The Russian Forest Sector and Legislation in Transition
This paper is about legislation and the forest sector in Russia. The author examines several fields of law identifying what are the most serious shortcomings in legislation hindering a sustainable recovery of the Russian forest sector. The study begins by discussing problems of legislative power and federalism. The division of power in Russia is unclear in many respects and federalism is still looking for its most suitable form. These uncertainties affect the use of law in every sector of the society. Ownership of forest land, on the other hand, appears to be more settled for the time being. The federal state owns all the forests. There are, however, still some obscurities concerning property rights, especially in the regulation of leasing forestland. Business transactions in Russian forest enterprises are a combination of old and new, mainly old, but there is a possibility that the trend will slowly turn towards a modern way of doing business and settling disputes between enterprises. The use of Arbitration Courts, for example, is increasing. When it comes to forest and nature protection legislation, there are, as well as in other legislations, inconsistencies that might be an obstacle for nature protection and sustainable forestry in Russia. Generally speaking, the poor level of implementing laws, the enforcement of court decisions, and the lack of trust in official institutions, are the biggest hurdles on the way towards positive changes in the Russian forest sector.
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