Forest Strategy for the South CaucasusThe WWF Caucasus Programme Office is launching a Forest Strategy for the Southern Caucasus, which builds on the Eco-region Conservation Plan developed in partnership with the Critical Eco-system Partnership Fund /CEPF/, NGOs and individual experts. The strategy is set out for forest conservation in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and north-eastern Turkey. It contains the following priority programs and projects, which aim at halting forest degradation and restoring strategically important forest landscapes:
• Protected areas;
• Restoration and sustainable management of forest landscapes;
• Developing forest management standards and benchmarking present practice;
• Working with the supply chain;
• Monitoring and detection of illegal logging.
The launch of the Forest Conservation Strategy is an essential and timely step, considering serious forestry problems occurring in the region and limited institutional and financial capacity presently experienced by the state forestry and environmental authorities especially in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The strategy will be implemented in close co-operation with the environmental state institutions and NGOs engaged in forestry-related programs and projects. Initial stage of the implementation of the strategy (November-December 2005) includes the following steps: a) meeting with relevant government authorities to introduce the main elements of the strategy and associated project proposals, b) joint meeting with environmental NGOs and c) joint meeting with country-based and regional donors. The joint meetings could be followed by bi-lateral meetings with interested parties.
The English version of the strategy is available in the downloads section at: www.panda.org/caucasus
For more information:
Senior Forest Officer
WWF Caucasus Programme Office