STA, 4 December 2019 - A total of 17.76 million m3 of timber has been cut down in Slovenian forests in the clean-up efforts following natural disasters in the last five years, government figures show. Reforestation works related to natural disasters have also been conducted in line with plans.
A total of 5.92 million m3 has been removed in clean-up efforts after the January 2014 ice storm, 8.19 million m3 as a consequence of bark beetle outbreak and 3.66 million m3 due to strong winds in the last five years.
Presenting the statistics on Wednesday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food said that Slovenian forests had faced many challenges in the last five years due to the changing natural environment, mostly as a consequence of climate change.
"Various extreme events in forests have become very frequent in recent years, and the extent of damage exceeds all consequences of natural disasters in forests known so far," it added.
The ministry has assessed that the sanitary felling measures have been very successful, as it has been estimated that there is only 0.2 million m3 of damaged trees left to be removed from Slovenian forests.
Due to frequent natural disasters, sanitary felling of damaged and infested trees has accounted for almost two-thirds of total felling in Slovenian forests in recent years.
The ministry noted that the growing share of sanitary felling resulted in a lower revenue for forest owners, distorted the market of timber products and forestry services, and made it harder for experts to manage the future structure of forests stands with planned felling.
Reforestation measures also continue to be implemented, with more than 1,000 hectares of forest having been replenished with almost 2.5 million trees, out of the marked 1,800 hectares of forest that need reforestation.