Local communities will help save nature of the Onega Peninsular
This decision was made as a result of a roundtable organized by the WWF-Russia Barents Sea office, ReSURS non-profit partnership, and Kenozersky National Park, under whose management Onezhskoye Pomorye National Park has been transferred. The goal of the meeting was to create a constructive dialogue between local communities and all interested parties about the nature use on the Onega peninsula. Representatives of the joined Kenozersky and Onezhskoye Pomorye national parks, public organizations, PLO Onegales company, fishing collective farms, local communities, and media joined the discussion.
One of the main goals of the meeting was to discuss the prospects of the cooperation between the Kenozersky National Park and the residents of the peninsula. According to Elena Shatkovskaya, the park director, the national park will take into account the interests of the local communities as much as possible within the current legislation when developing the area. The villagers and their close relatives will keep the right for free visits to the park and amateur fishing. The park will develop forest use regulations that will allow locals to log timber for personal use.
The relationship between the local communities and PLO Onegales company, which logs timber on the peninsula, is also very important. The participants of the roundtable reached an agreement to jointly work on allocating socially valuable forests. The primary objective of the established local community action group is to collect and present to the forest leaseholder the information about forest areas that must be excluded from logging so that locals can gather berries and mushrooms, hunt and fish.
“WWF and PLO Onegales signed an agreement, according to which the company as part of the FSC certification process will allocate forest areas that are valuable for nature conservation but have not been included in the national park, which will comprise the ecological framework of the Onega peninsula. WWF experts know how to allocate habitats of red-list animals and plants, and rare and vulnerable ecosystems. However, in order to complement this ecological framework with socially valuable forests, we need the help of the locals,” said Denis Dobrynin, WWF-Russia project coordinator.