Foresters from Poland visited Komi Model Forest and praised real benefits of project.
This trip brought together ten forestry experts from the two regions – Poznan and Olsztyn. The meeting was held as a part of the Baltic Landscapes Project. The main point of this project is to find innovative approaches to the management of forest landscapes through a network of Model Forests. Poland is one of the seven participating countries. The main objective of the visit was to understand what Model Forest is and how it works, to estimate the advantages and disadvantages of the project and to conclude the feasibility of Model Forests in Poland.
Alongside with visiting the Komi Model Forest demonstration routes, the program was rich in numerous meetings. The meeting with the management of the Regional Committee of Forests was one of the important. Vasily Osipov, Head of the Forest Committee, and Ruslan Ulyanov, his Deputy, told about the system of forest management organization and structure of forests in Russia after the introduction of the new Forest Code in 2006. Polish foresters got particularly interested in the innovative system for monitoring forest fires used in the Komi Republic.
Alexander Kindsfater, Director of the Priluzje forestry unit, told about the work of the Forest Service on the local level. By the way, Konstantin Serditov, the spokesman of Public Forest Council in Priluzsky district, attended this meeting. Forest Council has appeared through the Komi Model Forest Project and still has an important function, as a link between forestry and the local population.
Several meetings were devoted to the interaction of teachers and educational institutions with the Komi Model Forest Project. For example, a teacher from the High School of Chernysh village made a presentation of the educational program “Ecology of the village” developed under the project. According to Yuri Pautov, Director of Silver Taiga, teachers have showed most of the interest and activity for 15 years of the project.
The seminar was complemented by a cultural program. Polish foresters visited the ethnographic department of the Komi National Museum and a guided tour in the ancient village Yb. But most of all the participants were impressed about a meeting with the director of the Obyachevo High School, who has been working to find settlements of repressed Poles for many years.
At the end of the workshop the Polish foresters noted that the cooperation between the different parties of forest relations and involvement of different stakeholders to the solution of problems are the most important benefits of the project. “The tour in the Komi Republic was the most interesting, informative and useful for the understanding of the Model Forest as cooperation partners”, said Yaroslav Bator, the representative of the Oborniki Forestry unit from Poznan, who earlier had visited model forests in Sweden and Finland.
Soon, the leaders of the Poland Forest Service will make a final decision whether they will establish Model Forests or not. The Komi Model Forest is ready to meet the next guests. The representatives of the Poznan University of Life Sciences (Poland), forest students from Germany and freshmen from Syktyvkar Forest Institute can see demonstration routes on September, 2013.
Translated by Ksenia Matyusheva