Latvian Government Agrees Cutting Young Forests

In an attempt to increase wood chips production, Latvia’s government agreed on Jun 21, 2022,to pass amendments that permit chopping down trees in young forests,reported from Baltic News Network. 

Annotation to amendments mention that the decision was made after evaluating regulations regarding the estimate for main felling average in Latvia, Estonia and other Baltic Sea region and scientific research on forest readiness in Latvia, which indicated that it is necessary to change the main felling average numbers to ensure effective use of land resources and promote forest yield, as well as increase the capital value of forests and annual net income-generating potential in the forestry industry and its competitiveness.

According to research from Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, by changing the main felling average it will be possible to increase the capital value of forests by 440 million euros as long as there is focused forest restoration with valuable forest reproductive material. These changes will help increase annual net income potential by 12 million euros.

To prevent the possibility of increasing forest stand average through thinning and thereby reach tree felling even faster, it is planned for the main felling to be prohibited if the last thinning took place in the last three years. Restrictions are expected to come to force July 1, 2025.

Latvia’s Ministry of Agriculture explain the effect from amendments will be observed in a long-term perspective.

However, nature protection organisations are alarmed about certain amendments.

Activists say that amendments had been stopped twice before due to pressure from the public. Now they are pushed despite the promise from Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš that they would not be viewed until an agreement is reached between nature protection organisations and forest owners.

Rules that would have permitted felling of young pine, spruce and birch forests were proposed in 2017 and then again in 2019. Since then there have been no discussions of this topic, environment protection organisations say.

FDMAsia About Us

For almost 30 years, FDM Asia has been the publication of choice for woodworking professionals in Asia Pacific, providing the latest news and expert insights of a diverse range of topics including process technologies, furniture production, panels manufacturing, raw materials handling and sustainability issues.

We have one of the most comprehensive woodworking database and e-media programme to assist you in your e-marketing and give you an exclusive opportunity to connect to our 25,152 online subscribers.