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Progressing sustainable forestry in Russia

Interviews with participants of the international seminar in the Republic of Komi

Best practices of forest management in the world and in Russia: different points of view of experts, scientists and environmentalists share a common idea of the need to think about the future and work for the future right now… That’s what the participants of the first workshop in the framework of the Boreal forest platform, which was held in Komi, talk about.

Denis Popov, head of department of certification and ecology of forest management services of JSC Mondi SLPK:
– Every day during the workshop, we went to forest plots of different companies, where certain intensification practices were applied in different conditions. We could see both as positive examples, and errors, which is very important. It was constantly causing heated discussions that often ended in hot disputes, as it should be. Not all the invited participants were able to come to the workshop in Komi, although “business”, as usual, was well represented. In general, 2015 was very saturated with intensive forestry field workshops; the first one in Tikhvin, and Podporozhsky districts of Leningrad Oblast, now the workshop in Komi, and will soon there will be another one in Karelia. According to the results of these workshops it will be possible to develop substantive and constructive proposals to the government agencies.It is very important that in all field workshops take part representatives of environmental organizations and research institutions. There is concern that innovations can be dangerous for the environment and for forests in general. That is why it is important that business and society densely cooperate to take into account all the interests. The boreal forest platform must become a platform for elaborating a joint balanced position of business and society and its communication to the state authorities. It is in my opinion the main task of the platform!

Of course, the boreal platform also contains some elements of training because we share experiences and learn concrete, practical examples. Despite the fact that most participants of the workshops already have extensive experience, everyone has his own approach to our problems and so, there are quite often sharp disputes and debates. It is valuable that the boreal forest platform allows you to move from abstract ideas and philosophical reasoning to finding solutions and implementation mechanisms.

Another important task of the boreal forest platform can be a systematization of the accumulated experience All existing facilities should be considered and be the basis of future observations and research; the information about the objects must be in the public domain and be used. For example, in Komi some time ago some very interesting experiments were held, but there is no information about where these objects are located, who laid them and how, and what were the final results. Those few examples from the old experience that witnessed during the workshop, managed to survive only due to the efforts of the Silver Taiga Fund in the framework of the model forest project “Priluzye”. It is impossible to lose and forget about everything that was acquired by such hard work.

And last, the boreal platform brings together a group of active people who can actively participate in the drafting of important regulatory documents. In particular, right now the Concept is being discussed and the platform could help promptly review and update this important document.

If we talk about Mondi’s approach, my colleagues and I have been trying recently not to use the word “intensive” with respect to forestry, but prefer to use the term “due forestry”. Our position is that in Russia we cannot speak about intensive forestry and only attempts are being done to implement and develop individual elements of the intensive model. We mainly observe the interest from the companies mainly engaged in pulp and paper production. However we manage somehow to motivate ourselves in case of continuous logging in low-grade middle-aged plantations. Judge for yourself, even the least valuable assortment as aspen pulpwood harvested at advanced thinning 150 km from the plant, despite a more complex and costly technological process are more profitable to us than similar assortments harvested using clearcuts at a distance of 300 km or more. The transportation costs play a very important role in this case. These savings should allow in their turn to compensate for reasonable growth of forestry work expenses, both in terms of growth and increase in intensity. In addition, the company has been making huge capital investments in the future, in its own nursery, modern machinery, year-round roads and bridges. Some colleagues may ask, how do we manage to justify all that and gain support from the shareholders? It has not always been easy! But now, when the top managers of the plant with European forestry education who are well aware of forestry issues, many problems do not require more complex calculations and long-term justifications.

As a result of the progressive movement towards the set goal and despite the fact that in Russia there is still no official concept of “intensive forestry”, we have managed to outstrip the level of simple “demonstration sites”. Since 2009 the company has been using a modern planting material with closed root system, since 2011 we have been conducting high-intensity thinning in young stands, in 2012 new practices of soil preparation were introduced, since 2015 we have been testing of new methods of agricultural care. Also today we have a good background to provide commercial volumes using thinning. The company conducted a complete forest inventory in two forest districts and selected areas for a comprehensive introduction of the intensive model, solved complex technical and personnel issues.


