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Thursday, March 15, 2018

To protect forests will be a law

The Federation Council has approved amendments to the Forest code. We are talking about compensation of the harm caused to forests owing to violation of the law. Now, you will create the register of unfair tenants which will close to market timber trade. However, experts agree that the future for forest protection will require additional measures.

The Federation Council approved the law on strengthening of responsibility for violations in the sphere of reforestation. In the field of forest fire protection law establishes additional measures of protection, including forest fire zoning, providing for the protection of forests using ground, air or space vehicles,” reads the text of the document.

“A speedy implementation of this law is not just relevant and timely but also necessary to restore sustainable forest management”

In the field of reforestation, the law clarifies the composition of documents attached to the report on the reproduction of forests, “including remote sensing data (including GPS survey data, aerial photography), photo and video”.

The report on the use of forests is represented by tenants in the bodies of state power, bodies of local self-government “in the form of a document on the paper carrier or in the form of electronic document signed with an electronic signature, using information-telecommunication networks of the General using, including a network the Internet, including single portal of public and municipal services”, according to the text of the law.

The document tightens the liability of tenants for violations of the scaffolding when working on reforestation. Fines for officials will make from 5 thousand to 10 thousand rubles, for legal entities, they increase from the current 10 thousand rubles to the amount of 200-300 thousand rubles

In addition, the document provides for the establishment of a special register of unfair tenants of forest plots that should not be allowed to take land to rent for violations committed while carrying out work on forest restoration.

“A reliable barrier in the way of the wicked”

According to one of the authors of the law, the head of the monitoring Centre of the Russian popular front (onf) on the problems of ecology and forest protection, Deputy of the state Duma Vladimir guteneva, the document will become “a reliable bulwark against those villains who are using existing rules enshrined in the Forest code, looted the forests.”

The MP explained that with the introduction of the registry of unscrupulous forest users tenants who had not complied with the procedures for reforestation will not be able to pereporhnut, like butterflies, from one area to the other.”

In addition, monitoring the recovery of forests from space and placement of satellite images on the Internet for public access will not allow unscrupulous tenants to say that “reforestation is made, but (forest) whether the beavers chewed, or bark cut”. After the introduction of photography it would be impossible, said Gutenev.

As told on the eve Gutenev, there are lots of different statistics about the countries where a large decline of the forest. Some give the leadership of Brazil, not Russia. “For example, according to the report the agricultural program of the UN in 2005, every year they destroyed over 3 million hectares, he said. – Nevertheless, Russia is one of the leaders in forest decline. First, it fires, which, as we see, once again raging in Siberia and in the far East. Secondly, the actions of “black lumberjacks.” Thirdly, illegal building of forest lands”, – he added.

A bill to afforestation are derived from public proposals made in February 2016 in Irkutsk at the conference of the popular front for problems of ecology and forest protection. Then the conference was attended by about 300 participants, among which were civil society activists, environmentalists, Federal and regional experts of the popular front for the ecology of Siberia and the Far East, representatives of the profile ministries and departments, regional authorities and journalists. They all discussed the topic of protecting forests from logging.

Participated Vladimir Gutenev. He recalled that the idea to hold this event, which marked the beginning of the emergence of legislative initiatives that were formulated by experts of the popular front at the meeting with Vladimir Putin.

A fine of 10 thousand does not scare anyone

We will remind, to introduce mandatory photographs for the tenants of the forest to the draft law proposed onf. Such information should be regularly posted in the Internet that will allow you to objectively monitor the actual amount of work on reforestation. In addition, the popular front pointed to the need for banning, which not only can lead to a reduction in the number of animals and plants listed in the Red book, but also to degrade their habitat, including wildlife migration.

Often, the company leases the forest, carries out the cutting and disappears. Therefore, the onf has proposed to introduce stricter liability in the Code of administrative violations for failure to comply with reforestation measures. As previously noted by “veterans”, to a fine of 10 thousand rubles no one is afraid of, so auctions are often won by those who had no real opportunities for reforestation, and this has led to fires, diseases, soils and other problems of forest plantations. Now, for example for legal entities, the penalty for violation of forest legislation of the reproduction of forests and reforestation will increase 30 times.

In addition, the activists of the popular front advocated toughening of responsibility of tenants for violations of the scaffolding when working on reforestation. The fines for legal entities for such offenses be increased from the current 10 thousand to $ 200 thousand to 300 thousand rubles.

Earlier, the state Duma adopted a government law that increases the responsibility of the tenants of the forest for violations in the field of reforestation. The law was adopted with consideration of amendments to the Forest code proposed by the deputies of the state Duma – members of the onf.

The law, which includes the monitoring of works on reforestation using remote sensing satellites of the Earth. The photos from space should be regularly made available online in free access.

“Considering the condition of today in our country is reforestation, the implementation of this law is not just relevant and timely but also necessary to restore sustainable forest management”, – said Vladimir Gutenev.

Violations of forest management are not uncommon. According to Rosstat, the area of artificial forest regeneration in Russia has declined over the period from 1992 to 2009 in 2,5 times. That is, cut down and burn more than recovering. Artificial regeneration involves planting seedlings, saplings, cuttings or sowing seeds of forest plants.

The forests have repeatedly tried to attract attention and civil society activists. On Wednesday the building of the Federation Council passed picket, the participants were including against deforestation. The participants of the picket, the head of the project “Ecological expedition” Alexander Trunov told the newspaper VIEW that tried to draw the attention of the attorney General at the situation with a large number of disputed logging”. “The forest is cut down in the process of determining the legality of these cuttings, and even if deforestation is illegal, the forest will not return and then the earth settles, building on it and doing what I wanted to do this,” – he said.

Trunov also said that the Prosecutor’s office, especially in the year of the environment, needs to examine more closely the cases where the legality of the logging is controversial. The same goes for illegal dumping. “If the right measures are not taken, then, despite the recognition of the illegality, nothing is correct,” – said Trunov. He gave an example, when 50 truckloads of debris were brought and piled it in the woods. “While there are figuring out who to blame, who must answer for it who is to stop the garbage already, then it is unclear who should be the money to undo the action”, – said the source.

Not an isolated case

The expert of the Centre for the promotion of lawmaking Larisa Soldatova notes that the proposed amendments are mainly due to regulate the relations regarding forest restoration. For example, those involved in timber harvesting, will be to prepare various data which will allow you to visually see where the forests are cut down, and restored.

Another important amendment, she said, is associated with the introduction of the registry of unscrupulous tenants and buyers of forest plantations.

“The problem was that many people who use the forest, you allow yourself to trespass. This is not an isolated case, but a lot of offenses. These collectors will now be recorded in the register of unfair, with the result that they cannot re-negotiate and sign a contract,” explained Soldatov.

It also has not excluded that in the future will be to make other amendments, because now the Forest code is undergoing changes.

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