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15 october 2010

What country people think about forest management in Carpathian forests

 A press conference The Problems of Forest Management in the Perception of Residents of the Forest Areas of Ukraine was held in Lviv on the 8th of October 2010. At the press-conference the World Bank Consultants told journalists about the results of the public opinion poll of residents of three administrative districts in the Carpathian region: Skole district in Lviv Oblast, Tyachiv district in Transcarpathian Oblast and Bogorodchany district in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. The poll was conducted by SOCIS (Center for Social and Marketing Research). The selection of these particular administrative districts in each of the above-named regions was based on the analysis of customs data and expert opinions of local foresters. 400 respondents representing in their sex and age the adult rural population were interviewed in each of these districts. Thus, 1,200 persons have been interviewed during June, 2010

 

- 60 percent of the interviewed persons think it necessary to increase liability for illegal tree felling in order to make improvements in forest management, timber harvesting and sales;

- 56 percent of the interviewed persons think it possible to find an agent in their area who could buy timber from the foresters and bring it to their homes;

- 41 percent of persons interviewed think that only a few cases of illegal tree felling are disclosed in their area for show while the rest of cases are concealed from official accounting;

- 5 percent of the interviewed persons think that for maintaining order in forestry it is necessary to privatize forests and transfer them to private owners.

 

For more detailed information see the complete report (http://www.fleg.org.ua, section Resources)

 

The research was conducted within the framework of the Program Improving Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in the European Neighborhood Policy East Countries and Russia (ENPI-FLEG). Ukraine is among seven member-countries of the ENPI-FLEG Program. The Program is aimed at reducing the volume of illegal tree felling and improvement of governance in the forest sector, improvement of access to forest resources by local population and small business etc. With regard to a strict ban on import of illegal timber into the EU to be introduced in the foreseeable future the European Union has allocated six million dollars for financing this three-year program having entrusted its implementation to such respected international organizations as the World Bank, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

 

In the process of interviewing the public opinion on the following issues was studied: general assessment of the forest condition in the interviewed persons locality; the volume of tree felling and the role of timber harvesting in the local economy; use of timber in the local inhabitants households; illegal timber harvesting and selling stolen timber; the attitude of local population to the existing system of forest management.

 

In general, the interview participants gave a rather negative assessment of the existing system of forest management, timber harvesting and sales in the administrative area of their residence. Particularly, over one third of the respondents holds to the idea that this system has a number of serious drawbacks that should be eliminated. Nearly the same number of interviewed persons thinks that the system works badly as a whole and needs fundamental changes. Among the three administrative districts where the interview took place the most positive attitude to the existing system of management in the forest sector was expressed by the residents of Bogorodchany district, while the most negative in Skole district.

 

In an effort to make improvements in the forest management, timber harvesting and sales over a half of respondents propose to increase liability for illegal tree felling. Such measure as privatization of forests and their transfer to private owners got the least support from those polled. Of particular interest is prevalence in the number of supporters of increasing the authority of the forest protection service by introducing appropriate amendments to the laws over those who support the idea of establishing a separate service for supervision of foresters having deprived them of forest protection functions.

 

The results of the interview were presented by Olexandr Stegniy, World Bank Consultant, Doctor of Sociological Sciences. Commenting on Mr. Stegniys presentation the World Bank Consultants Oleg Storchous, legal practitioner, and Mykhailo Popkov, Head of the Forest Management Scientific and Information Center, told the audience about law enforcement practice in the field of combating administrative violations in the forest sector of Ukraine.

 

The results of the interview will be used in planning and preparation of the FLEG Program activities in Ukraine, as well as for development and improvement of the forest policy in Ukraine, particularly to support the development of the National FLEG Action Plan.



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