Adoption of bill on wood market to help restore forests, transparency in markets in both Ukraine, EU - Stefanishyna
Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna believes that the adoption of Bill No. 4197-d On the timber market will help restore forests and ensure transparency of the timber market in Ukraine and the European Union.
"Several important things regarding the bill No.4197-d, which will lift the moratorium on exports of unprocessed timber from Ukraine and introduce a civilized transparent timber market. Today, the main common priority of Ukraine and the EU is reforestation and transparency of the timber market in Ukraine and both in the EU, and bill 4197-d is fully in line with this goal," Stefanishyna told Interfax-Ukraine.
According to her, the European Union is considering a number of initiatives to directly limit the import of timber, which is harvested in a way that is harmful to forests, as well as to ban the import of goods whose production is associated with the destruction of forests.
"The initiative of the President of Ukraine to plant one billion trees over the next three years completely overlaps with the afforestation goals set by the European Union under the European Green Deal. Therefore, Ukraine, like our European partners, is not interested in returning barbaric practices of uncontrolled and harmful for the environment export of unprocessed wood from Ukraine to the EU," the deputy prime minister said.
At the same time, she said that under any circumstances, Ukraine will maintain a ban on the export of valuable tree species listed in the Red Book.
"The approach to the export of raw wood stated in the bill meets the requirements of the decision in the arbitration initiated by the EU against Ukraine […] Of course, there are forces in Ukraine that will sabotage the establishment of order in the circulation of wood and will block the adoption of the project, manipulating the idea of allowing the export of untreated wood without respecting the principle of afforestation. 'Such' merchants are only interested in financial benefits, corruption schemes and non-transparent rules," Stefanishyna said.
According to her, the government and the parliament are preparing proposals, according to which the control mechanism will be significantly strengthened to ensure that the international trade in timber takes place only if a sufficient level of forest cover is achieved in each region of Ukraine.