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24.11.2011, 18:40
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Forest Project 2


Forest Project 2

Rosleskhoz and the World Bank are launching a new project

The Head of Rosleskhoz Victor Maslyakov met with the Director of the World Bank Representation in Russia Pedro Alba Fuster, and they agreed upon the implementation of a large joint project “Forest Management Reforms and Measures for Forest Firefighting” in three pilot regions of Russia. The project got a short name “Forest Project 2”.

In April last year, conclusions were drawn for “Forest Project 1”, which was implemented in accordance with the loan agreement between the World Bank and Ministry of Finance of Russia. The project was focused on upgrading the systems of information support, forest inventory, forest stock taking, forest protection from fires, vermin and diseases as well as reforestation. Advanced training of forestry staff became an important field of activities.

As a result, 7 regions got radio communication systems totally modernized, and the coverage area made 325 million hectares; over 7 thousand short and ultra-short wave radio stations of different designations were installed, as well as 343 sets of antennas and 8 service laboratories. Forty five forest firefighting crews with machines were formed covering the area of 180 million hectares, and 658 units of special firefighting machines were procured. When modernizing the system of forest pathology monitoring, its coverage grew from 38 million hectares in 2007 to 300 million in 2010. Over 2 thousand forestry specialists got trained.

The assessed value of “Forest Project 2” is $120 million. It will be financed from the World Bank loan ($40 million), and the federal budget of Russia will provide $ 80 million more. The decision was made to establish an intersectoral commission of the representatives from Rosleskhoz, Ministry of Nature, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Finance of Russia and other stakeholders with the purpose to coordinate the project. The commission will be chaired by the head of the Federal Forestry Agency Victor Maslyakov. The final decision on the territories where the project will be implemented has not been made yet, but the activities are assumed to take place in environmentally and economically valuable forests growing in the vicinity of settlements or elements of the infrastructure, where forest fire threat people’s lives and health and can damage both economic facilities and valuable environmental resources (for instance, national parks). The project will buy computer equipment and modernize land-based firefighting systems and means.

– This project is interesting and up-to-date for us, admitted Victor Maslyakov at a meeting with Pedro Alba Fuster. Being a federal agency, we define national forest policy. However, all daily forest resource management has been delegated to the regions. They face big difficulties when exercising those powers. Implementation of “Forest Project 2” in three pilot regions will help them solve some systematic problems hindering the effective operation of the sector. Project results can be disseminated in other regions of the RF.

Ivan YAKUBOV

(translated by V.Mineev)

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