Russia’s Gassinski MF Spins off Regional Economic Benefits

Since its establishment, the GMFA has focussed its activities on creating models of ecological and economic sustainability for the MF territory. Now, under a major economic development initiative that the GMFA played a large part in securing, the Gassinski’s partners are in a position to put their economic development strategies to the test. In March of this year the McGregor Model Forest Assocation (MMFA) and CIDA reached agreement on a four-year project valued at CDN $5 million (of which CDN $3.5 M will be contributed by CIDA) for a Natural Resource-based Economic Development Initiative in the Nanaiski Raion of Khabarovsk Krai (home of the Gassinski MF). The  project will develop the region's institutional and business capacity through training and mentorship by working with the best and most promising of the region’s local entrepreneurs to create new business enterprises in five areas: 

  • Value-added wood processing,
  • Non-wood forest products,
  • Regional tourism development,
  • Economic opportunities for the region's indigenous Nanai people, and
  • Creation of a national park.

The success of the proposal highlighted the effective pooling of the model forest’s skills and resources as well as its network. The Gassinski MFA provided a  detailed sustainable economic development strategy for the region, a product of the Association’s phase I work.   The model forest’s well-established network in the Krai and its reputation as a good partner, played a significant role in the success of the proposal. The project is now underway under the management of Mr. Martin Hudson of the MMFA  in Canada, and Mr. Evgeny Zabubenin, formerly GMFA Project Manager, in Russia.  The MMFA has put together five local teams to deliver the initiative, the majority having been long-term partners or associates.  The IMFNS was pleased to facilitate linkages in this initiative and to work with proponents to take this proposal to sponsors. Congratulations to all involved!