Russian Consultation: Perspectives on the Development of a National Network of Model Forests in the Russian Federation

May 26 – 28, 1998
Khabarovsk, Russia

Executive Summary

The Russian national workshop on model forests – Perspectives on the Development of a National Network of Model Forests in the Russian Federation – was hosted by the Russian Federal Forest Service and co-sponsored by the International Model Forest Network Secretariat from May 26 to 28, 1998, in the city of Khabarovsk in Russia’s Far East.  This compilation of documents provides the texts of presentations made at the Russian Consultation, as well as Russian and English texts of the Workshop Resolution.

The Russian Consultation was organized and co-hosted by the Gassinski Model Forest Association and the Administration of Forestry of Khabarovsk Krai.  The workshop drew a total of 62 participants, including representatives from three sustainable forest management pilot project sites in Russia (Karelia, the Komi Republic and Khabarovsk), as well as representatives from the Russian Federal Forest Service in Moscow.  Also in attendance were representatives from Canada and Finland, as well as the World Wide Fund (WWF) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

As was the case in the three regional consultations (Tokyo, Portland and Santiago) the Russian consultation discussed model forest attributes, networking activities and roles in achieving Sustainable Forest Management (SFM).  However, as the workshop name suggests, the Russian consultation differed from the others by its exclusive focus on model forests in Russian conditions alone.  The Russian consultation did generate discussion on and affirmation of the five chief attributes of a model forest and in so doing supported findings from the regional consultations.  But it also added to them by identifying and discussing an additional six conditions or considerations under which a Russian model forest could be expected to function.

While endorsing networking, inclusive parnership-based decision-making, and measuring progress toward sustainability, the workshop results also stressed that model forests in Russia are seen in part as active, working-level links to the national policy-making process:  they inform it, truth test through applied research and innovation, and improve upon it.  Participants were also very clear in their view that if a model forest is to garner the local support and participation needed for its success it must demonstrate clear economic benefits to local communities.  Lastly, and related to all of the above points, it was recognised that a model forest will succeed only with strong legislative and institutional support at national and sub-national levels, and if financial backing is made available for core activities.

The Russian consultation concluded with a resolution calling for the establishment of a national network of model forest sites with action toward that goal taking place this year.

Some key documents were translated in English and can be found in Annex A, at the end of the document (hard copy).  These documents are:

  • the list of presentations given at the Seminar;
  • the presentation from Richard Baerg, Deputy Director of the IMFNS; and
  • the Resolution of the International Seminar.
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