How can forestry in the Barents region adapt to climate change?

Published: October 1, 2019

An international IMPRESS project supported by the Kolarctic Programme and aimed at putting into practice the best forest management approaches with regard to climate change will answer this question. The kick-off meeting of the project was held in Arkhangelsk.

The impact of climate change on boreal forests of the Barents region is becoming more pronounced. The existing studies predict in the near future an increase in negative phenomena, such as windfalls, fires, forest diseases, and outbreaks of pests. Moreover, spruce forests will suffer the most from climate change, which will inevitably lead to changes in the forest resource base and its accessibility for forest users. To preserve the potential of the Northern taiga forests it is necessary to adapt existing forest management practices to climatic and socio-economic changes.

This is what the joint project launched by WWF Russia, Swedish Forest Agency (SFA), Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and ILIM Group is dedicated to.

The project will identify and present the best forest management practices that will help timber companies to improve their sustainability and adapt to forest management under changing natural, economic and social conditions. In order to present the best practices, it is planned to create an online tool with up-to-date information on existing forest management practices in Scandinavia and Russia. In addition, it is planned to develop practical courses and conduct field training to improve the skills of forest sector specialists. 

Largest Russian timber company ILIM is one of the partners of the project.  It is assumed that pilot (demonstration) areas will be organized on leased forest areas to test some of the best forest management practices. 

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