FAO, UNECE Launch SFM Criteria and Indicators Project in the Caucasus and Central Asia
UN Photo/Eva Fendiaspara
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The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) are supporting capacity-building activities for the implementation of sustainable forest management (SFM) in five Caucasian and Central Asian countries.

The agencies have launched a three-year project that will support the development of national criteria and indicators for SFM in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

18 November 2016: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) are supporting capacity-building activities for the implementation of sustainable forest management (SFM) in five Caucasian and Central Asian countries.

More specifically, a three-year project, titled ‘Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management in the Caucasus and Central Asia,’ will support the process of developing national criteria and indicators to assess the social, economic and ecological potential of and implement SFM in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

A regional workshop on the project was held in Yerevan, Armenia, from 15-18 November 2016, and was organized by the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section. The workshop: introduced the UNECE/FAO project to participants who are expected to undertake activities in their respective countries; introduced international criteria and indicators processes; offered examples from national criteria and indicator development in Austria, Estonia, Iran and the Russia Federation; and provided a platform for countries to present their situations and experiences.

Out of the Caucasian and Central Asian countries, only Georgia participates in one of the international criteria and indicator processes (FOREST EUROPE), although none of the countries has developed criteria and indicators for national-level SFM, which the UNECE/FAO project is intended to support. The project also aims to stimulate exchange and cooperation among the five countries. Thus far, Georgia, which is 42% forested, is implementing SFM practices and principles, and Georgia and Armenia are establishing forest monitoring systems. The project has been accepted for funding by the UN Development Account (UNDA) for the period 2016-2019.

The project will help the countries to actively participate in international forest-related processes, contribute to the sustainable development of the forestry sector, and eventually monitor progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project targets forest-related ministries, national forest agencies, research institutes and non-governmental organizations. [UNECE Press Release] [Workshop Website] [Project Website]

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