Salvage logging accounts for about 1/7 of the total recorded volume of wood harvested annually in Russia. According to the official statistics, for the period from 2009 to 2018 (inclusive), selective and clear-cut salvage logging amounted to an average of 28.7 million cubic meters of wood per year, with an average total volume of harvesting for the same period of 200.5 million cubic meters per year. Wood harvested during salvage logging, with rare exceptions, is purchased by consumers and exporters on the same basis as wood from any other logging operations. In fact, it goes to those companies that strive to be law-abiding and responsible, for example, acting within the framework of voluntary forest certification and international legislation on combating illegal logging.
WWF-Russia supposes that there is a very high risk that wood obtained from salvage (sanitary) logging in Russia may be harvested with gross violations of the requirements of the current legislation. WWF-Russia calls on state authorities, forest companies and voluntary forest certification organizations, including FSC, to make every effort to promptly and completely eliminate the practice of using salvage logging for any other purpose, except for the actual prevention of pest outbreaks and diseases of the forest and the felling of dead trees. Before developing and implementing the measures that will minimize the risk of illegal wood from salvage logging entering chains of custody, WWF-Russia recommends that FSC-certified companies either implement their own measures to control legality, or completely abandon the use of wood obtained during salvage logging.
The measures on FSC system improvements proposed by WWF-Russia were presented and placed for discussion with stakeholders at Boreal Forest Platform webinar “Salvage logging and IFL conservation after 2022: risks for FSC and their mitigation” that took place on December, 10, 2020.