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Seminars on forest governance and NTFPs held in Primorye

03 november 2016
The seminars were delivered by WWF Russia in partnership with the Science Forest Centre of Catalonia, Spain (CTFC), and with the financial assistance of the European Union.

The main theme was forest honey produced by Primorsky bee-keepers and cooperation between them.

The seminar took place on 25-27 October near Ussuriisk city, in a picturesque corner of Primorsky province representing the richness of coniferous-broadleaved forests, full of useful forest products and home for the Amur tiger. About 50 people participated in the seminar including bee-keepers, the members of the Primorsky Association of Bee-Keepers organized in 2015, forest users, NTFP entrepreneurs, as well as specialists of Primorsky Agricultural Research Institute and Primorsky Agricultural Academy (PGSHA), representatives of public initiative groups involved in non-timber forest products production.  For each of them the value of forest is not the timber itself but variety of food and medicinal plants which can be used for years to come.

The main task of the seminar is to inform bee-keepers about new opportunities for coordinating activities inside the sector: organization of associations, creating professional communities and cooperatives, elaborating common principles and standards of work in the bee gardens; up to the cooperation with external environment – legislation, business and consumers.

“Joining efforts of bee-keepers working in different corners of Primorsky province including the remote ones, can be an effective tool to influence the legislation on bee-keeping. Together it is easier to explore international markets, work out a united brand of Primorsky honey and promote it in other regions.  In other words, to become a more powerful and stronger voice in forest governance, – comments Elena Fedichkina, head of Green Economy unit of WWF-Russia Amur branch.

The workshop was organized under the Amur Coalition Project implemented in the Amur basin by WWF Russia and the Science Forest Centre of Catalonia, Spain (CTFC), with support of EU. This Center works in non-timber forest use and development of forestry in Spain, and support to NTFP industry is one of its specializations.

It’s the second visit to Primorye of Denis Boglia, director of Forest Institute and specialist Marta Rovira, who invited a leading expert Miguel Alemany, head of Spanish company on honey production. He shared with the bee-keepers the experience of this oldest company established in 1879, knowledge of peculiarities of honey business and international market.

Another expert Selina Gang, an entrepreneur from Malaysia, who is been working in the industry for 16 years looking for unique sorts of honey certified by organic product system all around the world. Her knowledge of the requirements to honey quality, its price on world markets, growing demand in organic honey was valuable for bee-keepers.

The Primorsky Agriculture Research Institute organized a presentation of its work in bee-keeping and a field trip to its bee-yard and the Lab on certification of food products.

Maxim Sharov, deputy head of bee-keeping laboratory of the Institute, presented his work on selection of the Far Eastern bee, as well as the results of his recent participation in the International Congress of bee-keepers “Apsilavia” in Almaty city.

According to Evgeny Lepeshkin coordinator at WWF Russia Amur branch: “We’re glad to see the bee-keeping is reviving, the industry that is closely connected to sustainable nature use. Bee-keepers are our main supporters in protection of linden forests. Over the past 10 years linden had been logged intensively while exceeding the permitted logging volumes. In the last decade, the roundwood equivalent of linden timber export from Primorye increased by 20 times – which demonstrates a rapid destruction of linden forests. We believe that by joint efforts we’ll preserve linden forests of Primorsky province and promote Primorsky honey to the world market.”

Bee-keepers of Primorye at the seminars on NFTP and forest governance
© WWF Russia
(On the left) Elena Fedichkina, head of Green Economy unit at WWF Russia Amur branch, Miguel Alemany and Marta Rovira at the honey tasting
© WWF Russia
On the field trip
© WWF Russia
Honey from Primorsky bee-keepers
© WWF Russia
Secrets of bee-keeping from Miguel Alemany
© WWF Russia
Denis Boglia delivering interview to TV program «Vesti Primorye»
© WWF Russia
Bee yard of the Primorsky Research Agricultural Institute
© WWF Russia
Selina Gang, an entrepreneur from Malaysia
© WWF Russia