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MOSCOW, March 29 (Itar-Tass) — An all-Russia forum of forestry sector workers opens here on Thursday. First Vice-Premier Viktor Zubkov, who is in charge of the forestry sector operation, will sum up the results of the sector's functioning in 2011.
A source at the First Vice-Premier's secretariat said, "Those present will determine priorities for the development of the sector and main approaches of State forestry policy in the long term".
The source said, "The procurement of timber gained in scope by 12 percent in 2011 alone while the manufacture of furniture grew by 13 percent. The implementation of over 100 investment priority projects, with aggregate investments amounting to more than 410,000 million roubles, is being continued, and 24 new and upgraded enterprises came into operation". The timber conversion rate since 2007 has increased by 13 percent -- up to 65 percent.
The main report at the forum will be made by Viktor Maslyakov, Director of the Federal Agency for Forestry (FAF). The development of the national forestry policy is expected to be a key subject of discussion. Such a document, which is in existence in many countries, regulates the entire spectrum of forest management matters, including reforestation and preventive care of forest tracts.
In 2011, Russia took an active part in activities timed to coincide with the UN-designated International Year of Forests. FAF aranged more than 20 all-Russia exhibitions, and held various forestry-related actions and contests. An All-Russia Forest Planting Day, in which more than 200,000 people took part, was one of the main events.
Zubkov is heading the governmental Forestry Development Council which was set up in 2007. Key matters concerning the operation of the forestry sector have been regularly discussed at the Council.
More than 600 delegates, representing all wooded regions of Russia, will take part in the forum. Provision is made for thematic roundtable meetings and exhibitions to present the products and services of the forestry and timber-industry organizations, and demonstrate new technologies and equipment, including those for forest fire prevention.