The forest is the head of everything – Business Russia

Petrovsky Principles

In 1702, Peter the Great introduced state regulation for the use of forests along riverbanks, banned the felling of the most valuable species of ship trees, and ordered that protected forests be made known. In order to protect against systematic logging, a forest ranger and a special state service were set up by Waldmasters and Waldmaster chiefs. It was ordered to divide the factory forests into 25-30 felling areas, which were cut once a year. The principle of continuous and inexhaustible use of the forest is the basis of forestry today.

As V.Ya. Kuramshin, PhD: “Two hundred forest decrees of Peter the Great served as the basis for the creation of forest legislation and forest service, the organization of forestry and the development of forest science. Descriptive books, forest land maps became the prototypes of modern tax descriptions and plans for forest plantations, forestry laid the foundations for the organization of forest areas. The forests of Petrovsky ships in the Volga region, along the Dvina, Don are still the genetic fund of the main tree species in Russia.

In the time of Peter the Great, Ferdinand Gabriel Fockel, a forester and shipbuilding specialist, who was invited to Russia by Germany, did many useful things for the development of forestry. With the presentation of description books and land maps, Fokel informed many forests of northwestern Russia about the needs of the state-owned shipbuilding industry, participated in the drafting of the Charter on Sowing and Planting for the Pleasure of the Imperial Forest Fleet Again. Thanks to him, the grove of ships with Lindulovska pine was established, now a monument under the auspices of UNESCO. The fruit of his analytical work was the book “Forest Science Collection”.

Forestry of the Russian Empire

Paul I established a special department for the forest department (Forest Department) under the Board of the Admiralty. In 1802 the “Charter of Forests” was approved by the Supreme. Based on the Practical Forest School, the Kozelsky Institute, the Forest Institute of Count GV Orlov in 1813 the Practical Forest Institute of St. Petersburg was founded. And in 1826 the regulation “On the new arrangement of the forest department” appeared. Then came the concept of forestry, which we meant today. Forest areas were created with a limited forest area, where foresters acted systematically and for which there was economic planning.

In 1832, Emperor Nicholas I approved the statute of the first Russian Society for the Promotion of Forestry. The society received a state subsidy and had the right “to give a medal with a special stamp”. He also published in the Forest Journal.

In 1888, Russia passed a law to protect forests.

Forests in the Soviet period and in the 90s

In 1917, the Soviet government declared state ownership of the forests. In 1918 the “Basic Law on Forest” was approved and in 1923 the Forest Code of the RSFSR was adopted, which was valid for 55 years.

In 1965 the RSFSR Ministry of Forests was formed, a year later the professional holiday “Forest Worker’s Day” appeared.

In the early 1990s the timber industry was largely privatized. The Basic Principles of Forest Legislation (1993) were adopted, followed by the Forest Code (1997). As of January 1, 2007, a new version of the Forest Code has entered into force.

New idea for forestry

In the second decade of the 21st century, many innovations appeared in the management mechanisms of the industry, as well as in the timber market. For example, from 1 January 2022, electronic accompanying documents for timber truck drivers apply: they will replace the corresponding papers. This allows, among other things, the control of the timber turnover, the fight against illegal logging and the visibility of the entire timber chain.

In order to have as complete information as possible on the state of forests, a federal law governing the digitization process of forestry has been issued. The first part of the changes takes effect on July 1, 2021 – thus, the six most popular types of forest-related services have been transferred to the Public Service Portal: forest declarations, reports, etc. In total, this is about 2-3 million requests per year. Now they can only be taken remotely.

In 2021, the “Strategy for the development of the forest industry until 2030” was approved. Its main tasks are digitization, reforestation, fire fighting and illegal logging. In fact, the new strategy for the first time combines the economic and environmental component of the forest complex. Here one can see a fundamental revision of the approaches of the forestry development strategy themselves. If in the past the forest was considered through the prism of industry and the increase of business profitability, now the main thing is the balance of interests of the timber industry and forestry with the management of the country’s forest resources from an environmental and social point of view. .

For example, to reduce the volume of forest violations, a large set of measures has been developed, which aim to improve forest surveillance, the transparency of timber turnover. The introduction of a ban on the export of raw wood and a special rule for the use of wooden structures in state-mandated constructions will stimulate the domestic product market. There are infrastructure solutions – in particular, in 10 years at least 2,000 km of forest roads will have to be built throughout the year, which is four times more than today. It is also expected to increase funding for research and development.

In addition, the document contains measures such as the compilation of the forest inventory, the revision of approaches to the institution of distribution and valuation of cutting areas, the clarification of its legal status by the definition of the contractor, the digital transformation of the forest sector, the increase of efficiency of specialized budgetary and autonomous institutions that will be able to carry out operations for income-generating activity.

According to Alexander Martynyuk, director of the All-Russian Research Institute of Forestry and Forest Mechanization, this will help return the financial component to forestry, which existed before 2008, when 60-70% of the funds allocated to forestry activities were earned by the forest enterprises themselves. At the same time, it is considered that the main source of funds will not be the harvesting and processing of wood, but the performance by such bodies of functions related to the protection, conservation and reproduction of forests.

In an interview with Expert magazine, Rosleskhoz CEO Sergey Anoprienko described the main thing everyone expects from Strategy 2030:

– We are gradually moving to a model of intensive forest management, when through selective logging it is possible to form mature forests faster, resulting in a reduction in logging turnover and an increase in timber removal per hectare. This allows you to reduce damage to nature by increasing economic returns. As a result, the increase in value added created by companies in the sector is expected to reach 1.14 trillion rubles and the increase in the contribution of the forest complex to GDP to 1.5%.

Sources of data and photos for the review:,

Leave a Comment