WB ready to support forestry development in Belarus

The Forestry Ministry of Belarus counts on the World Bank support within the regional program, Improving Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) of the Eastern Member-States of the European Neighborhood Policy and Russia. The statement was made in a meeting between First Deputy Forestry Minister Fyodor Lisitsa and head of the FLEG regional program Andrew Mitchell who is in Minsk on a working visit.

The talks highlighted priority development areas of the Belarusian forestry sector and the issues of possible cooperation with the World Bank. According to Andrew Mitchell, construction of forest roads and nurseries, fire safety deserves careful attention in the country. The World Bank is ready to consider concrete business proposals on its participation in the projects regarding these issues.

Belarus launched the FLEG regional program in 2010. WB representative Andrew Mitchell has timed his visit to Minsk to the annual session of the FLEG National Coordination Board where representatives of the forestry services and civil organizations, including the National Forest Association, that are engaged in the implementation of the regional program are set to report on the progress made in the implementation of the program.

The WB official was satisfied with the first results of the regional program in Belarus and noted that Belarus’ active participation in the FLEG program demonstrates the country’s readiness for mutually beneficial cooperation with the European Union, the World Bank and other partners. According to him, it will make an example for those countries which lag behind in such issues.

Andrew Mitchell is expected to visit the National Forest Selection Seed Center constructed with the help of the WB funds, and the Osipovichi experimental forestry to get familiar with nursery development and the implementation of the program on rational use of waste wood.

The ENPI FLEG program, Improving Forest Law Enforcement and Governance of the Eastern Member-States of the European Neighborhood Policy and Russia, was designed for implementation of the St. Petersburg declaration signed by 44 states of Europe and North Asia in November 2005 and was created to combat the threats posed to forests by illegal logging, trade, poaching and corruption.

Partaking in the FLEG programme is Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, the Russian Federation. The programme is financed by the European Commission and other organizations that invest into the WB multi-donor trust fund. Every country – participant of the project has its own FLEG country plan. Belarus’ FLEG country plan is designed for 2010-2011. It includes 4 guidelines and 15 various measures. There are plans to draw up a long-term forestry development project till 2015 and then through 2020.

Among the overriding goals of Belarus’ FLEG country plan is to review the legal base of the forestry management and use, the structure and dynamics of the violations in the forestry and natural protection legislation, analyze the rights of the local population, small and medium-sized businesses for the legal utilization of forest resources, the forestry sector transparency, draft addenda and amendments to the relevant enactments, involve the community and business circles in adopting decisions in the forestry sector.

According to www.belta.by