In a nutshell
During the last decades, the forest industry in Komi Republic has been in a state of crisis. Rural society has experienced instability in the forest sector and a depletion of valuable resources. The local population suffered a reduced quality of life (migration from forest dependent villages and high unemployment rates) and mistrust in governments and businesses increased. Recently, forest industry interest to gain access to the environmentally-concerned European markets have increased awareness of the sustainable approaches to economic development. Wood-processing industry development has become more stable and secured new investments.
Because it reflects typical regional conditions (organizational, environmental, social and economic), results of the Komi Model Forest can be easily disseminated to other areas. Moreover, the Komi Model Forest as a collective platform, can improve the management of old growth forests that are endangered by unsustainable forest practices, and encourage forest managers in regenerated sites to consider their environmental values and services. The Model Forest is also helping resolve conflicts between forest industry activities and traditional forest uses.
The Komi Model Forest lies on the flat-forested terrain in the boreal region, also known as taiga. The forests are mainly composed of spruce (Picea abies and P. obovata, 36.2% of spruce dominant stands), Scotch pine (Pinus silvestris, 19.6%), birch (Betula spp., 32.2%) and aspen (Populus tremula, 12.0%). Pristine (old-growth) forests cover 11.4% of the area, while remaining forests have been logged and regenerated by various methods. The biodiversity-rich region harbors 208 threatened and endangered species of flora and fauna. There is no major human settlements within the boundaries of the Model Forest, and the area has a low population density (2,5 people/km2).
Silver Taiga Foundation has managed the Model Forest process since 2002. Main partners of Komi Model Forest are the state forest service, the ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the ministry of Industry of Komi Republic, Komi branch of the Academy of Sciences of Russia, WWF Russia, “Luzales” and “Mondi” forest business companies, the local administration and population of Priluzje municipality. Until 2006, the main financial partner of the Model Forest was the Swiss Agency for development and cooperation. In 2012 and 2013 the Mondi group and the republican government provided financial support to the Model Forest. Since 2014, the Model Forest remains active thanks to the initiative of the Silver Taiga Foundation and the enthusiasm of some partners.
- Landscape planning in forestry;
- Conservation of pristine forests and biodiversity;
- Voluntary forest certification;
- Indigenous and local population participation in sustainable forest management.
Key actions in place to reach these goals:
- Regional guidelines for landscape planning and biodiversity conservation;
- Recommendations for FSC certified companies;
- Regular study field courses on sustainable forest management for different stakeholders.
- Komi Model Forest was the first FSC certified area in Northwest of European Russia in 2003. Now more than 3 mill ha of forests are certified in Komi Republic;
- Establishment of Protected Areas in pristine Intact Forest Landscapes;
- Development of the Strategy for Intact Forest Landscapes conservation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.
Learn more about Komi Model Forest
- Membership in Barents Euro Artic Region cooperation since 2011;
- Membership in FSC Russia since 2008;
- Membership in FSC International since 2016;
- Baltic Landscapes international project 2011-2015.