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WWF HAS IDENTIFIED ILLEGAL LOGGING FOR 90 MILLION RUBLES WITHIN SIX MONTHS

25 march 2022
WWF-Russia, within the framework of the "People for Nature" Project, continues to identify illegal logging in the Caucasus Ecoregional Office.

Over the past 6 months, WWF-Russia volunteers have detected violations on the territory of North Ossetia, Karachay-Cherkessia and Krasnodar regions. In some regions, local authorities respond to WWF statements and join joint raids and investigations, in others, representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs work directly on WWF-Russia's appeals. Recently, criminal cases on WWF-Russia's appeals have been initiated in three subjects of the Russian Federation.   

North Ossetia: damage of 88 million rubles

Thanks to joint raids by WWF-Russia volunteers and employees of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Republic, illegal logging of 500 cubic meters of beech with damage of 88,000,000 rubles was detected on the territory of the Suburban Forestry of North Ossetia. The materials compiled on these facts were transferred to the district department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where on February 24, 2022, law enforcement officers initiated a criminal case under Part 3 of Article 260 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (illegal logging on an especially large scale, as well as a part of a group by prior agreement or an organized group).

Karachay-Cherkessia: cutting Red Data Book yew

In another republic of the Caucasus, on the initiative of WWF-Russia a criminal case was initiated for illegal logging of European yew. This plant is in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation.

The stumps of the European yew were discovered by WWF-Russia volunteers during an inspection of the natural landmarks of the Uchkulanskiy district Forestry of Karachay-Cherkessia. An appeal about this was sent to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, after which a joint visit of the supervisory authority and environmentalists took place.

The result of the joint field work was an act recording the amount of damage caused, which is equal to 2,266,000 rubles. All materials were transferred to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for a procedural check, after which law enforcement agencies opened a criminal case under Part 3 of Article 260 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Area study © WWF-Russia
Area study © WWF-Russia
Yew Stump © WWF-Russia
Yew Stump © WWF-Russia
European yew © Sergey Trepet
European yew © Sergey Trepet

Krasnodar region: 294 oak trees were logged

Kuban, where Russian Caucasus Ecoregional Office WWF-Russia is located, also did not remain without the Fund's attention. Volunteers surveyed the territories of the Psekupskiy Forestry and found selective felling of 294 northern red oaks. Information about that was sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Goryacheklyuchevskiy district, after which a criminal case was initiated under Article 158 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Embezzlement). The damage amounted to 630,000 rubles.

"It can be noted that regional Ministries have recently been meeting halfway and taking part in joint raids and inspections. This is a good trend," says Elena Cherkasova, Senior Forest Officer of Russian Caucasus Ecoregional Office WWF-Russia. –The transparency of the authorities and joint work are primarily aimed at preserving the nature of the region. Thanks to such interaction, our work becomes faster and more efficient, and local regulatory authorities receive important information about violations and can adjust their work to prevent them, making the region more responsible and exemplary."

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