Environmentalists have proposed to create in Russia a «forest garden» the size of Egypt

© RIA Novosti / Alexander Wolfparade in photobanks. Archival photoEnvironmentalists have proposed to create in Russia a «forest garden» the size of Egypt© RIA Novosti / Alexander Wolfparade the image Bank

Overgrown agricultural land in the Northern Nonchernozem part of Russia can be turned into a «forest garden,» growing the forest for sale, reported RIA Novosti, Greenpeace Russia.

«In Russia about a hundred million hectares of land where you can grow marketable forest, simultaneously solving the problem of unemployment in rural areas, developing the economy and helping to fight climate change,» said the organization.

In this regard, environmentalists propose to amend the current legislation a number of changes that will allow farmers and agricultural enterprises to engage in commercial reforestation on lands where agriculture became unprofitable.

As explained in the organization, today the Russian legislation aimed at punishing the owner of farmland for their misuse. Commodity cultivation of a forest under the existing legislation recognizes a misuse.

«If Russia is allowed the industrial forest growing on abandoned agricultural lands, it will create jobs, support a population of tens of thousands of villages, will fill up local and Federal budgets will make a huge ecological and environmental effects. Including global,» say Greenpeace.
The Area Of Egypt

Currently, the Greenpeace experts examine the situation on the agricultural lands of the Russian non-black earth region and the Northern regions – from Kaliningrad region to the Far East. Field work clarify the area of abandoned land, overgrown and already forested. There are about one hundred million hectares, which is about one tenth of the area of all forests of Russia and corresponds to the territory of Egypt.

«Of these, approximately 40 million hectares of former so-called «agricultural forests» without a specific legal status and about 60 million hectares is overgrown with young forest and abandoned farmland,» said the organization.

As previously reported RIA Novosti head of the Federal forestry Agency Ivan Valentine, the forest area in Russia is 1.2 billion hectares, while they are 90% are North that have higher ability to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2).

«In many rural areas the situation has changed dramatically and to farm is impossible. Even at the present high level of mechanization, it requires a large number of hands, and these areas are rapidly emptying. In addition, for economically profitable forestry workers still missing, as it requires on average 5-6 times less workers per unit area» – estimated by environmentalists.