Reliable forest protection and development of a new model for forest management


Minister of Environment Romanos Petrosyan received the Directors of "Forest Enterprise" branches of "ArmForest" SNCO.
In attendance were Deputy Minister Tigran Simonyan, Acting Chairman of the Committee of Forest of the MoE A. Petrosyan, Acting Director of "ArmForest" SNCO P. Tsugunyan.
Prior to discussing the agenda of the working meeting, the Minister expressed gratitude to his colleagues, their staff for the work performed on the frontline and in the rear during the war.
The discussion of the agenda items started with the reference to the current situation in this post-war phase, the issues of forest management and urgent solutions. The Minister submitted his vision of reforms in the sphere of forestry, forest management; the priorities of further joint cooperation were considered, and the platform in which they intend to record results.
Progressive changes are envisaged.
The Minister touched upon the disturbing statistics on the number of deforestation. Regardless of illegal felling for defensive purposes in border areas, the volume  of illegal cutting of trees in rear forest areas is alarming. Considered the whole set of problems in the field of forest management: patrol service, implementation of supervisory function and organization of operative response to the problems.
The Minister presented the new model of forest management, the pilot version of which is planned to be introduced in several forestries in early 2021. The collection of firewood residues, natural pruning, trunk pruning, industrial deforestation will be effected exclusively with the means, equipment, financial resources of “ArmForest” state non-commercial organization, and those profits generated by individual LLCs will be directed to salary increases and capacity-building development of the SNCO.
The Minister briefed his colleagues that the Deputy Minister is presently negotiating with international partners, remarkably  with the Czech Republic, for exchange of experience in forest management.
 It was made a reference to the most important component of forest protection. The Minister talked about the introduction of the Park Ranger Institute, illustrated the examples of 24-hour security detachments introduced in other spheres, expressed hope that in the near future the forests of Armenia will be supervised by rangers, who will be upgraded with modern technical means and will have special service vehicles. Active steps are already assumed in that direction.
The Director of "ArmForest" SNCO also attached importance to separating the timber allocated for the needs of the Ministry of Defense, proposing to mark it with a special label so that the illegal loggers would not try to illegally avoid responsibility.
Each of the Directors of "Forestry" branches of "ArmForest" SNCO presented the problems of forest management in his region, as a result of constructive discussions the prospects of their solutions were outlined.
The Deputy Minister, too,  presented the package of amendments envisaged in the Forest Code and asked his colleagues to come up with propositions.
Summing up the meeting, the Minister submitted the ultimate objective of all reforms and steps undertaken towards reliable forest protection, establishment and development of a new model of forest management, urging partners to make utmost efforts to establish this common idea, exclusively for the sake of the Republic of Armenia and our people.