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Премия рунета 2017

WWF: SUPPORTING THE CONSERVATION OF VALUABLE FORESTS IS PROFITABLE FOR THE FOREST INDUSTRY

24 november 2017
At a conference on protected areas in Arkhangelsk region, WWF stressed the need for direct dialogue between the authorities, scientists, representatives of environmental organizations and business.

On November 22-23 Arkhangelsk hosted an international scientific conference entitled "The contribution of protected areas (PA) in the Arkhangelsk region to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage". The main discussion topics included the current status of protected areas, and special issues and problems associated with the creation of protected areas in the Arkhangelsk region.

In his speech at the plenary session of the conference, Andrey Shegolev, the Head of Forest Programs at the WWF-Russia Barents Branch in Arkhangelsk, raised the question of the role that protected areas play in the economic development of the region.

This is a pressing issue, as the interests of the forestry industry often come into conflict with conservation priorities in the region. Decades of extensive forest cultivation based on the logging of ranges that have naturally developed, have led to the exhaustion of the forest resources of the Arkhangelsk region The last areas of intact forests with high conservation value, which are globally recognized as a priority conservation target, are being cut down. The conflict between the demands of the timber industry and the need to conserve the protective and social aspects of the forests has become particularly evident in the forest landscape between the Northern Dvina and the Pinega rivers.

At the same time, in the current economic context it is becoming more profitable for forest companies to contribute actively to the creation of protected areas. 

"WWF-Russia’s experience of working with timber companies on the conservation of valuable forests shows that in many cases FSC-certified logging companies are interested in creating protected areas in intact forests. According to the FSC requirements, if the area inside the forest range receives official protected status, then the forest area that the certified company must maintain can be much smaller than that which the certified company must maintain if the area lacks such status. Thus, the creation of a reserve is a compromise that allows regional companies to keep operating and, therefore, maintain jobs for local residents," says Andrey Shegolev, the Head of Forest Program of WWF-Russia Barents Branch in Arkhangelsk.
Pomorye Intact Forests
(c) Andrey Shegolev / WWF-Russia

According to WWF, one of the main reasons why these unique areas are under threat of extinction and forestry in the region is at a standstill, is the lack of strategic documents that define the region’s development goals in the field of ecology and environmental management, such as environmental policy, a strategy for forestry development and protected areas; and effective dialogue between all concerned parties as well. 

"An open and direct dialogue between the authorities, scientists, representatives of environmental organizations and forest business is needed to solve the environmental conservation problems in the region. Unfortunately, at the moment this is not taking place. Because of this, many issues are addressed in a unilateral manner, and many interests are not taken into account when decisions are taken. We need to make greater use of existing platforms for discussion, such as the Public Council of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forest Industry of the Arkhangelsk region, the Working Party on protected areas and others," noted Andrey Shegolev, the Head of Forest Programs of WWF-Russia Barents Branch in Arkhangelsk.
Headline photo: (c) Andrey Shegolev / WWF-Russia
For additional information please contact
Press Officer of Archangelsk Ecoregional Office
Head of Archangelsk Ecoregional Office