NEWS

Russian forestry legislation inadequate, project roundtable hears

Current Russian legislation cannot adequately ensure effective sustainable forest use, protection and conservation, according to a recent roundtable organised in the framework of the EU-funded ENPI-FLEG project.
 
This is because there are a number of discrepancies in the system, such as the fact that there are no official documents or formal procedures which could reliably confirm the legal status of timber. This puts Russia in a difficult situation with regard to new US and EU legislation on preventing illegal forest products trade.
 
Russian policy makers, federal forest service personnel, regional authorities, forestry businesses and environmental NGOs were invited to the roundtable meeting, which was organised within the framework of the ENPI FLEG programme and held at the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry earlier this month. Participants agreed that Russian legislation should create conditions for the implementation of internationally recognised principles and criteria of sustainable forest management as well as conditions for forest certification.
 
Furthermore, Russian forest sector legislation requires considerable improvements, including the official introduction of such terms as: ‘forests of high environmental value’, ‘illegal logging’ and ‘illegal timber trade’.
 
WWF, is one of the programme’s implementing organisations, and actively involves new participants from the forestry sector in discussions and decision making related to important forestry issues. "The major task of WWF in this programme is to work with forest businesses and introduce concrete FLEG activities into the work of the leading Russian forest industry businesses and their partners,” said Elena Kulikova, head of the WWF forestry programme. “Now the active process of preparing amendments to the Forest Code is underway. Opinion of environmentally responsible businesses should be taken into account. This was the main task of the Roundtable.”

The €6 million ENPI Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) programme supports governments, civil society and the private sector in the development of sound and sustainable forest management practices, including the prevention of illegal forestry activities. (
ENPI Info Centre)
 
Press Release
 
Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) – fiche and news
 
ENPI FLEG Programme in Russia - webpage
 
ENPI Info Centre webpage – Russia


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