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Example Siberian larch

Larch, spruce or pine from western Russia must be valued differently than from eastern Russia or Siberia.

For products made of spruce, larch or pine, you should always request proof of origin such as WOOD FROM HERE in your tenders, because the distribution area of these tree species is very large and larch can come from the forest on your doorstep as well as from eastern Russia. Wood from western Russia has a different risk assessment than wood from eastern Russia or  Siberia. About 80% of timber from Siberia comes from illegal logging and the risk of this timber entering the European Union is high (WCMC).


Wood from Russia by no means satisfies the EUTR , although enormous quantities of round wood, sawn timber, building materials, building elements, boards, pellets and other goods are imported from Russia to Europe and also to Germany. The practices outlined by WCMC, EIA, WWF Russia and NEPCon in Russia's forestry and timber industries go against everything we in Germany understand by sustainable forestry. The risk of illegally harvested timber being present in timber shipments from Russia is high , with or without a forest label (WCMC, EIA, WWF Russia and NEPCon). Wood from Russia does not currently meet the EUTR, but is imported in bulk to Europe and Germany.

Siberian larch has an 80% chance of being illegally logged . Unfortunately, "Siberian larch" is still officially advertised today, although the statements of the World Monitoring Center for Conservation of Nature (WCMC) of UNEP (the United Nations Environment Agency) are more than clear. Anyone who uses wood from Russia, such as the "Siberian larch" must be aware that this is problematic from an ecological point of view. 

Supply chains from risk countries like Russia are opaque and uncontrollable. “Timber from other sources may be added throughout the supply chain that is potentially undeclared on export” (WCMC). For example, illegally felled wood from the Siberian tiger's last refuge is "imported" to China via "criminal activities", processed there into furniture and floors and thus also reaches Europe. Global material flows can hardly be controlled, as can be seen with wood from critical countries such as Russia.

Clear- cutting, even in primary forests, is common practice in Russia , and the forest labels FSC and PEFC (so far) have not changed this. In a recent study by the WWF with the University of Eberswalde (2020), forests in western Russia were examined. According to the WWF, the fact that the FSC Russia still tolerates clear-cutting of 50 hectares leads to an increasing decrease in the FSC's credibility, which according to the WWF must urgently be changed. Greenpeace withdrew from the FSC in 2018 because of the felling in primary forests under the FSC. The WWF therefore does not speak of PEFC at all, because the environmental organizations reject the PEFC forest label anyway. Based on the results of the study in north-west Russia, one can assume that the conditions in east Russia and Siberia are even worse.

Regulated forest management, as we know it from Germany for all cultivated areas, does not exist in Russia. FSC and PEFC forest management certificates have been issued for 6% of Russian forests. In Russia far more areas are certified according to FSC and PEFC than in Germany. The wood from these areas also reaches the German market. On the market, customers can no longer distinguish whether the KVH for your house comes from Russia or Germany. But you have to be aware that sustainable forest management in Russia is very different from sustainable forest management in Germany.

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