Ilya Verveyko, head of forest policy department of JSC Ilim Group:

– This is not the first workshop on intensive use and reproduction of forests. All the major forestry companies have been trying to maintain and develop this trend. At the workshop we got acquainted with the results of the practices which are already in place. These workshops are certainly very useful in terms of sharing experiences and developing new ideas and solutions. This is particularly important at the present time, as the standards for intensive use and reproduction of forests are being developed for the first pilot forest region, Dvina-Vychegda, in the territory of which the workshop took place. Extensive discussion at the workshop will allow to take into account the existing drawbacks and to prepare such regulations, which will require only minimal adjustments afterwards. In general, the workshop is very well organized, we were shown state-of-the-art objects, including those that had been laid a long time ago and are of particular interest. I can’t even say what I liked more: it was interesting to visit all forest sites. The companies are trying to fit into the existing standards and simultaneously offer new solutions for proper forest management. The boreal forest platform can be a platform for continuous discussion of intensification. From our side we are ready to share the experience, so that our success could help the others to work in new ways, towards intensification. The intensive forestry, as we understand it, means that we are actively working on formation of forest stands by forestry activities throughout the whole forest growing cycle to obtain the forest with the target species and assortment structure. This work must be conducted in compliance with all environmental requirements, especially because we are a certified company.



Yuri Pautov, Director of the Foundation “Silver taiga”:

– I like that within the Boreal forest platform supports an open exchange of views, and different points of view are represented in the form of a discussion. It is important that the participants should not be afraid to express their opinion. On the other hand, I am pessimistic about the prospects for intensive forestry development, as is necessary to turn back the existing system, which is already upside down! It remains unclear how can the economical reasoning be the cornerstone, as it was never taken into account in the Soviet and post-Soviet forestry, and how to limit it with environmental goals, so we can’t see any clear course of action. Naturally, we must strive to do that, but we are like travelers at the stone with a writing on it: go right, go left, go right – all the same you’ll die. The boreal forest platform is an association of stakeholders. The joint efforts can give much more than the individual ones. If we manage to agree on the basic rules of the game inside the platform, then it will be much easier to lobby common interests than in case when the conservationists, the scientific community and the business do that on their own, proving that they are right. Today the site of the Boreal forest platform is another resource where you can get acquainted with the different points of view. But my personal feeling is that there are so many such sites now that you can be lost. I reckon that one of the main objectives of this site should be the promotion of good practice, in particular, stories about the practices introduced during the workshop. The site must have information about specific work performed in Russia, so that people could see that it’s possible! Many, even those who would like to do something themselves, have a feeling that you’re beset as a wolf, and you cannot change anything. The platform should show the audience that it is possible to practice intensive forestry in our country and for objective reasons it should be done, otherwise we, like the famous frog in the milk jug, will drown all together. The development of intensive forestry in Russia is hampered by the lack of economic experience throughout the history, no economic calculations in the regulations and rules of forest management in the country. We lack the economical reasoning and it is unclear why we conduct this forestry at all. The intensification is promoted by the understanding that the forest as a resource comes to an end. The experience of foreign countries shows that there is no other way. The business understands that better and better, which stimulates to find solutions. The representatives of design organizations have the same understanding, they are also tired of doing meaningless work on drawing up a dull forest development plans… what they are doing now, they try to breed the snake with the hedgehog and get barbed wire. Certainly, every person wants to make reasonable things, yielding a useful result. So it turns out that the main task of the Boreal forest platform is to unite divergent interests of all participants of the forest relations: conservationists, businesses, academia, design organizations… Intensive forestry is when somebody thinks about personal resources, earnings, long-term plans and tries to implement necessary measures, and plans thirty or forty years ahead. To do this, he must be either the owner of the resource, or forest management system should be structured so that the planning for the next few decades could be possible. In pre-revolutionary Russia such planning existed in the state forests and private lands. In private forests it was more an exception than the rule, and in the state forests it was built into the system of forest management and in the work of state foresters as one of the necessary preconditions. After the revolution it disappeared, as under the Soviet regime the economic reasons disappeared from the forestry and nobody calculated how much it costs to grow forests. Everyone calculated only one thing: how much harvesting cost. Intensive forestry is now perceived as some separate measures, detached from the system, like thinning, reforestation, fertilization, and irrigation. To make sound decisions, we need to acknowledge that intensive forestry is a competent, long-term planned growth of forests over rather vast areas. It is known that starting from a few tens of thousands of hectares it becomes economically viable. In the framework of the existing regulations and existing national experience and technologies intensification is rather exception than the rule. It’s time to change the status quo, and we have people to learn from. A good example is in the Baltic States. For example, Latvia has exactly the same forestry as we had until about 1994. Then they separated and in 1999 conducted a reform, and now they have intensive forestry according to the European principles. The transition process took about twelve years. But they have less territory, and the mentality of foresters and forestry has changed. Just think: it took them twelve years to start growing money in their forest territory! We only harvest, but they have learned to grow, and do it cost-effectively and competently from the environmental point of view.



