Wood sawyard

 

World Bank

 

Forestry Development Project

Belarus

 

 

Environmental Impact Assessment

 

 

 

April, 1994


 

 

 

 

 

 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

 

An Environmental Impact Assessment mission was completed in September 1993 to review the possible adverse impacts on the environment of a proposed Forestry Development Project in the Republic of Belarus. The mission was financed by the Dutch Trust fund MIR. Coincidentally a seminar on the Environmental Strategy Plan was held in Minsk, which was partly attended by the consultant.

 

The consultant has drawn his conclusions on the environmental impact and recommendations for mitigating measures from written information provided by the World Bank (see list of consulted documents in ANNEX V on page 22), oral information from Officials of the Ministry of Forestry of Belarus, Field Staff of several Forest Enterprises, the Staff from the Byelorussian Forest Research Institute in Gomel and the Staff from the Byelorussian Institute of Technology in Minsk. Also some NGO's were consulted.

 

The mission wishes to thank the Ministry of Forestry for their hospitality and collaboration. In addition it thanks all consulted Officials and Scientists (see list in Annex VI on page 23) for their frankness in providing relevant information.

 

Oak forest mixed with Hornbeam, Spruce, Alder and Maple

Figure 1. Oak forest mixed with Hornbeam, Spruce, Alder and Maple.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

1.The proposed Forestry Development Project has, amongst others, the objective to mitigate the possible adverse environmental impact of forest exploitation and management.

 

2.The Ministry of Forestry and the Byelorussian Forest Research Institute have changed their efforts towards modern silvicultural methods, taking into account the negative effects of dense artificial plantations of single species (monocultures of Scots Pine). They have changed their objectives towards mixed plantations of coniferous and broad-leafed tree species and wider planting matrix. In forest harvesting the trend has been to use modern ergonomic and environmental friendly power tools and forest vehicles. Biological and mechanical control of forest pathogens has been favored over chemical control outside the forest nurseries, either by choice or by lack of funds.

 

3.The transition from member state of the former USSR to an independent country, however, has had negative effects on the economy of the country. Priorities had to be given to primary economic sectors over research, environment and maintenance in secondary production sectors of the economy such as forestry. In the forestry sub-sector this resulted in neglect of non-commercial high-thinnings[1] in young and middle aged forest plantations, while commercial thinnings often where executed as low-thinnings[2] in order to provide necessary funds for running forestry enterprises.

 

4.Research funds have withered, causing deterioration of communication with other former USSR institutes and extreme difficulties in continuation of ongoing research programs.

 

5.The World Bank's proposed financial aid serves to alleviate the hopefully temporary difficulties and to boost the forest production sector, while helping the Ministry of Forestry to continue their efforts to change towards a more environmental directed strategy.

 

6.Adverse environmental impact in the forestry sub-sector is therefore not to be expected because of inappropriate management plans or ignorance of the executive staff concerning environmental matters. All new forestry management proposals are directed towards preventing or minimizing of adverse environmental impacts.

 

7.However, general lack of awareness of the Public towards nature conservation, a cumbersome bureaucratic system, lack of integration between research and practice and highly subsidized prices of primary forest products might endanger a progressive development of the forestry sub-sector and endanger the environment and future quality of the forestry resources.

 

8.The consultant is of the opinions that first the indirect adverse influences must be dealt with in order to clear the way for the proposed mitigating activities concerning techniques and methodology that are directly linked to production and protection forestry as formulated in the various reports of other missions related to the Forestry Development Project and the Forest Biodiversity Project.

 

9.This can partly be achieved by changing towards a free market economy with privatization of production, realistic price setting for forestry products that include the costs for durable utilization of the renewable and non-renewable resources, partly by a re-organization of governmental administration, and partly by promoting a general mentality change of the public towards Nature through education and information.

 

10.Adverse environmental impacts of forest exploitation methods, both through use of unsuitable equipment, wrong techniques and untrained personnel have been dealt with by the Finnish Consultants of Jaakko Poyry Oy. Mitigating measurements were proposed in separate documents. Adverse environmental impact of possible inadequate fire prevention has been handled by a separate mission of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre and a document on mitigating measures has been submitted separately. The consultant has reviewed those documents and has elaborated on some points in this environmental review.

 

 

11.Summary of proposed action:

                       Internal reorganization of the Ministry of Forestry, taking into consideration (i) total integration of the planning division BELGOSLES, (ii) decentralization concerning management and control; (iii) centralization concerning regulation and standardization; (iv) reorientation concerning roles of departments and functions in agreement with the next point and with the requirements of protection forest management.

           

                       Reorientation of the tasks of the various Ministries and State Committees concerned with landuse towards less production oriented functions.

           

                       The reorientation of the role of the Forest Research Institute towards applied research for the private sector and the establishment of a Seed Center for quality improvement and control of propagation material (seed certification).

           

                       Assignment of responsibilities for environmental protection: two options can be considered:

           

            (i) integration of responsibility for the management of Forest Reserves and other protected areas in the Ministry of Forestry together with the formation of a department for nature conservation education and information, or

            (ii) total transfer of the responsibility of environmental control to the State Committee for Ecology.[3]

            Considering, however, that expertise in MinFor is mostly related to conservation, protection and control of natural renewable resources, while the State Committee has more expertise concerned with environmental technology related to polluters, the first option seems more logic and easier to accomplish.

           

                       Revision of forest regulations and codes. The existing regulations and codes are written for the whole of the former USSR. Some regulations have been attuned to for Beylarussian conditions, but these revisions did not take into account modern silviculture and management requirements.

           

                       New market orientation of the forestry sub-sector towards production of high quality, high value forest and forest by-products for the international market and bulk production for the national market of pulp and paper, construction wood and bio-fuel.

           

                       Revision of stumpage fees, classified according quality and use, and based on sustainable production management costs.

           

                       Technical mitigating activities as proposed by the forest exploitation mission concerning use of modern ergonomic and environmentally friendly equipment, use of wheeled rolling material, carrying instead of trailing of felled trees, assortment on felling site, careful use of lubricants and fuels, proper felling plans, control on the work site during the felling activities is sustained by this review.

           

                       Training of staff and personnel: reorientation of formal forest education towards the proposed changes in management of production forestry and protection forestry.

           

           Adaptation and enforcement of rules for forest laborers concerning personal safety and environment.


 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

General Observations

12.The forests of Belarus cover about 8.5 million hectares[4] or 37% of the Republic's territory and fulfil an important role in the agricultural sector of the economy as well as in protecting the country's soil and water resources. They are also a source of important non-wood products and provide habitat for a rich fauna and flora. Last but not least the forests are important for the well-being of the population, mainly as recreational zones but also as filter and buffer against respectively air pollution and adverse climatic conditions.

 

Oak forest in Zhornov pilot stand         

Figure 2. Oak forest in Zhornov pilot stand.

13. The actual condition of the forests of Belarus is negatively influenced by a number of adverse conditions. They depend partly on inside factors (forest management and silvicultural techniques) and partly on external factors (pollution). Especially the Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests (1/3 of the total area) planted after WWII have suffered relatively more from pollution. The practice at that time of planting 15,00-16,000 seedlings per hectare have not or only partially been corrected through forest maintenance (clearings and non-commercial thinnings) while the planting stock was either inferior or species choice was not according to site conditions.

 

Distributon of total area ubder forest cover per Oblast

Graph 1. Distribution of total area under forest cover per Oblast.

