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ALMOST 10 HA OF VALUABLE FOREST WAS SAVED FROM LOGGING IN NORTH OSSETIA

19 october 2020
WWF prevented two areas in North Ossetia from illegal logging. The violations were detected during monitoring logging operations according to the "People for Nature" Project.

In August 2020, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Republic of North Ossetia put up for auction areas available for logging, among which WWF-Russia employees identified two specially protected forest areas with a total area of 9.2 ha: a forest area on a steep mountain slope and a forest area around the village.

Forest protected areas are territories of the valuable forest in this area. They are allocated within the framework of forest management and have a special mode of use. So, in accordance with the Forestry Code of the Russian Federation, logging on forests protected areas is possible only for the purpose of harvesting dead wood, that is, during sanitary logging.

The auction assumed that these areas will be held voluntarily-selective logging or, in other words, ordinary merchantable. By the time the violation was detected, the auction had already been held and the purchase and sale agreements were concluded with the buyer.

"WWF-Russia regularly analyzes information from government websites.  That’s why on October 9, after this fact was discovered, a letter was immediately sent to the Ministry," says Elena Cherkasova, Forest Officer of Russian Caucasus Ecoregional Office WWF-Russia. - "It is worth noting that the Ministry's employees, who made a mistake, worked quickly and took quick measures to eliminate it. On October 15, the plots were examined by specialists of the Department, who confirmed that the forest had not yet been cut down. And on October 16, the Ministry signed an agreement to terminate sale contracts with buyers."

Thus, due to well-coordinated operational work, it was possible to save almost 10 hectares of valuable forest. On a national scale, this is not a very large area, but in the low forest cover of the Caucasus, each hectare is important for the nature of the Caucasus Ecoregion.

The People for Nature project is implemented by WWF Russia and is funded by the EU. It aims at engaging a wider audience in environmental protection. The Project will run in 2019 – 2022. Its goals are to protect the forests through preventing degradation and illegal use of forests, and to reduce environmental impact caused by industrial processes through reducing air and water pollution and increasing the environmental responsibility of business.

Headline photo (c) Mikhail Klimenko / WWF-Russia
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