Weaving Workshop Has Opened In the Porub-Kepovskaya village of the Priluzsky District

The weaving workshop project launch took place on July 20, 2019 in Obyachevo village during the Rural Settlements’ Achievement Exhibition. The activists from the Priluzsky District were came up with the project idea, during a round table, which was held in Syktyvkar in February. The round table facilitated by the Silver Taiga Foundation and WWF Russia under The Barents Baltic Nature and People Programme for activists from Udorsky, Ust-Kulomsky, Syktyvdinsky and Priluzsky Districts of the Komi Republic. The participants were trained by Ivanna Lebedeva an expert of Agency For Rural Development Initiatives from Moscow.

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Silver Taiga representatives together with the Tekhkarta Company conducted a field verification of the spruce-fur forest in Komi defined by the Transparent World Company (Moscow) to help the FSC-certificates’ holders to identify high conservation value forests (HCV 3) on their forest territory and to conserve them according to the FSC-certification national standard.

The main goal of the expedition was to visit the maximum possible amount of the spruce-fur forest lines in the central part of Komi, to identify the compliance of the spruce-fur forest lines presented on HCVF.RU with the FSC national standard requirements. Totally 22 spruce-fur forest lines were investigated during the five days in Syktyvdin, Kortkeross, Lokchim, Ust-Kulom and Pomozdino forestry units.

According to the preliminary results of the field verification there is no spruce-fur forest in the central part of the middle taiga subzone of Komi corresponding to the FSC national standard requirements.

There is the spruce-fur forest in the southern part of Komi within the boundaries of Letka, Priluzje, Koigorodok and a southern part of Ust-Nem forestry units on the border of Kirov and Perm regions, but its proportion is far below  than it is presented on HCVF.RU.

The spruce-fur forest in the southern part of Komi is associated with the narrow spectrum of a wildlife habitual area. In general, it is located in the central part of the large rivers’ banks.


It has become a tradition to conduct an ichthyological school for children every year under Model River Mezen project. This year the ichthyological school was held on the basis of the republican ecological camp MOROSHKA in Ust-Nem village (Ust-Kulom district of Komi).

During five days the schoolchildren studied the elements of hydrobiology, general ichthyology and the peculiarities of the certain fish species with the guidance of the Model River Mezen project coordinator Nikolay Shilov. Besides, the schoolchildren worked in the field conditions. They went fishing, got materials for further investigation, tried to define the species and the age of the fish, studied fish morphology and physiology, tested the water quality with the help of the short-term tests. The schoolchildren presented the results of their work in the banner and put it in the center of the village.

It should be noted, that the administration of the ecological camp put in place all the necessary arrangements for the ichthyological school. The camp is well organized and its staff members are highly qualified.

Testing the water

An excursion


An interactive teaching method was proposed by the Silver Taiga specialists during the training courses on the ecological requirements of the FSC voluntary forest certification for the logging operators. This time the logging operators acted as the speakers and the Silver Taiga representatives helped only to find the mistakes in a gentle way.

The given courses are being conducted upon Mondi Syktyvkar initiative not only for the Mondi representatives but also for the contracting organizations. More than 70 people were trained during July 2019.

Prior to the courses the logging operators got the workbooks prepared by the Silver Taiga team, the description of the logging plots, technical maps, satellite images, etc. The logging operators divided into three groups and performed an independent work during a certain period of time. After that, each group presented the results of its work for the others. According to the Silver Taiga representatives, a new teaching method has turned to be rather powerful.

Following the results of the training courses, the Silver taiga specialists are going to present the weak and the strong points of the forest use and discuss them with Mondi Syktyvkar to support the high level of the forest use.


The representatives from Leshukonje district of Arkhangelsk region won the intellectual game held by skype in Udora library on July 15. The competitors were young people from Udora district of Komi.

Udora team

The game is being held for the third year in a row with Silver Taiga support under Model River Mezen project. About 20 questions were proposed by the project Working Group members. The questions were about the Mezen fish population, fishing equipment, traditional folk crafts, history of the Mezen villages, etc. According to the member of the game jury, a head of Udora environmental department of the Ministry of Nature of Komi, the most difficult questions were about the Mezen fish population.

Every participant of the game got an official message of thanks and the prize from the Silver Taiga Foundation.

