PEFC Regional Project
CNVP together with REFORD and supported by PEFC will implement a regional project regarding Forest Certification. In the Western Balkans certification was mainly applied at state forests by the rules and procedures prescribed from the Forest Stewardship Council – FSC. This scheme was accepted mainly at large forest economies, such as State forests economies/units. Hence in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria there are already FSC certified forest areas in state ownership. Until now forest certification has not been applied to small forest holders or group certification in the Balkan.
Government actors are less focused on this since their interest is more focused on large scale State forest and its certification, even though the state forest management would also benefit greatly from PEFC certification. There is a need to facilitate the process, exchange of knowledge and to encourage small forest holders on the Balkans to act jointly as drivers for forest certification, e specially focusing on the needs for small holders and group certification.
The project will contribute to PEFC’s collaboration fund objectives through sharing of experiences, facilitation of processes and encouraging cooperation among forest actors on the Balkans through existing networks. Capacity building activities in the project to forest actors on the Balkans that haven’t been engaged in certification processes and shows interest to take over initiatives in their countries will act as catalyst for future PEFC certification processes on the Balkans. The similarity of forest management practices and the size of forestry economies in most of the Balkan countries will allow forest actors to use a regional approach in development of PEFC forest certification scheme, especially aspects related to private forestry.
Project objective: The project objective is to increase the knowledge and to support initiatives on forest certification of forest actors in the Balkans including assuring the interest of small forest holders through sharing of experiences and cooperation.
Activities foreseen in the project are:
- Initiation of the PEFC forest certification process will be secured through conduction of REFORD’s network meeting where family forest associations from the Balkan region will define the steps to be taken and forest actors to be engaged in their countries.
- Forest certification in-depth awareness raising and presentation of PEFC certification rules and procedures will be provided through the REFORD network and CNVP engagement. A number of awareness and promotional events on national level will be organized at Balkan countries where forest actors will learn in more detail about PEFC certification rules and procedures, with the aim to help them identify the need and opportunities for forest certification.
- Identification of opportunities and bottlenecks for forest certification in the Balkan countries will be elaborated from the results of the same methodology applied: web questionnaires, interviews with key stakeholders and desk research. That will provide identification of interest and level of support to forest certification processes.
- Regional event for sharing of experiences in forest certification and joint reflection for a way forward will be organized in Tirana, Albania. The event will serve to present and discuss on the country findings from the previous action and conclude on the next steps forward to forest certification.
- Initiatives on national level on creation of work groups in the Balkan countries to start the certification process where feasible and stakeholder mapping and/or continue lobbying.
- Assistance in drafting action plan for development of PEFC forest certification schemes in countries where positive response of forest actors is met will be provided by CNVP and REFORD’s network members.