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СообщениеДобавлено: 18 дек 2015, 15:55 
Татьяна Хакимулина, сотрудник Гринпис

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Currently FSC in Russia, as well as FSC in many other countries, is developing new national standard. The changes in the standard are expected to take into account decisions made at the FSC General Assembly in 2014 (incl. demands on protection of intact forest landscapes, stated within the Motion 65).

Greenpeace Russia is no longer a member of FSC and does not directly participate in the standard development process, however is the stakeholder interested in development of good quality forest certification and protection of intact forest landscapes (IFLs). Thereby, in order to help FSC system with Motion 65 fulfillment, Greenpeace Russia publishes the suggestions on IFL conservation approach.

More about Intact forest landscapes and Motion 65 (in Russian)

Important notes:

1. Part of the suggested measures for IFL protection cannot be fulfilled by the forest leaseholders alone, and demands for the certain steps to be taken by forest owner (almost all Russian forests are state owned). However, FSC declares certification of “environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management”. If the forest leaseholder does not have enough rights to make decisions necessary for IFL protection and is unable to agree about IFL protection with the holder of these rights, then the forest activity of such leaseholder should not be an object of voluntary forest certification. Position of Greenpeace is that FSC should evaluate “forest management”, which in Russia is the result of combined activity by the forest user and the forest owner. If activity of one of the two sides does not allow for fulfillment the forest certification requirements, then the certificate should not be issued.

2. Greenpeace considers that carving up of wild taiga (and in general the last remains of wild nature of the Earth) by definition cannot be sustainable as it is about conversion of unique self-supporting ecosystems and landscapes into the developed lands. The carving up of wild taiga (or “wood mining” in the wild forests, the branch of extractive industry) and forestry or forest management (as the branch of plant cultivation) are the fundamentally different types of activity and should not be certified with the same set of standards, principles and criteria. The massive certification of “wood mining” under FSC umbrella – is a big mistake, which should be corrected in the foreseeable future. The following Greenpeace suggestions for FSC standard mainly applied for a transition period no longer than 5 years (maximum period of certificate validity) after the deadline set by the Motion 65. Thus, since the date Jan. 1, 2021, any new certification of IFL development cannot be acceptable.

3. The suggested below is applied specifically for realization of Motion 65 and IFL protection. The FSC voluntary certification system has other important problems, which we do not consider here. In general, the position of Greenpeace Russia is that if the FSC voluntary forest certification declares the support of “ecologically appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management”, the FSC should focus on support of real forest management on already developed lands. The carving up of wild taiga – is a declining form of forest use, and in any case, in majority of regions, it will die off during one or two decades due to depletion of economically accessible forest resources. The FSC system should stop playing the role of “forest hospice” through supporting nature destructive ancient approaches and practices and start to support practices, which have potential for good and sustainable development.

4. The general logic of these suggestions is that:
the lower the quality of forest management (from point of view of biodiversity conservation and long-term forest use) within the forest management unit outside the IFL area, and the lower the security of IFL core protection in the long-term –
the larger should be the area of protected IFL core, and the smaller should be the share of IFL available for forest management.
Greenpeace considers depletion of forests around an IFL as the major source of future threats to IFLs: the depletion of accessible forest resources forces the industry to develop new areas of wild forests.

For the “IFL area” we take the area of intact forest landscape as of 2002 - for majority of national Russia’s IFL’s, and as of 2001 – for the Northern European Russia.

The suggested levels of protection and conservational optimization of IFL management, and respective IFL area percentage, which should be completely set aside from any development for timber extraction

Basic level

“The Organization shall maintain and/or enhance the High Conservation Values in the Management Unit through applying the precautionary approach” – principle 9 according to the Revised Principles and Criteria (FSC-STD-01-001 V5-2):
100% of IFL area falling within the FMU should be set aside. No logging within IFL is allowed.

Sustainable cut rate within the FMU
Sustainable cut rate is ensured (within forest management unit) outside the IFL core:
- Set aside forests (including the IFL core area) are excluded from calculation of AAC;
- AAC is calculated separately for forests, which have key importance for organization: in boreal forests – for coniferous, except for larch, in other forests – for coniferous and hardwood;
- Calculated and actual cut rates are reduced by the amount of forest loss due to fires, pests, diseases, disasters, illegal logging;
- The up-to-date forest information (up-to-date forest taxation materials or remote sensing based materials) is used for calculation of AAC;
- Calculation is done for time term not shorter than half a rotation period, and should ensure viability of the organization/factory during this period.
The core area of the IFL, set aside from logging (including building any infrastructure), is not less than 80%.

Forest management which meets the joint NGOs IFLs position requirements
- Sustainable cut rate is ensured (within forest management unit) outside the IFL core.
- The company meets all the joint Russian NGOs IFLs position requirements.
The core area of the IFL, set aside from logging (including building any infrastructure), is not less than 50%.

The organization and forest owner (the State) ensure long-term IFL protection (protected area is established or is at the final stages of establishment)
- Sustainable cut rate is ensured (within forest management unit) outside the IFL core.
- The company meets all the joint Russian NGOs IFLs position requirements.
- The core area of the IFL is established as regional or federal protected area (PA), or is at the final stages of PA establishment, which should be completed before Dec. 31, 2018.
Based on mutual agreement of stakeholders the unique solution, lowering the IFL core area down to 30-40% can be made.

In addition:

In the regions, where share of IFL area is less than 17% of the total area of the region, application of the latest two options is possible only before Jan. 1, 2017.

NOTE: 17% - “per cent of terrestrial and inland water”, which should be conserved according to “Aichi Biodiversity Targets” under Convention on Biological Diversity.

Separation of IFL into core areas for conservation and areas, available for forest management is possible before Dec. 31, 2021. Those IFLs, where this separation has not completed before this deadline, should be set aside whole (100% of the area).

First published on November 3, 2015 (in Russian)

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