Capacities are key for development in order to continuously initiate, maintain and revise changes and innovations. Three levels of capacity development are being distinguished and addressed:
- Improved technical or managerial skills of the persons being involved;
- More effective and efficient performance of entire organisations, or departments;
- The ability of the society as such to adopt changes: On the one hand, this means good cooperation and networking between different organisation (for instance ministries, between public sector and civil society. On the other hand, this means improvement of the policy, legal and institutional framework to accommodate the intended improvements.
For instance, capacity development for individuals and institutions is provided to operate so-called IT-based information systems, which allow the generation, storage and analysis of data related to forests, pasture land or biodiversity. These institutions are then able to formulate policy recommendations based on the data they have processed.
Principles, criteria and indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) ar being developed, corresponding forest management practices are being demonstrated in selected forest districts or enterprises.
The legislation for sustainable use and protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services is being improved.
Lecturers of education and training institutions (universities, technical vocational education and training colleges) are being qualified to teach topics related to biodiversity and ecosystem services in the framework of their curricula. At times, new training courses are being established, e.g. vocational training in forest works in Georgia.
SHOWCASE: THE LAW ON BIODIVERSITY IN GEORGIA
In June 2014, Georgia and the European Union signed the Association Agreement. Besides many other obligations, the agreement requires Georgia to develop a modern legal framework for protecting habitats of flora and fauna, and for protecting birds. Since then, the programme has been supporting the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture in developing a brand-new biodiversity law. Study tours were organized to the Western Balkan to learn from recent EU-accession countries, and writing workshops were held together with round tables of Georgian and international experts to prepare the content of the law. New topics, such as access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization (ABS), or the establishing of the Emerald Network under the Bern Convention were covered, as well as older themes like red lists or the trade of endangered species under the CITES convention. On top a so-called RIA plus was conducted with support of the Legal and Judicial Reform project, a regulatory impact assessment with a special focus – the “plus” – on all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Prior to the official submission of the draft law to Parliament, the programme brought parliamentarians of various committees, their technical advisors, biodiversity experts and high-level decision-makers of the ministry together to discuss the law and to clarify open questions in an informal setting.