Kai Lintunen, head of international communications of the Finnish Forestry Association:

– It is very good that the WWF, Silver Taiga Foundation and Mondi invited us to this workshop concerning the issues of the boreal forests. It is a wide belt of forests. Here at the workshop were also discussed the problems of climate change, changes in the environment and a broad range of issues covered by the experts. It was my first time at such an event in Russia, where an information platform is created for boreal forests. I agree with my colleague that the preliminary information on the recent changes could help us very much. The point is that the platform has been created, I was invited here for the first time, but the expert community discuss the problems of boreal forests here already for the second or third time. It is desirable that in future the information on the results of such activities should be sent to all stakeholders. Also the sphere of our interests may include expanding the number of participants of the created Boreal platform to actively involve not only WWF, Mondi, but as many as possible of other organizations and companies. The structure of this platform, an increase in the number of participants at this stage is very important. We will look at the development prospects of the Boreal forest platform, its further development, and then decide whether we will be active participants, and what kind of actions we can undertake using this resource. But I note that the same kind of information sites have already been established, these processes exist in the world, and to participate in them, it is important to understand how they go and monitor them.



Vasily Chuprov, head of the Department of planning of wood procurement of JSC “Mondi Syktyvkar”:

– What is intensive forestry in Russia, I don’t know. What is now underway in our country, is not a forestry, but somehow we must begin to start it. So, the intensification is bringing what we take for forestry today, to normal forestry, by increasing the volume of work in the forest. But not the gross amount of measures determines their effectiveness, although that is very important. The formation of efficient technological chains will allow you to grow timber in the forest. And only when we have normal forestry, you can think about the intense one. For now, I would refrain from using the term “intensive forestry” at all. Intensification, yes, I support it. During the workshop the companies demonstrated what they have acquired in their attempts to make the forestry and forest management different. It is difficult to call it intensification, however, there are some elements of intensification. We have started and it is a subject for discussion to understand the practical side of intensification. The discussions are interesting, because even those who are already doing something today still cannot predict with accuracy the consequences of their activity. The range of issues raised at the workshop is very broad, sometimes there were debates within the professional community as many experts understand the term intensification in a different way. We are moving approximately in the same direction, but use different methods and try to achieve different goals. Until last year in Russia there was no definition of intensification, now it has appeared and people understand it better, but large-scale implementation is still very far away. The idea of growing pulpwood in the leased areas cannot be universally applicable. The owner, i.e. the state, has not made his choice, how to develop forestry, which way to go. I cannot rule out that when the companies will show interest to intensification, and the state will say no. And all efforts will be wasted. The Boreal platform will allow the companies to present their experience, discuss it on this site, gather at field workshops and always be present in the professional information field. There are very few professionals who are able to work in new ways, there are even fewer good professionals, so the materials of the qualified experts within the platform should be open. In addition, these experts can be asked to elaborate on specific issues. Within the Boreal platform we can also reveal our achievements both in terms of receiving feedback and sharing experience. One of the important tasks of the platform, in my opinion, will be strategic planning, i.e. determination of the major goals for the industry on the whole, and for the leased areas and specific businesses in particular. For the future: such workshops need more careful planning, the agenda must be prepared in advance and the issues must be studied systematically, the circle of participants should be extended, and perhaps should involve foreign professionals as experts; it is also important to cooperate with the government agencies.



