Estonia's forestry development plan 2021-2030 should be ready by spring 2021, head of the Forest Department of the Ministry of the Environment Kristel Järve said on Monday. The plan is behind schedule.
Speaking on ETV's morning show "Terevisioon", she said the ministry will soon announce a tender to find an environmental impact assessor.
Discussing why the plan is behind schedule, Järve said a lot of people from a lot of different areas are involved in the project. "We want to have the main text ready by spring, and then next year the impacts in this draft will be assessed," Järve said.
Järve said no agreement has been concluded with the Institute of Sustainable Estonia (Säästva Eesti Instituut), which made an offer for environmental impact assessment due to technical nuances.
"We ourselves order these procurements through various institutions. This time through the State Chancellery and the negotiations failed when the terms of the contract were negotiated. Public procurements are known to be well-defined, specifically written and then they did not reach any agreement on any nuances," Järve said.
She said the aim of the ministry is not only to assess the environmental impact but also to assess various impacts in general.
"In forestry, it is very important that we take into account all the different areas. From a cultural, ecological, economic and social point of view. And this impact assessment must show whether the goals set in the development plan are achievable and what effects the implementation of this development plan will have," she said.
Speaking about the volume of felling, Järve said it is too early to predict what the figure will be for next year, although it is thought that it will decrease.
Järve said that the highest felling volume has been 12.7 million cubic meters per year, last year it was 11.3.
She said the volume of felling does not directly depend on the forestry development plan. "The volume of felling is still limited by a law which says very precisely what felling is and how much can be done. And if there is a risk that the volume of felling will increase, if the development plan has been agreed or provided for in the Forest Act, then the government of the republic can also put a brake on it."
Järve said the entire impact assessment process could take 18 months
Editor: Helen Wright