Rosleskhoz approved recommendations on biodiversity conservation for Russia
The working group of the Public Council at the Rosleskhoz for the harmonization of the requirements of forest legislation and voluntary forest certification, which includes experts from WWF-Russia, has drafted the proposals for the list of biodiversity objects.
As a result of the economic activities in forests, many species of plants, animals and fungi are endangered. The more intensive the forestry is, the higher the risks of biodiversity loss are. Therefore, in the beginning of 1990s, the concept of forest key habitats was developed and introduced into forest management practice in the Nordic countries. It was viewed as the main measure aimed at conserving biodiversity in the industrial forests. Due to the increasing intensity of forest use in Russia, similar measures are required for the Russian forests.
WWF-Russia in cooperation with a wide range of stakeholders has been developing methods of biodiversity conservation during logging for a long time. The relevant proposals have been prepared with the support of WWF-Russia for several regions of the country. There already exist standards for biodiversity conservation at forest management in our forest laws, but they require that the regional forest management authorities develop their own local lists of biodiversity sites. Taking into account the legislative requirements, and considering interests of the logging companies certified according to the voluntary forest certification systems, such lists have already been developed in a number of subjects of the Russian Federation. Moreover, nine Russian regions (Kirov, Arkhangelsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Leningrad, Vologda, Novgorod, Pskov Regions, the Republic of Komi, Altai and Krasnodar Regions) have already incorporated them into their forestry regulations, and eight more regions (the Republic of Adygea, Altai, Dagestan, North Ossetia-Alania, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karelia, Primorsk, Khabarovsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk Regions and the Jewish Autonomous Area) have developed the recommendations, but have not included them in the regulations yet.
"The experience of regional authorities of the Russian Federation in the development of biodiversity conservation measures during logging and its analysis make it possible to draw the following conclusion: one part of the biodiversity objects is unique for each region, the second part of them may be relevant for all or most of them. However, for many regions of the country, biodiversity conservation is a new initiative, since the relevant changes in the legislation have occurred relatively recently. The recommendations, which were developed with the participation of WWF-Russia based on the experience of the other regions and sent by the Rosleskhoz to all the subjects of the Russian Federation, can greatly help such regions. They may use the recommendations as a basis in order not to develop their regulations from scratch. This, of course, will contribute to effective work, will help not to miss something important, and will eventually lead to more effective biodiversity conservation in forests throughout Russia", said Konstantin Kobyakov, WWF-Russia’s Forest Program Expert on HCVF.
WWF-Russia expresses its gratitude to the Rosleskhoz for the timely initiative, as during 2018, the new forestry regulations are to be approved in most regions. The recommendations developed with the participation of WWF-Russia experts and other environmental NGOs will help take into account the interests of conservation of forest natural values in this process.
Headline photo: (c) Gennady Aleksandrov / WWF-Russia