 

14.While in 1956 the volume of mature stands (80 - 100yrs) was 6%, in 1988 it was only 2.4%. Total standing stock is about 1 billion m³ of which 1.5% is annually harvested.  According to international standards about 2-3% can be safely extracted, which means that the extractable volume could be doubled. This amount is almost totally represented by immature Pine plantations. Due to the lack of funds and a market for small sized logs, there is little prospect for increasing annual harvesting volumes in the near future.

 

Estimate of Extraction 1988 — 2020

Graph 2. Estimate of Extraction 1988 — 2020.

15.The project's main objective is to improve the management of the forest resources of Belarus, based on sustainable production of forest products. This also implies that management should include environmental sound methods and techniques and the protection of soil and water resources. Forests should provide habitats for wildlife. Priority activities include carrying out overdue maintenance of neglected forest plantations, introduction of modern equipment for forest exploitation together with modern felling and extracting techniques.

 

16.Two project components could have a possible adverse impact on the environment and on natural resource conservation in Belarus:

 

            (a) Modernization of forest exploitation, and

           

            (b) Intensifying of thinnings necessary because of overdue maintenance plantations established after WW II.

           

Both activities would imply an expansion of the Ministry of Forestry's equipment pool.

 

17.Apart from those two, in the T.O.R. mentioned subjects, the actual management of forest resources, independent of their "owner" has to improve considerably, both on intra- and inter-ministerial level.

 

18.Although modern silvicultural techniques are known and acknowledged by ministerial staff and forestry scientists, "Jurassic" institutional organization, lack of proper equipment and funds for covering current costs, lack of fuel and indifference of lower personnel have considerably hindered the progressive development of the forests.

 

19.The conclusions and recommendations for mitigating measures (Table 1) are based on (i) the reports and documents submitted by the World Bank, the Ministry of Forestry, the Beylarussian Forest Research Institute and the Beylarussian Institute of Technology; (ii) discussions with Staff from the Ministry of Forestry and Field Staff of Forestry Districts and Forest Ranges, and members of various NGO's, and (iii) field observations in coniferous and broad-leafed forest stands.

 

20.Possible adverse environmental impacts are related to:

(i)                     felling and extraction with tracked vehicles in the wrong season

(ii)                     wrong species choice

(iii)        dense planting matrix

(iv)                    inferior propagation material

(v)                     use of toxic agrochemicals

(vi)                    neglect of maintenance.

 

Outside influences are:

(i)                     industrial air and water pollution

(ii)                     over-exploitation of forest (by)products

(iii)                    dumping of solid-waste

(iv)        radioactive contamination by 137Cs.

 

21.Mitigating measures are linked with silvicultural methods, forest exploitation techniques, management planning, institutional reorganization, amelioration of propagation material, adaptation of regulations to international standards and proper land valuation, as well as with pollution control.

 

Undergrowth of Spruce and developed humus layer under Pine

Figure 3. Undergrowth of Spruce and developed humus layer under Pine.

 

SUMMARY OF MITIGATING ACTIVITIES

No

AREA/ISSUE

ACTION

RESPONSIBILITY

01

Seed Center

The foundation of a Seed Center for quality control of forest seed storage of seed stock and certification of commercial propagation material.

MinFor

FRI

02

Forest Nurseries

Regular control of soil quality in the nursery planting beds on level of toxic substances.

MinFor

FRI

04

Thinnings

The trees should be delimbed to the extent that the green mass and the stem are lying flat on the ground. The stem should be cut into segments not exceeding a length of 2 meter, preferable not longer than one meter. All stem wood exceeding 15cm in diameter should be debarked if left in the forest. Broad-leafed trees should be allowed to invade Pine stands.

MinFor

06

Harvesting

Technical mitigating actions as proposed by the forest exploitation mission concerning use of environment friendly and ergonomic power tools, use of wheeled rolling material, carrying instead of trailing of felled trees, assortment on felling site, careful use of lubricants and fuels, proper felling plans, control on the work site during the felling activities is sustained by this review.

MinFor

BELLESPROM

07

Research

Reorientation of the role of the Forest Research Institute towards applied research for the private sector and formation of Seed Center for quality improvement and control of propagation material.

FRI

08

Vocational Education

Reorientation of formal forest education towards the proposed changes of management in production forestry and protection forestry.

KIT

09

Nature Education

The installation of Visitors Centers in recreational forests (especially those situated in the "Greenbelt") together with training of field staff in nature education.

MinFor

Council of Ministers

Goskomekologia

10

Forest Legislation

Revision of forest regulation and codes according to modern silviculture and management methods. Safety rules for personal safety of forest workers and avoiding contamination and damaging of the environment.

MinFor

KIT

FRI

11

Land Tenure

Reorientation of the tasks of the various Ministries and Committees concerned with landuse towards less production oriented functions.

Council of Min.

12

Wildlife

Forest production and maintenance activities in the right season to avoid disturbance of wildlife. Contiguous felling site as small as possible to avoid destruction of wildlife habitats and obstruction of access to neighboring territories. 

MinFor

Goskomekologia

13

Institutional Reorganization

Internal reorganization of the Ministry of Forestry, taking into consideration (i) total integration of the planning division BELGOSLES, (ii) decentralization of forest management and control; (iii) centralization concerning regulation and standardization; (iv) reorientation concerning roles of departments and functions in agreement with the next point and with protection forestry.

Government

14

Protection forestry

The possible integration of responsibility for the management of Forest Reserves and other protected areas in the Ministry of Forestry together with the formation of a department for nature conservation education and information.

MinFor

Goskomekologia

15

Forest products

New market orientation of the forestry sub-sector towards export of high quality, high value forest and forest by-products. Production for the national market of eg, pulp and paper, construction wood and bio-fuel. Revision of stumpage prices, classified according quality and use.

MinFor

FRI

16

Species selection

Species selection according to site classes and  in favor of mixed forests.

MinFor

FRI

17

Pest and disease control

Research in biological control of pests and diseases should be continued and implemented. Proper post-harvesting measures as debarking of stumps and left logs. Application of root-rot repellents. Interplanting broad-leafed tree species.

FRI

MinFor

BELLESPROM

18

Monitoring of Forest resources

National inventory of forest resources should include all forests. Systematic inventory and mensuration techniques. Ongoing monitoring of the forest resources could be alleviated by transferring written data to a central binary data base eg, as in the GIS of the Academy of Sciences.

BELGOSLES, MinFor, KIT, AoSc. En extra budget of 50,000 US$ is needed.

Table 1. Summery of mitigating measures


SILVICULTURE

 

 

Propagation material

22.The regeneration of the forests under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Forestry is either done from seedlings grown in permanent nurseries (65% of the total area) or by natural regeneration (35% of total area). Seed stock is taken from "plus-trees" in stands of yield class I. Cones are oasted at ±54 °C, seeds de-winged and treated with root-rot (Heterobasidion annosum) fungicide Fumagalin. Planting is mechanized, either in open beds or in "hot-houses". Seedlings are left in the nursery from 1 (Scots Pine) to 2-4 (Spruce) years. Pricking out is sometimes done for Spruce within the nursery after 2 years, after which they stay another 2 year before to be planted out on the forest site. Preparation of nursery beds consists of adding enriched peat. Three to five days after seeding, the beds are treated with herbicides eg, Zeacine.

 

Forest Nursery with Pine seedlings 1 year old

Figure 4. Forest Nursery with Pine seedlings 1 year old.

