Russia’s forest will be managed by the state forest service (Goslessluzhba) as part of the Natural Resources Ministry. The new service will inherit the functions and responsibilities once tasked to the Federal Forestry Service (Rosleskhoz). The new service is to be headed by First Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Kukuyev, employed earlier as deputy head of Rosleskhoz.
In an interview given to Interfax, Kukuyev noted that according resolutions were submitted by the Natural Resources Ministry to the government.
According to Kukuyev, Goslessluzhba is to inherit all of the structure of its predecessor in exploiting, replenishing and conserving forests.
Moreover, Kukuyev noted that “the entire employee makeup and technical infrastructure of regional timber mills and forestry stations will remain intact.” At the same time, he noted that “more financial assistance will be in the offing to protect forests from fires and pests, and replenish the country’s forest fund”.
In particular, the draft federal budget for 2001 envisages allocating 2.6 billion rubles for these aims, 800 million rubles more than a year ago.
In 2000, Kukuyev continued, Leningrad, Krasnoyarsk and Khabarovsk regions will begin implementing pilot projects to raise the productivity of forest management, with the World Bank providing $US 60 million for the project.
Furthermore, he said that the U.S. international development agency USAID took the decision to invest $US 20 million in 2000 in order to improve the ecological situation in the taiga regions of Russia’s Far East.
As was reported earlier, forests cover 1.1 billion hectares of land in Russia presently. Russia contains 20% of the world’s timber reserves.