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Премия рунета 2017

WWF-RUSSIA INITIATES THE CREATION OF ECONET IN INTACT FORESTS

28 may 2018
How to conserve nature and ensure the survival of species in areas adjacent to protected areas that are subject to commercial development?

This issue was raised by the scientists, ecologists and timber industry from Arkhangelsk Region, Komi Republic and Karelia, St. Petersburg, Moscow at the round table hosted by WWF-Russia in the capital of Pomorye.

"The conservation of the last intact forests is not limited to the creation of protected areas,” noted Andrey Shchegolev, the Head of Arkhangelsk office, WWF-Russia Barents Ecoregion Programme. “We understand that it is impossible to turn all intact forest areas into national parks, forest and game reserves, as some of them will still be involved in logging. But if in the valuable areas human impact is completely excluded, and everything around them is all cut down and broken, the protected areas begin to degrade quickly enough. To mitigate these effects, buffer zones should be created and econet, where commercial development will be partially limited, should be set aside."

The draft of the Russian National FSC Standard stipulates that in intact forests involved in commercial development, forest management should be carried out in such a way as to ensure the maximum conservation of the forest environment and biological diversity, including the creation of an econet. However, there is no single approach and a clear methodology to the allocation of such econet.

During the round table, the participants discussed the existing practices and possible approaches to the allocation of the econet in buffer zones of intact areas, there were suggestions what should be included in econet, and what forest management regime should be established, etc. The experts believe that it is very important to leave intact the sources of rivers and streams, including ephemeral streams, forests in the valleys of small rivers, in catchment depressions, low-value wood, as well as conserve trees of different age and the diversity of stands at logging.

(c) Artem Stolpovsky / WWF-Russia
(c) Antonina Kulyasova
"The nature is much more complicated than it is written in the standards and regulations. Unfortunately, the forest user, when leaving the logging area, does not think about the fact that the consequences of the invasion into wildlife do not occur immediately. For example, you come to a spruce forest, and it is on a sphagnum swamp. Well, how come that there is a spruce forest in a sphagnum-dominated bog? When you start to investigate, it turns out that the upper reaches of this territory are all cut down, as a result the catchment area changed, which resulted in waterlogging. And there are many examples like that. If you plan to take into account the landscape features, you can avoid many negative consequences, such as intense and stormy floods," said Anna Nemchinova, biologist, expert in the field of forest ecology.

The joint efforts of all stakeholders should result in recommendations on the creation of an econet for the parts of intact forests involved in commercial development, and further implementation of the recommendations in the forest management practice.

Headline photo: (c) WWF-Russia

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