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Kazakhstan includes socio-economic aspects in its forest monitoring system

Kazakhstan has taken another step towards monitoring sustainable forest management in support of the Sustainable Development Goals by including socio-economic and governance indicators in the country’s forest monitoring system.

National forest monitoring systems and assessments are designed to provide reliable information on how forests are managed and used, thus helping to improve national forest policy development, planning and sustainable management. The concept of sustainable forest management emphasises the importance of economic, social and environmental aspects equally. To reflect this in the Kazakh forest monitoring system, socio-economic and governance indicators had to be developed and will be monitored from now on. This includes the economic value of forest products, the employment situation in the forest sector and policy and legal frameworks.

On 26-28 September 2018, more than 30 forestry experts from Kazakhstan, Finland and Turkey are coming together in Astana, Kazakhstan for the 2nd national workshop for Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management. For this meeting several State bodies such as the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Industrial Development and the Committee on Statistics of the Ministry of National Economy have joined forces to ensure streamlined data collection and cross-sectoral cooperation. This is essential for a complete and integrated reporting procedure.

The workshop is organized by the Joint UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section in cooperation with the Forestry and Wildlife Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan and is part of a 3-year United Nations Development Account project designed to support Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan in the development of accountability systems for sustainable forest management.

The UNECE/FAO project has helped to bring sustainable forest management to the political agenda in Kazakhstan. “Having socio-economic indicators included in the forest monitoring system will enable Kazakhstan to better estimate the contribution of the forest sector to the green economy”, said Ms. Alicja Kacprzak, Forestry Officer at the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section, “it will also enable Kazakhstan to progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Forest Resources Assessment.

Earlier this year, Kazakhstan announced to restore and afforest 1.5 million hectares of degraded forest lands by 2030 in support of the international Bonn Challenge. With this commitment Kazakhstan is the country contributing the most of the regional effort of the Caucasus and Central Asia to restore 2.5 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. 

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