Development of FSC in Georgia
In recent years, there has been considerable interest in voluntary forest certification under the FSC scheme from the key stakeholders in Georgia, including state authorities and NGOs. In 2007, a Partnership Agreement was signed between the Forest Department and FSC, on the promotion of voluntary forest certification in the country. Based on this agreement, Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources, with financial support from GIZ (at that time GTZ), conducted training on practical aspects of forest certification. This included pilot, field-based pre-assessment of two private logging companies managing Georgian forests on the basis of long-term wood use right.
In May 2012, WWF-Caucasus Programme Office conducted a regional workshop on voluntary forest certification in Batumi, Georgia. The major outcome of this workshop was the establishment of an informal Regional Initiative Group for the Southern Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia). The group promotes voluntary forest certification through awareness raising of the stakeholders. The workshop was held under the first phase of the regional Program on “Improving Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) in the European Neighborhood Policy East Countries and Russia”. Both, the first and the second phases of the Program have been funded by the European Commission and Austrian Development Agency.
In October 2013, a National Working Group of Georgia on FSC Standards (WGFS) was established. Members of the group received necessary training from the representatives of FSC Regional Office for CIS countries. The WGFS for Georgia was registered by FSC in the summer of 2014. As the first step, this group intends to coordinate the preparation and formal approval of Controlled Wood National Risk Assessment (CW NRA) for Georgia, following FSC procedures. The group is coordinated by WWF-Caucasus. CW NRA for Georgia is financially supported within the framework of the second phase of the FLEG Program.
Current Projects: “European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument East Countries Forest Law Enforcement and Governance II Program” (ENPI East Countries FLEG II Program); funded by the European Commission and Austrian Development Agency (2013-2017).