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MORE THAN HALF A MILLION HECTARES OF VALUABLE FORESTS OF POMORYE WILL BE SAVED FROM LOGGING

29 december 2020
At the end of the year, an important environmental event took place: logging ban agreement allowing conservation of valuable forests with a total area of 557 thousand hectares was signed today by WWF-Russia and one of the largest logging companies in the North-Western Russia, ULK Group.

This online formal agreement was the result of lengthy negotiations to find a balance between the environmental value of the areas and the stable work of the company: both the opinion of the expert and the environmentalists to protect the most valuable forests, and the need of the company in forest resources sufficient for the sustainable development were addressed.

The forest areas conserved under the logging ban agreement are located in several districts of Arkhangelsk Region and have an area from 66 to 386,000 hectares. According to the agreement, it is prohibited there to harvest wood, build roads, and conduct any other industrial activities that can cause damage to nature. The largest forest site is located in the east of Leshukonsky district. Here it is planned to establish Timansky natural reserve. WWF-Russia is already preparing the materials of the environmental justification for assigning this territory an official protected status, and is also working to return the nature reserve to the Concept of development of regional protected areas. The natural value of intact taiga was confirmed by several expeditions, the most recent of which took place last summer. In the course of the field research, the latest data on the high biological and landscape diversity of the territory was collected, and habitats of a number of rare species, including reindeer, whose population is threatened with extinction, were identified.

WWF-Russia's expedition to the intact taiga in the area of planned Timansky reserve
Planned Timansky Reserve
(c) WWF-Russia

"With the ULK Group, we already have a positive experience in conserving valuable forest areas. So, in June, an agreement was signed on the voluntary protection of spawning forest zones in the territory of Ustyansky forestry unit after abolition of their protected status by the Federal Forestry Agency. Even earlier, some of the forests leased by the company were included in the Dvinsky regional reserve established in 2019," said Nikolai Larionov, the head of WWF-Russia Barents Branch in Arkhangelsk. "The new agreement is not only the fulfillment of the company's obligations under FSC voluntary forest certification, but also an important contribution to the conservation of the region's nature by forming an effective ecological framework for the protection of flora, fauna, and landscapes of Arkhangelsk Region."

WWF-Russia hopes the regional authorities will take timely measures so that the valuable forest areas, in particular, the territory of future Timansky nature reserve, could receive official protected status, and it now has all the preconditions: the company confirmed its willingness to provide the leased areas for the establishment of protected area and to provide financial assistance in setting the boundaries of the reserve, and WWF-Russia has undertaken the preparation of the necessary justification.

Preview and headline photos: (c) WWF-Russia.

For additional information please contact
Director of Ecoregional Office
Press Officer of Archangelsk Ecoregional Office