Alexander Nekoz, Director of forestry at the Lesnoy branch of JSC Ilim Group in Koryazhma:

– The workshop provided an excellent opportunity to see what our colleagues have implemented, and to share our experience. And once again it proved true that opinions differ. Forests grow much longer than a man lives, and none of those who laid the foundation of the forestry science, and those who are now trying to implement the intensification will see the results of their work. In forestry it has always been and it will be: what one begins, another finishes… So, who is right and who is wrong remains to be seen. But it won’t be possible to live for the day as we have been living that day for a long time and simply lived it through. It’s time to properly care for the forest, and then, I believe, everything will be fine in our country with the forestry. Intensive forestry helps the forest. From the cradle to the final felling we mustn’t interfere in the fate of the forest, but to help it in conformity with our interests. This can be an example of intensive forestry. What we do in the Boreal platform framework, including the negotiation and drafting of new regulations, will affect in some way or another small forest businesses, which will have difficulties to accept it. In this regard, I think it is very important that they had the same full access to the information of the Boreal forest platform, as larger timber companies have. If they have access, it will be easier for them to be ready for new reality. Small business today is not interested in participating in such workshops and is not able to be represented in them, but the platform as a website on the Internet, could be of great help to them in obtaining qualified information.



Alexey Klochikhin, Deputy head of Department, head of division for Forest use organization of Forest Use and Reforestation Administration of Rosleskhoz:

– Regions should be widely represented at such workshops, I mean the authorized bodies of the executive power of the subjects of the Russian Federation, because the experimental work is being conducted in their territories. They need to see what the lessees of the forest fund are trying to do and to understand what they strive for. The regions, of course, taking into account the regulatory possibilities that they have, should promote and go out with the initiative at the federal level to introduce adjustments, if any, to the regulatory framework; and implement best practices.

The intensification issue today is as relevant as ever. In the framework of changing Rosleskhoz structure, which occurred in April, was established the Department of forest management intensification, which is in charge of these issues at the federal level and which cooperates with the scientific and public organizations, relevant authorized bodies of the executive power, and with the business. It is trying to implement the intensification trends. Being experts, we evaluate the developments taking place in the regions, participate in discussions, meetings, and drafting regulatory legal documents to be further discussed at other venues. In the end it should become a legislative initiative.

The issues of intensification have been discussed in our country for quite a long time. I saw some sites visited during the workshop before. I think it is a useful experience, when the events of such level as this workshop bring together representatives of forest business from different regions of the country and even from all over the world. It is always interesting to hear different opinions of experienced practitioners.

I believe that the main task of the Boreal forest platform is to create a databank on the practices that are already in use in the country. It is important that these materials should be publicly available and be preserved, as there is a succession problem, when specialists leave the information about their experience is lost. Another practical result of the platform should provide for tracking changes in the existing practices and recording everything, both positive and negative results. Perhaps we should take a number of specific points to continuously measure the efficiency of the operations. Based on these materials, as they accumulate, it will be possible to draw conclusions how to properly run a given territory depending on specific purposes. The Boreal forest platform could unite professionals, community members, and scientists working in different parts of our country. We have many forest areas, it is impossible to go everywhere in person, and the resource of the platform could solve the problem of obtaining up-to-date data. Communication options are now accessible to everyone, and from an online platform the stakeholders could download pictures and videos, find out what tasks and how are solved at particular forest objects, the dynamics and the current outcome.

At the workshop all the stakeholders expressed the wish that the regulatory documents to be prepared before the end of December, should be discussed within the framework of the Boreal forest platform. I am especially happy because the more experts take an active part in their development and express their opinions, the less problems will be when we start the implementation. If we don’t take into account something, it will have an impact at implementing the regulatory documents, will have to make changes, and this again will require time and labor costs and will delay the implementation.

Today there people understand in a different way what intensive forestry is. Some focuses on forest use, others focus on forestry. From the point of view of Rosleskhoz, this intensive use and reproduction of forests, i.e. the whole cycle, starting from collection of better seeds, quality planting material and planting itself, including all forest care stages until the final felling, is carried out according to specially designed programs that need to be followed when cultivating specific assortments. If the planned programs are implemented in full, then we can call that sustainable and intensive forestry.

