Head of the State Forestry Agency accused of inefficiency

Head of the State Forestry Agency accused of inefficiency

Katerina Belousova

In 2023, forest protection workers discovered 96 cases of illegal logging with a total volume of 72 m3

Olena Kryvoruchkina, deputy head of the parliamentary environmental committee, criticized the report of the head of the State Agency of Forest Resources, Viktor Smal, on the results of work in 2023, in particular for contradictory information on the scale of illegal logging.

On her Facebook page, she said that Smal did not provide specific answers about his activities and the personnel policy of the State Forestry Agency.

The report was discussed at a meeting of the parliamentary environmental committee on Monday, March 4, among other issues.

"It is disgusting and despicable to hear such reports, especially at such a time," Kryvoruchkina wrote. "Instead of answering specific questions about his activities, a person starts talking about the European future, the implementation of European laws, and how the State Forestry Agency is better than the best in all indicators."

According to her, Smal's report raises a number of questions. Thus, it is stated that in 2023, forest guards conducted 566 patrols and discovered 96 cases of illegal logging with a total volume of 72 m3. This amount of wood can be transported by two logging trucks with trailers.

"I have a logical question – two logging trucks with a trailer of illegal logging were detected for all 566 patrols, is this really true?" she said.

Kryvoruchkina added that 31,200 raids were conducted and 3,400 protocols were drawn up. However, during this time, 900 m3 of wood was removed.

"That is, as many as 25 timber trucks with trailers, for the whole year, and throughout Ukraine. That is, with a simple mathematical method, it is possible to calculate that each of the 3,400 identified violators chopped up 0.2 m3," she emphasized.

Kryvoruchkina noted that during the presentation of the report, the State Bureau of Investigation published information about illegal logging in the Lviv Region for 64 million hryvnias, which was organized by the heads of a number of forestry enterprises.

Earlier, EcoPolitic wrote, that in December 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers appointed Viktor Smal as the head of the State Agency of Forest Resources of Ukraine. He has been acting head of the State Forestry Agency since May 2023.

As EcoPolitic previously reported, in April 2023, the Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management expressed no confidence in the acting head of the State Environmental Inspectorate, Ihor Zubovych, after his report on the results of his work for the year.

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