Cooperation through the FLEG
Since 2010, the implementation of the program "Improving Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) for countries of eastern direction of the European Neighborhood Policy and Russia" has been launched in Belarus, aimed at creating better governance mechanisms in the forest sector. This program is developed especially for implementation of the St. Petersburg Declaration, signed in November 2005 by 44 states of Europe and Northern Asia and expresses the determination of countries to combat illegal activities in the forest sector.
The adoption of this declaration by the countries of Europe and North Asia was prompted by the growing problem of illegal logging. According to the available data of some countries, the share of illegal timber supplies varies from a few percent to values that exceed the officially reported cuttings. Illegal logging occupies a significant place both in the commercial supply of timber and in fuelwood for the population. Increasing public concern over the negative consequences of illegal forest activities in Europe and North Asia led to the launch of a regional negotiation process aimed at aimed at resolving this problem.
The Republic of Belarus, one of the ten most forest-rich countries in Europe, has also been actively involved in this process, although the problem of illegal logging in our country is not as large as in other states that initiated the adoption of the St. Petersburg Declaration. Participation of Belarus in the ENA FLEG Ministerial Process is a confirmation of our country's interest in developing of a cooperation in combating illegal logging, forest products trade and corruption in the forest sector. In addition, the position of Belarus, as a participant in this process, will be taken into account in developing further actions to combat illegal activities in the field of forestry at the international level.
In total, seven ENA countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the Russian Federation - participate in the implementation of the FLEG program. The financial support of the program is provided by the European Commission and other organizations that make contributions to a multilateral trust fund managed by the World Bank.
A country plan for implementing the program has been developed for each state. In Belarus, the project is designed for 2010-2011. It includes 4 main directions and 15 different activities.
Among the priority measures of a country plan: analysis of the legal framework in the field of forest management and exploitation, the structure and dynamics of violations of forest and environmental legislation, drafting amendments and supplements to the regulations for their improvement in the context of FLEG program; analysis of the rights of the local population, small and medium businesses on legal use of forest resources, transparency in the forest sector.
Highly skilled specialists of scientific and educational institutions (Institute of Forest of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Institute of experimental botany of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus , BSTU), forestry organizations (RUE "Belgosles", RUE "Belgiproles"), public organizations (RALS, RLPA, the Belarusian society of forestry specialists, the Belarusian labor union of workers of the wood) and other experts and organizations are involved in realization of actions of the country plan, monitoring and assessment of the course of his realization.
The program website enpi-fleg.org