Today it is inefficient and unsustainable to introduce intensive technologies in the forestry sector on a large scale. All companies are at different levels of development. The standards must be adopted with the minimal admissible levels, and subject to the availability of financial resources, the company’s interest and economic incentives, the possibility of introducing more intensive use and reproduction of forests should be provided at the level of regulatory documents. Today all the companies that during the term of the lease contract period have been meeting its conditions, have the right to extend such a lease agreement for a new term without a tender. The method of calculating the rate to be used when extending such lease agreements has not been adopted yet, but it’s all at the output, it is coordinated with the federal bodies of the executive power. I think by the end of the year work will be finalized. And then we can talk about the period of 98 years, which can be considered for our forestry as a felling cycle, and the companies will have the reason to invest in plantations as they will be able to recoup their investments.

The difficulty today is that the conditions of various forests differ. But we need to start, as the sooner we do it, the easier it will be for the next generations that will come to the forest to get the maximum benefit from the continuation of our work.

Today we have two pilot forest areas: Dvina-Vychegda taiga forest area (the work is to be completed this year) and Middle Angara taiga area (the work to be completed next year) in Siberia. We also have a number of regions, which expressed their intention to participate in the development and implementation of such intensification pilot projects not at the initiative from above but at the initiative from below. So, you can not only talk about the Republic of Komi, Arkhangelsk and Irkutsk Oblasts, but also about the Karelian taiga forest region, Belozersk-Baltic taiga area (Vologda and Leningrad Oblasts), there are initiatives from Krasnoyarsk Krai and Perm Krai, and the Udmurt Republic. In the near future the standards will be developed that will allow to have a regulatory framework for the implementation of intensive use and reproduction of forests in those forest areas. Part of the respective agreements of Rosleskhoz with the regions have already been signed, in other cases the projects are subject to approval. These pilot projects within the framework of intensification of use and reproduction of forests, I hope, will be reflected within the framework of the Boreal forest platform.



Alexei Zaitsev, Head of forest use administration of JSC Mondi Syktyvkar:

– The Boreal forest platform was initially created with Mondi’s active support. It was the first time when a field workshop within the framework of the platform was held. With regard to the intensive forestry, a few years ago, when there was some interest in this topic, we decided to try to change the standard approaches to forestry activities and to take the first steps towards intensification. At the initial stage we did it apart from the other participants of the forest relations. Some time later the understanding came that it was necessary to discuss the intensification issues with the widest possible range of experts. The Boreal forest platform is the very resource that will allow you to consolidate all your existing practices, the whole community of the stakeholders, organizations, and agencies onto a common platform. The main conclusion after the workshop is that all decisions, especially such important as regulations changes, should be discussed and approved in the forest, in the field conditions. I noticed that even the representatives of the authorities change the course of their thoughts in forest sites. And the fact that today the state keeps control of the topic of forestry intensification, is great merit of such activities as this workshop. The most important thing, and I believe it is the task of the Boreal forest platform, and, in particular, sharing information, is sharing experience. In practice, great importance is a fresh look at what you’re doing. That is, the opinion of colleagues who, having seen, what you have done, express their views, and help you to see your job from a different viewpoint and find new and more effective solutions. And vice versa, having learned something we have implemented, they can apply our achievements. Sharing experience helps to avoid typical mistakes. Any idea has its development. Reporting the consolidated position of the experts involved in intensification to the federal government is also a task of the Boreal forest platform. We can say that the platform is a practical example of joint efforts of the companies. The intensive forestry, in our understanding, is the correct forestry, which provides the company with raw material in the long term while maintaining environmental values of the forest and taking into account the opinion of all the stakeholders: forest management authorities, local population, public and environmental organizations, and educational institutions. It is important that all the innovations we are implementing should be fully transparent, and in close cooperation with all of the above listed members of forest relations. The “correct forestry” differs from the existing one as the work is being conducted in the forest is not for appearance’s sake, but so that each event in the forest could yield positive results and could focus on long-term goals so that the funds invested into the forest site could bring benefits and profits in the future. The Boreal forest platform should not be confined to Russia. I see its development in collaboration with colleagues from other countries, where they have accumulated rich experience in proper forestry. There were some interesting ideas during the workshop about a trip to Belarus, for example. The Boreal platform is not only an information resource for the Russian companies, not just a community interested in the development of forestry of the parties, but is and institution without any geographical ties to study and implement the best and the most efficient practices. The boreal forests provide a great field to work in. In our country, we’ll have to wait for a long time when the intensive forestry starts working one hundred percent, this will happen only when the state looks at the forest as an owner. I think that the matter of the next few decades and of exclusively evolutionary path.



