Strengthening Forestry Sector in Montenegro

PLUZINE, 27 September 2013 – Representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Forest Administration, as well as forest experts gathered in Brezna village, near Pluzine to mark the closure of a project aimed to strengthen the capacity of the Montenegrin forestry sector through the establishment of a sustainable forest management system in line with EU standards.

The Head of the Operations Section at the Delegation, Andre Lys stressed that Europe is one of the few regions of the world where forest areas have systematically grown over the last 50 years, and where forest condition is slowly but gradually improving. As he explained, in the European Union, the formulation of forest policies is the competence of the Member States within a clearly defined framework of ownership rights and a long history of national and regional laws and regulations based on long term planning.

Forests and forest products also offer strong potential for the development of any country and in that sense they offer strong potential for the development of rural areas in the north of Montenegro, and for diversifying the tourism offer in the country. “Forest also matters when it comes to the negotiations for accession, as Montenegro will have to implement numerous EU standards and policies related to forestry before becoming a Member State, such as Natura 2000, or the upcoming EU Regulations on Placing Forest Produce on the EU Market and the new Regulation on Rural Development.”, Andre Lys stated. Furthermore, he added that “the management of forests affects more than half the territory of Montenegro, and as such it can set a benchmark for the good governance of public administration in Montenegro.”

Deputy Minister for Forestry Sector, Adem Fetić emphasized the importance of the project and its impact on reforming Montenegrin forestry sector and inserting Natura 2000 criteria in national programs and management forestry plans.

The project “Support for Capacity Building in the Forestry Sector” was implemented by Lux Development and its purpose was to establish effective sustainable forest management and effective governance that will contribute to the implementation of key EU environmental protection standards, socio-economic development policies and forest product trade regulations. Also, it supported human resources development and improvement of forest administration through training and the establishment of a Forestry Information System. The project was worth one million euro, out of which 750.000,00 euro was funded by the European Union.