As Zelensky ban was allowed to chop wood

Как Зеленский запретом разрешил лес рубить

A few days ago Zelensky President signed the Verkhovna Rada adopted the law “On amendments to some laws of Ukraine concerning the ban on clear cutting, spruce-beech forests on the mountain slopes in the Carpathian region”, which prohibits logging in national parks, nature reserves and extending the moratorium on the clear cutting of Carpathian forests. The President’s office said that the law should promote the conservation of forests and to protect the region from natural disasters and natural disasters.

The bill No. 0873 was adopted in second reading by the Verkhovna Rada on 30 October, so handled promptly.

And in the summer the President instructed the Cabinet of Ministers before 1 November to introduce compulsory registration of timber and also to develop a draft law on the procedure of its implementation on a competitive basis.

Recall that the situation with the export of Ukrainian wood in Europe, which led to a catastrophic and irreversible cutting of the Carpathians, forced the European partners, preserving their forests. A moratorium on the export of wood (not cutting!), adopted in 2015, initially provoked protests by the EU, and in 2017 because of this issue, Ukraine has received 600 million Euro macro-financial assistance. It came to the ultimate statements of Western politicians, but openly go on the forests of the Kiev power could not. Fortunately, there are smuggling.

As a result, Ukraine in 2017, according to the British NGO, Earthsight, has become a leader in the supply of smuggled timber to the EU, overtaking Africa and Latin America, and the government Groisman was forced to require the adoption of the law on criminal responsibility for smuggling of the forest.

In March 2018 the Verkhovna Rada approved for the period of the moratorium on the export of round timber the restriction of workpieces up to 20 million cubic meters. But the forest, as before, continued to cut and take out under the guise of firewood or “mounts for mines.”

Felling and smuggling of forest became one of the Achilles ‘ heels of porosencova vulnerable to criticism. In election battles almost all the opponents of Peter I used the “forest theme”. Including Vladimir Zelensky.

Naturally, the problem again became actual and she tried to understand traditionally in the “turbo mode”. In the office of the President adoption of the bill of information was furnished as necessary, saying that the people are satisfied, and the state forestry Agency supports. But then his word not say ecologists, human rights activists from the organization “Ecology. Right. People” who claim that the law on the prohibition of clear cutting forests actually simplifies the cutting. They asked Zelensky not to sign the law and send it back for revision.

According to environmentalists, the document was relatively faithful to amendment No. 6, 11 and 21 by the people’s Deputy Stepan Ivakhiv (fraction “For the future”) and Oleg Bondarenko (fraction “servant of the people”).

Experts believe that because of these amendments, the law actually removes the moratorium on felling in certain categories of forests (mountain forests above 1100 m above sea level, coast, forest areas, etc.), although previously, in these areas the felling was prohibited in principle.

The law allows gradual felling of the main use (in fact not too different from the solid–”, you cut down the forest several times, leaving the undergrowth with a height of 0.5-1.5 m, and this cabin will be considered “not solid”), which contradicts “the rules of the main felling in the mountain forests of the Carpathians”. The game formulations environmentalists saw deliberate consent to logging.

Finally, the question of transport. Earlier in the Carpathians allowed only to use horse-drawn and vehicles, and now the law allows the use of all types of equipment for logging, including prohibited until now, crawler tractors, which destroy the forest litter, compacted soil and cause significant environmental damage.

The bill also demands “to extend until 2030 the network of forest roads with a firm covering in the forests of the region up to 10 kilometers per 1,000 hectares”. According to environmentalists, the construction of paved roads in the highlands of the Carpathians will only lead to the simplification of procurement and export of wood and, consequently, to increase the amount of logging. Duty thesis about “strengthening control”, as is known, Ukraine is not important.

Of course, the environmentalists note the importance of these issues and even found in the bill positive in the form of “the imposition of ban on felling in the economic zones of the national natural and regional landscape parks” that earlier was a natural cause and brought considerable damage to natural complexes.

But in General, say the environmentalists, the new law will contribute to further cutting.

So it remains only to rejoice that the office of the President, apparently, don’t know about the recent discovery by scientists at the University of Helsinki, supposedly proving that the coniferous forests of the Northern hemisphere are a source of nitrous oxide N2O substances, greenhouse activity in which 298 times higher than carbon dioxide. If in Kiev will know, the deforestation of Carpathian spruce can be presented to the Ukrainian society as the best European experience to combat nitrous oxide emissions. Ukrainians also believe the entire European.
Vasily Kachur

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