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How can forestry in the Barents region adapt to the change of climate and socio-economic conditions?

27 september 2019
An international project aimed at identifying and putting into practice the best forest management approaches, including adaptation to climate change will help answer this question. The first meeting of the project participants was held in Arkhangelsk.

The impact of climate change on the boreal forests of the Barents region is becoming more pronounced. The existing studies predict in the near future an increase in negative phenomena in the forests, such as windfalls, fires, forest diseases, and outbreaks of pests. Moreover, spruce forests will suffer the most from climate change, which will inevitably lead to changes in the forest resource base and its accessibility for forest companies. To preserve the potential of the Northern taiga forests, it is necessary to take measures to adapt forest management practices to the change of climate and socio-economic conditions.

This is what the joint project of WWF-Russia, Swedish Forest Agency (SFA), Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and ILIM Group launched in September 2019 is dedicated to.

The first meeting of the project participants in Arkhangelsk
Аnna Porokhova / WWF-Russia

The project will identify and present the best forest management practices that will help forest companies to improve their sustainability and adapt to forest management under changing natural, economic and social conditions. In order to present the best practices, it is planned to create an online tool through which stakeholders will be able to obtain up-to-date information on the existing forest management practices within Scandinavia and Russia. In addition, it is planned to develop field courses and conduct field training to improve the skills of forest sector specialists. 

"Historically, forest management in the Barents region has been developing under different scenarios. The experience of forest management in the Scandinavian countries is extremely important for the Russian forest sector, and it is necessary to take into account both - their successes and mistakes. At the same time, the Russian experience can also be applied in the Nordic countries. Coordination of efforts of different countries will contribute to the development of sustainable forest management throughout the Barents region," said Nikolay Larionov, the Head of Arkhangelsk office, WWF-Russia.

Largest Russian forest company ILIM is one of the partners of the project.  It is assumed that pilot (demonstration) areas will be organized within their leased forest areas to test some of the best forest management practices. 

"In today's world, to stay afloat and be competitive company must look ahead, meet the trends of the time, look for and apply the best practices in its work," said Alexander Nekoz, Director of Forestry at the Forest branch of JSC Ilim Group in Koryazhma. "As an environmentally responsible company, ILIM group strives to develop and implement new approaches that enable sustainable and efficient forest management."

The project is funded by Russia and the European Union via the Kolarctic CBC Programme.

Headline photo : (с) Angelina Tikhonova / WWF-Russia

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