Region’s foresters acquiring strategic communication skills

FAO: ‘Communicating effectively about forests and the role they play is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’

Strengthening strategic communications on the importance of forests and forestry in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia is the focus of a three-day international workshop opening here today.

Participants from 14 countries are gathering in Chok-Tal to learn how to create a communication strategy for forestry work, from setting out aims and objectives, identifying target audiences and developing messages, to evaluating the efficacy of campaigns.

“Communicating effectively about forests and the significant role they play in achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals is vital for progress,” said Eva Müller, Director of the Forestry Policy and Resources Division at FAO, which is organizing the event with the support of the UNECE/FAO Forest Communicators’ Network. 

"We need to ensure that governments, the private sector and the general public are aware of the many benefits of the region's forests, from providing adequate supplies of freshwater and supporting sustainable incomes and livelihoods to helping to mitigate climate change,” Müller added. 

Jumaev Nurlan Kadyrovich, Deputy Director of the Kyrgyz Republic’s State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry, and Dorjee Kinlay, FAO Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic, will open the workshop, which targets people responsible for planning and managing forestry communications in their organizations.

The three-day intensive training programme follows a first regional workshop on forest communication for countries in the region, which was held in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation in 2016. Participants there identified improving capacity for developing communication strategies as a priority area for development.

Ingwald Gschwandtl, Director of the Forest Policy Division at Austria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, and Kai Lintunen, Communications Manager at the Finnish Forest Association – respectively leader and deputy leader of the Forest Communicators Network – will join FAO in leading the hands-on training in Kyrgyzstan, where participants will also share examples of best practice in forestry communications.

Professionals from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Italy, Austria, Finland and Turkey are participating in the workshop.

The event is organized in collaboration with Kyrgyzstan’s State Agency on Environmental Protection and Forestry and the Kyrgyz Association of Forest and Land Users, with financial support from Austria and Finland.