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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Summary

New challenges are facing our forest and woodland landscapes. An increasing number of goods and services should be provided more efficiently in the same forest. At the same time decisions about what actually takes place locally is determined more and more at transnational and even global levels. In addition, energy supply and global climate change scenarios suggest that increased levels of uncertainty need to be handled. Such multilevel links means that use of forests and woodland imply extensive export of both positive and negative economic, ecological and socio-cultural footprints at different scales, usually without being aware of them.

English

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