Precious green ‘gold’ won’t change its colour

Forest stock per capita in Belarus is double Europe’s average

By Ruzhena Novitskaya

Boasting around nine million hectares of forest resources, it’s no surprise that Belarus has long been called a ‘forest republic’. In all, 23 percent of our forests are artificially planted; they all are owned by the state. Moreover, we enjoy 0.8 hectare of forests per capita, and over 160 cubic metres of forest stock — double the average European level. Over the last sixty years, forest volumes have almost doubled here.

“In Belarus, forestry management is based on the rational use of resources,” asserts Fiodor Lisitsa, Belarus’ First Deputy Forestry Minister. “Forest planning projects are in place, with quotas for cutting carefully decided on scientific grounds.”
Over the last five years, the Forestry Ministry has seen positive dynamics regarding planting and felling.

Traditionally, trees are planted in spring. Winter passes quickly, so are you already planning your planting schedule?

At present, all Belarusian forestries are collecting seeds for major species of trees in a centralised manner. Over 85 tonnes of cones from common pine trees have been gathered, alongside 177 tonnes of cones from common spruces and around 30 tonnes of acorns from common oaks. Seed preparation is primarily organised by special seed plantations, to ensure enhanced characteristics.

Fire can destroy woodlands worldwide but was brought to a minimum in Belarus last year…

We achieved good results in this area, protecting our forests via constant monitoring by the state forest protection service. During the fire hazard season, the forestries organise constant patrols. We began preparing in autumn 2010, immediately after the previous season.

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