Second Osrednjeslovenska Regional Stakeholder Meeting
The RSG of Osrednjeslovenska region met for the second time on 11 March 2015. The group gathered in Ljubljana, at the Slovenian Forestry Institute, the goal of the meeting to give an overview of the project activities from the last RSG meeting; to present the main findings of the State of the sector report; to highlight the progress on the in-depth case studies; to give an opportunity for everybody to comment and critically assess the progress of the project.
In the beginning, the CSR gave a presentation of the SOSR where the focus was given to a part on legislation; rights, norms and responsibilities. This topic was very interesting especially as the national act on forests is being revised and amendments are being prepared. The SOSR offered a comprehensive overview of the legal norms in other countries and indication of the forest owner – general society relations in different cultural settings. This initiated a vivid discussion among the group members, especially on the various approaches on restriction of free forest access. The representative of the Forest inspectorate Tine Premrl pinpointed the fact that even this was not a practice, a few cases on owners restricting the access in order to protect their right over NWFP did occur in the last year. All agreed that SOSR should be highly considered as a reference within the national legislation renewal.
After the overview of the three in-depth case studies which are either finished or still in progress the representative of the private enterprise U-JAA Simon Možina, which was a part of innovation-related study, expressed his viewpoint on the insufficient state-based financial incentives for private companies to operate in the NWFP sector. The representative of the Chamber of agriculture and forestry Miha Koprivnikar had suggested to make the holds as a nested product as a way to enter the market with less cost and possibly to obtain some private capital from the company, whose products the holds could be nested into. In general the majority of stakeholders saw an "Austrian" model of wood-processing development centres, which are funded by the wood-processing industry, as a good practice that could be implemented in Slovenia. Such organizations usually have some development funds available, which are invested into such products.
An overall discussion over the topic of how to control commercial harvesting of wild mushrooms emerged. Lots of controversies were raised upon this, especially with the introduction of novel national-level "vouchers" for supplementary occupation, where harvesting and selling NWFP can be included. There is no need for someone to be a forest owner to be able to purchase such a permit. Majority agreed that this is not an optimal solution as it ignores the forest owner as a key actor in the NWFP chain – the harvester does not need to obtain the owner's consent. The CSR gave some information on the supply chain survey, which was completed and the members agreed to be beneficial in order to assess the dimensions of the wild mushroom "sector" so the state would be able to assess the potential of motivating the sector to develop in a socially-expectable manner.
In addition, the Chamber of agriculture and forestry would expect the project to provide information on the type of organisation hunting is being carried out in the neighbouring countries. Lots of forest owners in the north of Slovenia would like to have a similar system introduced. There is lot of momentum among forest owners to gain hunting rights, which are currently given to hunting associations via 10-year concessions.
After the meeting a few very positive feedback were received and an additional actor (major newspaper journalist) expressed interest in being included in the RSG.