The 3d Global Forum of Model Forests was held on March 21-26, 2011 in Burgos, Spain. The Forum was combined with International Symposium on Ecosystem and Landscape-Level Approaches to Sustainability (see www.globalforum2011.net).
The Forum is one of the largest international events of 2011 held under the international year of forests announced by United Nations. More than 350 delegates from 62 countries of the world took part in the event. Russia was presented by 4 functioning Model Forests (MF) – Pskov MF (Pskov and Leningrad oblast), Kovdozersk MF (Murmansk oblast), Kologriv MF (Kostroma oblast) and Komi MF (The Komi Republic), by All-Russian Research Institute of Forestry and by Research Institute of Forestry in St. Petersburg. It should be mentioned that Komi MF is the one of all the Russian delegation actual member of International Model Forest Network (IMFN). The Network combines 55 local and 5 regional initiatives on sustainable forest landscape use.
Such international Global Forums of Model Forests are carried out once in three years. The first one took place in Costa Rica (2005), the second in Canada (2008). The Forum in Spain 2011 proved the further development of MFs all around the world and their support by different international institutions and separate states. The Forum was actively attended by the representatives of United Nations, United Nations Environmental Programme, International Union for Conservation of Nature Resources and many other international institutions. At present there are 55 MFs in the world combined in Canadian, Caribbean – South-American, Mediterranean, East-Asian, African regional Networks. Some more MFs have appeared during 2008 – 2011 in China, Thailand, Japan, Cameroon, Mozambique, Congo, Argentina etc.
Unfortunately the development of MFs in Russia has not been successful. For example, Gassinsk MF in Khabarovsk region of Russia was closed in 2008 due to lack of political and financial support on federal and regional levels. And the rest MFs in the European part of Russia had no possibility to carry out any considerable activities.
Meanwhile MF initiative is very productive as it brings together different institutions, management and governmental bodies for the purpose of sustainable management of forest landscape. This was proved during the Forum in Burgos. Combination of forestry experts and scientists, local administrations and state forest management bodies, private forest owners and industrial forest users contributes to solution of many «forest» problems with the profit to the society. First of all it deals with conservation and correct use of «non-profit» functions and values of the forest – ecological and social, specifically recreation, protection of soil and water resources, conservation and regeneration of biodiversity, multipurpose use of various functions of the forest landscape on the whole. You can find confirmation to it on web http://www.globalforum2011.net/content/page-2
Forum is not only plenary meeting and round-table discussions but also exchange of experience, ideas, opinions and plans of joint collaboration. Moreover the participants of the Forum had a chance to get acquainted with the local experience of sustainable multifunctional forest use during field excursion to Urbion MF of Spanish provinces Castilla and Leon. It was also pleasant to taste national Spanish food, to admire the beauty and majesty of the unique monuments of Burgos, to feel the national peculiarities of such provinces as Castilla and Leon, to experience hospitality of local population that values and is in love with the forest and is ready to share its attitude to the forest with the guests from all over the world.