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Beekeepers of Evreiskaya province were trained to be public forest inspectors
06 april 2021
For the first time training for public forest inspectors was conducted in Evreiskaya province. It was organized by WWF Russia in association with the European Union as part of the project “People for Nature”. Beekeepers of the province became the main participants of the workshop.
The formation of the corps of public forest inspectors was launched in various regions of Russia several years ago. Its main goal was to engage the public in identification of forest management problems.
“The work of public forest inspectors is of great importance in the Russian Far East, famous by its mixed coniferous-broadleaf forests, the richest in the number of rare species of plants and animals, habitats of the Amur tiger. Local residents, primarily hunters and beekeepers, for whom the forest is life and work, often come across logging, both legal and illegal. However, having the knowledge and authority, they can really make a difference to reduce the number of forest violations,” comments Evgeny Lepeshkin, project coordinator on sustainable forest management at WWF Russia Amur branch.
The workshop was held in the remote taiga area of Obluchensky district; it was attended mainly by beekeepers and other residents of taiga villages, who are interested in the development of non-timber forestry, and in the preservation of linden as the main honey bearing tree. To defend their interests, they created an organization of beekeepers of Evreiskaya province, joined the Far Eastern Association of Beekeepers and the Union of Beekeepers of Russia. The training was organized by the Forestry Innovation Center of the Primorsky Agricultural Academy and WWF Russia Amur branch.
“To solve the problems of forest use, one needs not only a desire to preserve nature, but also special knowledge. For this, the teachers of the Primorsky State Agricultural Academy, together with experts from WWF Russia Amur branch developed a special training course of lectures and practical sessions. In order to arm public forest inspectors with knowledge, we organized a number of workshops,” says Pavel Garazha, project coordinator on sustainable forest management at WWF Russia Amur branch.
The training program included information on the institute of public forest inspectors, their capabilities and powers. Basic principles of forest management - the concept of forest, forest activities and forest management. Such special topics as types of permits for timber harvesting and the procedure for their registration, calculation of environmental damage and the practice of dealing with legislation violations in the appointment and implementation of forestry activities, innovative methods of identifying illegal forest use were considered. Practical exercises on identifying and recording illegal logging, solving problems of forest inventory, calculating environmental damage were held on the territory of local forestry unit.
Issues related to public engagement in forest use were also raised at the meeting in Birobidzhan held on March 26 in the Department of Forest Management of Evreiskaya province, chaired by Oleg Ivakayev, deputy Prime Minister of Evreiskaya province, with the participation of a wide range of experts from the forest authorities of the region, representatives of the legislative assembly and the public represented by the Union of Beekeepers of Evreiskaya province, the Union of beekeepers of Russia, WWF Russia.
A generally recognized work flow chart for the development of taiga beekeeping with the engagement of the public is now under elaboration and it will become the result of the meeting.