Environment Minister Madis Kallas (SDE), in his interviews with dailies Postimees and Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) on Thursday, refrained from making strong statements but nevertheless admitted that the Estonian forestry strategy needs to be changed.
"Now is the time for planning; I'm meeting with forest industry representatives and ecologists to talk it through. My hunch is that some changes are long due, no matter how we look at Estonian forests. Especially state-owned forest, which belongs to all the Estonian population and must be managed with great care," Madis Kallas told EPL concerning the area of state forests designated for regeneration felling, which was altered by the previous two ministers.
"I do not want to pick sides. For example, I would not unquestioningly assume that every tree is destined to wilt and fall over. Forests need to be managed. Driving around where I live, on the other hand, I see that much of what has happened in the last 15 to 20 years has been painful. Does it have to be exactly like that? I'm not an expert, but it seems to me that something is wrong," Kallas said.
The minister added that the first priority should be to ensure the supply of wood for Estonians, and dealing with timber exports comes second.
Editor: Kristina Kersa