About 600,000 hectares of valuable forests of Arkhangelsk Region will be protected from logging
WWF-Russia and Onega LDK JSC agreed to voluntarily protect HCVs in the lease areas in Onezhsky, Severodvinsky, and Priozerny forest districts of Arkhangelsk Region. The total area, where forestry activities will be restricted, is about 600,000 hectares, including more than 150,000 hectares where logging will be completely prohibited. Those include intact forest landscapes where many rare species of plants and animals live. The purpose of the signed agreement is to protect such territories.
"We welcome the company's intentions to completely abandon economic activities in the part of valuable intact forests in its lease, as well as to limit activities in the part with various natural values. The allocated moratorium areas will ensure the conservation of biodiversity, contribute to the sustainable provision of ecosystem services by forests, and increase the connectivity of the ecological network of the vast territory from the White Sea to Lake Onega," says Nikolay Larionov, the head of WWF-Russia Barents Branch in Arkhangelsk.
Intact forest landscapes are large forest areas that are not significantly affected by humans. They are important not only from environmental, but also from a social and economic points of view. That is why it is necessary to ensure a balance between their possible development and the mandatory conservation of their social and environmental functions. The company has committed itself to the conservation of valuable forests as FSC-certified company.
"It is very important for us to cooperate with WWF-Russia for the development of sustainable forest management in the areas of our forest lease. Ensuring biodiversity and conserving HCVs are among our top priorities. Responsible forest management is one of the most important elements of the strategy of Segezha Group timber holding, " said Nikolay Ivanov, Managing Director for the Implementation of State Development Programs and Forest Policy of Segezha Group.
In addition, WWF-Russia and Onega LDK JSC publicly declare their joint intention to participate in the creation of Varaki regional nature reserve. Besides, Onega LDK JSC will support WWF-Russia in the implementation of the project to establish a natural monument called ‘Onega Shore’ in Onega district forestry unit. The joint efforts of all the stakeholders: the environmental organization, the scientific community, responsible business and authorities will help assign an official protected status to those valuable forests.
"Regular assessment of the implementation of the agreement will help the parties assess the compliance with the reached agreements, as well as to respond promptly when controversial issues arise that are to be discussed publicly," adds Nikolay Larionov, the head of WWF-Russia Barents Branch in Arkhangelsk.
Preview and headline photos: (c) Yury Sochnev / WWF-Russia.