Seed Center

23.The ecological optimum for the distribution area of species like Norway Spruce (Picea abies) falls within the territory of Belarus. Spruce seed has been exported to Scandinavia and Finland, but without certification. This has kept prices relatively low. With certification, prices would increase according to the market. The Research Institute should ensure physical purity, germination force, genetic variety purity and mutation free genetic material, all according to procedures, as laid down by the ISTA (International Seed Testing Association). A Seed Center should be established to ensure quality of seed stock and storage of seed stock to overcome poor seed years, and for the certification of propagation material for national and international markets.

 

Tree Breeding Center

24.The Forest Research Institute could play a pioneer function role in the commercial production of propa­gation material of forest trees. Their experience in tree breeding and selection is already extensive and their facilities for applied research in this matter are adequate advanced. Commercial tree breeding and export of seedlings and cuttings for the international market could be promising as labor and land are rela­tive cheap, while soil fertility and soil structure are reasonably good. The Research Institute should not assume the role of commercial producer, but could help future private companies to develop this sector and to ensure the quality of the product. Certification and control could be their task in the long term.

 

25.Small-scale planting of grafted propagation material has been done from 20 years, mainly for the establishment of seed orchards. Research on amelioration of propagation material is carried out in the Beylarussian Forest Research Institute of Gomel. Investigation of genetic properties has been in­troduced during the last years, but physiognomic characteristics are still the main selection criteria for seed stock in the field.

 

Species selection

26.In theory species selection is done according to the site-class description and to phyto-geographical classification. Studies on variants according to provenance are done in the Forest Research Institute but implementation of results is not yet widely practiced. More and more professionals are in favor of mixed planting instead of monocultures. The main advantages of mixed forest plantations are related to better soil formation properties of the mulch layer and better resistance against pathogens and pest outbreaks.

 

27.Monocultures of coniferous species tend to have interrelated root-systems. Infection of parasitic organisms (Beetles, Moths and Mushrooms), can spread very fast and is hard to control. Conifers are also more susceptible  to damage by SO2 from industrial air pollution than deciduous trees. Diversification of the forest resource and mixed plantations are thus also recommended from the economical point of view.

 

28.The mulch under Scots Pine plantations is difficult to digest by micro organisms. The raw humus layer seals the mineral subsoil from air and water, necessary for humification. Seepage of humic acids occurs, lowering the pH of the profile to values lesser than 4.5. This destroys any stable humus and inorganic colloids, both important for binding essential nutrient cations of Potassium, Nitrogen and Phosphor. These nutrients will be leached from the topsoil, leaving a nutrient‑poor and structureless layer directly under the raw humus. This process, known as Podsolization can be stopped by planting broad-leafed deciduous trees whose leaves improve the digestibility of the mulch. Species as Alder (Alnus spp.) and Acacia (Robinia spp.) can improve the nitrogen content of the soil profile though their N-binding properties.  Other advantages of planting mixed forests include better resistance against damages by wind and snow and better habitat for wildlife.

 

Forest maintenance

29.Young plantations are generally not weeded. Planting methods are selected according to edaphic site characteristics, i.e. denser planting matrix on better sites, taller seedlings in richer soil (Spruce) and di­rect seeding in very poor soils where little risks exist for excessive weed growth. Early non-commercial thinnings are carried out for sanitary or tree-form improving reasons. During the last 5 years planting density has decreased from 13000 - 16000 to 5000 - 7000 seedlings per hectare and the number of thinnings decreased to two commer­cial ones.

 

30.Use of agrochemicals is at the moment restricted to the nurseries. Formerly herbicides have been used for weed control in juvenile plantation. Actually preference is given to mechanical or biological weed, pests and disease control[5]. Use of fertilizers is at the moment also restricted to nurseries.

 

Middle aged Pine forest with undergrowth of Oak

Figure 5. Middle aged Pine forest with undergrowth of Oak.

31.Tree species invading naturally regenerated forests are cleared while still in juvenile stage. Thinnings are carried out to improve tree form and commercial volume of the final stand.

 

32.Traditionally, no pruning to improve the quality of timber is carried out. In the Forestry Development Project young and middle aged trees will be pruned respectively up to 2.5 and 5-6 meters, to ensure high quality knotfree stems. Pruning should be done during periods of lowest risks for infection with pathogens.

 

33.Preventive measures against fire hazard and diseases and pests include establishment and maintaining fire breaks: 1 to 3 meters wide plowed furrows, or, interplanting with broad-leafed species. Foci of phytopathological organisms are eradicated by cutting affected trees. Robinia pseu­doacacia is planted as a biological control measure against spreading of root rot.

 

Skidder trailing undersized roundwood

Figure 6. Skidder trailing undersized roundwood.

Social impact of the project.

34.Because no extra mechanization at the cost of the labor force is being suggested, no adverse impact are being expected. The proposed use of modern equipment will imply an improvement of working conditions for the forest workers as the equipment is in general lighter and ergonomic better designed. The project should explicitly include the training with the new equipment for efficient and safe use. The equipment should be accompanied by the proper safety clothing (chain saw workers) and the budget should therefore include this item.

 

 

Danger of adverse environmental impact in relation to silviculture

35.Adverse impacts on the forest ecosystem can originate from bad management of the forests and from inferior genetic material. The adverse impact is mostly on the quality of habitat for fauna and flora, thus influencing the biodiversity of the ecosystem. Other negative results, easier to internalize in the economy are: (i) loss of soil fertility, (ii) deterioration of the soil structure, (iii) bad quality of ma­ture timber stock, (iv) fast spreading of pests and diseases and (v) greater vulnerability to forest fires.

 

 

Mitigating measures

36.The following mitigating measures concerning silviculture can be distinguished: (Table 1):

(i)         Improvement of propagation material (certified seed stock, certified grafts and cuttings);

(ii)         storage facilities to prolong viability of seeds;

(iii)        species selection according to site demands;

(iv)        mixed species plantations;

(v)         maintenance activities according to forest man­agement plan and in the right season to avoid disturbance of wildlife and infection by phytopatho­gens;

(vi)        other preventive measures against the latter by mechanical and preferable biologic control eg. planting of fungus repellent trees, inoculating with benevolent fungus spores (eg, Phlebia gigan­tea) of the stumps after cutting, treefelling only in wintertime, proper post-felling sanitary measures as debarking of logs, importing natural enemies of damaging insects. Curative measures by destroying diseased and dead trees, replanting with broad-leafed tree species.

 

37.Regular control of soil quality in permanent forest nurseries for excessive content of toxic substances is advisable. 

 

38.To ameliorate the quality of the densely planted stands, thinnings have to be executed. How and when they will be done depends on the local circumstances. To find out the most economic way to use available labor and machines, the possibilities for marketing, for each site a cost-benefit analysis should made. Important parameters to take into account are: (i) available work force, (ii) distance to markets or processing plants,  (iii) expected quantity of timber output and (iv) quality of timber.

 

39.Although the project proposes the widening of the market for wood products by installation of pulp and paper plants, this is not always per sé the optimal solution. Investing in such capital-intensive installations implies a regular stream of raw material and not to long transportation distances. Some locations will not be within the range of such plants. Thinnings, however, are necessary to improve the future stands. Therefore, alternatives should include the use of bartering the thinning products for local labor. Or the trees should be in the forest to improve the mulch in conjunction with proper post-harvest measures.

 


FORESTRY PRODUCTION

Harvesting

40.Commercial thinnings are done by the Ministry of Forestry while final clear cut is done by BELLESPROM. Tree felling is carried out with chain saws, delimbing and topping by short handled axes, ex­tracting by cable and skidders.

