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Progressing sustainable forestry in Russia

Field Workshop «Continuous Cover Forestry in Finland and Russia», 21-24 June, 2019, Finland

Russian forest companies got acquainted with new information technologies in forestry and the best practices of sustainable forest management in secondary forests, allowing to preserve forest cover in this zone and to conduct logging without the development of the last intact forests.

The field workshop of the Boreal Forest Platform, established by WWF-Russia and other partners as an open dialogue platform for the exchange of experience in the field of sustainable forestry, was held in Finland from 21 to 24 June. The event was attended by forest experts, representatives of environmental organizations and the scientific community from Russia and Finland.

The first part of the workshop was focused on forest management with continuous preservation of forest cover, the so-called “continuous cover forestry”, which has been actively discussed in Finland and other countries in recent years. This alternative to the Scandinavian “forest garden” model of sustainable forest management is based on selective logging and natural reforestation. The workshop allowed Russian forest companies to get acquainted with the application of this model by small businesses in the Finnish forest sector, as well as to discuss the prospects of its adaptation to Russian conditions.

“The practice shows that in some cases this model of forestry is a real alternative to the traditional rotational system of forest management. At the same time, it has a sufficient economic justification and makes it possible to conduct effective and efficient forest management in different age forest sites and, if adequately used, to maintain the continuity of forest cover and the biological diversity of forest ecosystems,” says Evgeny Lopatin, senior researcher at the Institute of Natural Resources of Finland (LUKE).


Photos: (c) Eino Levkoev / Forgis

The second part of the workshop was focused on new information technologies in forestry, which are widely used in connection with digitalization of all industries.

One of the best-known programs for modeling the growth of forest stands and forest management planning is MOTTI program developed in Finland. The seminar explored the possibilities of this program: MOTTI allows calculating different forest and economic scenarios of forest management for specific forest stands depending on their initial characteristics, climatic, soil and other conditions, as well as on the ultimate objectives of forest management in this area.

The MELA program containing constantly updated data  for all forests of Finland and their status was demonstrated at the workshop as well.

In addition, representatives of the Forgis company showed the possibility of using remote sensing (photogrammetric shooting using drones), with subsequent data processing and its use for forest inventory and forest management planning, at the development of forest plots, logging, reforestation and other activities.

“In the era of information technology, sustainable and cost-effective forest management depends largely on the willingness of the forest industry to adopt the latest digital tools and software and adapt to ever-changing conditions. Boreal Forest Platform is a unique dialogue platform in Russia, where forest sector experts can get acquainted with the best international practices and the latest tools used in forest management. The knowledge and experience gained will allow Russian forest business not only to update the data on the state of forests and use them for conducting economically profitable forestry in secondary forests, but also to preserve intact forests and high conservation values,” says Alexander Kostenko, WWF-Russia’s Forest Program expert and head of the Boreal Forest Platform.

© 2019 Boreal forest platform