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The Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill proposes to resume state support for forest nurseries

24 may 2022

The issues of improving the reforestation system were discussed in the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation at a meeting of the Public Council under the Federal Forestry Agency. The Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill, JSC proposed to adjust the scheme of reforestation works and to revive the system of state support for forest nurseries.

The Arkhangelsk region is one of the main regions providing raw materials for the domestic woodworking and pulp and paper industry. The Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill with its general timber supplier, The Titan Group of Companies, and ZAO “Sawmill №25”, which is part of the holding are among the largest tenants annually harvesting over 4 million cubic metres of wood. At the same time, the area on which reforestation work is carried out corresponds to the area of cut plantations. In 2021 the APPM increased the scope of work by 13% compared to the previous year, the total area of forest plantations exceeded 21 thousand hectares which is 30% of the total area of reforestation, performed by tenants in the Arkhangelsk region.

One of the problems identified by the management of the Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill is the possible failure to comply with the requirements to increase the volume of reforestation work.

The federal project “Preservation of Forests ” obliges forest users to use planting material with root-balled tree system on at least 20% of the planting area, and in the zone of intensive forest use and reforestation on 50% of the area. From 2022 it is necessary to increase the total amount of the grown planting material by 1.3 times, including triple increasing the amount of ball-rooted seedlings, i.e. grown in pots or other containers which provides a greater percentage of survival capacity of germinated seedlings at outplanting.

             In 2020 one ball-rooted seedling cost varied from 6 to 7.5 rubles, but in 2021 the price increased to 25-30 rubles a piece. In the current year the APPM plans to purchase 2 million germinated seedlings. But it is very difficult to predict how the situation with the acquisition of planting material for 2023 will develop. “It makes sense to revise the requirements and give the tenant the opportunity to independently determine the proportions of forest plantations restoration using one or another planting material, based on their availability. “The tenant will be able to adjust the total proportion of seedlings of various systems during the implementation of the three-year work plan, - Nikolai Krotov, director for interaction with state authorities of Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill, suggested in the Public Chamber. - The independent cultivation of seedlings with a root-balled tree system by tenants is again becoming relevant. Even in the conditions of the northern taiga, it is possible to grow two rotations a year in nurseries».

Until July 2021, the cultivation of forest planting material was exclusively a business activity, and was not included in the scope of reforestation work. This legislative conflict was eliminated, and, according to APPM representatives, it is time to provide for specific measures of state support in this area. For example, within the framework of a public-private partnership, it is necessary to resolve the issues of import substitution of equipment for growing seedlings, as well as provide for subsidizing part of the costs of forest users when using planting material with a root-balled tree system. Also, one of the significant measures will be the reimbursement to tenants of part of the costs for the construction of forest selection and seed centers.