 

41.Mature stands are clear-felled after a rotation of 100 - 120 years, depending on the species and yield class. Felling is mainly done with power tools while delimbing is done with axes. Hauling by skid­ders, assortment on lower landing sites. Sometimes the clear felling is totally mechanized (BELLESPROM).

 

Forest roads and temporary extraction roads

42.Permanent forest roads are designed and maintained by the Ministry of Forestry. Temporary hauling roads are the responsibility of BELLESPROM and are mostly made at random. In theory BELLESPROM has to spent a percentage of the forest returns for the construction of logging roads and on top of that pay the same percentage to MinFor for the maintenance of permanent forest roads.

 

Post harvesting activities.

43.Cleaning of the thinning site is done by burning branches and crowns. On clear-felled sites of BELLESPROM post-harvest activities are often neglected. Although they are often fined, the penalty is in no relation to the benefits they gain by not executing the prescribed cleaning activities.

 

Sawmill of the Ministry of Forestry in Osipovichy

Figure 7. Sawmill of the Ministry of Forestry in Osipovichy.

 

Possible of adverse environmental impact in relation to harvesting

44.Adverse impacts by harvesting activities can arise from mechanical damages, i.e. de­struction of undergrowth, damaging of the soil structure, soil compacting, destruction of humus layer and disturbance of nesting or roosting and rutting sites of forest fauna. As the resistance of the soil to ruts of forest vehicles and trailed logs is influenced by soil moist content and temperature, felling during wet periods and frozen subsoil can cause excessive damage.

 

45.Careless refueling and oil changes on the felling site can cause soil contamination.

 

46.The size of the clear felling blocks must be according to standards for erosion control. Also the size of contiguous clear-fellings must be in such way that habitat of forest fauna are not unduly destroyed and access to adjacent habitats are not obstructed. As the actual practice of MinFor is to cut blocks not exceeding the size of subcompartments (< 3 hectares) no immediate danger exists for large contiguous clear felled areas.

 

47.Extraction roads are made in a haphazard way. This can lead to excessive damage to the soil structure and topsoil at felling sites.

 

48.Leaving crowns and undersized trees unlimbed in the field can lead to excessive fire hazards and infection by forest pathogens.

 

Mitigating measures

49.As described in the document "ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF INTENSIVE HARVESTING TECHNIQUES" submitted by Jaakko Poyry Oy (see Annex I on page 15) environmental risks of mechanized tree felling can be avoided or mitigated by using rolling material with (low pressure) pneumatic tires instead of metal caterpillar tracks and by extraction by carrying logs instead of trailing. Proper felling plans with designed strip roads, planned felling direction of trees according to the ex­traction plan and proper control during the harvesting can avoid damages to vegetation and soil. Also, minimizing random movement of skidders, and more use of cables for hauling can further reduce impacts.

 

50.Assortment of logs should be done on the felling site. This ensures less physical damage to the surrounding vegetation and better maneuverability of transports.  

 

51.More care in handling fuels and lubricants. Use of environmental friendlier products, avoiding spillage, training of personnel and better control are the only way to avoid damages.

 

52.Avoiding exploitation activities during the nesting, rutting and breeding period of forest wildlife is already common in Belarus. Control of the rules could be improved. Information on ad hoc decisions concerning protection of wildlife is published by means of pamphlets distributed among parties interested by an organization called LESPROMKHOZ, a subordinate to BELLESPROM.

 

53.  Felling plans should include a proper layout of logging roads according to the topography of the felling site and the direction of permanent forest roads.

 

54.Post harvest activities in clear-fellings should include the shortening of rejected undersized stems, delimbing of crowns and stems, debarking of stems and stumps. This is important to avoid infection by root-rot fungi and to improve desiccation of the stumps and humification of the mulch. In areas with root-rot fungus treatment with root-rot repellents is necessary. In thinnings, small quantities of branches and crowns can be burned.


FORESTRY PLANNING AND ECONOMICS

 

Forestry Legislation and Regulations

55.Although rules for forestry activities are well documented in code books, laws and regulations (over 100 booklets), some are outdated and should be revised. Also control in the field has slackened, while the economic and political changes after separation from the former USSR have disturbed proper execution of ac­tivities.

 

Forestry Economics

56.Forest economics have to be revised as soon as possible. Stumpage fees setting should reflect proper forest economy to ensure the finance of maintenance and reforestation for long-term productivity. Low stumpage prices might help to alle­viate the economy in the short term, but it is at the cost of the country's resources and therefore det­rimental in the long term. In other words, low stumpage fees could easily lead to over-exploitation of the forest resources at the cost of the environment.

 

 

Management Plans

57.The planning division BELGOSLES, now integrated in the Ministry of Forestry, is responsible for forest inventory and management. Management plans are made for each Forestry Enterprise (see for explanation §67. on page 12) for a period of 10 years, based on and in accordance with the 10 yearly forest inventory. These management plans include working plans, forest maps and soil maps.

 

58.Quota of annual wood production and harvest is based on ten-yearly management plans and approved by the Council of Ministers for the country as a whole.

 

 

Forest inventory and mensuration

59.National inventory of forest resources is carried out in cycles of 10 years, with field checks each 5 years in each sub compartment. Standing volume is calculated by estimating the average height of the trees of a sub compartment, using tables in which the basal area is given according to the age­class of the stand and site class of the sub compartment. The latest national inventory was carried out in 1988 and served as the base for prognosis of potential commercial wood availability. New figures on standing wood volume will be available in the beginning of 1994.

 

60.In 1990 a sample inventory of forest resources based on systematic sampling has been carried out by the Forest Inventory and Mensuration Department of the Kirov Technological Institute. Standing wood volume estimates were from 23-29% more than the official estimates. Forests under jurisdiction of collective farms and the Ministry of Defense have never been officially inventoried.

 

Forest Resources Monitoring

61.All data concerning forest stands, down to sub-compartment size, are stored in a database of the GIS of the Academy of Sciences. Monitoring of forest resources is carried out at a cycle of 5 years, soon to be 1 year, by BELGOSLES. Monitoring of damage by air-pollution is done by the sub-department of forest monitoring of the Forest Research Institute of Gomel.

 

Mitigating measures

62.  The mission has asked the Byelorussian Institute for Technology,  through Prof. Dr. Atroshchenko,  to submit a proposal for the revision of forest regulations according to EC standard (use of agrochemicals, Safety rules for workers in forest exploitation, etc.), which was promised to be ready at the time of the next World Bank mission in October 1993.

 

63.Ongoing monitoring of the forest resources could be alleviated by transferring written data to a central binary data base. Statistical manipulation of data, forecasting of production and growth rates, forest planning and production planning can be streamlined. As the Academy of Sciences has a Geographical Information system processing unit, with excellent locally developed software, a logical choice would be to incorporate such a data base in this system. User units could be installed in the Oblast Headquarters with network links to the processing unit in Minsk. The actual hardware, however, is old-fashioned and should be replaced by modern equipment. Software should be locally upgraded to fit the tasks and new hardware demands. The consultant feels that it is not necessary to switch to another GIS software package such as ARC/INFO or INTERGRAPH. At the user units at Oblast level (Forestry Production Associations) relative cheap software could be installed, such as the DOS-based IDRISI 4.0[6] and Windows based MapInfo 2.1 to view data and manipulate maps.

 

64.Management plans should include felling plans, with proper layouts for temporary extraction roads. Tree felling should be according to the layout of extraction roads and not in a haphazard way.

