Forestry development plan's impact assessment report awaiting opinions

  • 2022-07-22
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The assessment report of the environmental impact and other significant impacts of Estonia's national forestry development plan for the next ten years, titled MAK2030, is ready and opinions on it can be submitted until Aug. 16.

The forestry development plan is the first national development plan in which experts assess not only the environmental impact but also the cultural, social and economic impact, spokespeople for the Ministry of the Environment said on Friday. The report assesses the magnitude, extent, duration, reversibility and other parameters of the impact.

Meelis Seedre, head of the forest department of the Ministry of the Environment, said a normal impact assessment was not enough for this development plan, and that is why it was decided to assess the impacts more broadly.

"The development plan will be the beacon for forestry in the coming decade, and it is important that its preparation is open and inclusive," Seedre said. "Hundreds of people have had a direct say in the preparation of the plan."

Minister of the Environment Madis Kallas called for active feedback on the report.

"We have to constantly work on finding a balance between the different values of the forest -- cultural, ecological, social and economic -- and there will certainly be more proposals in the course of the discussion of the report, which must be thoroughly analyzed," Kallas said.

The overarching goal of MAK2030 is to ensure the sustainability of Estonian forestry. The  achievement of this goal is supported by three sub-goals, which are based on the sustainable forestry principles of Forest Europe, the forest protection cooperation format of European ministers. In addition, the development plan fulfills several UN sustainable development goals, takes into account the development needs highlighted in the long-term development strategy "Estonia 2035" and directly supports the strategic goals related to the economy and the living environment.

The public consultation on the report of the strategic environmental impact assessment and strategic assessment of other significant impacts will take place on Aug. 24 from 2 to 5 p.m. on MS Teams. Those wishing to participate in the consultation must register in advance. Further information can be found at the Ministry of Environment's MAK2030 website. The public discussion will be recorded for minutes.

The Ministry of the Environment plans to submit the forestry development plan to the government still this year. The plan will be subsequently put before parliament for discussion and adoption as a law.