On July 9, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed the Decree "On Certain Measures for the Conservation of Forests and the Rational Use of Forest Resources" aimed at combating the illegal circulation of wood. It was stated by Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Oleksiy Goncharuk during the briefing.
According to him, about 30% of wood is in a shadow circulation and each year the state suffers up to 2 billion hryvnias of losses. In addition, the volume of illegal deforestation last year reached 17.7 thousand cubic meters in Ukraine.
The Deputy Head of the Presidential Office stressed that after deforestation, any wood must be chipped and marked with an individual number. Otherwise, it is considered illegal and seized.
"We have a part of the forestry that works outside of this system. For example, when you catch a logging truck on the road, there will be a person who says that his case is an exception, which gives him the opportunity to buy off. Our task to overcome illegal logging is, first of all, to introduce a centralized wood accounting system," Oleksiy Goncharuk said.
According to him, state enterprises that are part of the management of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine are still isolated from the process of electronic accounting of wood. Currently, there are 15 such enterprises. The Decree stipulates that by November 1, 2019, these enterprises should have a centralized electronic accounting of wood.
"We offer to establish criminal and administrative liability for wood circulation without providing information to the Unified State System of Electronic Wood Accounting. The Decree contains a corresponding commission for the government," Oleksiy Goncharuk said.
In addition, the President's Decree provides for an appropriate commission to intensify the use of the system of electronic wood accounting by forest owners of communal ownership type.
"The existence of such communal forest enterprises creates a problem that leads to inefficiency of the state system. The Presidential Decree commissions local authorities (Regional State Administrations, District State Administrations) to carry out explanatory work with local authorities and explain that the absence of such a system creates an opportunity for the existence of a "gray" timber market," the Deputy Head of the Office of the President said.