Private and Community Forestry in Central and Eastern Europe
Workshop in "Support to Multifunctional Forestry in Central and Eastern Europe"Between the 9th and the 13th of December 2002 more than 40 persons representing a unique partnership of national and international governmental and non-governmental organizations committed to sustainable forest management met in Zidlochovice (Czech Republic) with the support of the Czech Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Forestry, FAO, IUCN and CEPF in order to discuss and accept the project on ¿Support to multifunctional forestry in CEE countries¿. The project proposal of FAO and IUCN focus on the strengthening of private and community forestry in 11 Central and Eastern European Countries taking into consideration biodiversity management as part of sustainable development.
The workshop participants emphasized that to achieve sustainable forest management as part of overall sustainable development it is necessary to strengthen the existing private and community forest owner organizations. To this end the participants agreed to establish a network of existing forest owner¿s representatives, responsible state ministries and relevant NGOs.
The following project implementation objectives were identified:
- Establishing the launching platform for project implementation
- Increasing knowledge and skills of forest management stakeholders
- Raising awareness by accessing and sharing information
- Improving the image and public acceptance of forest owners
- Building synergy among stakeholders
- Enabling the institutional framework to meet the needs of forest owners
- Empowering forest owners in decision making
- Improving the relation between the state forest services and authorities and the private forest owners
The participants of the workshop represented a wide spectrum of people involved in forest management from a unique partnership of national and international governmental and non-governmental organisations representing forest stakeholders.
The formation of National committees in the 11 project countries was initiated at the Workshop, and additionally one regional project committee was formed. These committees, together with all participants, are going to organise the first steps of the project in the form of national and regional activities. These will include:
- Assessments of the present situation (e.g. the legal and institutional framework) and the identification of shortcomings in this framework to meet the needs of the private and communal forest owners;
- National seminars on the support for the strengthening of Forest Owner Associations;
- Seminars and workshops on technical themes, e.g. on challenges and opportunities of the EU ecological network ¿Natura 2000¿ in private forests;
- Establishing networks of national and international experts on topics of interest to forest owners (e.g. funding mechanisms for sustainable forest management; advice and training in sustainable forest management; training of Forest Extension Services; advice on close to nature forestry and biodiversity management).