Finnish Forest Research Institute  Metla
Press release 02.02.2006 Press release in Russian (PDF 194 KB)
  

New information about wood harvesting restrictions in conservation areas and old-growth Forests of the Republic of Karelia

Wood procurement organisations operating in Karelia are paying more attention to environmental issues than in the past. It increases the need of reliable information on existing limitations for forest use including restrictions for wood harvesting: final felling, thinning, road construction and other operations. Therefore, the aim of this study was to collect data for the current state of areas having wood harvesting restrictions in Karelia and to display their location and possible limitations for wood harvesting.

Officially existing and planned conservation areas and unofficial old-growth forests of the Republic of Karelia have been examined in this paper. The references to official records are provided. Old-growth forests are suggested by NGOs, and these forests do not have wood harvesting restrictions according to Russian legislations. However, these forests have to be taken into consideration by wood procurement companies operating in the Republic of Karelia because environmentally responsible forest industry companies do not procure wood from old-growth forests.

In the beginning of 2006 Karelia has 215 official conservation areas with the total area of 933.2 thousand ha (6.3% of the total forest fund of Karelia). All types of fellings are forbidden in 58 official conservation areas (448.1 thousand ha or 3% of the forest fund of Karelia). Final fellings (or clearcut) are forbidden in 23 official conservation areas (151.1 thousand ha or 1% of the forest fund of Karelia). The rest of the conservation areas (345 thousand ha or 2.3% of the forest fund of Karelia) have no restrictions for wood harvesting. Three officially planned conservation areas (105.6 thousand ha or 0.7% of the forest fund of Karelia) have been found.

NGOs have suggested 40 detached areas of old-growth forests (approximately 980 thousand ha or 6.6% of the forest fund of Karelia) in 2005. Major areas of old-growth forests are located in Kemsky, Muezersky, Kostomukshsky, Pudozhsky, Pialmsky Piaozersky, Sosnovetsky, Sumsky, Chupinsky and Yushkozersky leskhozes. Since the previous version of old-growth forests map from year 2000, the area and location of old-growth forests have changed substantially. Environmentally responsible forest industry companies have not yet taken officially into account the new version of the map. However, authors of this report decided to inform forest industry representatives about the new initiatives of NGOs. Authors are also willing to monitor the process in the future.

Locations of conservation areas and old-growth forests are shown in the whole Karelia, at the levels of forest district (leskhoz) and forest block (kvartal). Considered areas are compared with wood harvesting restrictions.

The report has been reviewed by the "Rosprirodnadzor" - Federal service for inspection in nature management in the Republic of Karelia, by forest industry companies, such as "Segezha pulp and paper mill" and "Stora Enso", by non-governmental organizations, such as the Biodiversity Conservation Center and Greenpeace Russia. They consider this kind of fresh study and report very important for stakeholders dealing with wood procurement, forest certification and legislation related to nature protection.

Publication: Gerasimov, Yuri, Markovsky, Alexander, Markovskaya, Natalia & Lapshin, Petr. 2006. The analysis of wood harvesting restrictions in conservation areas and old-growth forests of the Republic of Karelia. Working Papers of the Finnish Forest Research Institute 22. 148 p. ISBN -13: 978-951-40-1994-4 (PDF), ISBN -10: 951-40-1994-6 (PDF).

Additional information:


Press releases in English are available at: http://www.metla.fi/ajankohtaista/index-en.htm   Metlan RSS-newsfeed
Finnish Forest Research Institute - Metla/Communications
Unioninkatu 40 A, FI-00170 HELSINKI, FINLAND. Phone +358 10 211 2000    E-mail: info @ metla.fi