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Russia’s share in world timber production is stably on decline - experts

April 11, 2013, 16:50 UTC+3

Fires and illegal woodcutting are the causes, over which Russia is losing its woodlands

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ULAN-UDE, April 11 (Itar-Tass) - Russia is leading in the world for the area of forests and is ranked second for the forest reserves, but the country’s share in the world production of timber products is on the decline depending on the degree of wood processing. Governor of the Novgorod Region Sergei Mitin, who heads the working group that drafted a report for a meeting of the Russian State Council presidium, cited this data at this meeting.

“Over one million and 100,000 people work in the Russian forestry industry, they work in 60,000 enterprises,” Mitin recalled. “For a lot of these people the forestry complex is the main type of work,” he stated.

According to the information of the working group, “the production of wood and paper-based products brings from ten to 50% of overall industrial output in 45 Russian federal constituents.” “The woodcutting is turning in a loss-making type of activities with a low salary,” Mitin stated. Over this fact a lower number of workers in this sector is observed.

Mitin named a long procedure to establish the relations between the forest users and the forestry industry among other problems. In his words, the procedure to receive the permits takes from ten to 12 months. One more problem is the lack of accurate information about the woodlands. The governor cited the data of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, under which “only 14% of woodlands are put on the cadastral register.”

Meanwhile, Mitin noted an imperfect mechanism of the granting of the timberlands for use. In 2012 the leasehold forestries have produced 73% of overall amount of cut timber, but as this factor concerns small enterprises, they are “deep in debts.” “Today the debts of the leasehold forestries over their payments in the state budget reached seven billion roubles,” the governor said.

He named fires and illegal woodcutting among the causes, over which Russia is losing its woodlands. “The losses of the forest resources from the fires are ten times higher than those from the very woodcutting,” he underlined. A complicated situation in the forestry industry resulted in a sharp decline of the workers in the forestry industry. Mitin noted that the number of employees in the forest protection service went down from 79,000 to 17,000 people, the number of workers in the forestries shrank from 160,000 to 32,000 people.

On behalf of the working group Mitin proposed several measures to change the situation in the forestry industry.


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