Urgent measures are needed to solve the problems related to the shortage of timber for consumers and Bulgarian industry. This was emphasized by the Minister of Economy and Industry, Nikola Stojanov, during a working meeting today at the Ministry on the subject. The Deputy Minister of Agriculture Valentin Chambov, the head of the political office of the Minister of Environment and Water, Polya Pencheva, representatives of scientific circles, business, environmental organizations, etc., took part in the discussion.
“We have seen many problems with timber, from prices to shortages. I also received numerous signals from the wood processing sector about a serious shortage of raw materials, because of which the business is suffering huge losses, and some companies are even considering their withdrawal from Bulgaria”, Minister Stojanov explained. According to him, our country has built good traditions in the wood processing industry and at the moment this sector of the economy provides 3% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. “Measures are needed to, on the one hand, reduce the pressure on business by providing the necessary resource, and on the other – to guarantee the proper management of our forests”, he added. For this reason, the Minister of Economy and Industry initiated a meeting of all interested parties to discuss emergency measures in the short and medium term.
Deputy Minister Valentin Chambov commented that “a balance is needed between all wood users. At the moment there are restrictive measures that need to be overcome in order to ensure calm in the
Representatives of the companies working in the sector expressed a position that in our country highly restrictive regimes and legislation are applied in relation to forest cutting, compared to those in Europe. They pointed out that our country has huge amounts of forests that grow annually, but at the same time, due to regulatory problems, the industry suffers losses and is forced to work at a reduced capacity, sometimes down to 50%. They also asked for measures to allow mechanized felling, as the labour shortage problems are deepening.
The representatives of the institutions emphasized that all the measures should be taken with care for the Bulgarian forest, guaranteeing its growth.
According to the participants in the meeting, part of the problems in the sector are related to an order issued in 2021, which reduces logging in old forests by 30%. This has seriously affected the amount of material extracted for people and industry. At the same time, there is an increased demand, both factors leading to a shortage. “This problem is gaining greater and greater economic scale, and that is why we are ambitious to initiate measures to improve the situation as soon as possible and with as wide a debate as possible”, Nikola Stojanov said.