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Forest auctions can leave villages in central Primorye without forests, and beekeepers without linden

23 december 2020
WWF Russia is seriously concerned about forest auctions for timber harvesting in Primorye. The analysis of the project documentation showed that the plots that go under the hummer are located in linden no-cut zones, as well as in protected forest areas and in green belts of settlements, which will inevitably lead to negative social and environmental consequences.

In late November and early December, the official website torgi.gov.ru opened a tender on seven auction lots for leasing forest plots in Ussuriysky and Spassky forestries for timber harvesting.

In total, it is proposed to hand over 58 696 hectares of forest stands for long-term lease (up to 49 years). These stands are two large massifs of Korean pine - broadleaved forests, typical tiger habitats in the central Sikhote-Alin and near the Ussuriisky Nature Reserve. Loggings are planned in Spassky, Chernigovsky, Anuchinsky and Mikhailovsky districts of Primorsky province.

The analysis showed that all forest plots submitted for the auction are located in linden no-take zones: five out of seven plots have 60% of such no-cut zones, and 2 plots - 100%. Initially it is prohibited to cut linden here. However, according to the auction documentation, the harvesting of linden in volumes up to 35% of the annual allowable cut is planned here.

A large forest site near the buffer zone of Ussuriysky Nature Reserve with an area of ​​24 355 hectares, formed by unique oak and Korean pine forests, besides linden no-cut zones, also has about 50% of protected forest areas (including the category of honey making areas) where logging is prohibited. Despite this prohibition, the estimated volume of annual timber harvesting for this site is determined at 14 589 m3, with 38% of oak and 14% of linden.

It is worth noting that all plots are located either close to settlements, it means that timber harvesting will affect the life of at least 11 villages of central Primorye.

“Of course, it is better to prevent the problem than to fight its consequences later. Taking into account the fact that these forest areas are located in one of the most melliferous regions of Primorye, they include plantations of various protection categories, including green zones of settlements, and in accordance with the auction documentation, it is planned to harvest up to 3 347 m3 of linden wood, the scale of indignation from local population will be incommensurable with the benefits from industrial development,” says Evgeny Lepeshkin, coordinator of projects for sustainable forest management of WWF Russia Amur branch.
2020: Logging of oak and linden in no-take zone in Anuchincky district, Primorsky province
WWF Russia

WWF Russia sent an appeal to the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife Management of Primorsky province with the request to cancel the auctions for timber harvesting on these seven sites. WWF Russia believes that the analysis of the project documentation will help the Government of Primorsky province make the right decision.

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