2nd Regional Stakeholder Group meeting in Serbia
As a part of StarTree's stakeholder engagement activities, representatives of 10 private and public institutions active in the non-wood forest product (NWFP) sector met in Belgrade on 24 March 2015.
This was the second Šumadija and Western Serbia stakeholder meeting, with the topic "Cooperation between public and private (SME) sector in the area of NWFPs".
The meeting consisted of presentation and discussion on the results of the StarTree project (WP2-5), results of the Serbian case study, as well as on the results of the analysis of international trade in NWFPs, and on the institutional framework for harvesting NWFPs.
The meeting started with short presentation of the StarTree project, its objectives and main activities. The group discussed the relevance of the current research results, the role of Serbia in international trade in NWFPs, the role of different state administration and agencies in management of NWFPs, the unification of sectoral demands towards national decision makers (possibilities and obstacles of associating), as well as the simplification of permit system for NWFPs (main problems and possible solutions).
Participants of the meeting agreed that the results of the StarTree project are interesting, and that the special benefit is an overview of experiences from other countries. Also, they defined the expectations and needs for further research in this area. It was concluded that NTFP sector in Serbia remains poorly organized, which constitutes a major obstacle to further development.
In addition, there is a continuing need for the development of cooperation between the public and private sectors, as well as the need to create a single representative of the private sector. Such actor would be a strong partner to institutions and organizations in the public sector, and would be able to adequately represent the interests of its members. The common view of participants is that prior to the establishment of some form of business networking, it is necessary to strengthen the activities of chambers of commerce.