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Chelyabinsk Metallurgical plant joins ecologists to restore Chelyabinsk forests

A final tree planting was held in Chelyabinsks Balandin Wood as part of AERObica reforestation project. Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant (ChMK PAO, MOEX: CHMK, part of Mechel Group) joined forces with My Planet charity ecological fund to implement the project. A total of 100,000 young pines were planted this month, to make up for parts of the forest that have been destroyed by fire.

According to Chelyabinsk Region’s state forestry service, this year alone a total of 8,000 hectares of forest have been damaged.

The AERObica project is aimed at restoring the city’s “green shield” as well as absorbing emissions from local industrial facilities by 159 tonnes of carbon dioxide — which is precisely the effect the newly planted trees will have.

Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant’s employees and ecologists have already planted 97,000 seedlings in the city’s Balandin and Uzhovsk Woods, with another 3,000 seedlings planted today. As the planting area is close to Chelyabinsk’s airport, recently named for academician physicist Igor Kurchatov, the area was dubbed “Kurchatov’s Quarter”.

Chelyabinsk Region’s chief forestry department and local Shershnev forest ranger service support the project. Forest rangers helped pick out plots for tree planting, showed the fire-damaged areas and instructed planters in the best planting methods to ensure the seedlings’ survival. The planting territory has been cleared of burnt and dead wood and plowed.

In 2016 Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed creation of a green shield around Russian cities into law.

“This action is very important to make the environment healthier. Forests create an aspiration surface that cleanses air and sinks toxic particles. In 15-20 years you will not recognize this place, so beautiful it will be. Mechel is meeting its obligations set in the complex ecological plan. I am grateful to the company for such actions and hope that they will not be the last,” Chelyabinsk Region’s Ecology Minister Sergei Likhachev stressed.

“I would like to thank Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant and My Planet fund for this tree planting. A total of 100,000 seedlings were planted — it is an enormous figure,” Head of Chelyabinsk Region’s Chief Forestry Department Sergei Lavrov noted.

“The planting areas we have picked are unique in that they are residual ribbon-like relict pine forests. We have to preserve these relict forests and to help restore them after fires. We are very glad that Mechel Group’s and Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant’s management supported us in this,” My Planet charity ecological fund’s Director Kseniya Galkina noted.

“Reforestation is part of our ecological program aimed at reducing our facilities’ impact on the environment. Expanding forest areas is vital for an industrial city. We are grateful to My Planet fund for their professional approach and major effort,” Mechel PAO’s Chief Executive Officer Oleg Korzhov said.


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