Sergei Druzhinin, head of Timber Procurement Department of JSC Ilim Group:

– I liked the workshop because it provided a lot of information and the field visits were very illustrative. It could personally see the results of the intensification practices. At the demonstration sites we learned a lot of new things. I’ve travelled a lot around Arkhangelsk Oblast and have seen the results of work of both the lesnichestvos, and the lessees. I can say that it is not always what was intended. However, I was very glad with what I saw during the trips within the framework of the workshop. Despite the fact that some practices contradict the existing statutory regulations, they let achieve success. Especially I liked the site in the sparse pine forest: you walk like in a park, and all that due to the timely care! One can see increments, the quality of stand, no plantation thickening. We saw two main skidding trails to pull the timber, and they were almost overgrown. I believe that such practices must be applied in Arkhangelsk Oblast. By the way, especially in Kotlas area, there are a lot of middle-aged deciduous trees, which cannot be forged through. The diameters are small, the plantations are too thick, can be reached by transport. If we conduct thinning there, we can get good yield by the time when the birch matures, and it will be marketable wood. Of course, we are talking about long-term investments: by investing now, we could get the profit in twenty or forty years. If the purpose of the work is a perspective on the scale of decades, but not just immediate profit, then this is a must. The intensive forestry is a series of activities aimed at growing targeted segments with desired characteristics. You have to know even now what will occur decades later in the leased sites. One now cannot follow the principle: planted and forgotten. The Boreal forest platform should develop uniform rules, standards, which will make it possible to work in the conditions of intensification. And companies, state bodies and public people, based on these rules and regulations will be able to update them taking into account peculiarities of the area or the region where they will be implemented.



Pavel Bezverkhov, head of IE “Forest Alternative”:

– From what I liked in this workshop, I can note the existence of different points of view of the participants and substantive discussions during the trips into the forest. From what I saw during the tours I cannot highlight anything, I am interested in all practices that were represented, in view of the fact that they were implemented by different specialists, in different conditions, with different approaches and objectives. That has always been a problem, such freedom of definitions, a kind of ambiguity in what we mean by intensive forestry and intensification. There should not be different approaches in that. The maximum accuracy is very important so that those concepts were common to all. It seems to me that the intensive forestry in our country is at the very beginning of its development, but there is still no full awareness of the fact that one have to return the economic methods of management to the forest, and one should not be limited to primarily command and administration ones. There is some interest in this model of harvesting, it is justified, and there are some attempts to work in the Russian conditions and, we can say, there are some interesting practices of intensify already in place. I have no illusions that in the near future something will radically change, because I know quite well, what is going on in the regions, what is the situation with staff in the forest industry, and what is the real situation in Russia. A lot of work is ahead and it will take time. Any attempts to force the events and to do quickly what must be done step by step, will bring no good. The educational component is something that cannot be created at once, it should be worked on, by teaching a large number of people within at least several years. It seems to me that some supporters of intensification do not understand it quite well. The Boreal forest platform is an information site with uninterrupted exchange of experience, and accumulation, study and systematization of materials on existing practices. I am a practitioner and am going to participate in the work of this platform, I am ready to help to develop it as a specialist with many years of experience. The specificity of the domestic intensification is that the Western experience of intensive forestry is originally a state initiative that it has been spreading and developing, and in our country it is done by the business, scientists, public organizations, and they still have to prove to the state, which is by law is the only owner of the forest, what are the benefits of proper forestry. The owner himself is still not especially interested and does not take a proactive attitude. Speaking without guile, it is the owner, who should be interested in the intensification in the first place, and without his participation and support is not possible to change things for the better. It is necessary to involve the federal and regional governments in the activities of the Boreal forest platform so that their representatives participate in the discussions and see the actual problems encountered by the forest business, science and society, the scenarios of the development of the forestry in our country, and what they are able to lead to in the next few decades.



