Dear Ukrainians, fellow foresters! The year 2022 is coming to an end - a super challenging, but decisive one. Today it depends only on us in what country our offspring will live. Ukraine is an independent country. Each of us understands this. We, foresters, have been making every effort since the first day of the war to defeat the aggressor country.
Now every seventh forester defends Ukraine from the Russian enemy. Unfortunately, there are casualties. 48 dead. Eternal memory to the heroes! 85 people were wounded. 69 are missing.
All the other foresters on the home front work for the country's economy and help to overcome the enemy. We've launched a project called "With Warmth for the Army". We send to the front everything we need: wood, cars, fuel, food and much more. We will support the military until victory is achieved.
This year the forestry industry has brought 10 billion hryvnias of taxes to the budget. It is more than in 2021 by 600 million hryvnias. By the way, the budgets of local communities this year received about 3 billion hryvnias, which is more by 300 million hryvnias more than last year.
As for logging. This year the volume of logging was 13.5 million cubic meters. This is less than in 2021. Firewood for the population. Forestry enterprises have been preparing for high demand since spring. More than 3 million cubic meters of firewood has already been sold, which is a record. We also have wood in storage across the country. I urge you not to panic: this does not mean that all the forest will be cut down because of the high demand for firewood. According to our estimates, it is possible to cut an additional 2 million cubic meters of firewood without damaging the forest.
In addition, this year we have launched the official online shop " DrovaE". This is an additional site where you can check the range and prices of products at your nearest forestry enterprise. You can also buy firewood online. We provide firewood to the frontline regions of the state. It is clear that part of the regions is not producing firewood because of the battles. But it is important for us to provide people with heating. We send firewood to these regions from other regions of Ukraine. You can get it for free, it is a program of the Government. To do this, apply to regional military administrations and territorial communities.
The situation on the timber market is difficult. Ports are not working, so the Asian market is blocked for us. Difficult logistics to China, India, Korea eat up all profits. The situation on the local market is also difficult. Due to power supply problems, Ukrainian producers are forced to suspend work. Our sales drop significantly.
Forest. Under occupation there are 730 thousand hectares of forests of the State Forest Resources Agency, including Crimea. Thanks to our Armed Forces who are courageously liberating Ukrainian lands. The consequences of the Russian invasion, including the forests, are disastrous. However, we will rebuild everything. Yes, demining alone will take years. But the foresters even planted forests in the liberated territories in spring. During the war we continued to implement the President's "Green Country" program. In one year we planted ≈200 million tree plants. In total, we planted about 243 million seedlings under the program.
Reforming the sector. Finally, for the first time in the history of independent Ukraine, we are carrying out a real reset of forestry. Yes, we have significant achievements even under the old, Soviet system. The forestry sector continues to be the locomotive of the economy, including during the war. But we can definitely do more. It is high time we chose the European direction of development. Interregional departments of the State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine have already been set up. The only state enterprise "The Forests of Ukraine" was created, its inter-regional offices and branches have already started working. The effectiveness of the reform will be undoubtedly considerable. You will see the results as early as next year.
In 2023 we have many plans. And we will certainly implement them. In the meantime, we continue to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which bring our victory closer. Glory to Ukraine!