Forests as a common good, ensuring civil society’ right to participation
Outcome:
civic sector development
City (headquarters):
Bystra
Voivodeship (headquarters):
śląskie
Partners:
Forests and Citizens Foundation, Warszawa, Poland
Civic Monitoring of Trees, Bydgoszcz, Poland
Dates:
31-08-2023 - 31-08-2023
Status:
in progress
Project cost:
138 764 EUR
Funding:
137 494 EUR
Outreach:
international
Types of activities:
Target groups:

80% of Poland’s forests are publicly owned, yet 75% of citizens want to reduce the areas where trees are cut down in a systemic way. Nevertheless, recent practices of public institutions undermines civil society’s ability to monitor the way forestry management is done. Inquiries and comments submitted at the stage of public consultations of Forest Management Plans, are not binding, and thus almost always ignored. Moreover Decisions approving FMPs are not the subject to appeal in court.

The purpose of the project is to increase public participation in the decision making processes related to the management of publicly owned forests in Poland. That’s why we will take action at local, national and EU level. The project will be implemented in partnership with two organizations experienced in public participation, activism as well as watchdog activities related to publicly owned forests management.

As part of the project, we will monitor local government practices in making decisions concerning public forests as well as analyze urban forest regulations in this field. Based on that, we will draft catalogue of best practices related to cooperation of local governments with stakeholders which will influence the citizens to take action and engage in deciding about the fate of public forests. In exercising our right of access to public information, we will examine the comments submitted in the forest management plans consultations. In case of refusal to provide necessary information, we will take legal action.

The following areas of advocacy work have been identified in the scope of this project: ensuring the implementation of the law to information; strengthening the instruments at local government level; ensuring EUs forest policies’ support for civil society’s participation. The project’s implementation will increase the influence of pro-environmental organizations in making decisions concerning public forests and strengthen the legal framework in this area in a long term.

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