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Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation in cooperation with the Macedonian Ecological Society organized training for forest certification and sustainable forest management in Osogovo

07/09/2014
On 03-04.07.2014 training on the topic “Forest certification – sustainable use and management of forests” was held in Kyustendil as part of the project “Osogovo in the Green belt – phase 3” implemented by BBF and MES and financed by Pro Natura, Switzerland. Main lectors of the training were Petko Tsvetkov from BBF, Despina Kitanova from MES and the experts on forest certification Zhivko Bogdanov from NEPCON Bulgaria and Martin Borisov from the Forestry University in Sofia. Representatives from various institutions from Bulgaria and Macedonia related to forest management, such as hunting and forestry units from Osogovo region, Executive Forest Agency in Bulgaria, National Enterprise “Macedonian forests”, Forestry faculty from “St. Kiril and Metodii” University, Skopje and Regional Forestry Directorate – Kyustendil took part in the meeting.
During the training the relation between various categories of protected areas and zones and sustainable use and management of forests, plus the concept of forest certification and its main benefits were presented. Special attention was put on certification schemes and standards (PEFC and FSC), as well as the process of certification and control. The main idea of the training was to present to all participants from different forestry units in both Bulgarian and Macedonian parts of Osogovo, the benefits and challenges that derive from forest certification in terms of protection, sustainable use and management of forests plus possibilities for further application of the standard. The idea for creating a pilot project for FSC certification in Macedonia, as well as further development of certified areas in Bulgaria was also discussed. The lectors pointed out that according to various scientific studies forest certification application have many not only economic but also social, ecological and management benefits. The standard itself is highly recognized throughout the world as a tool for managing a forest unit responsibly, but also a tool that maintains the ecological integrity and functionality of the forests while preserving their biodiversity. Forest certification also provides opportunities for access to new sources of capital, such as socially responsible investments.
In addition, during the training the lectures discussed the importance of dead trees as well as the concept of high conservation value forests (HCVF), which main idea is achieving a balance between sustainable economic development and protection of the most valuable forests, through sustainable forest planning process. Defining those HCVF is also used in the process of FSC certification and thus is aiming at their preservation and sustainable management. Further information about the concept and its application in forest certification can be found on