Russia and Germany consolidate to save the Bikin River forests
the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation and the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Protection, and Nuclear Safety and Security of Germany at the closing session of the XI Russian-German public forum “Petersburg Dialogue”.
In WWF’s opinion, Russia has demonstrated the willingness to make serious commitments to facilitate innovative projects on sustainable forest management.
Since 2008 WWF runs the project financed by the German Government within the International Climate Protection Initiative according to the article 6 of Kyoto Protocol.
“For more than twenty years the general public has been struggling for preserving Bikin from wood companies’ pretensions. The joint Russian-German climate project which is being carried out over the past three years have proved the importance of the Bikin River for the indigenous peoples, tiger, and showed its global unique value, - comments Evgeny Lepeshkin, project coordinator of WWF Russia Amur branch. – That is why the support for the project from the government of Russia and Germany is a logical and at the same time remarkable event. It demonstrates how the country leaders appreciate the value of the “Russian Amazon” and assign a high priority to its conservation.”
The main goal of the WWF’s project is to protect the unique riparian forests of the Bikin River from logging. The “Tiger” indigenous peoples' association has received the right to lease the Bikin pine nut harvesting zone and water protection zone totaling 461 154 hectares for non-timber use for 49 years. During the first three years the lease expenses are covered by the German Development Bank (KfW), later the “Tiger” will have to manage its maintenance by processing pine nuts, eleutherococcus,fern, and other non-timber forest resources.
According to the estimates, the Bikin virgin forests’ biomass accumulates 113 million tones or more of carbon. Saving these forests from commercial logging will significantly contribute to the prevention of global warming. The conservation effect converted into so called “carbon credits” will allow financing project on the Bikin forests conservation on a long-term basis. The richest edible forest resources of Bikin forests form the food base for ungulates and fur animals thus positively affecting the population of the Amur tiger, the welfare of Udege and Nanai aboriginal tribes who used to their traditional hunting and fishing lifestyles.