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СообщениеДобавлено: 16 окт 2017, 19:36 
Татьяна Хакимулина, сотрудник Гринпис

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The Government of the Arkhangelsk region announced that it has postponed the establishment of the protected area in Dvinsky forest at least until the end of 2018, and acknowledged that it would not be possible to establish the protected area within optimal borders according to the regional Forest Plan with the size of 489,000 ha. This statement was published on the official website of the regional Government with reference to Konstantin Doronin (the Minister of natural resources and forest industry in Arkhangelsk Region).

The planned reserve was designed to protect the core of the intact forest landscape in the central part of the interfluve between Northern Dvina and Pinega rivers. The intact forest landscape, including its parts within officially planned borders of the reserve, is being rapidly destroyed by logging companies. This means that more delay with protected area establishment should require urgent measures for ensuring the protection of the high conservation value areas, which likely to be included into the future protected area.

Currently the Russian legislation does not provide for sufficient measures to preserve valuable areas subject to inclusion in protected areas. However, the great majority of forest users in the Dvina-Pinega interfluve, as well as in the whole Arkhangelsk region, is directly or indirectly involved in the FSC voluntary forest certification. The FSC principle 9 requires protection of high conservation value forests, and in theory FSC promotes "environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable "forest management. Thus the necessary protective measures for the areas within future reserve must be taken at least within the framework of FSC system (unless the FSC is ready to acknowledge that the system is just a trickery, which misleads forest product consumers about the environmental responsibility of logging companies).

We should especially note that in the statement the minister speaks about the future reserve of 350 thousand hectares size – however, so far the involved largest forest leaseholders did not agree with any particular boundaries, which would allow the reserve of this size. The main obstacle for the establishment of the reserve is the forest management model, which depletes adjacent forests (including FSC-certified ones), and which already led to a critical deficit of economically valuable forests in the developed part of the Dvina-Pinega interfluve as well as in the whole Arkhangelsk region. Preservation of this dominant extensive forest “management” model has already led to the desolation and abandonment of hundreds of forest settlements (left without means of subsistence) and will inevitably lead to the same end the forest villages of the interfluve, survival of which is currently build on carving up the last wild forests.

The only way to change this situation and avoid the economic die back of the majority of the remaining forest villages is the transition to normal forestry practices, which implies not only the extraction of wood and possibly some elements of reforestation, but also the effective management of growing stands (proper silviculture) during the entire forest rotation period. A proper silviculture can provide about 2.5-3 times more forest related jobs (per hectare of forest area) in the Arkhangelsk region. Unlike in the pioneer development of the last wild forests, such jobs would be permanent. But silviculture, of course, is much less profitable for large logging companies - since it requires not only taking everything from the forest right now, but also investing in its future.

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