The role of young people in forest protection was the focus of a conference and a round-table discussion with young foresters, which were held recently in the Ismailli and Shamakhi regions of Azerbaijan under the EU-funded ENPI FLEG (Forest Law Enforcement and Governance) II programme. Both events were organized jointly with the Republican Center of Ecological Education and Practice of Azerbaijan, with the aim "to widen the young foresters' network in schools and to create a platform for the school students to share experience and their plans for the future," a press release said.
The conference in a secondary school in Ismailli, on 22 April, was dedicated to the International Earth Day. The event brought together teachers and school students, as well as employees of the local FRPE and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources (MENR) of Azerbaijan.
Discussions revolved around such issues as illegal grazing, forest fires, unsustainable forest practices and the prospect of the establishment of new young foresters groups in the country. "Protecting the forests is like protecting your home, because we live in such proximity to the forests that they are indeed home for all of us," said a young forester from Ivanovka village.
The round table discussion in the Shamakhi district, on 23 April, gathered young foresters who shared the results of their work aimed at forest restoration, forest protection and strengthening public awareness within the local population.
The €9 million ENPI FLEG II programme<http://www.enpi-info.eu/maineast.php?id=458&id_type=10> deepens reforms in forestry policy, and legal and administrative matters in the sector while carrying out pilot projects, and addressing forest fire and climate issues. It builds upon the achievements of its predecessor, ENPI FLEG I programme
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