18/04/2014

Press release: How to correctly carry out logging

Kyiv, April 17, 2014 - Staff from the central administrative office of the State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine and forest practitioners, experts, NGO representatives and journalists gathered for a round table discussion in the World Bank Kyiv office. The subject of the discussion was legal regulation of logging in Ukraine. The event was held under the EU funded FLEG II (ENPI East), “European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument East Countries Forest Law Enforcement and Governance II Program”.

Mikhail Popkov, FLEG II Program expert, presented the report “Forest logging in Ukraine: practice, theory and problems”. He told the audience that the work on this issue started during the first phase of the FLEG Program. This study revealed a number of problems in the field of legal regulation of logging and demonstrated the need to develop new logging rules and new regulatory acts.

The current logging regulation in Ukraine considerably differs from that of the European countries. Among the peculiarities and differences of the Ukrainian legislation in the field of logging regulation, Mr. Popkov mentioned the following:

  • Final felling is classified as special use felling.
  • All other types of felling are not considered as forest utilization which contradicts common sense as more than half of the total timber volume is harvested as a result of these types of felling.
  • The Forest Code does not contain rules regulating final felling, thinning operations, sanitary and other types of felling. Instead these are replaced by numerous reference rules.
  • To date, there is no comprehensive set of rules regulating logging.
  • The number and volume of legal acts regulating logging constantly increasing.
  • Different regulations specify different requirements for the same type of activities.
  • Legislation regulating logging is contained in the dozens of different documents, which significantly complicates its practical application.

On the speaker’s opinion all the above arguments lead to one solution. Legislation regulating logging needs to be changed, and this change needs to be not superficial, but drastic and the sooner it happens the better.

The heated and at the same time professional discussion that followed the presentation demonstrated a genuine interest of the audience in the problem and its importance for the forest sector and environmental protection. At the same time, so far, the meeting participants couldn’t form a single opinion on whether it is better to develop a single document or introduce case-by-case changes to the existing regulations. One of the reasons for these doubts is awaited dramatic changes to the Constitution of Ukraine and the country’s political life.

Mr. Vitaliy Atamanchuk, Deputy Head at the State Forest Resources Agency, expressed an opinion that it would be useful to collect best logging practices under the FLEG II Program and demonstrate them to foresters.

Mr. Yuriy Marchuk, the National FLEG II Focal Point, First Deputy Head of the State Agricultural Inspectorate, pointed out: “Forests shouldn’t be affected by political trends like “this year forests have been overharvested and another year under harvested”. This impacts forests’ life. We observe enough dead-wood and we look at forest management plans and see aging of forests and vice versa. We observe decline in stand density as a result of too many sanitary and selective cuttings. Therefore the issue of logging regulation is of utmost importance.”

The round table material will be used to prepare recommendations for authorities and law- makers, will help build a more sound and clear system in this area of the forest sector.



            

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