On September 14, 2018, parliamentary hearings on legislative regulation of the multipurpose use of forest resources were held in the State Duma.

The National Association of Timber Industry «Russian Forest» presented the position of the professional community at the Parliamentary hearings, and also summarized the five regional stages of the National Forest Forum, which were held from March to September in five regions of the Federation: Izhevsk, Khanty-Mansiysk, Khabarovsk, Barnaul, Petrozavodsk. And today - in Moscow.

The discussion in the regions revealed serious problems in the industry. A lot was said about the need to improve the information and financial transparency of the industry, to develop tools to confirm the legality of the origin of raw materials; to increase the profitability of forestry, to solve the problems of multipurpose use of forest plots, to improve the efficiency of forest use.

In his report, Ivan Sukhorukov, vice president of the National Association of Timber Industrialists, outlined the main pain points faced by timbermen, forest users, our partners, and members of the National Association of Timber Industry «Russian Forest».

Vice-President of the National Association of Timber Industry «Russian Forest» Ivan Sukhorukov

An important problem that all participants of the forest industry and forest business in particular face in particular is the depletion of forest resources for the needs of the forestry complex. Already, many timber companies cannot load their timber processing capacities by 100%. The position of the Association is that it is necessary to significantly increase the annual volume of forest management works. The prescription of materials in some areas exceeds 20-30 years. Regions and businesses need to find options for conducting forest management on the principles of public-private partnership and retain annual volumes of work on an area of at least 35–40 million hectares.

The problem of staffing with specialized specialists and the degradation of the branch forestry science. Here are needed fundamental changes. The shortage of personnel with higher and specialized secondary education in the forest industry is estimated at 12 thousand people. Universities and technical schools graduate from 6-7 thousand specialists. The average age of working specialists exceeds 45 years, and in forest science - far beyond 70 years.

To attract young professionals, it is necessary to increase the prestige of the «forest» professions. Adapt curricula that meet the realities of the time. In accordance with the Strategy of the LPK-2030, to establish an «Innovative Research Fund of the Forest Industry Complex of Russia», the financing of which will be carried out both by the state and by private business.

The problem of multipurpose use of forest areas. The participants of the Association believe that it is necessary to carry out the work of legislative regulation of the problems arising in practice of the simultaneous multipurpose use of the forest area.

The problem of recycling wood waste. In this regard, it is necessary to develop the integrated use of wood waste for the needs of thermal power. It is necessary at the federal level to adopt a program for the transfer in the medium term of all boilers providing heat energy and hot water to small and medium-sized settlements in forest-dependent and forest-rich areas to biofuels produced using wood waste. It is necessary to develop measures to stimulate the use of energy of its own year-round production in timber industry enterprises. Currently, the sale of surplus electricity to distribution networks without state support is not economically efficient, since small power stations on wood fuel cannot compete with large energy facilities.

The issue of forest roads. For each forest region, a long-term forest road construction program of at least 10 years should be developed, which must be approved at the federal level. Funding for this program should be in the form of a public-private partnership, in which 50% of the funds are provided from the federal budget, and the second half - by private investors interested in constructing appropriate forest roads to gain access to forest resources.

Of course, this is not all the problems that now exist in the forest complex.

The representative of the Association in his report also noted that industry participants can not fail to notice positive developments. Recently, a number of important laws have been passed. Additional conditions have been created for the growth of investment attractiveness and forest utilization efficiency. managed to solve a number of problems faced by the forest business

In the final of his speech, Ivan Sukhorukov noted the exceptional importance of the presence of professional associations of forest users.

«Our principled position is this: we should not shift all the functions of regulating the forest industry exclusively to the state. At a minimum, we should help him in making key decisions, - noted Ivan Sukhorukov. - There is a need to consolidate and summarize the views of citizens, representatives of the forest business, government. How to do it? We believe that it is necessary to create professional associations of enterprises of the forest complex, the main purpose of which will be to discuss all the proposals of citizens and representatives of the forest business on the development of the forest complex. We need to form a unified position, which is then conveyed to government agencies. One of the tasks of such associations is to monitor the actions and implementation of decisions made by the state, for which we need the so-called operational feedback».

Thus, professional associations, including the National Association of Timber Industry «Russian Forest», are ready to become a global platform for all representatives of the industry, both from business and from the state and citizens. Such professional associations will effectively represent the interests of all their members. And taking into account the long-term experience of forestry enterprises, which represent different regions of Russia, they can become platforms for generalizing the most successful work practices and exchange of experience.

The National Association of Timber Industry «Russian Forest» invites all representatives of the forest industry to cooperate in solving these problems!

We are convinced that only the consolidated actions of professional industry associations can effectively interpolate the joint experience into concrete proposals for the development of the forest complex of the Russian Federation.