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Biodiversity will be protected in industrial forests

01 june 2017
Biodiversity protection in industrial forests is becoming a common practice in Russian regions.

Round table conference on that problem was held in Moscow on May 30th, 2017.

For now, 7 administrative regions in Russia have included lists of must-be-protected objects of biodiversity into their regulatory frameworks and by 2018 all other regional authorities must do the same.

”The issue of biodiversity protection is on the agenda of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation. In the Year of Ecology, this theme gets special attention. By now, the necessary legal base for biodiversity protection in industrial forests was formed at the federal level to implement the Concept for Intensive Forest Regeneration and Use. The next step is to develop and approve lists of biodiversity objects to be protected in industrial forests within the forestry regulations in the regions of Russian Federation. The aim of the round table is to develop – as a result of discussion – recommendations for the lists of objects and criteria taking into account regional differences,” said Vladimir Chitorkin, Deputy Director of the Department of State Policy and Regulations in the Sphere of Forest Resources of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

The event was organized with the support of WWF-Russia under the WWF-IKEA Partnership on Forests. Authorized representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, Federal Forestry Agency (Rosleskhoz), other federal and regional authorities, forest companies, academic community, non-governmental organizations, and certification bodies took active part in the discussion. Amongst the spokesmen of the roundtable meeting, there were experts from Moscow, Irkutsk, Arkhangelsk, Tver, Pskov, Altay and other regions. 

Hawk Owl
© Gennadiy Alexandrov / WWF-Russia

Biologists and industry experts came up together to discuss special recommendations on biodiversity protection in industrial forests. An important part of the debate was discussion of experience of developing such requirements in some Russian regions. A separate section was dedicated to sustainable management of protective forests.

”WWF-Russia has been working in this field for many years, having started from introduction and development of FSC certification in Russia almost 20 years ago. FSC-certified companies must protect biodiversity in industrial forests. Nonetheless, this issue gains even more significance in relation to implementing the intensive forest management model. More intensive forest harvesting should be balanced with forest biodiversity protection. It is important to understand what exactly should be done at local and federal levels, what is the role of science and NGOs in this process. It is important for us to develop common understanding of what should be protected, how to protect and make provisions for this to be legal,” commented Nikolay Shmatkov, director of the WWF-Russia Forest program.

Despite a number of controversial issues, the round-table allowed to determine major issues which are more common to arise at biodiversity protection as well as made a step towards finding a solution for them. A resolution and recommendations to be provided summarizing the results of the round table discussion. 

Headline photo: © Gennadiy Alexandrov / WWF-Russia

For additional information please contact
Project Coordinator for WWF-IKEA Partnership on Forests