The British will help Ukraine to fight corruption in the forestry sector

Британцы помогут Украине бороться с коррупцией в лесном хозяйстве

Ukrainian forest mass export to the EU, despite the ban

The authors of the acclaimed study of illegal export of Ukrainian forests was invited to participate in the development of the strategy for combating corruption in forestry.

The representatives of British NGO, Earthsight, which studies the problem of illegal logging around the world are planning to visit Ukraine and to participate in the development of the strategy for combating corruption in forestry. In an interview with UKRINFORM told Sam Lawson, Director of Earthsight.

According to him, the proposal Earthsight received from the Minister of ecology and Ukrainian lawmakers. “We are planning to visit Ukraine to present these ideas,” said Lawson.

As you know, in July, Earthsight has published the results of a large-scale investigation into imports of Ukrainian forests in the EU via the shell companies behind which was the giant companies of the industry.

“Previously, many other countries, especially in the tropics, has been the subject of research, and our own, and in particular Greenpeace, however, until now no one has focused on Ukraine”, – said Lawson.

According to the study, from Ukraine in Europe gets substantially more wood than of the tropics. According to Lawson, Earthsight began to explore the situation in the country in early 2016.

“The company referred to in our study – that is, those who lobby for the lifting of the moratorium on the export of roundwood in the EU”, – said the Director of the organization.

According to the results of their study, Earthsight has received a positive response from the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers, but the foresters perceive the organization negatively.

“As for the position of foresters – it disappoints. The state forestry Agency in Ukraine has made some public statements about our organization, which is false. We receive funding from charitable and public organizations. We are not funded by anyone else! And as for the position of foresters, then, of course, that when you expose the corruption of this level, exactly the reaction we should expect. But, in the end, Yes, we did not expect that in Ukraine it would cause such a strong reaction. In General, we can say that the reaction to our work was still positive,” he said.

It should be noted that in the investigation of Britons was joined by a number of Ukrainian media. In their publications sounded the accusations against Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko, who does not turn the investigation of cases of smuggling of forest. As you know the state forestry Agency of Ukraine is headed by a former ally Lutsenko, Volodymyr Bondar.

“One of the major problems in Ukraine is that … are to investigate large-scale corruption in these places. The problem with such investigations is that they last already 2, 3, and in the case of Mr Siwiec (chief Forester under Yanukovych – ed.) is for 4 years. Therefore, we would like to have initiated new investigations, however, we are most concerned that the investigation has been going and drags on for too long without bringing results, ” said Lawson.

According to the SFA, last year Ukraine exported more than 1 million tons of fuel wood. In EU countries since the beginning of the year, taken almost 660 thousand tons of fuel wood. More than 90% of the product export of the state enterprise of forestry.

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