Cooperation on sustainable development of private forests in Serbia
Serbia and the region met in Tara National Park to discuss possibilities for cooperation on sustainable development of private forests. CNVP representatives were among the speakers and participants. The focus of the event was on the situation in Serbia as the only country in the region without a National Association of Private Forest Owners.
Private forest owners from different parts of Serbia and their local associations, institutions, organizations and donors participated in a one-day workshop. Regional experiences in private forestry sector development were shared by associations, institutions and non-governmental organizations from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia, as well as by the Regional Centre for Forestry and Rural Development (REFORD). The possibility of Serbia joining REFORD was discussed.
One topic essential for private forest owners is forest certification. The advantages of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) was discussed. (CNVP Macedonia is coordinator for the PEFC standard in the Balkans.)
The conclusion of the workshop was that certification, strengthening of the wood biomass market, and sustainable development of private forests in general would benefit from improved cooperation among private owners. The establishment of a National Association was seen as a powerful mechanism for dealing with forestry sector issues, particularly for small and fragmented properties.
The organizers of the event included the Tara National Park, the environmental association Dragacevo-Guca, GIZ and the Regional Development Agency, Zlatibor.