Social stability is a prerequisite to a good operating environment for the forest industry. Good corporate governance and respect for the law are essential aspects of this. Finnish forest industry conducts its activities in Russia in adherence to local legislation and official regulations.
The evaluation of environmental impacts, which is a topical issue in Russia, is a task for the authorities. They ensure that felling permits are issued to areas which have undergone environmental evaluation. The inspection of felling permits is the responsibility of Rosprirodnadzor, an agency of the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Official interpretations on how to implement the evaluation of environmental impacts differ. There are also significant regional differences in the implementation of environmental impact evaluations. In the Leningrad region, for example, environmental impact evaluations are carried out on entire forestry corporations and evaluations of individual felling areas are not needed. This practice is founded on a local agreement with the authorities. In Karelia, the environmental evaluations are not required for felling permits.
Since the beginning of the 1990s, Finnish forest industry has been working to ensure the lawful origin of imported timber. Companies operate in accordance with Russian legislation and official regulations and buy timber only with official documentations.
Finnish forest industries cooperates with WWF
Finnish forest industry has begun cooperation with WWF Finland and WWF Russia to advance legal loggings. WWF and Finnish Forest Industries Federation (FFIF) recognize illegal loggings as a mutual concern world wide and share a vision of international timber trade with wood procured from legal and sustainable sources only.
WWF acknowledges that wood tracking systems of Finnish forest industry companies are one of the most efficient tools to support the legal sourcing of wood. The Finnish forest industry commits to contribute in further development of the existing tracing systems in local participatory processes and international dialogue to better identify and exclude different kind of illegalities and to increase the transparency of the systems. WWF and FFIF have also decided to establish a working group to further develop wood tracking systems.
Anu Islander, Senior Advisor, Forestry, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6678 email: firstname.lastname@example.org