WWF IDENTIFIES MULTIPLE VIOLATIONS OF LAW DURING LOGGING IN KRASNODAR REGION
Experts carried out a comprehensive analysis of the auction documentation and scrutinized the characteristics and location of the logging sites, the expected volumes and approved logging methods. During the second phase of the study, the experts inspected the logging sites and assessed the extent to which the work conducted complied with the Logging Rules and other applicable forestry regulations.
It was found that of the 98 sites put up for auction:
- in 8
cases, the regional Ministry of Natural Resources had approved logging in
highly protected areas (those on an incline of more than 30 degrees; located
within 1 km of settlements; located on hard rock exposures). Current
legislation prohibits any logging in such areas apart from thinning and salvage
- in 35
cases, logging was approved on steep slopes with an incline in excess of 20
degrees according to the mensurational
description. Such sites must be developed using cable installations and
helicopter yarding, but these methods are never actually used in the Krasnodar
Region, as was confirmed by the field inspection. Benching runways were built
in two logging sites resulting in heavy damage to the topsoil;
35 cases, more trees were cut down than was approved;
some cases logging was conducted outside the approved sites or on an excessive
WWF-Russia filed its findings with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Krasnodar Region on two occasions: on April 28th, 2017, requesting a joint field inspection, and on October 9th, 2017, along with a demand that the violations be checked and appropriate measures taken. The Regional Ministry of Natural Resources rejected both applications on the grounds that it was not possible to conduct inspections.
The lack of cooperation from the regional authorities
leaves WWF-Russia with no choice but to forward the findings to higher
authorities with a request that the evidence of legal violations be
"The civil investigation revealed problems with compliance with forestry legislation in the Krasnodar Region, along with a refusal on the part of the local authorities' to engage in dialogue with environmental organizations. For this reason, WWF-Russia has devoted a lot of attention to the development and maintenance of an open information system at the website http://hcvf.wwf.ru where any interested party can obtain up-to-date information about logging and take part in the public monitoring of the legality of logging activity," said Elena Cherkasova, Forest Project Coordinator at the Russian Caucasus Office of WWF-Russia.
Headline photo: (c) WWF-Russia