Forests are burning again, hazardous waste continues to be dumped in Lake Baikal and forest areas are still being cut down illegally and uncontrollably. Our nature is being destroyed before our eyes. What will we leave for the next generations? A dry barren desert, like in the Danish movie “Kin-dza-dza”, where the seas were refueled? If we continue at the same pace, we will soon find ourselves in such a world.
That is why the representatives of the Communist Party faction in the State Duma regularly raise various issues related to the preservation of our unique natural heritage. Last week, forest fires became such an issue. This summer, it is possible to face last year’s disaster again, when 18 million hectares of forest were burned. In addition, there is every reason to believe that the scale of the disaster this year could be even greater. The Kurgan, Irkutsk, Sverdlovsk regions, as well as the Khabarovsk and Krasnoyarsk regions have already caught fire.
Despite the significant increase in budget funding for firefighting measures last year (from 6 to 14.2 billion rubles a year), our areas were still unprepared for disaster. The equipment with firefighting equipment remained at the same level, the staff of the forest department is not increasing, no fully metallized lanes are being created.
In this regard, the Communist Party has submitted a draft protocol to the State Duma Committee on Ecology, asking for information on the expenditure of budget funds for the prevention and extinguishment of fires from 2016 to 2022. I think that the citizens of our country really need to know how effectively their money has been spent on such an important cause.
However, United Russia thought differently. “United Russia” became the only Duma faction to vote against the mandate submitted by Communist MP Vladimir Isakov from the Communist Party. “United Russia”, in fact, did not allow parliamentary proceedings with the government on the acute problem of forest fires. Even the Liberal Democratic Party and the “Young People”, who usually obediently vote in time with the “bosses”, this time decided to support the initiative of the Communist Party.
But they did not stop supporting forest fires. At a plenary session of the State Duma on Tuesday, the Communists, led by former Irkutsk regional governor Sergei Levchenko, raised a very important issue regarding the preservation of one of Russia’s main natural advantages – Lake Baikal.
Deputy Levchenko raised a serious problem. We are talking about the recovery of toxic waste, left behind by the already closed companies “UsolyeKhimProm” and BPPM. The recovery process, which is being carried out by Rosatom, is of great concern to the community of experts and environmental activists. Judging by the numerous signals from various sources – from the media to the federal departments, the work is being done with serious violations. The contracting organizations do not have the appropriate licenses to work with highly toxic waste and the labor costs are unduly multiplied. In addition, there are doubts that the rehabilitation process is currently underway. At the same time, the deadlines for the recovery of the BPP set by the president are regularly missed.
By the way, our country has obligations to maintain Baikal internationally – the lake was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996. However, due to such a careless attitude towards its environmental safety, at the 45th meeting of the organization, which will be held this year , the issue of Baikal’s inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List in danger will already be considered.
The Communist Party has put to the vote a protocol directive to the State Duma Committee on Ecology, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection to request information on the Russian implementation of the 44th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and the measures are taken.
Another protocol order, initiated by Sergei Levchenko, dealt with the issue of illegal logging. This document describes rather briefly but clearly the complex problems associated with the same contempt and even exploitative attitude towards our forest fund. In 2017, even under Governor Sergei Levchenko, an experiment was conducted in the Irkutsk region on deforestation, which significantly reduced illegal logging and was recommended by the Federal Forest Service as a successful practice for all other regions. However, then in this direction, everything went out. One of the points of the protocol order was the verification of the application of the chip technology recommended by Rosleskhoz.
And what do we see? United Russia is voting against both projects. At the same time, other factions supported us again. This is how the masters of United Russia relate to what is happening with Russia’s natural resources. And this is completely understandable. Where there is a lot of money, there is a United Russia and selfish interests of its representatives. Who, if not them, will cover the theft of the budget money allocated for the preservation of the environment? Who will defend the interests of the predatory company, which in turn is not interested in what will happen in nature? They will continue to drink juice from Russia. They will poison tanks, take out the forest and dance happily in the fires.