The round table was attended by the leadership of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of Lviv Regional State Administration, Lviv Regional Forest and Hunting Administration, State Environmental Inspectorate in Lviv region, state enterprise “Halsillis”, representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office in Lviv region, State Specialized Forest Protection Enterprise “Lvivlisozahyst”, scientists of the Institute of Ecology of the Carpathians, the National Forestry University of Ukraine, representatives of NGOs.
During discussions at the roundtable participants exchanged experience in combating violations in the field of forestry, discussed mechanisms of public control in the forestry sector, discussed the issues of bringing trespassers to account .
Ruslan Hrechanyky, Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of Lviv Regional State Administration, emphasized three main problems in forest management. This is unauthorized logging, undervaluation of timber products, lack of personal responsibility of forest managers and forest pathologists and outlined solutions to these problems.
Stepan Sohnatskyy, Director of State Enterprise “Zhovkivskyi forestry” said that in order to fight corruption in the forestry sector a leader needs to have three qualities that should be checked when hiring people. This is professionalism, honor, dignity, patriotism and good management skills. He emphasized the importance of the involvement to these processes of the general public. Preference should be given to local workers, people from the industry, the result of whose work are visible.
Mykola Cherniavsky, assistant professor at the Chair of Ecology at the National Forestry University of Ukraine, stressed that there are no barriers that prevent development of forest industry. It is necessary to take into account natural features of the forest development, to be responsible managers and there will be no problems with forest resources and forests conservation. A promising direction of forestry development is approximation to natural forestry management, where there is continuous forest cover, biodiversity is preserved, sustainable forests are formed, environmentally friendly technologies of timber storage are used.
Olha Melen-Zabramna, the head of the legal department of EPL noted the importance of international agreements and standards that Ukraine has a duty to comply with. Compliance with these requirements will guarantee sustainable forest management. Sofia Shutyak, EPL lawyer, drew attention to the importance of the newly adopted laws on environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment to implement sustainable approach to forest management and fighting corruption in it. Peter Tiestov, environmental scientist of EPL stressed that cooperation and dialogue between all parties in forest industry are a prerequisite for solving the problems of corruption in the forestry sector.
All participants of the round table stressed the importance of the environmental aspects of forestry, including the transition to the natural-style forestry management, stoppage of continuous sanitary felling, expansion of formation forest logging. The participants noted the need for cooperation between the public, scientists, foresters, government officials to end violations in the forest sector and forest conservation.
The results of the roundtable will be used for developing proposals for legislative changes.
The project is implemented at financial support of International Renaissance Foundation. International Renaissance Foundation is one of the biggest charitable foundations in Ukraine founded by the investor and philanthropist George Soros. The International Renaissance Foundation’s mission is to foster an open, participatory, pluralist society based on democratic values in Ukraine.
International charitable organization “Environment-People-Law” is a human right organization that since 1994 has been protecting environmental rights and other adjacent rights and performing a wide spectrum of activities in the field of environmental protection.