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The last large intact forests in Northwest Russia

Protection and sustainable use

image of The last large intact forests in Northwest Russia

The forests of Fennoscandia have been in human use for many purposes for centuries, and through the last decades industrialized and cultivated in a manner that can change their ecological function with respect to biodiversity at species and ecosystem levels. In Northwest Russia we can still find large, indigenous forests where human impact is low. They represent the last intact western taiga ecosystems of high value for biodiversity preservation in Russia and Fennoscandia as reservoirs and source habitats for future dispersal of taiga species. The Conference and Workshop in Steinkjer 2007 focused on these matters, but also the ecological importance of these forests for rural culture, socio-economic importance, industrial values and how protection and sustainable societies could go hand in hand. Many of the presentations given at the conference and workshop are here presented together with the Summary and Closing Statement worked out at the end of the sessions. The presentations cover many aspects from ecology, history and culture, conservation and management strategies, inventory tools for defining habitats of specific value to biodiversity, as well as implementation of environmental issues into the forestry laws and certification and educational tools for developing sustainable societies in a broad scale.

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About protection of natural and cultural heritage

Nowadays a large (more than 1,000,000 ha) massive of intact taiga forests in the area between Severnaya Dvina and Pinega Rivers are very unique and valuable (Figure 1). For an evaluation of contemporary conditions of forests, biodiversity and cultural heritage of this territory, the International Environmental Expedition "Yula-2001" to the Basin of Yula River (Pinezhsky and Vinogradovsky districts of Archangel oblast) was organized in the year 2001 (Chervyakov et al. 2007).

English

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