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Pinega Welcomes Dvina-Pinega Landscape Center for Sustainable Development

15 december 2022
The Golubino Cultural Landscape Park (Pinega District, Arkhangelsk Region) has welcomed the opening of the Center for Sustainable Development. Started within the framework of Dvinsky Landscape Initiative, the Center is a collaborative effort of WWF with the Golos Severa (Voice of the North) Association.

The Center is designed to serve as venue for supporting the local initiatives towards responsible nature management. It will be hosting workshops, lectures, meetings and related sessions to promote experience exchange and dialogue on sustainable development.

The opening roundtable has brought together all stakeholders – local residents, regional and local authorities, environmental and research organizations, and large businesses that seek to preserve the unique Dvinsky Landscape and achieve more balanced development by bringing together the area’s ecological, social and economic values. Thematic talks were given by the representatives of WWF, Pinega Nature Reserve, Golubino Cultural Park, Titan Group, and Kenozero National Park.

(c) Ludmila Zaharova
“The Dvinsky Landscape takes up more than 9 million hectares and is a unique natural territory. 87% of it is covered by forests, of which 60% are of high natural value as habitats for many Red Book species. The Landscape is home to 115,000+ people. Large logging companies operate here. To preserve its unique nature and made it comfortable for living and successfully developing, stakeholders should look for new opportunities and ways of interacting. The Dvinsky Landscape Initiative is exactly what provides such opportunities by bringing together the stakeholders’ efforts in dealing with important tasks here at this Center for Sustainable Development”.

The opening session was followed by Pinega residents presenting some of the ongoing projects that have received grant funding from the World Wildlife Fund. These projects seek to develop ecotourism and promote traditional craftsmanship: the equipment and facilities for stone working, carpentry, manufacture of skin-trimmed skis, and processing of herbs and berries are already in place. Holy Spring eco-path has been reconstructed, and wood grouse bell exhibition will soon enter its completion stage. 

Each supported project is a stepping stone towards stronger local entrepreneurship, sustainable nature management, artisanal crafts, and more attractive image of the area investment-wise and tourism-wise, bringing more opportunities for better quality of living with lesser environmental load.

(c) Alisa Pavlova, Ilia Ordovskiy-Tanaevskiy
“It is very important for us to be able to keep the Pinega district and its nature undamaged. This unique territory is our pride and bread. No less important is to keep supporting the local economy, which rests mainly on wood harvesting and woodworking. The idea of economy, society and nature as one harmonious whole is exactly what this Initiative is about. I’m personally concerned with making it happen and supported by all sides,” said Alexander Chechulin, Head of Pinega district.
Alexander Chechulin, Head of Pinega district
(c) Ludmila Zaharova

All participants have expressed their willingness to cooperate, plan, and discuss the challenges facing the landscape. A number of ideas concerning ways to upgrade eco-tourism, eco-paths and outreach were proposed. In his talk, Sergey Shevelev, Titan Group Director for Forestry, underlined the importance of increased collaboration and joint decision-making on the challenging nature management issues.  

The Center for Sustainable Development will soon have the final version of its action plan for 2023 agreed. Activities are diverse and include “meet-the-expert sessions”, artisanal craft workshops, experience exchange, and talks on ecotourism, forest management, non-timber forest resources, local initiatives and what not.

The Center for Sustainable Development, the reconstruction of the eco-path, and the local residents’ projects have become a reality thanks to Dvinsky Landscape Initiative and the support from Earthworm Foundation