New Russian Model Forest?

From May 28 to June 2, the IMFN Secretariat’s Senior Program Specialist Brian Bonnell was in Ugorsk and Sovetski, Russia to participate in a conference on the state of boreal forests and to provide technical assistance to local stakeholders in the development of a new Model Forest. Russia’s Komi and Pskov Model Forests also participated in the conference to share their experiences in sustainable forest management. The proposed Ugorsk Model Forest is still in the early stages of development. The site would cover the entire Sovetski Forest District, an area of almost 3 million hectares, and be the first in western Siberia. The area contains extensive Siberian pine forests, a national park, natural reserve, several forest management units and active oil drilling.

Stakeholders interested in participating include local forest management authorities, conservation areas, GasProm Transgas–a natural gas distribution company, Lukoil–Western Siberia, a local forest industry, indigenous communities, educational institutions and others. The Forest Service has identified a coordinator for the proposed site and the IMFN Secretariat will work with her and others on the continuing development of the Model Forest.