 

65.To ensure sustainable production of forest resources it might be interesting to consider the founding of a forestry fund. All net profits of forest resources should be put in this fund, while management will be directly financed out of this fund.

 

66.The Kirov Institute of Technology argues for a change in inventory techniques towards more statistical by sound methods. The next national forest resources inventory should include the forests outside the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Forestry (1.5m hectares) and use systematic sampling techniques with standardized sample plots along transects of 4km on a 8X8 km grid.[7] Calculation of standing volume should be based on proper measurement of tree height, Dbh and tree density.


INSTITUTIONAL REORGANIZATION

 

Organizational Structure of MinFor

67.The Ministry of Forestry is represented in the regions by administrative bodies based on responsibility for forestry production. Geographical division is more or less parallel to the State's administrative boundaries. On Oblast (Province) level the Ministry is represented by an Association for Forest Production. Each Oblast has several Leskhozes, literally translated in Forest Enterprises, comparable to Forest Districts. Those are subdivided in Lesnitcheswas, comparable to Forest Sub-districts. Each Sub-district is again subdivided in Utchastoks, comparable to Forest Sections which in their turn are divided in Obkhods, comparable to Forest Ranges or Units.

 

 

OBLAST

Area

['000 Ha]

Under

forest

cover

['000 Ha]

%

of

total

area

#

of

Forest

Districts

Average

size

['000 Ha]

#

of

forest

stations

Average

size

['000 Ha]

#

of

Forest

units

Average

size

['000 Ha]

#

of

Forest

ranges

Average

size

[Ha]

Brest

847.7

721.5

85%

10

72.2

94

7.7

230

3137.0

1258

573.5

Vitebsk

1135.2

979.5

86%

18

54.4

116

8.4

282

3473.4

1551

631.5

Gomel

1658.9

1403.1

85%

17

82.5

166

8.5

365

3844.1

1973

711.2

Grodno

747.3

680.1

91%

10

68.0

81

8.4

219

3105.5

1231

552.5

Minsk

1341.9

1190.4

89%

20

59.5

157

7.6

410

2903.4

2443

487.3

Mogilev

985.5

865.9

88%

11

78.7

100

8.7

253

3422.5

1450

597.2

TOTAL

6716.5

5840.5

87%

86

67.9

714

8.2

1506

3878.2

9906

589.6

AVERAGE

1119.4

973.4

87%

14

69.2

119

8.2

293

3314.3

1651

592.2

 

Table 2. Distribution of forest stations with area under forest.

Landuse planning

68.The allotment of land to Ministries according to economic utilization has hampered unambiguous definition of responsibility according to environmental issues of landuse. Although there are official agree­ments concerning reforestation of non-arable land (badlands, mined peat lands), it depends on the willingness of the ministry in charge to turn those areas over to the Ministry of Forestry for replant­ing. Also, the silviculture and forest exploitation activities in forests under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defense, are in principle controlled by the Ministry of Forestry, but the enforcement of this regulation could be improved.

 

Mitigating Measures

69.It is advisable to carry out a nation-wide landuse evaluation, based on natural lifezones or ecozones and including the future demands for nature conservation, recreational zones (greenbelts), while agricultural landuse including forestry is categorized according to allowable human use in the ecozones and the demands of the economy. The supreme control of the environment and proper landuse will be the responsibility of the State Committee for Ecology.

 

70.Ministries should not be occupied with production. All economic activities concerning forest resources will be more efficient if executed under free market conditions by private companies under competitive circumstances. This ensures better quality, while rules and regulations can be laid down in contracts and enforcement can be carried out externally. Ownership of land must be on the base of the public interest, thus reflecting rational utilization of resources in the long term and taking into account the well-being of the population. Public ownership of forests not primarily assigned for timber production should override private ownership. A landuse plan based on proper landuse evaluation reflecting all aspect of the economy and the environment should be the base for land allocation, land utilization and land protection.

 

71.It should be kept in mind that future privatization of lands should be according to proper landuse planning, especially in relation to environmental issues. This means that protection of natural resources should always be more important than economic or private interests. Greenbelts for example, as planned around human settlements, catchment areas and protected riverbanks, should be treated according to the restriction of utilization as described by decree or law. If the actual condition of such sites is substandard, soil and vegetation rehabilitation measures should be taken by the administrative body in charge of environmental protection.


RESEARCH AND EDUCATION

 

Forestry Research

72.Research concerning forest biology and hunting is done by the Institute of Experimental Botany, the Central Botanical Garden and the Institute of Zoology of the Academy of Sciences. Several Universities deal with forest biology. The Kirov Technological Institute deals with research in forest management and harvesting techniques. The Forest Research Institute of the Academy of Sciences deals with genetics, silviculture, forestry production, phyto-pathology, tree breeding, protection forestry, mechanization and   forest economy. The laboratory of forest genetics has extended its research to include effects of radiation on genetic material.

 

Vocational training of field workers and field Staff

73.The Byelorussian S. M. Kirov Institute of Technology in Minsk is the principal center of education of professional foresters. Formerly the Research Institute of Gomel organized refreshment courses for forestry personnel. Due to the financial difficulties training staff has been moved to the Technological Institute in Minsk. Vocational training of forest technicians is done at the Polodsk Polytechnicum and forest rangers and specialized workers are trained at the Forestry School of Borisov.

 

Public support of nature conservation and protection

74.As stated in the Environmental Strategy Study, the public involvement in, and awareness of, nature conservation and protection is still very limited. Most activity is present in academic and student circles are already professionally involved with nature. After the Chernobyl accident most people are aware of the danger of environmental disasters by nuclear plants. Many are active in non-governmen­tal organizations, but simple environment conscious habits as proper solid waste disposal, selective mushroom picking, to mention a few examples, are still not habitual things.

 

Mitigating measures

75.Adverse impact on the environment can originate from inferior planting material, or wrong silvicultural techniques. At the other hand can quality products have a positive influence on rational utilization of renewable resources. To provide the forestry sub-sector with "State of the Art" techniques and standards for control, the presence of a Research Institute is indispensable. Therefore the Forest Research Institute will have an important role to play in quality improvement and control of propagation material, in quality control of forest wood and non-wood products. The tasks of the Institute should be reconsidered. A distinction should be made between pure scientific research, with long term interests, and applied scientific research, for the public and private sector in the short term. Results from research should be accounted for and applied research should be carried out on a contract basis. Pure scientific research, in the interest of the Public, should be kept subsidized and remain under the re­sponsibility of the Academy of Sciences.

 

76.An important role for the Ministry of Forestry should be in the field of Nature Conservation Education of the Public. This includes the installation of Information Centers in forests (especially those situated in the "Greenbelt") together with training of field staff in nature education. The management of protected zones should come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Forestry instead under a special administrative body, provided protection forestry will be an important future task of the Ministry and commercial production of timber left to private companies.

 

77.Training of field staff should include timber harvesting management planning, forest inventory and mensuration according to statistical sound criteria. The criteria should be developed by the Forestry Inventory and Mensuration Department of the Kirov Technological Institute.

 

78.All additional training as proposed in the document "TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR INTENSIVE SILVICULTURE" (see ANNEX III on page 19) should be super­vised by this Institute. All additional training for field Staff and Ministry Officials should be done by this Institute, refreshing courses for lower technicians and field workers should be done by the Polodsk Polytechnicum and the Forest School of Borisov and supervised by the Kirov Technological Institute.


