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Work on the new version of the Strategy for the Development of the Timber Industry

Meeting with deputy prime ministers on current issues.

Opening remarks by Mikhail Mishustin

Viktoriya Abramchenko’s report on the new version of the Strategy for the Development of the Timber Industry

Excerpts from
the transcript:

Meeting with deputy prime ministers on current issues

The Government is working on a new version of the Strategy for the
Development of the Timber Industry for the next nine years under the
President’s tasks and instructions. During this year, we must build a pilot
system for distributing
powers in forest
oversight among various government agencies at all levels is a weighted and
well-balanced manner. It is necessary to encourage businesses to build
capacities for deep processing of timber. The Government has made provisions to
enable small and medium-sized businesses to take out subsidised loans for
upgrading their production facilities.

It is important to enable
businesses to start upgrading their main assets and creating capacities for
heavy timber processing this year. Instead of exporting raw materials and low
processed products Russia must supply other countries with furniture, plywood, cardboard
and other products with high added value. It is important for businesses to be
interested in investing, among other things, in wood housing construction or
production of alternative bio fuels.

Ms Abramchenko, please report
the new version of this strategy.

Viktoria Abramchenko: Mr Mishustin,

The Government has drafted an
updated Strategy for the Development of the Timber Industry until 2030. This is
part of the large systematic work that we are carrying out in pursuance of the
presidential instructions on decriminalising and expanding the wood sector.

For the first time ever, the
strategy includes two components: economic, which is associated with lumber
processing, and environmental, which focuses on the reproduction of forest
resources. We have managed to balance the forestry sector and the lumber
industry’s interests. Our goal is to build a cost-effective industry. I will go
over the document’s main points.

First, this includes
increasing the industry’s transparency through digitalisation and introducing
industry-specific information systems. We use the single state information
system to follow lumber movement through e-paperwork from harvesting at a
logging site to storage and processing, or exporting outside Russia.

If an inconsistency is
detected in information about harvesting or other operations, the transaction
involving lumber will become impossible. In the first stage, we upgraded the
current LesEGAIS information system (Single State Automated Information System
on Forestry). Since 1 January, a pilot programme has been underway to introduce
a wood products traceability system. Major market participants are now part of
the programme.

In the second stage, we plan
to create a single electronic forest register to combine information about the
quality and quantity of forests and forested areas. Thus, the industry’s
digitalisation will help put the information about the use of forests and
forest resources in proper order, ensure transparency of trade in lumber and will
effectively counter the grey market in lumber processing.

Second, this includes
implementing federal forestry supervision to prevent forest-related violations.
We plan to grant the Federal Agency for Forestry (Rosleskhoz) the supervisory
function over forests. Chief federal state forest inspectors will start working
in the regions. We will improve the forest guards’ material and technical
equipment. They will have access to drones, remote sensing of the Earth, and
photo and video recording, to analyse information about forest use by accessing
data from various state information systems. This will significantly reduce the
damage caused by illegal logging and other forest-related violations, which
runs into the tens of billions of roubles a year.

Third, this strategy
reinforces our transition to an intensive forestry model. This means we will
improve the economy of lumber harvesting not by using more forest lands to fell
trees, but through efficiently organising selective cutting and forest
maintenance. By switching to cutting-edge technology for forest car, we can harvest
twice as much lumber per unit area while simultaneously achieving the outlined
parameters of forest reproduction.


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