Jubilee of WWF-Russia and Stora Enso Partnership: 20 years on guard of sustainable forest management
Conserving the biological diversity of the Russian forests and preventing their degradation is one of the main strategic goals of WWF-Russia, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. As part of this goal, WWF-Russia Forest Program pays special attention to the development of sustainable management in industrial forests, without which it is impossible to ensure the effective conservation of ecologically valuable intact forest landscapes, where many, including rare, species of flora and fauna live.
"It is impossible to reach a competent, cost-effective forest management, which addresses environmental interests, without the initiative and active participation of forest business. The results we have already achieved in this area would not have been possible without the support and assistance of the leading companies in the forest industry. Stora Enso is one of our long-term and most reliable partners. It was the joint project Pskov Model Forest in Russia, in fact, which launched the history of sustainable intensive forest management, and which is now being followed by a range of Russian companies in different regions of the country. We highly appreciate our partnership and hope for further productive cooperation for the benefit of Russian forests," says Alexander Voropaev, WWF-Russia Forest Program project coordinator.
The first joint project of WWF-Russia and Stora Enso was a strategic innovation project in the field of management of forest resources, launched in 1999 in Strugo-Krasnensky district of Pskov Region called Pskov Model Forest. As a result of its implementation (1999-2008) in Russia, the standards and practices of intensive and sustainable forestry in industrial forests were developed. Later, this experience was extended to other regions of Russia, implemented into practice of some forest companies, and used in the development of the standards for intensive forestry and recommendations for biodiversity conservation during logging.
Simultaneously with Pskov Model Forest, other joint projects were implemented within the framework of the partnership between WWF-Russia and Stora Enso. In 2006-2007, a project was implemented, the main focus of which was the legality of the timber origin, and in 2008-2010, a large-scale project was implemented to analyze measures to improve forest legislation.
In 2010, a new stage of cooperation between WWF-Russia and Stora Enso began. It was based on the promotion of sustainable forest management and voluntary forest certification in Russia, including creation, test and promotion of group forest management certification. This project incorporates various aspects, including promotion of the concept of sustainable forest management and principles of voluntary forest certification among various stakeholders; companies support to transfer to a new model of sustainable forest management and certification of forest management; development of the requirements for biodiversity conservation during logging; analysis of the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation in forest management; support for solving social issues in forest management; development of FSC-certification forest management standard, etc.
“As the renewable materials company wood is our most important raw material and we are committed to responsible wood supply,” says Arto Lyykorpi, Stora Enso’s SVP Wood Supply Russia. “Building long-term relationships together with our stakeholders has enabled us to promote best practices and open dialogues. The cooperation with WWF has supported us on this journey and the good cooperation continues.”
In honor of the 20th anniversary of cooperation of WWF-Russia and Stora Enso on 29-30 October in St. Petersburg special event was held for all participants of the implemented projects and forestry stakeholders, during which a field trip to Pskov Model Forest was held.