The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched a forestry program to strengthen sustainable and multipurpose forest management in Kosovo.
The program will introduce communications technology and remote surveillance tools, such as drones, and blockchain-based technology to better monitor and protect forests.
Since forests have a major role in fighting climate change, they are also an important natural asset in Kosovo, according to FAO’s press release.
The program, designed by FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Rural Development, has received USD 2.6 million in financial support from Sweden. Contributions from the local authorities and the European Union Office in Kosovo are expected to follow by the end of 2020, the FAO said.
“The program will bring attention to the need to stop illegal logging. Among others, firewood harvesters and buyers will be given suggestions to use small-diameter thinning and salvage wood, instead of high-value wood,” said Daniela Mangione, FAO field program officer.
The program will use multi-purpose forest management principles that go beyond the perception that forests serve only as source wood for heating and considers forests’ non-wood products, as well as environmental, social, and recreational functions, in planning and maintaining forest areas.
Activities will also enable Kosovo to meet its target of a 5% increase in the forest area.
The programme aims to improve forest management in three key areas: trade and law enforcement related to timber; transparency, governance, and implementation of forestry regulations and programmes; and forest management through adoption of multi-purpose forest management practices. All these will help Kosovo achieve European and international sustainability targets.