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In the Far East will create a digital platform for forest management

On August 14, in Vladivostok, Deputy Prime Minister and Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District, Yuri Trutnev, held a meeting on the development of timber processing capacities in the Far East and on the digitalization of the forest industry.

“The Far East is a forest territory. The Far East accounts for almost half of the forest land, including high-quality wood. There are other factors that determine the development of the forest industry in the Far East, for example, proximity to the border, which leads to a sufficiently large amount of roundwood exported. The Government of the Russian Federation has adopted a number of decisions stimulating the processing of forest products in our territory. This, including a phased increase in export customs duties to the level of 80% in 2021. But today we are still forced to state that in the gross product of the country, the forest industry provides something in the region of 1%, nothing changes. The issue of creating conditions for deep processing of wood in the Far East is quite acute, ”said Yuri Trutnev. 

Leonid Petukhov, Director General of the Far East Investment Promotion and Export Support Agency (ANO IPA), reported on existing and planned projects in the forest and timber processing industries of the Far East. According to him, the estimated cutting area is about 95 million cubic meters. Annual revenue at an average price of $ 200 per cubic meter may be more than $ 2 billion annually. Now about 23.5 million cubic meters of forest is produced annually.

According to the head of the Agency, the industry is characterized by a number of problems that investors are paying attention to. So, in particular, there is no mechanism for the systemic development of trunk forest roads. About 62% of the resources of the Far East are located outside the economically accessible zone of logistics. There is no up-to-date information on the actually accessible cutting area. Forest inventory materials are outdated, a significant part of the documents prepared more than 20 years ago. The regulatory framework is imperfect. There is no mechanism for reserving forest plots for priority projects. There is no effective mechanism for registering previously unaccounted sites on the cadastre. The conditions for providing forest plots are opaque, registration takes a lot of time, timber and timber products are traded on the basis of dumped transfer prices, and there is no single transparent control mechanism.

One of the tools for resolving a number of acute industry problems can be the digital platform Lesvostok.RF, which is being developed by the Far East Development Fund (FRDV), based on the successful experience of digitalization of the aquaculture sector. “We propose to conduct an experiment in the Far East and introduce a new forestry management system based on space monitoring data. We also proceed from the fact that tendering of forest plots should be transparent, and forest plots should be sold only through an exchange. We will offer to introduce this system in the Far East, to watch its effectiveness. If it works well, we will offer to extend it to other parts of the Russian Federation, ”said Yuri Trutnev. 

According to Aleksey Chekunkov, General Director of the FRDV, the new mechanism will significantly increase both the effectiveness of both government and market mechanisms in the industry. It will provide for the investor the principle of "one window" in relations with public authorities and the interconnectedness of existing state information systems. The head of the fund noted that the Internet service is created in the interests of three groups of users: investors, government, market participants. It will consist of four main blocks: an interactive map with up-to-date data on available forest resources, an electronic trading platform for the distribution of rights to use forest plots through an auction, an electronic “exchange” of goods and services, and a “digital wood passport”.

Using an electronic card, any investor will be able to select the forest of interest to him and send an application for the provision of land for use to the authorized body. Instead of manual and eye methods, and paper maps, satellite data and computer analysis will be used. Instead of closed and opaque allocation mechanisms, open online auctions will be introduced. The transfer of all transactions with industry products to a single exchange platform and the introduction of an electronic wood passport (the core of the Internet service, ensuring the continuity of data on changes in the state of the forest plot and products from it) will increase budget revenues and significantly hamper the functioning of the gray and black markets.  

The Vice Prime Minister proposed that ANO IPA work out a proposal to create a Far Eastern Competence Center for the effective management of forest resources. The creation of this center will make it possible to plan future forest management using the tools of digitalization of forest resources, create a transparent mechanism for providing forest plots through public tenders, and monitor the progress of construction of the main forest infrastructure. 

 

The necessary solutions for creating a digital platform is the transition to the application procedure for the formation of forest plots, the granting of rights to use the forest only by the results of electronic auctions, ensuring the relevance and publicity of data on the quality and quantity of forests, including through the introduction of automated electronic data exchange between the Internet service and current state information systems, making and / or registering transactions on an exchange platform. Also during the meeting, the progress of state forest inventory in the Far East was reviewed.

 

Information provided by the press service of the Far East Investment Promotion and Export Support Agency

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