MOSCOW, May 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will take out a $40 million loan from the World Bank to prevent forest fires and promote sustainable forest management, according to a government resolution posted on the government’s website on Tuesday.
“This resolution instructs the Natural Resources Ministry to sign an agreement with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development on Russia’s behalf, stipulating the provision of a $40 million loan to Russia with a maturity of 18 years and a five-year grace period,” the document said.
The loan is part of the $121.26 million Forest Fire Response Project in Russia being co-financed by the Russian government and aims to “improve forest fire prevention and suppression in select forest ecosystems, including targeted protected areas,” according to data posted on the World Bank’s website.
The bank cited official data according to which there are on average 24,000 forest fires annually covering 1.4 million hectares of forest, with up to 93 percent of the country's forest fires being of a man-made nature. Total carbon emissions from fire-affected Russian forests are estimated at 50 to 231 million tons of carbon per year.