Top managers and leading experts of biggest timber companies of Arkhangelsk region: JSC "Arkhangelsk pulp & paper mill, LLC “Pinezhyeles”, LLC Industrial commercial enterprise “TITAN”, LLC “Severnaya LOS” met with FLEG II in Arkhangelsk, Russia.
Before the meeting, the participants received FLEG II reports concerning Arkhangesk oblast, the pilot region of the Program.
During the meeting the participants concluded that the materials fully reflect the trends in the given periods, are research-based, useful and, what is very important, are based on both the official sources and surveys conducted in professional circles, statistics of timber production companies, and nature conservation organizations.
Taking into account the high quality of the materials, they pointed out that it is necessary to use them in the professional educational system, including higher education, in particular, in the Forest Technical Institute of the Northern (Arctic) Federal University as it is the main college that prepares forest experts in the region. To prepare future forest experts it is important to use relevant and up-to-date quantitative and qualitative data in class.
The timber producers showed special interest in issues related to meeting the needs of local communities. In particular, the state statistics do not reflect the full volume of timber consumed by local communities as they often get the firewood directly from timber produces in the form of waste products of forest logging. Also, local administrations often work with timber producers to supply more vulnerable social groups with firefood without charge or at a reduced price. The analysis and comparison of the demand for firewood and construction timber shows that the population of Arkhangelsk region has the highest needs.
Forest restoration is a quite expensive activity, but all timber producers are aware that forest growth – both planting forests and helping it restore naturally - are essential.
The information from the reports on forest fire prevention and control, data on illegal logging and timber trafficking can be a powerful tool to promote legal forest use.
Conclusions of the FLEG reports are recommended for implementation. In some cases, this should include amendments to current legislation, including that of the country level.
“The issues raised in the FLEG II materials have a direct relevance not only to the government agencies, but also timber producers”, notes Marina Smetanina, FLEG II country coordinator in Russia for the World Bank.
In Russia, forest stands and the land of the forest fund are in state ownership, but they can be rented long-term (up to 49 years) to forest users, including companies. “Forest user / renter of the forest area not only has the right to use the forest resources within the limits of the annual allowable cut, but also gets the responsibility to guard, protect, and restore the forest. Very often it is the timber producing community that suggests changes that improve the forest legislation”, says Marina Smetanina.