in the markets.
The data collected through the questionnaires are on process to be used for the zoning and detailed report will be published soon.