Forestry managers will be forced to pay for illegal logging out of their own pockets shutterstock

Forestry managers will be forced to pay for illegal logging out of their own pockets

Katerina Belousova

The State Forestry Agency has already developed a comprehensive road map for detinization of the market

Yuriy Bolokhovets, CEO of the state enterprise Forests of Ukraine, said that a new practice will be introduced in Ukraine, namely, recourse claims against the heads of state forestry enterprises for damage caused by illegal logging.

This should encourage managers to work honestly and prevent abuse, he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

As you know, recourse claims provide for compensation for damages by the person who caused the damage.

Bolokhovets explained that currently, the damage caused by illegal logging is compensated by state forestry enterprises.

He also said that in order to combat gray and black timber, electronic logging tickets and electronic consignment notes were introduced in 2023. The teams of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, the State Agency of Forest Resources, and Forests of Ukraine have been working on this project for more than two years.

"This is only the first stage of creating a full-fledged chain of traceability of the movement of wood – from felling to the sale of finished products," said Bolokhovets

According to him, the State Forestry Agency has already developed a comprehensive road map for detinization of the market. It offers a number of modern technologies and tools that will prevent the appearance of unaccounted wood.

"At the level of "Forests of Ukraine" in 2023, we strengthened control over the work of branches many times over. If system problems are detected, the management is replaced. Yes, we have changed most of the branch directors in a year," he said, adding that such materials are handed over to law enforcement agencies, which open criminal proceedings if there are elements of a crime.

Bolokhovets noted that in Rivne region, all forestry managers were fired to reboot the system. For decades, the appointment of local leaders in the forestry industry has been significantly influenced by the regional elite, and informal ties and a certain system of relationships, the so-called "mutual responsibility," have been formed.

"I believe that this precedent is a signal to all managers of state-owned enterprises: zero tolerance for corruption implies an active position," he said.

As EcoPolitic reported earlier, employees of the State Bureau of Investigation completed a pre-trial investigation into the forester and senior foreman of the Berehomet Forestry in Bukovina, who organized a 2.2 million hryvnias "forestry scheme".

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Therefore, there are doubts about the effectiveness of the forest reform, which is currently being carried out