WWF-Russia and Titan Group have agreed on the border of the Dvinsko-Pinezhsky Protected Area within the land leased by the company
The Titan Group officially confirmed its support for the creation of the Dvinsko-Pinezhsky (Verneyulovsky) Protected Area within the borders agreed with WWF-Russia, which run alongside land leased for logging.
The company has been certified under the Forest Steward Council (FSC) scheme for more than 15 years, which requires the company to take steps to conserve intact forest landscapes. The creation of the nature reserve came out of agreements reached between ecologists and the company to refrain from logging intact forests. The reduction in the size of the nature reserve within the territory leased by the company gives Titan Group time to transition to a more effective approach to managing secondary forests. To achieve this the company will develop a long-term strategy for sustainable forestry. Until the reserve has been established, the logging ban agreement signed by the company under the terms of its FSC certification will remain in place.
Titan Group intends to maintain an active dialogue with other companies working in the landscape located between the North Dvina and Pinega rivers as well as the regional authorities with the aim of agreeing the borders of the nature reserve by the end of 2017, which the Russian government has named the Year of Ecology and Protected Areas.
Work to create a protected area on the territory between the North Dvina and Pinega, which includes one the last remaining large areas of undisturbed Taiga forest in Europe, have been ongoing since early 2000s. In 2013, government experts approved a proposal for the protected area submitted by WWF together with the Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Archangelsk Oblast. The creation of the protected area was included in the region’s forest and territorial planning documents. However, the borders of the new conservation area have yet to be fixed as a large part off the planned protected area has been leased out to logging companies. In establishing the new conservation area, it is important to find a balance between the economy and environment protection – to conserve the most valuable part of the intact forest landscape while enabling companies to continue to operate.
WWF-Russia stresses that given the critical depletion of the region’s forests it is essential to move to a system of effective sustainable forestry. Proposals put forward by WWF for the effective regeneration of logged areas and precommercial thinnings will help to conserve the core of the unique intact forest landscape and the natural environment for wildlife, while allowing companies to significantly increase output of wood products in easily accessible areas and create new jobs for the local population.