From 2009 through 2017 IUCN has been coordinating a Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Programme under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument East Countries (ENPI FLEG I and II). Its main objective was to improve forest law enforcement and governance in 7 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine) which together contain more than 20% of the world’s forests. The underpinning knowledge around forest governance, addressed by the FLEG Programme has helped to create the conditions to support the implementation of various forest related interventions.
FLEG has initiated capacity development activities whereby practicing judges trained forestry staff in gathering evidence and preparing cases for court that are procedurally robust and more likely to lead to convictions of those engaging in illegal activities. The training involved education components and scenario cases and combined elements of forestry, legal processes and practical issues. The FLEG work proved to be successful and was replicated by several other donors in their target areas, but still, the problem of law enforcement needs a broader approach.
Building on the experiences from FLEG, this use case will focus on illegal logging and deforestation monitoring in Armenia. Lessons learnt show that there are still issues with lack of evidence for environmental law enforcement in Armenia, resulting in lack of prosecution of law violators. The case will focus on providing a ‘historical case’ to demonstrate the use of enviroLENS to reveal and quantify past violations, and it will investigate the potential for providing current monitoring needs. At this time, the case study is planning to study Dilijan National Park whose forests cover an area of more than 33.000 ha and which has been exposed to illegal forestry in the past, as well as land cover changes, including mining activities.