Environment Minister Madis Kallas (Reform) has brought a stalled proposal to merge two state bodies dealing with environmental matters back on to the table, with costs savings and the removal of duplication cited as the main reasons.
The merger of the two organizations, the Environmental Investment Center (KIK) and the Estonian Private Forest Center (EMK) had already been planned in 2021, originally scheduled for the start of this year.
The Ministry of the Environment stated that: "Considering that KIK has a wider profile while the EMK is more narrowly focused on private forestry, the latter's activities fit well into KIK's general portfolio, and would strengthen the position of the institution with a central focus on environment and climate in the field as a whole, contributing to linking areas related to environment, forestry and rural life."
The merger would also save costs, the ministry said.
A change in government took place this summer, while the original merger decision was made during Tõnis Mölder's (Center) tenure as environment minister.
In 2021, the KIK paid out €38 million in subsidies; the EMK, €8.4 million.
KIK's assets are around €75 million compared with €1.4 million for the EMK, while KIK's labor coasts in 2021, at €2.5 million, were over double those of the EMK.
The EMK is a state foundations whose objectives are raising competence of private forest owners and promoting environmentally friendly and effective private forestry, the organization says on its website.
Editor: Andrew Whyte