THE WWF CHECKED THE LEGALITY OF SEVERAL CASES OF SALVAGE LOGGING IN ALTAI-SAYAN ECOREGION
This year experts from the WWF’s Altai-Sayan Programme monitored the legality of several cases of salvage logging in the region. According to a new Russian federal law regional forestry ministries must upload all documents justifying salvage logging work to a publicly accessible website. They must give the public the opportunity to monitor the proposed works.
The criteria applied by the authorities to allocate forest sites for salvage logging used to be hidden from public view. But the situation has changed this year after the new law was approved. Since the beginning of 2017 experts from the WWF Altai-Sayan Programme in partnership with a professional forest pathologist have checked all the legal forest salvage logging acts uploaded to the websites of the regional forest ministries to identify whether or not there was a real basis for authorizing the logging. WWF chose the Altai Republic, the Republic of Khakassia and Altai Region as three pilot regions for monitoring salvage logging.
Having examining the documents, WWF experts along with experts from the regional ministries conducted one field trip in each pilot region to ensure the forest area required salvage logging. In five cases WWF experts registered procedural violations, which were reported to the ministries of the regions. Procedural violations took the following forms: the area proposed for salvage logging was larger than necessary (the area stated in the documents included healthy forest); the description of the forest to be logged was incorrect; the state of the forest did not correspond to the criteria set out in the federal law for salvage logging (for example the proportion of the forest that had been killed by pests), etc.
All violations were reported by WWF to the authorities and the monitoring programme will be continued.