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Премия рунета 2017

RURAL COMMUNITIES LEARN HOW TO CONSERVE THEIR FORESTS

24 october 2017
How to protect forests with high ecological and social value from logging? This was the issue discussed with rural communities at a workshop organized by WWF-Russia in Ustiansky district of Arkhangelsk Oblast.

The workshop was led by scientists and environmental experts – Anna Nemchinova, Antonina Kulyasova and Pavel Lasurin – who explained the basic principles of forest science and forest management. The following topics were covered during the discussion: forest structure and composition, ecosystem services, biodiversity, types of logging and their after-effect, and also opportunities for local people to participate in forest management.

“Forest plays a key role in the life of rural communities. At the same time over recent decades forests that were traditionally used by local people have started to degrade rapidly because of logging. In most cases local people have no influence on the decisions taken on how forests are used. However, opportunities for this exist. For example, local people could take part in forest management using the opportunities provided by voluntary FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification,” said Antonina Kulyasova.

During the workshop experts explained how to make use of the FSC certification scheme requirements to conserve forests that are essential to the economy of local communities, that are used for a variety of traditional forest activities, and that play an important role in the conservation of cultural and religious heritage.

As well as a discussion of the theory, the workshop included several field trips to the forest. During the forest field tours participants explored how to identify the age of trees and to see the difference between intact and secondary forests. They visited forest sites where different logging techniques were used.

Workshop participants on intact forest field trip
(c) Margarita Fedorova

“The main aim of the workshop is to increase local people’s understanding of forest management. We hope that the participants will make practical use of the knowledge about ways of cooperation with forest companies and authorities, as well as how best to participate in public hearings and defend ones rights. Ultimately, the successful management of natural resources depends on the engagement of local people”, said Denis Dobrynin, coordinator of WWF-Russia Barents Branch in Arkhangelsk.

The workshop was organized as part of the Barents-Baltic Nature and People Programme (BBNP).

Headline photo: (c) Margarita Fedorova

For additional information please contact
Press Officer of Archangelsk Ecoregional Office