Round table "Forest - the lungs of the planet" within the framework of the X Nevsky International Ecological Congress
Within the framework of the X Nevsky International Ecological Congress in St. Petersburg, a round table "Forest is the lungs of the planet" was held, moderated by Vladimir Lebedev, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Agrarian Food Policy and Nature Management. The main topics of discussion were the formation of a market for ecosystem services and the importance of tasks related to ensuring a human-friendly environment.
The event was attended by the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergey Ivanov, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation Sergey Anoprienko, representatives of the scientific and business community.
Vladimir Lebedev, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Agrarian Food Policy and Nature Management: “Currently, the generally accepted understanding of forestry is based on the economic values of the forest, providing the economy and society with forest and wood resources. However, at the present stage, in the conditions of the growth of the world's population, atmospheric pollution, shortage of drinking water and climate change, forestry is faced with no less important tasks related to ensuring a favorable environment for humans. The first step in our legislative work in this direction was the parliamentary hearings held in the Federation Council jointly with the Russian Academy of Sciences on improving state forest management”.
During the meeting, experts from the forest departments of China, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Iran and Indonesia discussed monitoring, forecasting and technologies for eliminating forest fires, reforestation, combating desertification and deforestation. The topics of reforestation and adaptation of forestry to climate change, growing planting material, assessing the effectiveness of forest restoration, and increasing carbon absorption by forests were touched upon.
Olga Kalyuzhnaya, President of the Russian Forest Association: “A potential problem for Russian forest climate projects on international markets is the inconsistency of the actions of the departments involved in the initiatives and gaps in the legislation. For example, the current version of the Forest Code and 296-FZ actually does not allow businesses to dispose of potential carbon units from the implementation of forest climate projects, since the plots for them are located on the lands of the forest fund, and they are state property. Everything that is grown on these lands is also state property, so businesses are not entitled to own or trade carbon units until the state amends the Forest Code. When this gap is closed, potential carbon credits will become the property of private companies”.
Updating the legislation is a serious measure that will help encourage businesses to invest in forest climate projects.