On October 26th the Cabinet of Ministers approved new text of the Sanitary Rues in Ukraine Forests (the document is not yet public). New rules will cover all forest users and clearly regulate selective sanitary cutting of trees. 

As officials announced entire sanitary cutting is prohibited in several types of protected areas, around nesting places of endangered birds. Deadwood, hollow- and faulty trees will be prohibited to cut to provide wild specie with natural shelter. In other categories of forests so called entire cutting will be allowed subject to urgent necessity with an obligation of re-forestation. 

We consider one particular element of the reform to be important: public access to the decisions on tree cutting. Information on planning, reasons and scope of sanitary cutting will be made public at the web-sites of local and self-governing authorities, administrating forests. It is reported criminal liability will be proposed for illegal cutting.

Adoption of the new rules is the first step, control is the next one. Yet, it is clear of course that the changes introduced do not solve the problem of unsustainable forestry, including logging. A holistic approach is needed for revision of the legal framework on forestry and forests conservation.