Konstantin Urodkov, head of Forest Management Department of Forest Branch of JSC Ilim Group:

– I liked it very much at the first workshop of the Boreal forest platform. The forest sites that we have visited are very interesting. The story about the applied practices was very understandable. The most interesting was landscape planning, because just few people can give such information. I gathered a lot of useful information for myself. For example, that the forest forming species historically depends on soil type. Many of the ideas will come handy at work. We still plant in Arkhangelsk Oblast in the following ratio: seventy per cent spruce, thirty pine. But that could be changed. As we learned at the workshop, Mondi had already achieved certain results in this process. A big plus is that we discuss something that we do not see in the pictures, but what we see ourselves, in the forest. The Boreal platform will surely help avoid unnecessary errors. Having studied the experience of other companies, the experts will draw the necessary conclusions for themselves, taking into account the characteristics of their forest territories. This is very useful to learn from the mistakes of others. Within the Boreal forest platform it is important to maintain open cooperation in this sense, we will also share our experience, both successful and not very successful. For me, the intensive forestry is the ability to receive liquid material, i.e. raw materials, which are close, available, in the areas damaged by clearcuts, while preserving intact forest areas. By the way, I loved the area of pristine forest, where we stopped. I was surprised that it was intact! In principle, it could be cut down. But it is revealing: if the company can obtain raw materials from the nearest regions, it will reserve such sites and preserve them for future generations. The ecological component of this balanced relationship to the forest is priceless. During intensification, it is very important not to slip from thinning to profitable felling. I see the need for a special approach to the green resources in the forest regions where the forest played a key role in the culture and traditions of the local population throughout the history. It was the forest to give not only timber but many non-timber products needed for everyday life. The conservation of forest resources and forest heritage is of great importance for local residents and it is the intensification that can solve this problem.



Mikhail Kopeykin, head of the Forestry Department of GK Titan:

– I have only positive emotions after the workshop, it was all very informative. Yesterday I especially liked the trip to the Mondi nursery, I liked the resulting planting material. Everything was at a high level! I must admit that in our group of companies in Arkhangelsk Oblast, there is some interest in creating such a hothouse.

I note that there were many participants of the workshop, the enterprises were very well represented. At our previous meeting in Moscow there were leading specialists from Mondi, this time Ilim was well represented and some other companies. The number of participants should be increased in the future. It would be interesting to expand it by bringing in Siberian and Far Eastern companies. Given the fact that we are cooperating closely with China, it is necessary to attract more Siberians and the companies from the Far East.

To improve the organization and conduct of such workshops in the framework of the Boreal forest platform, it is difficult something to offer… I wish we could faster reach the destination! But it is not a question for the organizers, that’s the country as such, a vast forest empire.

As for his topic, in my opinion, the intensive forestry is developing in our country at a slow pace. Hampered by the fact that it always takes too much time to make the amendments to the legislative base. What helps is the desire of the companies to follow the intensive model. But then again, we speak here about pulp and paper companies.

I still have doubts as regards obtaining sawn timber under the intensive model. With those cuttings, which we were demonstrated at the workshop, it may be commercially disadvantageous and can high quality sawn timber can be obtained only in a distant future, but not now.

Personally, I am interested in commodity output of not only pulpwood, but also saw logs, because as early as right now we need to provide the company with raw material. Here we encounter problems. How intensification will look like in the context of getting sawn timber? And especially when most of our sites are located in the North of Arkhangelsk Oblast with different growing conditions. The workshop was held in the site, which is more or less similar to the conditions of the South of Arkhangelsk Oblast. And these differences are important, it is necessary to consider particular local conditions.

The main task of the boreal forest platform I see in the information, and it should be an updated resource. Using it, the stakeholders must have access to both the positive and negative experiences of intensification. From my side, I can notice: we will definitely promote the development of the platform, but I cannot comment the degree of participation, it is more the top management issue.


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