Latvian government agrees to permit chopping down young forests – UW GROUP

Latvian government agrees to permit chopping down young forests

In an attempt to increase wood chips production, Latvia’s government agreed on Tuesday, 21 June, to pass amendments that permit chopping down trees in young forests.

Annotation to amendments mention that the decision was made after evaluating regulations regarding the estimate for main felling average in Latvia, Estonia and other Baltic Sea region and scientific research on forest readiness in Latvia, which indicated that.

According to research from Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, by changing the main felling average it will be possible to increase the capital value of forests by EUR 440 million as long as there is focused forest restoration with valuable forest reproductive material. These changes will help increase annual net income potential by EUR 12 million.

To prevent the possibility of increasing forest stand average through thinning and thereby reach tree felling even faster, it is planned for the main felling to be prohibited if the last thinning took place in the last three years. Restrictions are expected to come to force 1 July 2025.

Latvia’s Ministry of Agriculture explain the effect from amendments will be observed in a long-term perspective.

However, nature protection organisations are alarmed about certain amendments.

Activists say that amendments had been stopped twice before due to pressure from the public. Now they are pushed despite the promise from Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš that they would not be viewed until an agreement is reached between nature protection organisations and forest owners.

Rules that would have permitted felling of young pine, spruce and birch forests were proposed in 2017 and then again in 2019. Since then there have been no discussions of this topic, environment protection organisations say.


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