On July 6th 2010 Georgian Centre for the Conservation of Wildlife (GCCW) in collaboration with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) organized discussion on the draft final report of the Study on Current Practices of Forest Management in Georgia.
Mr. Merab Machavariani, who carried out the study, presented his report to participants. During his work he compared Georgian legislation and practices to the laws and practices of many countries – among them the ones, having big forest management traditions, similar geographical distribution and type of forest. According to his survey, the principles of Georgian forest legislation are quite similar to internationally acknowledged principles, but due to lack of detailed bylaw acts and low level of education among forestry staff, the principles have only declaratory nature. He underlined that, first of all, minimal level of education and qualification necessary for working in the forestry field shall be defined by the law. Also, there shall be bylaw acts and detailed regulations, determining correct and sustainable timber harvesting, forest roads design and construction, forest restoration etc.
After the presentation, participants had an opportunity to ask questions and provide their comments. Despite of the very hot weather outside, the discussion was active, energetic and sometimes even sharp.
Participants discussed the opportunities and threats of the forest roads in Georgia. They mentioned, that roads are being constructed spontaneously, not taking into account possible erosion, habitats of animals and other factors. On the other hand, existence of well managed forest roads can lead to escalation of illegal logging due to easier access to forest resources. They also discussed the necessity of relevant professional education for forestry staff because even the best legislation and normative acts will be meaningless without capable foresters in the country.
The study is being initiated by IUCN under ENPI FLEG Program. GCCW is co-implementing the study through USAID funded project “Sustainable forestry in Georgia: sustainable production, sustainable consumption”. The final report will be presented in September 2010.
For more information about the study, please contact Mr. Merab Machavariani, email@example.com
For information on ENPI FLEG program, please contact Eka Otarashvili, firstname.lastname@example.org