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WWF-Russia will prepare proposals for sustainable development of the area around the Dvina-Pinega reserve

06 february 2020
WWF-Russia considers that in order to maintain the ecological, social and economic well-being of the territory adjacent to the new reserve, it is necessary to develop a long-term plan for its integrated development together with all stakeholders.

The inception phase will begin with the development of the "passport" of the Dvina-Pinega landscape. Then, sociological studies will be conducted to help identify the needs of the local population, and the territory of the socio-economic landscape will be zoned for its intended purpose and management regimes.

In October 2019, a new protected area of 300 thousand hectares appeared in Arkhangelsk Region – the Dvina-Pinega reserve, the creation of which WWF-Russia have been working for more than 17 years. The reserve establishment affects the interests of environmental organizations, timber companies, and the local population of four districts in the region. The new protected area has an exceptional environmental value: it will help conserve one of the last large areas of the intact Northern taiga, the Red Data Book species of flora and fauna living there, the sources of important waterways for the whole region, as well as protect the place of traditional nature use of local communities from logging. At the same time, part of the forests leased by timber companies is excluded from industrial development, which imposes restrictions on logging enterprises and deprives them of part of the raw materials.

(c) Igor Shpilenok

Environmentalists believe that for the successful development of the territory, combining the effective work of enterprises of the forest sector, the preservation of HCVs, and a decent life of local communities, all stakeholders should join forces and draft a long-term development plan based on a landscape approach. The plan should incorporate the interests of all parties, as well as contain a specific list of measures to attract "green" investments to develop the landscape.

"The establishment of the reserve imposes certain economic restrictions on the territory necessary for the preservation of natural values, but at the same time can give certain benefits. Our goal is to ensure sustainable development of the landscape, the core of which is the recently created Dvina-Pinega reserve. Now it is important to ensure a dialogue between the parties interested in the use of landscape resources, to guarantee the joint adoption of key decisions, as well as to ensure the interest of investors in this territory and the initiatives planned for implementation by the government, business and local communities," said Nikolay Larionov, the Head of Arkhangelsk office, WWF-Russia Barents Ecoregion Programme.

To date, among the opportunities for the development of the Dvina-Pinega landscape, the most promising are the faster transition of the forest industry from the harvesting timber in intact forests to sustainable forest management in secondary forests. For example, using a patchy landscape approach, in which protected areas coexist with intensively, but sustainable managed commercial forests, where quality restoration of economically valuable species and thinning in young stands are carried out. In addition to logging and forestry, ecotourism and non-timber forest management can be important sources of income for the local communities.

The inception phase research will be supported by the Earthworm Foundation. Research results will form the basis of WWF-Russia's project on integrated sustainable development of the Dvina-Pinega landscape, which is to be launched in 2020 to help effectively conserve its HCVs.


Learn more about the history of the nature reserve and its significance:

Headline and preview photos: (c) Igor Shpilenok

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