Igor Orlov, Governor of Arkhangelsk Oblast, at a meeting with WWF Russia Director, Igor Chestin, confirmed the intention of the region to create a nature reserve in the interfluve of the Northern Dvina and the Pinega.
The participants of the meeting discussed the implementation of environmental protection cooperation agreement between the government of Arkhangelsk Oblast and WWF Russia signed in 2013. The document lists the main cooperation trends, such as improvement of the network of protected areas, sustainable forest management, and other issues.
At this stage, one of the main cooperation tasks is preservation of the intact forest landscape in the interfluve between the Dvina and the Pinega. The environmental, scientific organizations, and the authorities have been working on establishing a nature reserve here since 2003. However, the destiny of the unique forest is still unclear.
«The reserve is to be here, we confirm it. But it is necessary to define its boundaries given the today’s realities», Igor Orlov stressed. «The opinion of the current lessees and the local communities shall be taken into account as well.»
Igor Chestin noted that most timber companies with their lease areas located within the future reserve support the creation of a protected area, while the negotiations are ongoing with the others. According to the study conducted by WWF in January 2017, many villagers have been actively using the area for hunting, fishing, gathering mushrooms and berries, and would like to save these places from logging. However, the inhabitants of some settlements worry about establishing a protected area.
«Of course, we don’t want that the reserve affect the local population. Therefore, we are ready to cooperate with the regional government and reach a compromise with all the stakeholders», said WWF Russia Director. «However, I hope that the new boundaries won’t lead to a significant reduction of the reserve area and the loss of high conservation values».
At the meeting with the Governor, Igor Chestin also drew attention to the development of more effective sustainable forest management as the main trend both in Arkhangelsk Oblast, and in the country as a whole.
«A «came — took — left’ approach has exhausted itself. In the situation when there are almost no naturally grown forests, the forestry can effectively develop and create jobs only by following the sustainable forest management. It means growing timber in already developed areas. Moreover, such experience exists, and in Arkhangelsk Oblast as well. It should be actively promoted », said Chestin.
Source WWF: http://wwf.ru/resources/news/article/eng/15116.