SENSITIVE AREAS

79.In 1970, a special Decree was issued on erosion control. Contracts were signed with collective farms for the rehabilitation of non-arable land by tree-planting. The Ministry of Agriculture issues by the 1st of November of each year a list of sites to be replanted to the Oblast administration. Forest Enterprises have to schedule and organize the replanting. At the moment the rehabilitation of badlands is not regulated by law, but a so-called formal agreement exists between the Ministries of Forestry and Agriculture.

 

Peatlands

80.Peatlands are used for extraction of peat for fuel and fertilizer. When the layer of peat is to thin for further excavation the area is turned over to the Ministry of Agriculture for cultivation (peat layer >  30cm) or to the Ministry of Forestry for afforestation (peat layer < 30 cm). Although the State Committee for Ecology has to approve the mining of peat, the deteriorating economic situation has forced an increase in peat excavation to compensate the general shortage of other fuels.

 

81.Peatlands turned over to MinFor are rehabilitated (reforested) and transferred to the category of protected forests. This transfer is mainly based on economic grounds, as growth rates are slow and felling in these areas is very destructive to undergrowth. 

 

Deep Sandy Soils

82.Drainage of wetlands has resulted in detrimental effects in large parts of the southern part of Belarus. Lowering of the water table has resulted in drying out of the vegetation, permanent loss of topsoil (peat oxidation) and accelerated wind erosion. These skeletal deep sandy soils are know being rehabilitated by tree planting at a rate of 200-300 hectares per year.

 

Undeveloped soil profile under dense Pine stand

Figure 8. Undeveloped soil profile under dense Pine stand.

ANNEX I. ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF THINNING YOUNG PINE PLANTATIONS IN BELARUS

Background

83.Pine forests cover 58% of the forest area of Belarus. More than half of the pine forests (55%) are less than forty years old. A large proportion of these young forests was established on former agricul­ture land after the second world war. Very dense planting (10000 - 15000 seedlings per hectare) was used until five years ago when density was reduced to 5000 - 7000 seedlings per hectare. The dense planting and subsequent tending permitted very little undergrowth vegetation to establish and most natural broad-leafed trees became eliminated.

 

84.The resulting pine plantations show at present an unhealthy appearance with very small crowns, due to severe competition for light and space. Some places show serious damages from root fungus, snow breaks, stress from air pollution and from last summer's drought. As very little light reaches the ground the flora and biodiversity at the ground cover is poor. Necessary thinnings have been delayed be­cause of a lack of resources and markets for small wood.

 

 

Objectives of the Intensive Silviculture Component

85.The main objective of this component is to increase the future value and health of the Byelorussian forests by concentrating the growth on a relative small number of selected high value trees with vigorous growth. Immediate objectives are:

 

     Reduce the number of stems in the forests by removing suppressed and low quality trees.

 

     Give more growing space for healthy and high quality trees thereby improving the general health situation of the forests and increase their tolerance to air pollution and pests.

 

     Improve biodiversity of the forests by letting more light to the ground flora. Also, broad-leafed tree species which in some places have invaded the coniferous plantations, should be used in or­der to convert the plantations into mixed forest stands, which are less prone to pests and air pol­lution effects.

 

Suggested Instruction for Thinnings.

86.Stands to be thinned using project funding should be selected according to the following criteria:

 

     The main species should be pine and the age 15 - 40 years.

 

     The structure of the stand should belong to two categories:

 

            (1) Young stands (15 - 25 years of age) where the green crowns are still vigorous and crown height is at least 30% of the tree height.

(2) Older stands (25 — 40 years of age) which have been previously thinned or otherwise managed in a way that the crowns can still develop and the risk for snow or wind break is low.

 

           Protection forests should be left alone.

 

87.Stands that have been left for a long period without any management should be avoided or treated as special cases (with very low intensity but frequent thinnings) in order to reduce the risk for snow and wind breaks.

 

88.When selecting trees to be thinned the following aspects should be considered:

 

           Suppressed tree should be removed.

           Trees that are growing well but are of low quality (twisted stems, or numerous and large branches at an acute angle) should be removed if the general spacing distribution so permits.

           Remaining trees should be evenly distributed over the area so that each tree occupies an equal space.

           Dead trees should be left standing if they do not pose an immediate danger to people.

           Trees containing bird nests or other features that are beneficial for the fauna should be left standing and surrounding trees should be left untouched.

           Broad-leafed trees should be retained, if possible.

           Detailed instructions for the intensity of thinnings during different development stages and growth rates of the stand will have to be developed by the Forest Research Institute at Gomel, but as a rule of thumb, the basal area[8] should be in the range of 15 - 25 m2 per hectare after thinning.

           Stumps of felled trees should be protected from root fungus attack by a urea solution or similar subsistence.

           Thinning operations should be concentrated in the period December - March in order to minimize damage to the soil and disturbance to wildlife during mating and breeding periods.

 

89.In principle the wood from thinnings should be transported out of the forest and utilized when markets exist, especially for small wood. Other project activities and parallel financing by EBRD are aimed at improving such markets. However, when no markets can be identified, the thinned trees should be left on the ground, thereby contributing valuable organic matter to the topsoil. In such cases the lying trees should be treated as follows in order to reduce risks for fire and insect attacks:

 

           The trees should be delimbed to the extent that the green mass and the stem are lying flat on the ground.

           The stem should be cut into segments not exceeding two meters' lengths, preferably not longer than one meter.

           All stem wood exceeding 15cm in diameter should be debarked if left in the forest.

 

 

Suggested Instructions for Regeneration Cuts.

90.Regeneration fellings are harvesting operations that are aimed at regenerating the forest, either arti­ficially through planting or seeding or through natural regeneration.

 

91.At present very few areas are being regenerated by natural methods. The reasons for this as given by some researchers are:

 

           It takes longer time to achieve a new productive stand.

           Some of the genetic material of the existing forests are unsuitable to multiply.

           Risk for wind blow of seed trees.

           Lack of sufficient biological knowledge by the forest managers to achieve good natural regen­eration.

 

92.According to Jaakko Poyry's Consultants, large areas of Belarus are suitable for natural regeneration and increased efforts should be devoted to this regeneration method. Besides nor­mally being a more cost effective method, it creates forests with a healthy mixture of conifers and broad-leafed tree species.


ANNEX II. ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF INTENSIVE SILVICULTURE

 

Background

93.In developing Byelorussian wood harvesting, it has been suggested by a World Bank mission that the share of thinnings would be increased as well as their intensity. The main method would be espe­cially in thinning assortment method using light mechanization, and the share of assortment method would be increased in final cuttings when the old machinery is replaced by new machines thus allow­ing the change of harvesting method.

 

94.In this paper, a short description is given of the aspects that are essential for environmentally friendly harvesting and transportation. Keeping in mind the use of proposed methods and machinery and needed safeguards for protection of vulnerable environment.

 

Environmental risks in Felling of Trees.

95.In thinnings a part of the stand is felled and trees removed from the forest while in clear cutting all mercantile trees are removed. In late harvesting operations, leading to natural regeneration, the number of remaining trees is very low and the conditions are comparable to clear cutting.

 

96.According to numerous studies, made in cold and temperate climates, during early thinnings, felling of trees and subsequent production of assortments from the delimbed stems entail little environmental risk as compared to terrain transport. The risks of felling increase with the size of trees. During late thinnings and especially in removing seed trees from the regeneration areas, the falling trees can crush seedlings and make damages to remaining trees. Snow cover can protect small seedlings. On the other hand, shoots are easily broken when frozen. Therefore, removal of seed trees is recommended only in wintertime but with temperatures not less than -7 °C, a temperature when living woody plant tissue will freeze.

