This was the motto of the conference organized by the Silver Taiga Foundation at the end of the anniversary year: in 2012 the Foundation celebrated its tenth anniversary and the Komi Model Forest reached the age of 15.
When introducing the results of the fifteen-year activities and perspectives of the Model forest to the participants Deputy Director of the Foundation Yury Pautov highlighted the fact that the Model forest is not an organization and even not a territory, it’s primarily the collaboration of all the participants of the forest relations including the representatives of the state, forest service, business, science, local self-government, regular residents of the forest villages and settlements… It’s the cooperation aimed at the development of the reasonable, sustainable management of our forests.
Herewith, Yury Pautov paid attention of the participants to the advantages gained from the principles and approaches the Model forest is based on. It is an acceleration of the practical solution of the burning problems existing in the forest industry – from idea to implementation. It is a fast adaptation to the new challenges. It is a possibility for practical demonstration and approbation of the results and a joint solution of the issues requiring an interaction between different structures and departments. Model forest is also giving a chance for natural resources management on the landscapes level, which is unfortunately missing in the official management practice. Besides, the possibility of involvement of the experience and specialists from other regions and countries plays a major role.
The presentation of the results obtained during the 15 years of the Komi Model Forest activities submitted to approval of the conference participants clearly showed that all these advantages were successfully used by the project participants, and currently the experience of the Model forest in Komi is not only disseminated in the republic but also is in-demand in other regions of Russia and abroad.
The Silver Taiga Foundation Director Przemyslaw Majewski described it to the conference participants by the example of the international project “Baltic landscapes”. According to him, other countries and regions have the same topical problems as we do. The experience shows that new challenges emerge and act everywhere faster than the modern management can handle. These are both the consequences of the globalization and the climate change, and the growing load on the resources… Such “old” issues as participation of the local population in the resources management, protection of soils and water bodies, etc. are relevant for many regions and countries the same as for us. And, as people have already seen in many countries, the Model forest platform gives a chance to solve these issues wholistically and more effectively.
The presentation of the Komi Republic state program “Forestry development”, delivered by the Head of the department of state forest register and forest use management of the Forest Committee of the Komi Republic Andrey Semenovich Navalikhin, has also aroused interest among the participants of the conference.
L.A. Guryeva, Deputy Director for educational and scientific work of the Syktyvkar Forest Institute, also addressed the meeting and presented the report “Forest education as a basis for sustainable development of the region”. D.Zh. Kutepov, Head of the Consulting center “Tefra” talked about the possibilities and restrictions of the transition to the intensive model of forestry in Komi. The presentation of the Foundation coordinator working with the local communities V.T. Semyashkina was devoted to the topic of sustainable development of local communities, problems of local nature use and directions for solving these problems undertaken within the frameworks of the Silver Taiga Foundation projects.
The initiatives of the Komi Model Forest have really been disseminated over these years even in other forest districts of Komi. The Silver Taiga Foundation in cooperation with its partners is trying to facilitate the solving of the nature use problems and searching for the ways to improve a socio-economic condition in these rural districts within the frameworks of other projects, in particular, “Forest village”, “High Conservation Value Forests”, and “Model river Mezen”. This was an importance of this tendency for dissemination of the positive results of the development projects, which was emphasized in the title of the anniversary conference – “Sustainable development of forest regions: from Model forest to Model republic”.
Evgeny Lopatin, an employee of the University of Eastern Finland, talked about the possibilities and practice of using a promising method of remote sensing for forest inventory and landscape planning.
At the end of the conference a short exchange of opinions on still unsolved problems hindering the sustainable development in our republic and obvious “bottlenecks” requiring special attention in the short term took place.
In addition to the presentations, questions-answers to the speakers and problems discussion, a lot of cordial words were addressed to the Silver Taiga Foundation team and its Director Przemyslaw Majewski during this anniversary conference. The Forest Committee of the KomiRepublic, OJSC “Mondi Syktyvkar”, Syktyvkar Forest Institute, Consulting center “Tefra”, and representatives of the population and NGOs of the Priluzje and Udora districts congratulated the hosts of the conference on their anniversary.