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Премия рунета 2017

IRKUTSK REGION APPROVES WWF RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION DURING LOGGING

23 november 2017
Irkutsk Region has become the ninth region of Russia to approve the criteria for the allocation and conservation of key biotopes during logging.
Sergei Sheverda, Minister of Forestry of the Irkutsk Region, stated that: “We supported WWF proposal to develop guidelines for biodiversity conservation during logging and we are ready to give official approval to the criteria that have been developed. In response we will make changes to the forestry regulations of the Irkutsk Region. The Ministry of Forestry is not only seeking to develop the forest industry but also aims to conserve the biological diversity of our region. The conservation of flora and fauna has to be considered while logging. I hope that our cooperation with WWF will continue”.
The samples of key biotopes' landscapes.
(c) V.popov, A. Sofronov

Under WWF criteria the following should be protected during logging: “endorheic basins, areas around permanent and temporary water formations, woods on steep slopes and cliffs, karst formations, habitats of species from Red Book of RF and Irkutsk Red Data Book, dark coniferous forests among light coniferous and deciduous forests, trees with nests, animal shelters, areas with high alkaline content”. 

Forest broken by strong wind. A forest area on the steepe slopes biotope.
Valuable forest objects required to be conserved during logging.
(c) V. Popov

The recommendations for Irkutsk Region have been developed on the initiative of WWF by scientists at Baikal State University with the support of WWF. 

Victor Popov, Director of the Institute of Nature Resource Management at Baikal State University, says: “We kept in mind the specific features of the region when preparing the guidelines. The forests in Irkutsk Region grow in the taiga permafrost, in mountainous areas, as well as in the endless forest-steppe”.

In spring, the theoretical findings of the scientists were tested in the field in partnership with Irkutsk foresters. The criteria to allocate key biotopes developed by WWF proved to be clear and concise and were approved by a wide range of stakeholders.

Key biotope.
(c) V. Popov
Viktor Sipkin, WWF Altay-Sayan Forest Program Coordinator, said: “The legislative basis for the allocation and conservation of valuable forest areas during logging was only established in January 2017 after the law “On approval of regulations for logging and the procedures for logging…” was officially approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia. Every region should develop its own standards for the allocation of key biotopes in 2018 and this requires expertise and resources. WWF offered assistance to the regions with the most extensive forest cover. One of these was Irkutsk Region. Our experts collaborated with biologists, zoologists, geobotanists and foresters to develop recommendations taking into account the features of each region”

These recommendations were developed at the initiative of WWF-Russia within the framework of the WWF-IKEA Partnership on Forests project for several regions of Russia with a high forest density, which need of an intensive approach to forest management and forest regeneration. At the same time, similar standards are being developed for Altay Region, the Republic of Altai, Irkutsk region, Arkhangelsk Region, the Republic of Karelia, Komi Republic, Vologda Region and other regions which have been chosen because they have abundant forests and wildlife.

Irkutsk Region is a priority for WWF Forest program as about 20% of its territory lies within the boundaries of the Altay-Sayan Mountain region, an ecosystem which is located at the juncture of Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and China. The conservation of biodiversity in Altay-Sayan Ecoregion is one of the most important goals of WWF-Russia. The WWF Forest Program is being actively implemented in this ecoregion.

Headline photo: (c) A.Sofronov

For additional information please contact
Altai-Sayan ecoregional press-officer