WWF HAS CAPTURED ILLEGAL LOGGING WITH DAMAGE OF MORE THAN 44 MILLION RUBLES IN INGUSHETIA ON SATELLITE IMAGES
At the beginning of 2022, as part of the "People for Nature" project, experts from WWF monitored satellite images from 2018-2021 to identify illegal logging and found more than a dozen sites with violations. All cases were recorded within the boundaries of the State Forestry of the Republic of Ingushetia. The total area of the territory with selective and continuous logging, for which there are no publicly available documents justifying these logging, amounted to more than 140 hectares.
WWF-Russia appealed to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Ingushetia with a request to check the logging data in the Nazranovskiy and Sunzhenskiy Forestries, attaching copies of satellite images to the appeal, as well as the coordinates of the areas logged out.
The Ministry conducted inspections and confirmed that logging at most sites, namely 12 of them, were illegal. In addition, there are other detected areas with signs of violations - investigations there are still underway. Beech and hornbeam were mostly cut down, but other breeds are listed in the records. All materials were transferred to the regional Ministry of Internal Affairs for investigation.
At the moment, the confirmed volume of illegally cut timber is at least 250 cubic meters, and the damage is 44 million rubles.
"Such a large-scale monitoring of forests using satellite images in the Caucasus was carried out by WWF-Russia for the first time. Thanks to this technology, we were able to explore the entire territory of Ingushetia at once and identify the facts of large illegal logging, - says Elena Cherkasova, Senior Coordinator of Russian Caucasus Ecoregional Office WWF-Russia.–This is the first such experience using satellite images, which helps to identify illegal logging and obtain confirmation from forest management authorities. We thank the Ministry of the Republic for its readiness to cooperate and field work aimed at identifying violations of forest legislation and preserving the nature of Ingushetia. We will also continue to monitor how the investigations of these cases are progressing."