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Country News

31 January 2012

Belarus’ FLEG program to be reviewed in Brussels

MINSK, 31 January (BelTA) – The results of the implementation of the Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) program in Belarus will be presented at the 3rd Operational Committee of the ENPI FLEG Program in Brussels, Belgium, on 31 January, BelTA learnt from spokeswoman for the Forestry Ministry Ruzhena Novitskaya. First Deputy Forestry Minister of Belarus Fyodor Lisitsa is expected to present a report on FLEG contribution to sustainable national forestry development, enhancement of transparency and public awareness. Partaking in the meeting will be consultants and representatives of the World Bank, the International Union for the Protection of Nature, heads of the forestry industries of the FLEG member states. The committee will highlight the issues of further cooperation in forest law enforcement and governance. The participants will put forward proposals on FLEG program for implementation in 2012-2013. The Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in the countries of the European neighborhood policy and Russia (FLEG program) was launched in Belarus in 2010. It serves as an effective tool to implement national plans and targets in combating illegal logging and illegal trade in timber, preventing corruption in forestry. Implementation of the FLEG country plan has become a milestone in the set of measures to improve forest law enforcement and to develop a modern and more efficient system of law enforcement in Belarus. The new strategic plan for forestry development in 2015-203 will be developed as part of the FLEG program next year. In particular, it will cover such issues as: introduction of reasonable changes and additions to the forest code of Belarus and normative legal acts on forestry; further improvement of the structure and functions of various government bodies and forestry organizations. Measures to improve the effectiveness of forest management and conservation of forest resources will be carried out at the territorial level. For this purpose it is necessary to clarify the powers of local authorities and optimize the functions and also the regulatory acts in state forest control. Economic regulations will be developed to ensure the sound financing of forestry, to improve the accuracy of the inventory of forest resources in forest management and optimize the areas under environmental and commercial forests in order to implement the principles of sustainable forest management, environmental conservation, maintenance of environmental and social functions of forests. The regional program “Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in the countries of the European neighborhood policy and Russia" has been designed to implement the St. Petersburg Declaration signed by 44 States of Europe and Northern Asia in November 2005, and aimed at fighting illegal activities in the forest sector. The FLEG program involves Belarus Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Financial support is provided by the European Commission and other organizations that make contributions to the multi-donor trust fund managed by the World Bank. A country plan of action has been developed for each state. Belarus’ project is designed to run in 2010-2011. It consists of four main areas and 15 different events. There are plans to design more long-term forestry development project up to 2015, and then up to the year of 2020.

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