In response to the urgent need of forest policy change and institutional adaptation in Central Asia, the workshop enabled to identify elements of a road map for policy review and enhancement of institutional performance. Panel discussions and group works included a variety of issues such as effects of policy design and recommendations for FAO and donor countries on policy development and institutional adaptation.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Turkish Chamber of Forest Engineers (OMO) organized a regional workshop on “Forest Policy and Institutional Development in Central Asia” which was held in Trabzon, Turkey from 4-7 February 2014. The main aim of the workshop is to determine the key challenges and opportunities about adaptation of institutional capacities and regulatory framework for forest policy development in the SEC region.
A number of local and international participants from FAO Sub-Region (SEC), namely, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkey, specialists from the Sub-Regional Office for Central Asia (SEC) and FAO headquarters (FOE) as well as local representatives from the region demonstrated the connection between the policy development and institutional adaptation through experiences and case studies.
During the workshop participants focused on; policy changes that have taken place in recent years, challenges experienced in policy development and review, international experiences of institutional development, how policy changes have affected forestry institutions in terms of their objectives, functions, structures, financing and governance as well as key stakeholders, including local communities, NGOs and private sector.
The workshop provided responses for multiple challenges in forestry while fulfilling the aim of FAO’s Strategic Objective 3, which is to improve the enabling environment for the rural poor so as to increase their access to resources, services, institutions and policy processes.
At the closure of workshop each participating country presented its two top areas based on the relevance and importance. In order of prioritization, the recommendations made by the participants were:
- Enhance the involvement of local people and other non-state stakeholders in policy development and implementation.
- Regional economic assessment of forest goods and ecosystem services
- Assessment of human resources and capacity development to implement policy and institutional development.
- Development of a regional forest policy for low-forest covers countries.
- Regional analysis of policy and administrations.
In his closing statement, Mr Ekrem Yazici, forestry expert from FAO SEC office, laid out some important steps for the next cooperation activities and way forward for more forestry related cooperation in the region.
For more information about outcomes and recommendations of the workshop, please refer to the link.
With the advent of rapid advancements in science and technology, institution adaptation and reform have become inevitable for the forestry sector. Broad political changes such as decentralization, transitions toward market economies, reliance on the private sector, have also contributed to the urge of adaptation in policy change. Thus, developing a formal forest policy which is consistent and clear, covering a wide range of interests in order to meet new challenges is the main goal of the activities. It also serves to the purpose of providing an in-depth understanding of how policy design and its implementation affect the enabling environment for small enterprises and communities.