17 • 12 • 2018

JSC "Latvia’s State Forests" Concludes a Cooperation Agreement with the National Armed Forces


On 13 December, Roberts Strīpnieks, the President of JSC “Latvia's State Forests” (LVM) and Lieutenant General Leonīds Kalniņš, Commander of the National Armed Forces (NAF), signed a cooperation agreement to facilitate the conduct of military training, while respecting forest management, defence and social interests, as well as environmental requirements. (Photo: the National Armed Forces)

“Nearly 200 years ago, the Forest Guard was formed from a military structure and for a long time it was a subunit of the armed forces, which was engaged in the supply of resources for military use. Even in the recent past, observing the Forest Guard uniforms, one could see that there were fleet markers on the sleeves, and its succession was passed through hundreds of years. This is also one of the reasons why it was formulated recently that the key task of the forest sector as a whole (not to mention JSC “Latvia’s State Forests”) was to create a well-maintained, prosperous and independent state. We are ready to take initiative, be next to you, be behind you and, if necessary, to be ahead of you, so that you can fulfil all the tasks and challenges the National Armed Forces may face,” said LVM President Roberts Strīpnieks upon signing the agreement.

Such a mutual agreement is needed to plan the NAF training activities more efficiently, without interfering with safe forest management and the construction of infrastructure facilities, and to ensure that training is conducted in accordance with nature protection requirements without entering protected areas or environmental and natural resource protection zones, for example, by preventing cases where ammunition used for training purposes interferes with protected bird species during their nesting period. In addition, such an agreement will further facilitate the coordination of NAF training with other events or even the conduct of other military exercises, taking into account the fact that there may be participants of various other events (such as sporting events, adventure hikes, hunters, etc.) present at the same site.

“In order to strengthen the national defence capabilities, we have already transferred for the needs of the NAF about 5 000 hectares of land in Ādaži and another 5 000 hectares are to be transferred in Alūksne and Daugavpils; there are also some parcels of land intended for the development of other smaller facilities. We support the NAF in all the possible ways that we can. Therefore, it was important to agree on clear cooperation principles using both LVM and NAF resources,” says Valdis Kalns, Head of Real Estate Management at LVM, adding that next year, the NAF training programme will include more than 200 events.