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Presentation of a landscape ecological plan of sustainable forestry for pristine forests massifs took place
27th of January 2012
A working meeting on the organization of the sustainable forestry in the massifs of pristine forests within the framework of UNDP/GEF project “Strengthening Protected Area System of the Komi Republic to Conserve Virgin Forest Biodiversity in the Pechora River Headwaters Region” was held on the 25th of January. A landscape ecological plan of sustainable forestry for the pristine forests massifs developed by “Tefra” Consulting center was presented at the meeting.
Two areas of pristine forests occupying 34.5 and 72.2 thousand ha were chosen as “model” ones. They have a high ecological value as they are representing large areas of low-disturbed forest territories which enable conservation of biodiversity and support of ecological functions. Besides there are quite rare for this part of Komi forest ecosystems with participation of cedar growing here. On the other hand, “model” areas of pristine forests are leased by “Mondi Syktyvkar” mill and planned to be harvested in the coming years. Due to the fact that “Mondi Syktyvkar” is certified to FSC standards of sustainable forest management a demand arose to work out an approach which on the one hand allows conservation of ecological value of the forest territory and on the other hand enables a logging enterprise to carry out its activities.
Determination of an ecological framework became such a compromise decision. The most valuable model area (core), ecologically important and vulnerable ecosystems (for example, swamps, ecosystems around rivers and streams, places of concentration of critically endangered species), as well as territories of special cultural and historical value were included in the framework. An ecological framework (which is 37% of “model” territory) is able to ensure conservation of social and ecological functions of the forest territory. Therefore it is recommended to be excluded from the areas subject to harvesting. On the residual territory the mill can carry out the final felling with conservation of biodiversity.
Head of Certification and Forest Management department of OJSC “Mondi Syktyvkar” Denis Popov told that during the fulfillment of the forest certification requirements the company determined 817 thousand ha of high conservation value forests (HCVF) out of 2,1 mln. ha of its leasing base. On the HCVF areas the company follows special forest use modes – from full stop and temporary moratorium on felling to different forestry and technological restrictions.
Deputy Director of Silver Taiga Foundation Yury Pautov told to the participants of the meeting about the current situation around the pristine forests in the Komi Republic. According to his words this problem in Komi is being gradually solved but it is still quite acute. From ecological and social points of view pristine forests are of a great value and shall be preserved. At the same time many of such forest massifs are leased by the logging enterprises paying a rental fee but not cutting them. These enterprises are preserving such areas as High Conservation Value Forests and thus fulfilling the requirements of the voluntary forest FSC certification. Thus, major responsibility rests on the business. Therefore it’s required to grant to these territories a status of protected. One of the necessary conditions is political support of the government of the Komi Republic.
Representatives of the Forest Committee and the State Council confirmed that the procedure for establishment of the protected areas is complicated because a lot depends on the decisions made at the federal level. All the participants admitted the necessity to develop a regional forest policy which is required particularly for promotion of the regional “forest” ideas at the federal level.