Russia Planning National Model Forest Network

With two new Model Forests under development, bringing the country’s total to five sites, Russia plans to establish its own national network

Meetings held in Moscow, February 6, 7, and 8, hosted by Michael Dmitrievich Giraev, Deputy Chief, Russian Federal Forest Agency (RFFA), brought together senior-level representatives from the RFFA, the IMFNS, Canadian Forest Service, and representatives of Russia’s Model Forests to discuss the evolution of an increasingly dynamic national Model Forest program.

Chief among proposed new developments is a 2-year initiative, supported by the RFFA, that will culminate in the establishment of a Russian National Model Forest Network. The proposed network, which will build on the work of existing Model Forests, may select future sites based upon representative ecozones across Russia’s huge landmass.

Given the largely boreal forest landscapes of Russia and Canada, and Canada’s almost 15 years of Model Forest experience, the RFFA is interested in Canadian assistance to put their ideas into practice..

One of two original members in the IMFN

Russia was one of two original members in the IMFN at its outset in 1994. Russia now has five Model Forests either established or under development: Gassinski Model Forest, the country’s first, is located in the far east. Komi, with Swiss financial assistance, was established in 1996. Both Komi, and Murmansk region’s Kovdozersky, joined the IMFN in 2005. Pskov, located in Pskov Oblast and supported by WWF and StoraEnso, has requested discussions on joining the IMFN. Finally, together with Dutch funding, a consortium of interests has launched the Kostroma Model Forest.

Oversight in developing a national network of Model Forests will fall to Dr.  Alexander Martynuk, Deputy Director of the All-Russian Research Institute of Silviculture and Forest Mechanization.

A follow-up meeting of all parties will take place on June 1, following the workshop: Conservation and Sustainable Management of Boreal Forests: A Canadian – Russian Perspective, in St. Petersburg.

For more information, please contact pbesseau@idrc.ca.