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© Bruno Maric

We are working on the encouragement of responsible forest management in Bosnia and Herzegovina and on the prevention of illegal logging on the EU market.

What is the issue?
Forest degradation disrupts the entire terrestrial ecosystem. Forests include not only trees, but also all the flora and fauna that live in it. Tree cover is crucial for protection of agricultural habitats from soil erosion and conservation of water regime. Forests are also one of the most viable economic resources.
The main efforts of WWF Adria regarding forest management are centered in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which vast forest covered area and central position in the region ensures undisturbed animal movement and developing ecological processes in all surrounding countries. 
What are we doing?
WWF and IKEA launched a partnership program – A Forest Partnership for Change. Since 2012 the program includes project for promoting responsible forest management to support sustainable development in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first phase of the project was committed to FSC certification of forests in Tuzla Canton that prevented and reduced illegal logging and forest products trade.   Implementation of the first phase revealed some key problems in forestry sector. Therefore, the later phases of the project were expanded to legal issues, learning about EU regulations and good international practices, and inclusion of local communities and the civil society in forest management.

The later phases were focused on FSC forest certification  in Central Bosnian Canton, production and dissemination of a new High Conservation Value Forest Guide, learning about EU Timber Regulation at interactive workshops and through dissemination of the EU Timber Regulation Guide, establishment of the legal platform for the key stakeholders involved in development of the new draft Law on Forests that served not only as possibility for opinion exchange but also as a learning tool about regional and EU good practices in private forest management and about financing mechanisms. The development of the BiH FSC Standard took place during last two phases and was successfully completed. The BiH Standard Development Group was carefully balanced and comprised members from both entities and Brcko District. The Standard is effective since April 2020, which means that all forestry companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina should use the new FSC Standard.
How do we do this?
In addition to our main partner on the project, Faculty of Forestry in Sarajevo, some activities were carried out with a support of forestry experts from Portugal and Slovenia. Project was also introduced to the competent ministries of both entities, which we regularly informed about the results. The implementation of the project also involved the cantonal competent authorities and management of companies whose forests were certified.  The FSC Standard Development Group (SDG) cooperates with Consultative Forum, which joins a large number of experts and institutions, and thus strengthens participatory forest management process. Local communities and civil societies are also included in certification processes. The SDG will continue its work after the project completion.

The project team prepared, translated and analyzed all working materials, provided all necessary organizational and logistic support to FSC Standard developing group and cantonal forest certification teams, and they educated them about forestry practices in EU and neighboring countries.
Who do we work with?
All project activities were implemented in partnership with Faculty of Forestry in Sarajevo and in cooperation with representatives of Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and cantonal ministries of agriculture, water management and forestry, while the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republic of Srpska supported the BiH FSC Standard development.
Our big wins:
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina is the first and currently the only country in the region that has its FSC Standard developed. That enables companies in BiH to reach FSC certification and the international market more easily. The certificate guarantees that a particular company manages its forests transparently, in accordance with key international regulations and domestic legislation, including a higher degree of nature protection.
  • The partnership resulted in certification of 56. 000 ha of forests in Tuzla Canton and 184.205,43 ha of forests in Central Bosnian Canton.
  • Annual panels on the draft  Law on Forests was the only place, at the time, where the forestry community could brainstorm on and learn about forest policy issues of primary concern in the BiH Federation.