The volume of illegal logging increased 6.7 times in 2019 compared to 2018, to 118,000 cubic meters, the amount of damage caused amounted to UAH 814.2 million.
According to the released annual report of the State Forest Resources Agency, of the total volume of illegal logging within the regional forestry and hunting agencies, the figure in Kherson regional forestry stood at 51% (60,250 cubic meters) and Kharkiv region at 35% (41,060 cubic meters).
According to the State Forest Resources Agency, industry enterprises from all types of logging prepared 15.6 million cubic meters of wood in 2019, which is 5.7% less compared to 2018. This is due to low demand in the internal market.
The total volume of round wood sales to the internal market amounted to 13 million cubic meters for a total of UAH 11.7 billion in 2019, which is UAH 1.5 billion less than in 2018.
The wood processing units received 2.2 million cubic meters of wood for processing in 2019, which is 1.1% less than in 2018.
The State Forest Resources Agency said that the area of solid loggings amounted to 40,100 hectares in 2018. Forests were recreated on an area of 42,000 hectares (new forests on area of 2,200 hectares) in 2019.
The State Agency of Ukraine for Forest Resources plans to launch a pilot project of an electronic register of logging permits in March, Viktor Melnychenko, the director general of the Forestry Innovation Analytical Center at the agency, has said. “This software solution will allow controlling logging permits issued for the use of a certain amount of raw materials. Now this will be a pilot project, and in future, to attract all forest users regardless of subordination, it is necessary to make appropriate changes in the regulatory framework,” he explained.
According to him, the center began the development of an e-register of wood felling licenses in December 2018. The register will allow controlling the annual volume of harvested wood. The expert noted that in the autumn of 2018 the Verkhovna Rada adopted law No. 5495 on preservation of forests, which limits the annual harvesting volume to 25 million cubic meters.
According to Melnychenko, the register will also keep records of documents that were the basis for the issue of logging permits.
A wood felling license is a permit for logging, which contains information about the place and volume of logging. This document is issued by the regional forestry and hunting directorates under the State Forestry Agency.
The total area of forest areas in Ukraine is almost 10.4 million hectares, the forest cover of Ukraine is 15.9%. Some 7.6 million hectares of forests (73% of the forest fund of Ukraine) are subordinate to the State Forestry Agency.