1887

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.

English

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Seven steps towards know-ledge production and learning for sustainable forest landscape management and good governance

Global, national and business policies about natural resource management state that economic, environmental and socio-cultural dimensions should be satisfied and balanced. However, currently an increasing number of actors desire more of an increasing range of goods, services and values from forest landscapes' renewable resources. This may result in unsustainable use and conflicts, but provides also opportunities for novel innovative and synergistic collaboration among sectors at multiple levels. Two important challenges are to develop (1) accounting systems for different sustainability dimensions so that actors and stakeholders are provided with transparent information about states and trends, and (2) tools for adaptive governance and management at multiple scales. A large number of concepts for implementation of sustainability policies in actual landscapes have been developed, and local and regional initiatives of them are implemented globally. These initiatives provide excellent opportunities for learning towards sustainable landscapes and adaptive capacity in different contexts. However, by and large this knowledge is often local, and exchange of experiences is limited. To learn from existing experiences it is necessary to collect data sets that represent different landscape approaches and thus multiple landscapes or management units as case studies. Ultimately new knowledge can be compiled and compared, and experiences and approaches for learning be disseminated about both development successes and failures in different contexts. We use multiple landscapes in Europe's West and East as case studies and "landscape laboratories" for transdisciplinary knowledge production and learning. This implies use and integration of both natural and human sciences, in close collaboration with actors and stakeholders representing multiple sectors and levels. The focus is on how forest landscape goods, ecosystem services and values are produced, used, managed and governed in different social-ecological contexts. Our suite of landscapes represents gradients in two main dimensions. The first is the variation in the history of forest landscape use ranging from harvesting large intact old-growth forest areas in the periphery of economic development to areas with a long history of sustained wood yield management closer to the market. The second is the way forest landscape governance is carried out, ranging from non-industrial private ownership and company to state ownership in Fennoscandia and forest resource leasing systems in NW Russia. We describe a systematic step-wise approach to support sustainable development and sustainability by integrative research. New approaches to transdisciplinary knowledge production and learning for sustainable landscapes at local to global levels are discussed. Finally, we argue for the need of mutual learning based on networking and sharing of experiences, and discuss the challenges associated to this, among people, partners and landscapes, as well as the responsibility of donors and funding agencies.

English

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