Lithuania leading the world in terms of forest conservation2012-10-26
Scientists have carried out a forest conservation assessment based on three criteria: changes in forest stand volume (assessment period 1995-2010), forest harvesting (assessment period 2000-2010) and forest cover (assessment period 2000-2010).
Scientists from different areas regularly collect data on the environmental situation in each of 132 countries worldwide. Lithuania’s closest neighbours Latvia and Belarus share the 32nd position, Poland ranks 42nd, Russia 50th, Finland 53rd, Sweden 64th and Estonia 75th.
Information regularly obtained by reliable methods from more than one source confirms that Lithuania’s resources – forest areas and timber volumes – are on the increase, deforestation rates are significantly lower than regrowth rates, harvested forests are replanted in a timely manner, the forest stand age structure, stability and productivity is improving, and biodiversity is greater than that in the forests of most neighbouring countries.
Over the past decade, the country’s forest cover has increased from 30.9% to 33.2%. Since 2001, the total accumulated volume of forest stands has grown by 38 million cubic metres and the total annual timber volume growth has increased from 16.1 million to 16.6 million cubic metres.
Seven million cubic metres of timber are harvested annually in and annual forest growth makes up 16 million cubic metres of timber, i.e. timber harvests account for less than 50% of regrowth. Such logging volumes meet the principles of sustainable forestry where timber harvests do not exceed forest growth and create preconditions for fairly effective functioning of the country’s forestry sector and satisfaction of the demand for timber in industry, energy and other sectors.
Scientists have estimated that over the past 10 years the value of state forests has been increased by LTL 1 billion merely by accumulating timber volume, i.e. not harvesting the whole timber growth and plating new forests. Almost 12,000 hectares of new forests were planted in 2001–2011.
National forest certification in takes place according to the world’s strictest – FSC – certification procedure. Audits of this certification show that state forests in are handled very well in accordance with biodiversity conservation and enhancement requirements.
Information of the Ministry of Environment, phone 219 1868
26 October 2012