In Ivano-Frankivsk, Victor Yushchenko met with Environmental Minister Pavlo Ihnatenko, State Forestry Committee Head Victor Chervony, Ivano-Frankivsk Governor Roman Tkach, Lviv Governor Petro Oliynyk, Zakarpatya Governor Oleh Havashi, Chernivtsi Governor Mykola Tkach, and Ivano-Frankivsk Council Chairman Vasyl Brus to discuss ways to develop forestry in Ukraine, the President press office reports.
They decided that a special commission led by Chervony would elaborate a forestry development program for 2006.
Yushchenko believes it is necessary to inventory all Ukrainian forests and appoint an institution that would manage them. Although the President thinks the State Forestry Committee is “often inefficient,” he said there were no better means of forest management.
The Head of State opined that this sector should work for creating a “modern timber market .” We must learn to better process our wood and reduce the amount of exported wood, thus legalizing smaller wood-processing businesses and jobs. The new program is also intent to prevent wood theft and develop forest infrastructure for interested businessmen and tourists.
“Governmental policy is wise when it attracts business,” Yushchenko said, urging the local authorities to announce allotment tenders for small and medium business.
The program is based on the State Forestry Reform Concept, which was developed by the State Forestry Committee. It should help increase the forest area from 15.7% to 20%, reform the wood-processing industry, create a transparent wood market and promote employment. In 2006, the government plans to spend UAH 25 mln to implement the program.
Then they discussed ways to recycle wood for energy production, create new natural reserves, develop environmentally safe technologies, restore forests and build roads. They also agreed that it was important to enforce the Forestry Code passed on February 8, 2006. The President said he would soon sign it but said he first needed to discuss it with forestry workers and Secretariat experts.
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