HOW TO CONSERVE LIFE ON LOGGING SITES?
Preserving key biotopes – small areas of forest that are vital to conserve natural diversity – on logging sites will help to decrease the negative impact on forest ecosystems, caused by industrial logging. Conserving biodiversity during logging is a requirement of Russian legislation as well as the voluntary FSC forest certification scheme. For this reason, in 2012 the WWF, in cooperation with Ministry of Natural Resources and Forest Industry complex of Arkhangelsk region, started to develop the first ‘Methodological Recommendations on Biodiversity Conservation during Logging,’ which has now become a normative document.
Over the course of several years the recommendations have been tested at regional enterprises, analyzed from the point of view of outcome, ease of use, and effectiveness. The latest recommendations have been prepared taking into account this experience and changes made in forestry legislation.
Specialists from the M.V. Lomonosov Northern Arctic Federal University (SAFU), the Pinezh nature reserve, the Arkhangelsk branch of Roslesinforg (the federal agency for forestry management), the Federal Research center for Complex Studies of the Arctic of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Biology of the Komi Science Centre of the Urals Section of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the companies Ilim Group, and Mondi, the WWF and the regional Ministry of Forest were involved preparing the recommendations.
The experts compiled an inventory of the region’s forest biodiversity that should be conserved during the logging sites’ allocation and logging. This includes, for example, forests sites around springs and lakes, near swamps, old-aged woods, windfalls, high stubs, trees with nests and hollows, rare wood species. As a rule, these sites, which are important for biodiversity conservation, have no significant economic value for forest companies.
In Russia there are many examples of successful biodiversity conservation during logging. At the moment the Arkhangelsk oblast’ is one of eight Russian regions which have included recommendations on biodiversity conservation during logging in its regulatory system, including forestry regulations. In a number of other regions such recommendations have been developed, but have no regulatory status.
Headline photo: (c) Elena Rai