FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Kosovo gets new toolkit for managing healthy forests

Foresters now have a comprehensive package of tools and guidelines to address urgent forest health issues in Kosovo* and the Western Balkans. Developed by FAO with funding from Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the package will help local forest managers ensure that Southeast Europe’s vast and plentiful forests continue to supply economic, environmental and social benefits for generations to come.

Properly managed forests produce valuable wood products, protect vital ecosystems, support rural livelihoods and regulate carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. According to Aleksandar Nikolovski, chief technical advisor on the project, the new set of publications will give Kosovan foresters a central source of information about pests, diseases and other threats to local forest health.

The publications, available in Albanian, Serbian, and English, offer some of the most up-to-date technical knowledge and methods that exist today in the field of forest protection. They include a guide to integrated pest management and a manual for surveying forest canopies to check for air pollution damage.

Also included are materials tailored to local conditions in Kosovo and Southeast Europe, such as a handbook of the major forest pests found in the region.

The project also printed posters that visually identify invasive pests as well as indigenous pests that commonly afflict beech, oak, pine, and spruce trees. Beyond their pure informational value, Nikolovski argues that the posters will educate the general public about the importance of forest health and protection in Southeast Europe.

The Kosovan forestry sector welcomed the package enthusiastically at December’s launch event in Pristina and looks forward to improving local forest management on a broad scale. Foresters expect to put the package to good use as a practical toolkit for their daily work out in the field.

10 February, 2015, Pristina, Kosovo

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).