Messages of thanks and prizes from the Silver Taiga Foundation


The participants of the round table meeting held in Kamenka village (Mezen district of Arkhangelsk region) under the Mezen Day Festival on July 13, 2019 exchanged their opinions concerning the cooperation between the local population of Mezen and Leshukonje districts of Arkhangelsk region and Udora district of Komi. All these districts participate in the Model River Mezen project.

The use of the Mezen river resources and other fishery problems were discussed during the meeting. Model River Mezen project coordinator Nikolay Shilov told about AgroUdora cooperative experience. Thanks to the participation in the cooperative Udora fishermen got opportunities to rent their traditional plots for fishing. Moreover, the cooperative has a right to conduct melioration measures in the given areas. Besides, commercial fishing gives access to different state grants.

N. Shilov proposed to cooperate in the field of examination, conservation and use of water and fish resources as the issue of the fishery regulation implementation is urgent for both regions.

Nikolay Shilov (the first to the left)

It became clear during the meeting that there is a great man-caused impact on rivers in Mezen settlements of Arkhangelsk region. Moreover, the number of tourists who fish illegally has increased and the fishery inspectors fail to stand it. According to N. Shilov public inspectors can help to get through the poaching. Such experience is already functioning in Murmansk region.

The representatives of Arkhangelsk region proposed cooperation in the field of ecological-educational activities. They are interested in the Silver Taiga experience of the ichthyological school for children. Besides, according to the participants there are great possibilities of the interregional cooperation with respect to the tourism development (extremal, sports-oriented, fishery and ecological).

Photo by Sergey Davydov


has been investigated during the joint expedition of the Geography Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) and Silver Taiga Foundation under the project devoted to the estimation of the territory degradation balance in boreal forests on the basis of Komi Model Forest.

In 2016 UN Convention on the desert advancing control developed a scientific outlook on the neutral balance of the territory degradation. According to the given outlook there are three key indicators of the neutral balance. They are the state and the changes of the ground cover, land productivity, carbon stock (above and under the surface). Territory degradation balance on the given territory (including forest areas) could be considered as neutral if all of these indicators remain the same for a certain period of time.

The expedition lasted for four days on the logged areas of different ages and on the south taiga close to the future Koigorodok National Park and in Noshul forestry unit.

Windfall of the different decomposition stages in the natural forest

The main goal of the field works is to estimate the carbon losses after logging, fire, building of roads and other human actions. The field works results will be processed and organized in a system but already now it is clear that he activity of the carbon dioxide gas flow out of the surface on fresh loggings (3 – 5 years of age) is three and more times greater than the same activity in the untouched forest ecosystems.

Surface respiration measuring

One more fact discovered during the expedition is that the certified forest companies systematically leave key forest elements and biotopes. They in some way compensate a dramatic reduction of the organic stock (wood) after logging and support a pattern structure of the forest landscape on the logged areas.

To define a neutral balance of the forest territory degradation the typology of taiga landscapes natural dynamics developed by Silver Taiga Foundation is going to be used.

Participants of the expedition

Photo by Alexander Borovlev and Andrey Ptichnikov


A delegation from Komi including Silver Taiga representatives took part in the Mezen Day Festival 2019. This year the festival was held in Kamenka village (Mezen district of Arkhangelsk region) with the financial support of Silver Taiga Foundation and the Mezen district administration.

Komi delegation

The Mezen Day Festival is being conducted by Silver Taiga Foundation for the third year in a row under Model River Mezen Project. In the begging of 2019 Silver Taiga Foundation announced a competition of the Mezen Day 2019 projects. The territorial self-government from Kamenka village won the competition.

Kamenka village is located on the left bank of Mezen River, 40 km from the White Sea. To get Kamenka the delegation from Komi had to cover about 1000 km. There is no bridge to Kamenka across the river as the level of water here is fluctuant. The group from Komi, for example, came at the moment of a low water level and it was possible to cross the river only by big fishery boats. Local activists from Udora district of Komi came by the self-made boat just to the opening of the Festival and that was very impressively. Totally more than 300 people participated in the Festival.

Activists from Udora district of Komi

The amateur-talent groups provided entertainment for the audience for more than 2 hours. The Republic of Komi was represented by Anna Uljanova, a specialist of Komi Cultural Center. She sang Komi songs and was warmly met by the participants.

