Four of six parliamentary parties want logging limits

While the Center Party and the Reform Party have not developed a stance on the issue, the Social Democratic Party (SDE), the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL), the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and the Free Party all consider it necessary to impose logging limits in Estonia.

The SDE board supported the proposal of Chairman of the Environment Committee of the Riigikogu Rainer Vakra to implement an annual maximum limit on logging volumes in order to preserve the sustainability of Estonian forests.

According to SDE Chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski, it is important that the state does not hinder responsible forestry by small forest owners or endanger regional jobs. "At the same time, the state must ensure that Estonia still has forests decades in the future," he added.

Vakra has previously proposed setting 10 million cubic meters as the maximum lumbering volume.

"When a one-word answer has to be provided for the question of whether to implement a lumbering limit, then the answer is "yes" - it should be imposed, it has been done for a long time and will also be done in the future," IRL spokesperson Riina Solman told BNS.

According to Solman, the annual maximum limit of lumbering has been imposed for this decade in the forestry development plan for 2011-2020 which was adopted in the parliament eight years ago. According to the plan, the annual maximum limit of lumbering is 15 million cubic meters. "In reality substantially less has been lumbered each year this decade, on average about 10-11 million cubic meters a year. Lumbering volumes for the next decade are to be set in the 2021-2030 forestry development plan, the drawing up of which has begun," she said.

"Since the optimal lumbering volume has been assessed as 8 million cubic meters a year, then the maximum limit should be set at 8 million cubic meters," EKRE deputy chairman Jaak Madison said when asked by BNS whether maximum lumbering limits should be implemented. He added that in EKRE's opinion the lumbering limit should definitely be lowered.

The Free Party finds that a lumbering limit should be implemented and it should be 6 million cubic meters a year, if a public consensus is reached, party spokesperson Ingeldrin Aug said.

According to Kalle Palling, a member of the Reform Party's board, told BNS that the party has not reached an opinion regarding lumbering volumes and lumbering volume limits should be laid down in the new forestry development plan which is already being drawn up.

The Center Party has also not reached a position regarding lumbering volumes. "Whether and which lumbering limit it should be is still being discussed and the national forestry development plan is also being drawn up," Valeri Korb, deputy chairman of the Center Party's parliamentary group and a member of the environment committee, told BNS.

Korb added that only expert assessments and statistics are important sources of input when making political decisions.

The Riigikogu is to discuss logging caps in connection with the drawing up of the new forestry development plan.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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