Russia accounts for 22% of the world’s forest cover. Despite the relatively low contribution to the national GDP, Russia’s forests are of major local, national and global significance. Their direct contribution to rural (and generally more impoverished) areas has a significant potential for increase in terms of jobs and tax revenue and they are particularly important with respect to supporting subsistence rural livelihoods.
At the national level they give about 9 billion $US of export and employs about 1 million workers in Russia. At the global level, they represent one of the world’s important carbon sinks and a major repository of biological diversity, including the Siberian Tiger, Snow Leopard, Russian Desman, among other species.
Illegal logging and associated trade poses a major threat to this resource, reinforces corruption and criminality, denies tax revenue to some of the poorest regions of Russia and undermines the credibility of legitimate forest enterprises, particularly those servicing export markets. The current estimates of the degree of illegal logging vary but it is widely accepted that it lies between 11% to 25% of all harvested roundwood, depending on the region of the Russian Federation.
On 22-25 November 2005, the Russian Federation hosted the 1st Ministerial Conference of the Europe and North Asia Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (ENA FLEG) process in St. Petersburg. Participating governments agreed the St. Petersburg Declaration, which included an Indicative List of Actions (ILA), intended to serve as a general framework for possible actions to be undertaken by governments, industry and civil society to improve governance and efficiency of forest sector.
- Deliver informed and participatory advice and input from civil society to the formulation and implementation of federal and regional forest bylaws and forest action plans, particularly those that (1) can directly support the aims and objectives of the St. Petersburg Declaration on FLEG and/or (2) that lead to a reduction in illegal logging; with the aim of improving local livelihoods and supporting sustainable forest management.
Timeframe: September 2007 – August 2009
Partners: Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (BBI-Matra)
Contact person: Vladimir Moshkalo