Anna Uljanova

Besides, different contests, degustation of local fish, berries and baking were held during the day. Local craftsmen sold their goods and conducted masterclasses. All the participants tasted a fresh fish soup prepared on the open fire.

Preparation of the fish soup

Goods of the local craftsmen

The most interesting part of the day was the combination of the Mezen water from different Mezen tributaries brought by the participants into one big glass bottle. This water will be kept in Kamenka museum.

Combination of the Mezen water

The location of the next Mezen Day Festival depends on the Mezen population initiatives. Silver Taiga Foundation is ready to review all the proposals and choose the most interesting one.

Photo by Sergey Davydov

Between Mediterranean region and Komi. Participants of the Conference in Lebanon Discussed European Model Forests Development Potential.

Silver Taiga Director Yury Pautov participated in the international conference devoted to the role of the Mediterranean region forests in the climate change adaptation and implementation of the Paris Agreement. A part of the conference focused on the European MFs development (nowadays there are 12 of them).

Participants of the conference

The MF’s idea appeared in the early 90s at the initiative of the Canadian Government to solve the conservation and sustainable management problems of Canadian forests. Later on an International MF Network was created and nowadays there are about 60 MFs all over the world.

The Canadian Government has stopped financing its MFs and the number of MFs decreased from 14 till 4. At the same time in some other regions (Latin America, Mediterranean region, Africa, Southeast Asia) regional MF Networks have been developed.

There were 5 MFs in Russia during 2005 – 2008 in the Khabarovsk Territory, the Komi Republic, Murmansk, Pskov and Kostroma regions. Nowadays only Komi MF is functioning.

Future development of the Mediterranean and European MFs, possibility of cooperation between MFs and the Networks and other issues were discussed during the European MFs meeting.

During the European MFs meeting

Forests of the Mediterranean region suffer from mass tourism, transformation of the forest areas into the agricultural land, uncontrolled use of forests for cattle grazing.

According to Yury Pautov there are enough problems in the forest sector in Russia as well and it is necessary to solve them according to the regional peculiarities. Nevertheless, the idea of the National MF Network development is not supported on the federal level.

Komi MF started in 1997 (the most active period is 2000-2008) and is recognized on regional, republican, federal and international levels. Nowadays it is supported on municipal and regional levels although the project has no targeted financing for 10 years already.

However, the demonstrational routes of Komi MF (Priluzje district of Komi) are still being used during the educational courses, forestry service actively participates in the events on the territory of Priluzje forestry unit, under the local administration support the Public Forest Council is functioning, the Forest Council thematic supplement to the Znamya Truda newspaper is being published.

Besides, Silver Taiga Foundation realizes different projects dealing with forest use landscape planning, biodiversity and HCVF conservation, support and development of FSC certification, involvement of the local population into the sustainable forest management process on the territory of Komi MF.

The representatives of some MFs from Italy, Croatia, Morocco, Turkey proposed to develop cooperation with Komi MF to share the sustainable forest management experience.


Photos by Yury Pautov


The newly elected members of the Coordination Council of the Voluntary Forest Certification National Working Group chose Silver Taiga Director Yury Pautov as a Chairman of the Council on 4 April in Moscow.

Yury Pautov has been dealing with the voluntary certification issues since 1997 under Komi Model Forest project (Priluzje district of Komi) and in 2003 Priluzje forestry unit was prepared to the certification. In 2017 Silver Taiga Foundation directed by Yury Pautov became the FSC International member.

The Republic of Komi is one of the leading regions on voluntary forest certification development. It should be noted that all interested parties – forestry service, logging companies, NGOs, local population, etc. support the development of the certification in Komi.

Besides the election of the Coordination Council, its Chairman and FSC Russia director (Nikolay Shmatkov – currently the Forestry Program Director of WWF Russia) 15 round table meetings were organized to deal with the hottest topics of the voluntary forest certification during the conference held on 3-5 April.

Nikolay Shmatkov

National Working Group (NWG) of Voluntary Forest Certification presents the International Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in Russia and contributes to the development of the forest certification in Russia according to the international standards. It includes about 90 members representing forest business, NGOs, science, etc. The NWG is divided into ecological, economic and social chambers. The supreme body of the NWG is the conference (meeting). The Coordination Council fulfils a function of the supreme body in between the conferences (meetings).