On 14 October, the Supervisory Board of JSC “Latvia's State Forests” (LVM) approved company's medium-term strategy for 2023 – 2027. This is a medium-term planning document, which defines the main directions of LVM development and goals to be achieved, respecting the public interest.
“Based on the climate and energy policy, the development of wind parks is planned, which is an important step in ensuring Latvia's energy independence. In the coming years, it is planned to increase as much as possible the production volume of energy chips, which LVM sells to heat and energy product manufacturing companies operating in Latvia. The company's social responsibility policy plays an important role in the strategy, not only by developing opportunities for tourism, recreation, and environmental awareness for local residents, but also by providing jobs in regions of Latvia and donations in areas important to the State of Latvia, so that the largest possible number of people can benefit from it. On the other hand, significant challenges for the future include the lack of labour force in the forest sector, the limited capacity of service providers in forestry work, as well as the increasing prices of energy resources,” says Edmunds Beļskis, Chairman of LVM Supervisory Board.
This August, the Cabinet approved a new general strategic goal of LVM – to implement sustainable, efficient and socially responsible management of the company's strategic assets – land, forest, subsoil and other resources, increasing forest productivity and carbon sequestration in growing wood and promoting Latvia's competitiveness in global value chains. This will also promote the achievement of the State climate neutrality goals by developing the production and the provision of services based on technologies and scientific achievements.
The strategy is aimed at continuing the increase in the value of forest capital, which has already grown by more than 1.1 billion euros (in comparable prices) since 2000.
One of LVM's strategic goals is to increase the contribution of managed forests to mitigating global climate change. This is consistent with Latvia's commitment to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. To achieve this long-term goal, LVM plans and takes measures to reduce CO2 emissions in production processes and increase CO2 sequestration in forest stands, while preserving and increasing carbon storage in ecosystems (forest, swamp) and products (wood, etc.), thus ensuring biodiversity and other environmental values. The ability of a forest to capture CO2 is variable – it is captured best by a rapidly growing forest that is between 25 and 80 years old.
LVM's strategy provides for increasing the company's contribution to ensuring Latvia's energy independence with renewable energy resources (such as biomass) and providing opportunities for the development of wind farms on lands managed by LVM.
Likewise, LVM will continue to sustainably manage and fully utilize land resources for the extraction of mineral materials, ensuring the needs of the company and the national economy.
The implementation of LVM's goals, such as raising long-term profits, increasing the value of managed assets and tree stands, and developing the production of high added value products, is unimaginable without investments.
The continuation of the investment project “Establishment of a Forest Nursery” will allow us to increase the number of tree seedlings grown in LVM nurseries by 21 % or 11.9 million, reaching 68.2 million seedlings per year by 2025.
In the mid-term strategy of LVM, it is planned to continue the development programme of forest roads. In this context the Supervisory Board points out that this will not only increase efficiency and accessibility, but also reduce fire safety risks, including in specially protected natural areas. This is especially important in the long term, reducing fire risks caused by global climate change in State forests entrusted to the management of LVM.