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Премия рунета 2017

What will happen to the Northern taiga in 100 years?

14 may 2018
WWF-Russia in cooperation with its Finnish and Swedish partners is drafting a forecast of climate change impacts on forests and forestry in the Northwestern Russia.

The goal of the joint project of WWF-Russia, the University of Eastern Finland and the Swedish Forest Agency is to analyze the impact of climate change on the forests of Arkhangelsk Region and the Republic of Karelia in the long term.  With the aid of a special program, the experts in the field of forest climatic forecasting will simulate the likely future for three types of forest objects: an intact forest in a protected area, an area with clear-cut and areas where intensive sustainable logging will be conducted using modern methods of forest cultivation.

"Increasing of climate changes requires that these changes should be taken into account in forest management activities. For example, there is an opinion that global warming is good for the Northern taiga, because the forest will grow faster. However, there is a downside, due to increased frequency of catastrophic events such as hurricanes, winds, forest fires. It is important to clearly understand the most possible scenarios of climate change impacts on forest ecosystems and forest management practices in order to reduce the associated risks," says Andrey Shchegolev, the Head of Arkhangelsk office, WWF-Russia Barents Ecoregion Programme.
Northern taiga
(c) Andrey Shchegolev / WWF-Russia

In Arkhangelsk Region, WWF-Russia is working hard to conserve the last intact forests and this project will allow ecologists to understand better the extent of resistance of intact forests to climate change and the situation 100 years later. The results of the research will be useful for forest management authorities and forest business, which plan their activities in the long term.

"If a company, for example, develops intensive sustainable forestry, invests in thinning, and waits for commercially valuable forest to grow and to be logged, it needs to understand the probability of destroying the grown forest by windfalls and outbreaks of bark beetles. Or, as a result of warming, the period of winter logging will be greatly reduced and construction of year-round roads will be required. The forecast of probable scenarios will allow calculating risks in advance and to take measures for adaptation of forestry to climate change," comments Denis Dobrynin, a project coordinator of Arkhangelsk office, WWF-Russia Barents Ecoregion Programme.

Environmentalists say that, for example, in Finland and Sweden experts have been working in this direction for a long time, and the forest data and climatic modeling are being taken into account when making decisions in the field of forest management. The interim results of the project are to be announced by mid-summer, and the final results will be known in November this year. 

The project is being implemented with the financial support of the Programme for Environment and Climate Co-operation (PECC), the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) and the Nordic Environmental Finance Corporation (NEFCO).

Headline photo: (c) Andrey Shchegolev / WWF-Russia

For additional information please contact
Press Officer of Archangelsk Ecoregional Office
Head of Forest program Office