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August 14, 2017

Signing of Record of Discussions on Technical Cooperation Project with Macedonia: Supporting capacity building of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction

photosigning ceremony

On August 10, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a Record of Discussions with the Government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in Skopje, the capital city, for the Project on Capacity Building for Ecosystem Based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) through Sustainable Forest Management in Macedonia, a technical cooperation project.

In cooperation with the Crisis Management Center and the Public Enterprise Macedonian Forests and with the aim of mitigating the risk of disasters such as flooding, landslides, soil erosion and forest fires in the country from a long-term perspective, the project will carry out activities related to disaster model development of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR).

Forest ecosystems are known to have various functions, including preventing soil erosion and recharging water resources, but due to frequent forest fires and destruction caused by activities such as illegal logging, the functions of forests in Macedonia are deteriorating. Approximately 80 percent of the country’s land is in mountainous and hilly regions. Soil erosion, landslides, flooding, flash floods and the like caused by forest reduction are seriously affecting residential areas, transportation infrastructure, farmland and more.

From 2011 to 2014, JICA conducted the Project on Development of Integrated System for Prevention and Early Warning of Forest Fires to protect the forest ecosystem threatened by the frequent forest fires. Although the Macedonian Forest Fire Information System (MKFFIS) established in that project has helped prevent forest fires and reduce their impact, the country’s forests continue to drop in quality and soundness, as well as in size, due to inadequate forest restoration after forest fires, illegal logging and other such issues.

In recent years, floods have increased in frequency and size, bringing greater damage, including a loss of lives, and Eco-DRR expertise in areas such as suitable forest planning and management, afforestation and tree planting technology is needed. Thus, the Government of Macedonia requested assistance from the Government of Japan.

Towards model development of Eco-DRR, the project will develop a system with an expanded MKFFIS capable of responding to damage from floods and other such disasters, introduce and enhance a system for forest planning and management, and strengthen the afforestation and nursery techniques for enhanced forest functions, particularly for mitigating flood and landslide damage.

[Basic project information]
Country Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Project title Project on Capacity Building for Ecosystem Based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) through Sustainable Forest Management in Macedonia
Planned implementation period October 2017 to October 2022
Executing agency Crisis Management Center; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy; Public Enterprise Macedonian Forests
Target region, facilities Throughout Macedonia (with pilot sites including Mount Vodno, Radoviš and Sveti Nikole)
Specific project details (provisional) Expanding the existing forest fire information system, developing a system capable of responding to flooding and other disasters, introducing and enhancing the system for forest planning and management, strengthening afforestation and nursery techniques for enhanced functions to prevent and reduce flood and landslide damage

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