Cor­rup­tion fu­els il­le­gal log­ging, de­stroy­ing Ukraine’s forest­land

Kyiv Post Legal Quarterly - - News -

Vin­nyt­sia for­est in­dus­try, told the Kyiv Post he was shot at af­ter ex­pos­ing a scheme un­der which a lo­cal state forestry en­ter­prise was sell­ing off its forests by mark­ing down the ex­ports as fire­wood.

Much of the log­ging is con­cen­trated in the his­toric re­gion of Bukovyna, where the forests had un­til re­cently re­mained al­most un­touched. Ac­tivists with the Pa­tri­otic Com­mu­nity of Bukovyna now say that up to 60 per­cent of Bukovyna’s forests have been de­stroyed in the past few years.

In the cen­ter of the area, among the foothills of the Carpathian Moun­tains, sits the State Forestry En­ter­prise of Bere­homet.

Mykola Petichenko, an ac­tivist with the Pa­tri­otic Com­mu­nity of Bukovyna who has the dan­ger­ous hobby of driv­ing around the Ch­er­nivtsi coun­try­side, chas­ing and ex­pos­ing smug­glers, said that Bere­homet is a re­gional cen­ter for il­le­gally cut wood. The Bere­homet state en­ter­prise is lo­cated next to a rail­way line that leads to Ro­ma­nia. Spring­time for Sch­weighofer Ukrainian law stip­u­lates that log­gers must mark the qual­ity of the wood at the place at which it was cut down, so as to pre­vent fraud. But the Bere­homet log sup­ply was with­out any mark­ings.

Ac­cord­ing to con­tract in­for­ma­tion ob­tained by the Kyiv Post, Bere­homet con­cluded a con­tract with Sch­weighofer that saw the state-owned en­ter­prise sell roughly $700,000 in lum­ber in 2015.

When pre­sented with the num­ber, Sch­weighofer said that it had not re­ceived any logs from Bere­homet since the mora­to­rium was in place. While the Kyiv Post was at Bere­homet, a postal worker walked in say­ing he was car­ry­ing mail from Sch­weighofer.

“If they re­ceive a cer­tifi­cate con­firm­ing the ori­gin of the goods, (cus­toms) have no right not to block the ex­port,” said An­drew Zablot­skyi, a part­ner at Sayenko Kharenko who fo­cuses on cus­toms law.

Petichenko, along with Va­leriy Airiniy, another Bukovyna

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ukraine

© PressReader. All rights reserved.