All-Russian meeting “Forests of Russia: the main thing”

Photo: Maxim Blinov
Source: Host photo agency RIA Novosti

On March 28 in Moscow, at the exhibition-forum “Russia”, a meeting “Forests of Russia: the main results of the work of forestry in the Russian Federation in 2023 and tasks for 2024” was held, moderated by the head of Rosleskhoz Ivan Sovetnikov. The Russian Timber Association was represented by its first vice-president Andrey Goncharov.

We have collected the main points voiced during the meeting in our post.

Results of work in 2023

• Wood harvesting volumes are at almost 190 million m3, investors account for a quarter of these volumes - 41.6 million m3. At the moment, 57 priority investment projects are being implemented in the Russian Federation for the development of the forestry complex, 131 have already been completed. The volume of investments in the forestry complex for 2023 is about 190 billion rubles, which is comparable to the figures for 2021.

• Income from forestry to the budget of our country in 2023 increased compared to 2022 by 7% - to 50.2 billion rubles, which is 95.3% of the planned volume. Only 34 subjects ensured full implementation of planned indicators, including: Irkutsk, Arkhangelsk, Sverdlovsk, Kemerovo and Magadan regions, Yakutia, Khabarovsk Territory, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

• The area of work in terms of reforestation and afforestation amounted to more than 1.4 million hectares - this is the highest indicator for the area of forest reproduction over the past 27 years. Also, for the third year in a row, the area of reforestation and afforestation exceeds the area of cut down and dead forests. At the same time, compensatory reforestation was carried out on an area of 155.2 thousand hectares.

Plans for 2024

• Legislative projects are also awaiting important changes: the bill on forest roads has already been adopted in the first reading. New measures will increase the transport accessibility of forests and their investment attractiveness, simplify logistics, and reduce labor costs.

• The development of projects aimed at whitewashing the industry continues: in the first reading, a consistent increase in administrative responsibility for violations of timber turnover was approved. For example, now, if wood is transported without ESD, a fine is issued with the possibility of confiscation of timber and equipment.

• Another area that will be developed this year is remote monitoring of forests: its area will be increased by 20% compared to last year and will amount to 300 million hectares. This method is indispensable in identifying illegal logging.

• 46.3 billion rubles. provided from the federal budget for the implementation of regional powers in the field of forest relations in 2024. Of these, almost 1 billion rubles. will go towards increasing wages. At the same time, the President of Russia, in his message to the Federal Assembly, separately set the task of increasing salaries for forestry employees. Rosleskhoz expects to see the first results in 2025.

• Also in February of this year, the Russian Government approved amendments to the Forestry Code that introduce the concept of “forest-climate projects”. To implement forest climate projects, the contractor will need to enter into an agreement with Rosleskhoz, which will exercise federal state forest control.

• Preparations for the fire season continue together with the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. This year, 27 thousand forest firefighters, 14.8 thousand units of heavy equipment and about 80.6 thousand units of special equipment will be extinguishing fires in forests. The regions are equipped with equipment (including those purchased within the framework of the Ecology national project) - 95.1%.