The Russian arm of WWF International is calling for better state control of the timber industry after claiming the country is losing US$30bn a year from illegal logging.

The conservation charity, which opened a national forum aimed a forestry reform on July 3, says the Russian government earned just US$4.5bn from licensed timber exports in 2001.

It wants an increase in the amount of protected forests and for companies to adopt a common ecological policy. It is also calling for a certification system that requires importers to buy wood only from green companies.