The subject for the regular Forest Dialogue in October 5-6 in Syktyvkar initiated by Silver Taiga Foundation was the problem of local government revival on the settlement level. It was no coincidence that the issue of the local government formation emerged: the “Forest Village” project is aimed at the sustainable development of the area which is not possible without the efficient local government and local population participation in taking vital decisions.
The third Forest Dialogue so far this year was held on 3-4 December. The Forest Village project implemented by the Silver Taiga Foundation once again became the ground for the dialogue which provides each of the participants with the opportunity to contribute to the discussion of matters dealing with natural resources management of the area.
All major stakeholders such as businessmen, representatives of the corresponding republican ministries, local population, local government delegates, representatives of the scientific and social organizations took part in the Forest Dialogue. The mutual interest to the topic in question was evident; all participants were greatly motivated and held lively discussions.
Komi Model Forest has been actualized on the territory of the Priluzski forestry unit in the Republic of Komi occupying the area of 800 000 hectares since 1997. The main objective of the project is the development of the efficient regional model of the sustainable forest management prepared for experience exchange. Over the years of the project implementation (since 1996) significant results have been achieved in such important aspects as detection and sustainable use of virgin forests, forest biodiversity preservation, voluntary forest certification, forest management economy, local population participation in forest management, training and development of the forestry personnel, etc. which were considered to be innovative at that period.
Nowadays Finleskom ltd. is responsible for the logging process on leasing areas of Mondi Syktyvkar. Finleskom ltd. is a forest holding which combines all daughter logging companies of Mondi Syktyvkar in the Komi Republic. On November 13, 2009 a workshop on FSC-certification was organized for the leading specialists of Kortkeross, Noshul and Sysolskii departments of Finleskom ltd. The workshop was organized and conducted by Silver Taiga Foundation.
At the end of August, 2009 Silver Taiga representatives organized a two-week expedition to Pyssa pristine forest massif situated in the North of Udora region of Komi.
The goal of the expedition was to investigate pristine forests along Pyssa river, define an ecological value of this forest massif, get acquainted with traditional use of nature in pristine forests by local population and estimate the value of pristine forests for local population.
A school program «Village Ecology» is a part of Forest Village Project. This program is getting more and more popular all over Komi. The program has been elaborated by Tatjana Kosolapova – a teacher of ecology of Priluzje region of Komi. Teachers from other «Forest Villages» have adapted this program to their regions. At the end of August, 2009 they all met in Silver Taiga office to present the results of their work.
It should be mentioned that the goal of «Village Ecology» program is to form an ecological culture of the person, to develop a healthy attitude toward the environment, to interest children in their village (history, way of life, traditions, environment, resources etc.). Besides the program also contributes to cooperation development and integration of local community.
During July, 26 – August, 4 ten ecologists from Finland visited Komi Model Forest to study natural forest dynamics and biodiversity.
This event was organized by Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Silver Taiga Foundation and Priluzje forestry unit. The aim of this visit was to study biodiversity of taiga forest and ways of its restoration in intensively managed Finnish forests.
During 2005-2008 about 80 potential entrepreneurs from Koigorodok region of Komi were taught to carry on business at training seminars. The seminars were initiated by the Ministry of economic development of Komi. At the end of seminars everyone presented their business plans. Unfortunately not all business plans were successful.
To estimate the results of the seminars the representatives of the regional innovations support center investigated the effectiveness of such seminars in solving socio-economic problems of municipalities’ development. According to the investigation the participants had the following goals at the seminars: new knowledge, new approach in business and decrease of unemployment level. 16 % of the participants showed an interest to carry on business.
On June 5, 2009 a final workshop dedicated to Russian-Sweden project «Elaboration of revelation and investigation strategy of high biological value in south taiga zone» was held in St. Petersburg State Forestry Academy. The project realization period is spring 2006 – spring 2009. The project is managed by Pro Natura Fund and Baltic Fund for Nature.
Silver Taiga staff has changed lately. Traditionally everyone working in Silver Taiga should know the specific of the Foundation and should be a forest and nature lover. On April 21-22, 2009 Silver Taiga ecologists organized a field tour in Komi Model Forest for the whole staff.