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18 May


Trees were counted in Russia

Roslesinforg published inventory data

Photo: AFP

/NOVOSTIVL/ The Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Irkutsk Region are named as the leading regions in terms of timber reserves - specialists of the Federal State Budgetary Institution "Roslesinforg" found there 13.3 billion and 12.9 billion cubic meters of raw materials, respectively, within the framework of the state forest inventory. Siberian forests are also expected to be ahead of other Russian green areas in terms of accumulated carbon, which is the basis of life on Earth - 13.8 billion tons by 2020. In general, they say in Roslesinforg, forest reserves in the Russian Federation are underestimated and exceed the data of official statistics. However, ecologists criticize the progress of the state inventory, calling it a failure, and the final data - inaccurate.

The Krasnoyarsk Territory is in the lead in the rating of timber reserves in Russia - 13.3 billion cubic meters. They are followed by the Irkutsk Region (12.9 billion cubic meters), Yakutia (6.3 billion cubic meters), Khabarovsk Territory (5.3 billion cubic meters) and Komi (4.5 billion cubic meters). These data were presented by Roslesinforg specialists based on the results of the first stage of the State Forest Inventory (GIL), which was launched in 2007. “Analyzing the inventory data, the experts found that the forest reserves were underestimated and exceeded the official statistics,” the press service of Roslesinforg said.

So, the new information differs from the data of the state forest register in several billions for each listed region.

According to the GIL, Siberian forests, as expected, became the leader in terms of the total carbon stock, there by 2020 13.8 billion tons have been accumulated. Carbon is a biogenic element that forms the basis of life on the planet. “According to experts, the total volume of emissions of substances polluting the atmosphere on the territory of Russia is 0.03 billion tons per year,” says Roslesinforg. “The dynamics of the annual carbon absorption, that is, the carbon potential of Russian forests, can be seen already in 2021, when the second cycle of state inventory will begin. "

For the inventory, the service explains, experts examine forests on test plots: “For this, they measure three circles with an area of ​​25, 100 and 500 square meters on a forest plot. m, located inside each other. They study everything that is on the test plots: they fix and enter into the information system the location of each tree, its diameter, height, and type of crown. Then they examine mosses, lichens, and herbaceous plants that cover the soil under the forest canopy ”. The inventory data is planned to be used, in particular, to assess the "investment attractiveness of a forest resource in a region or a specific forest area."

Environmentalists, however, call the state inventory a failure, and the data obtained is inaccurate.

“It is important to assess the absorption capacity of forests, and not how much carbon they have accumulated,” says Aleksey Yaroshenko from Greenpeace Russia. Roslesinforg plans to estimate carbon sequestration after the second stage, ten years later, but this will not work either, because the procedure for conducting the assessment was changed to the second stage. Accordingly, it will be impossible to compare the data ”.

How the state wants to turn the forest into new oil

“Even without the GIL I can say that there is more wood in these regions, since the forest area is larger,” adds Konstantin Kobyakov from WWF-Russia. “The method itself was approved in such a way that it could not provide normal information. As a basis - where exactly to take samples - they take forest inventory data, which contains outdated information. Therefore, a statistical error occurs already at the first stage. " Mr. Yaroshenko agrees with his colleague and adds that the calculations that the service specialists carry out after the field work are hidden from the public.

“For example, several tens of thousands of hectares of broadleaf forests were found in the Kostroma region, although in reality there are several hundred hectares,” he says. “We have been trying for several years to find out how they counted it. In the end, they opened the data for the region, and we saw logical errors in the calculation. Obviously, there are the same errors in other regions, but since these calculations are not available, we cannot check. "

In addition, ecologists point out that the GIL takes into account trees only in the forest fund, while the rest of the forests, for example, grown over decades on agricultural land, which, according to ecologists, is about 100 million hectares, are not taken into account in statistics.

“And this is just the most interesting thing,” says Konstantin Kobyakov. “We know roughly what is happening in the forest fund, but there is still no data for other forests.”