 

97.Even though early thinnings with small trees can be done any time of the year by careful loggers without damaging the remaining trees, there are some environmental risks that favor winter harvest­ing. In Byelorussian conditions there are huge numbers of spores of the root rot fungus (Heterobasidion annosum) in the air from late April through November, which can germinate on fresh cut stumps of Spruce and Pine. If a forest to be thinned is free from root rot, it is advisable to favor thinnings in wintertime, allowing stumps to become unfavorable to root rot before the spring. This process can be enhanced by debarking of the stumps that favors the drying-out of the wood. Other methods to protect the health of the stand is to apply urea solution to stumps if the trees are cut during the growing season or spread a suspension of spores of some other fungus that is antagonistic to root rot. In scientific literature especially Phlebia gigantea has been mentioned.

 

98.At present, Byelorussian foresters are well aware of root rot and employ especially debarking of stumps to prevent the additional spread of root rot. The proposed increased thinnings could mean an extra environmental risk if it is not combined with increased use of urea or antagonistic fungi.

 

Environmental risks in Terrain Transport

99.Terrain transport can have adverse effects. Damages are either to trees (usually removal or crushing of the bark) or to the soil eg,

 

           transport of soil from one place to another

           uncovering mineral soil under humus layer

           compacting of the soil

           washing out of soil particles and soil erosion

           decrease of nutrients

 

100.The formation of ruts is partially caused by compacting of soil and partially by transport of soil. According to modern research, slipping of tires or tracks is more important for rut formation than ground pressure of the vehicle. Therefore trailing of stems is far more harmful for the environment than carrying the load. Especially in terrain with poor maneuverability it is essential to avoid the use of any machines that trail loads of wood. Carrying of logs and the use of floating tires or tracks on rubber tire boggies should be favored as much as possible.

 

101.Compacting of soil depends on the ground pressure and number of trips of the vehicle. In addition the total weight affects the depth of compacting even though the ground pressure would be the same.

 

102.Soil compacting is a serious problem, especially if the soil is moist. Numerous round trips along the same path cause less environmental damage than the dispersal of trips on various places. Therefore all driving should be concentrated on strip roads that could be 25 - 35m apart from each other in thinnings and about 20m in clear cuttings. As to load size: it is more profitable to have big loads and few trips than small loads and many trips, if the compacting and depth of ruts are to be minimized.

 

103.The bearing property of the soil depends on the moisture content. The worst situation is in spring when the upper layer of the soil is thawed but the water cannot move downwards due to the subsoil frost layer. In Byelorussian conditions the length of this period is normally short —one week or so— as the thickness of the frozen layer is small. In summertime, only prolonged rains can have a similar ef­fect. In practice, soil moisture limits maneuverability only during springtime and possibly autumn.

 

104.As to erosion and loss of nutrients, it is essential to avoid the wear of the humus layer and rut formation. The needed measures are describes above. If mineral soil is not uncovered and ruts forma­tion is not substantial, there is no danger of post-harvesting erosion.

 

Pollution Control

105.The pollution problems in wood harvesting and transportation are usually caused by fuel and lu­bricants.

 

106.In chain saws, gasoline with two-stroke oil is used, while bigger machines use mainly diesel oil. Even though combustion is not perfect in any case, the main risk of fuel contamination is leakage of storage tanks or vehicles. In filling operations some spilling can occur. The best method to avoid fuel contamination is careful handling.

 

107.In practice, lubricants are more hazardous than fuels. The risks have been identified as follows:

 

           Change of engine oil in the terrain is relatively common in Belarus. If allowed, the waste oil should be collected in containers and sent for proper handling. Burning in uncontrolled conditions is not recommended due to emissions in the air.

 

           Chain saw blade oil is often waste mineral oil used in various vehicles. As it contains metallic impurities and decomposition in nature is slow, it is not recommended to use such lubricant. As the daily oil consumption during normal work is 2 - 4 liters, at least in sen­sitive conditions (ground water, catchment areas, etc.) vegetable oils should be used. Similar oils are recommended for harvesters and processors if used in sensitive areas.

 

108.Leakages of hydraulic oils are common due to tube breaks. In circumstances requiring extra care, only vegetable oil is recommended.

 

Saving of Understorey

109.In cases where the protection of understorey is essential for regeneration or other purposes, the key issue is to minimize movement in the terrain. In practice this is achieved by concentrating all transport to strip roads. In addition, the loaded vehicle should be as short as possible to allow the use of narrow strip roads. Skidding of whole trees or delimbed stems cannot be accepted as any turn damages the understorey. Therefore, only assortment methods and carrying of loads should be used.

 

Wildlife protection

110.Birds, etc., can escape during harvesting with the exception of nestlings and eggs. Therefore, in cases when rare or endangered bird species are present in the stand to be cut (including thinning), har­vesting should be done after springtime. As most mammals give birth in spring, their protection fa­vors also harvesting outside the spring season.

 

111.In planning harvesting operations, it is essential to cruise the target area in order to find nests in use and other covers of wildlife. In case of rate or endangered species these places should be marked and kept outside the cutting operations.

 

Prevention of Fire.

112.Use of easily flammable fuels during harvesting increases risks of wild fires. Therefore, during ex­traordinary drought, harvesting should be avoided.

 

113.Crowns left in the forest after harvesting increase the risk of fire. On very dry sites the protruding branches of crowns should be cut down and dispersed on the ground. If all crowns and cull material lie tightly on the ground, the risk of fire is less than with complete crowns. In very sensitive cases even chipping of forest residues and dispersing of chips in the terrain is recommended.

 


ANNEX III. TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR INTENSIVE SILVICULTURE

 

 

Background

114.The component for intensified silviculture involves a change of approach to forest management, which until now has been concentrated on removal of dying or already dead trees instead of a more active thinning program that will improve the health status of young and middle aged forests.

 

115.For such a program to be effective, it is important that a serious training program is implemented including all levels, from management down to the laborer work in the forest.

 

116.This paper makes a suggestion for the scope of such training.

 

Suggested Courses

117.The courses should include personnel from the Ministry of Forestry and contractors working for the Ministry of Forestry. BELLESPROM personnel are supposedly only involved in regeneration cuts and do not have to be included, although it would be desirable in terms of general knowledge of proper forest management.

 

118.There are two main target groups for the training:

 

                          A —   Central, regional and district foresters mainly involved in operations at planning and conceptual stages

                          B —   Forest technicians, foremen and workers involved in actual field work.

 

119.The suggested scope of the courses for the two groups is summarized in table 3 on the next page.

 

120.It is suggested that the Kirov Technological Institute will be responsible for the training of group A, while local foresters assisted by vocational instructors would implement courses for group B. The courses should start as soon as detailed instructions have been elaborated by the Gomel Forest Research Institute (see for comment § 73. and § 78. on page 14) and be finalized within two months for all personnel.

Group

Course No.

