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.



FSC and conservation of intact forest massives in North-West Russia

FSC certification in Russia is currently one of leading factors which support responsible forest management of forests. There is no other single initiative or activity, which have similar positive impact on forest companies as the FSC certification. NGO's campaigns against some companies in Karelia, Archangelsk and other regions in the 1990's and beginning of the 2000's initiated strong interest of several companies in FSC certification. FSC certification requirements were seen both by the companies and NGO's as the acceptable compromise of ecological, social and economic aspects of forest management. Large massives of intact forests in North- West Russia were first identified by NGO's (Greenpeace, Socioecological union, Center of wildlife protection) in the middle of the 1990's.


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