Farmers wants Seimas panel to look at why state forest reform stalls

Forestries workers staged a protest in the front of Seimas
DELFI / Domantas Pipas

“Even the opposition back (the idea of such a commission), and we are planning to (set up it),” Kestutis Mazeika, head of the Seimas Committee on Environmental Protection, told BNS.

According to the LFGU lawmaker, the commission would have to prove that the opponents of the reform protect the interests of certain business groups or forestry enterprises resisting changes, rather than defending the public interest.

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said that the commission, if appointed, would have a lot of work to do.

“Based on information provided to me, which, it turned out, had been concealed from both the ministry and the government, 2016 inspections of forestry enterprises revealed more than 1,300 law violations in their operations, (such as) cutting more trees than allowed,” he said.

The reform plan calls for streamlining the management of state forests by merging the country’s 42 forestry enterprises into a single state enterprise named Lietuvos Valstybiniai Miškai (Lithuanian State Forests).

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