Content

Duration

A

1

Biological factors influencing thinning:

     Relative green mass at different tree densities

     Volume production aspects

     Quality production aspects and potential damages

4 hours

 

2

Sanitary factors:

     insects

     Fungi

     Snow

     Wind

4 hours

 

3

Economic factors:

     Harvesting costs

     Wood value

     Use of simple financial calculations to evaluate the returns of thinnings

6 hours

 

4

Presentation of new thinning instructions:

     Justification

     Detailed instructions

2 hours

 

5

Field exercise:

Exercises in marking trees for thinning Discussions

8 hours

B

6

General principles for thinning:

The most important factors from courses 1-3 presented in a less academic form

4 hours

 

7

Presentation of new thinning instructions:

Same as 4 but more on detailed instructions

4 hours

 

8

Practical exercises of marking and felling trees in the field:

     Group tasks

     Individual tasks

     Discussion of results

     Practical rule of thumb for deciding basal area and tree spacing

2 days

Table 3. Content and estimated duration of Course Components.


ANNEX IV. TIME SCHEDULE OF EIA MISSION

 

Date: (Sep. '93)

Activities

Sat. 04

Arrival In Minsk.

Sun. 05

Contacting Interpreter.

Mon. 06

Visit MinFor; Introduction of the Mission and discussion with Mr. Zorin, Deputy Minister and Mikhail Kusmenkov on the work plan and objectives of the mission.

Mon. 06

Council of Ministers. Introduction of the mission.

Tue. 07

BELGOSLES. Discussion with Anatoly Khalenko and Alexander Pukhovsky on forest management control and management plan­ning.

Wed. 08

State Committee on Ecology. Discussion with Anatoly Metlitsky and Igor Kachanovsky on the tasks of the State Committee for Ecology.

Wed. 08

Conference on Environmental Strategy Plan Belarus

Thu. 09

Kirov Institute: Discussion with Prof. Dr. Oleg Atroshchenko, and Dr. Victor Ipatjev on forestry research and education.

Fri. 10

Ministry of Forestry: Mikhail Kusmenkov discussion on Institutional issues, eco-zoning, rehabilitation of mined-out peat land, water­catchment protection.

Mon. 13

Field trip to Forest Enterprise Borisov. Observation of thinning ac­tivities, Skidding and transport of small wood.

Tue. 14

Kirov Institute of Technology: Discussion with Prof. Dr. Atroshchenko on forest inventory and mensuration.

Tue. 14

Ministry of Forestry: Discussion with Mr. Victor Sokolov on Regeneration, Afforestation, Reforestation, Forest amelioration and Forest Road construction. Discussion with Mr. Alexander Gubin on safety rules for forest workers.

Tue. 14

Council on Ecology: Mikhail E. Fridland discussion on NGO's.

Wed. 15

Trip to Gomel discussion with Dr. Vladimir Padutov on propagation of forest trees and species selection.

Thu. 16

Dr. Vladimir Baginsky: Vice-Director: introduction to the Research Institute. Prof. Dr. Grigori Goncharenko: visits to the Laboratories of Molecular Genetics, Biological Control of forest Pathogens, Tree breeding and Selection. Field visit to Seed Orchards, nursery and Pilot plots. discussion on Seed Center.

Fri. 17

Discussion with Dr. Viktor Ipatjev and Dr. Baginsky on future role of the Institute. Evaluation of visit.

Fri. 17

Trip back to Minsk, Visit to the Zhornov Pilot Stand (Oak-Spruce-Hornbeam) of the Forest Research Institute in the Forest District of Osipovichy).

Sat. 18

Return to the Netherlands.


ANNEX V.  LIST OF CONSULTED DOCUMENTS

 

The World Bank

Pre-Appraisal Mission Forestry Development Project: Aide Memoire

Global Environment Facility

Belarus Forest Biodiversity Protection Project

The World Bank

Manual Transmittal Memorandum

Jaakko Poyry Forestry Production Mission

Intensive Silviculture

Jaakko Poyry Forestry Production Mission

Training Requirements for Intensive Silviculture

Jaakko Poyry Forestry Production Mission

Environmental Considerations of Intensive Wood Harvesting

Jaakko Poyry Forestry Production Mission

Environmental Aspects of Thinning young Pine plan­tations in Belarus

Jaakko Poyry Forestry Production Mission

 

The World Bank

F. Wencelius: The Forestry Sub-Sector

The World Bank

Terms of Reference Wetland Forestry Environment Review

The World Bank

Environmental Review: Assignment Description

The World Bank

Staff Appraisal Report Poland Forest development Support Project

Belarus Ministry of Forestry

Explanatory note to the Annual Report 1992

The World Bank

Environmental Strategy Study Volumes I & II

 

 


ANNEX VI. LIST OF CONSULTED PERSONS

 

 

 

 

Khaleiko, Anatoly

Deputy Head of Production

BELGOSLES

Pukhovsky, Alexander

Head Engineer of Production

BELGOSLES

Fridland, Mikhail E.

City Councilor

Council for Ecology

Tuschekov, Mr.

Staff Adviser

Council of Ministers

Gavzilovich, Anatoly

Director

Forest District Borisov

Motylsky, Anatoly

head Forester

Forest District Borisov

Zhilitsky, Paul

Head Engineer

Forest District Borisov

Reshetnikov, Vladimir

Vice Assistant

Forest District Mogiljov

Gulik, Vladimir

Director

Forest District Mogiljov

Stepanchik, Dr.Valery

Head Sub-Dept. Forest Monitoring

Forest Research Institute

Baginsky, Dr. Vladimir

Vice-Director

Forest Research Institute Gomel

Goncharenko, Prof. Dr.Grigori

Head Laboratory of Molecular Genetics

Forest Research Institute Gomel, Green Team

Ipatjev, Dr. Victor

Director

Forest Research Institute Gomel

Padutov, Dr. Vladimir

Head Dept. Conifer Genetics

Forest Research Institute Gomel

Atroshchenko, Prof. Dr. Oleg

Head Dept. Forest Inventory

Kirov Institute of Technology

Gubin, Alexander

Forest Safety

Ministry of Forestry

Kusmenkov, Mikhail V.

Head Forestry and Game Dept.

Ministry of Forestry

Sokolov, Victor

Forest Mngt

Ministry of Forestry

Zorin, Valentin

Deputy Minister

Ministry of Forestry

Kachanovsky, Igor

Head of Section

State Committee on Ecology

Metlitsky, Anatoly

Head of Inspection

State Committee on Ecology

Voytov, Dr. Igor

Dept. Head

State Committee on Ecology

 


LIST OF ACRONYMS

 

AoSc.                                                               Academy of Sciences

BELGOSLES                                                    Byelarussian Forestry Planning Division

BELLESPROM                                                  Byelarussian Forestry Production Association

EC                                                                    European Community

FRI                                                                   Forestry Research Institute

GIS                                                                   Geographic Information system

KIT                                                                   Kirov Institute of Technology

MinFor                                                              Ministry of Forestry

NGO                                                                 Non Governmental Organization

 



[1]     Extracting inferior trees to give space to superior ones.

[2]     Extracting superior trees to boost growth of suppressed ones.

[3] It might be better to rename it in State Committee for the Environment as the word Ecology means: "the branch of biology that deals with the relations between living organisms and their environment." 

[4]     7 million hectares under jurisdiction of the Ministry of Forestry, 1 million hectares under the Ministry of Defense and 0.5 million hectares under the Ministry of Agriculture.

[5]     Historically nests of the Red Forest Ant (Formica rufa) have been protected and "disseminated". Also nesting cages for birds are placed around nurseries as biological pest control measure.

[6]     IDRISI is a GIS software package developed by the Geographical Department of the Clark University , Grad. School of Geography 950 Main Street WORCESTER, MA 01610. It is easy to use and cheap.

[7]     Prof. Dr. Atroshchenko (1989)

[8]     The sum of the surface of the trees' cross section at 1.30m above the ground.


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