The Agreement on the establishment of the borders of the Verkhneyulovsky (Dvinsko-Pinezhsky) Natural Reserve was signed

23, 2018

OnApril19, 2018, the Government ofthe Arkhangelsk region signed the bilateral agreement (amoratorium agreement) onthe establishment ofthe borders ofthe projected Verkhneyulovsky (Dvinsko-Pinezhsky) State Natural Reserve ofregional importance and ensuring the protection ofIntact Forest Landscapes within the established boundaries between all tenants ofthe forest plots inthe interfluve ofthe Northern Dvina and Pinega and environmental organizations WWF Russia, Greenpeace Russia.

Inaccordance with the moratorium agreement, the forest users whose forest plots are located onthe territory ofthe proposed Dvinsko-Pinezhsky Natural Reserve assumed the obligations torefuse wood harvesting there until the actual borders ofthe Specially Protected Natural Area are determined. According topreliminary estimations, the area ofthe reserve will amount to302 thousand hectares. Atthe same time, the consolidated contribution ofGCTitan, JSC Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and CJSC Sawmill-25 will achieve more than 170 thousand hectares, that isover 50%. Other forest tenants transferred about 80,000 hectares tothe intact forest landscapes zone.

The agreement was signed byAlexey Kudryavtsev -General Director ofGCTitan, Dmitriy Zylev General Director ofJSC Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill, Dmitry Krylov General Director ofCJSC Sawmill-25, Alexey Bulygin Deputy General Director ofGKUstyanskiy Timber Industry Complex, Sergei Barbolin Director ofLLCDvinslesprom, Ivan Potaychuk General Director ofOOO Vaengskiy logging company, Yuri Fil -Director ofLLC Forest Specialists onthe one hand and Eugenie Scwarts Director ofEnvironmental Policy ofWWF-Russia and Alexey Yaroshenko the Head ofthe Forest Department ofGreenpeace Russia onthe other hand.

Evgeny Shwarts, the Director for Environmental Policy ofWWF Russia, evaluated the event and remarked that the Arkhangelsk region, onthe level oflarge export-oriented business companies, managed todemonstrate aconstructive position onthis issue. Hestressed aswell that WWF has always adhered tothe principle ofescaping from excessive restrictions inthe interfluve. The natural reserve isnecessary tolimit the industrial logging. The collection ofmushrooms, picking ofberries, legal hunting and fishing, ecotourism should not beprohibited.

Evgeny Shwarts did not exclude that WWF would test the projects with the enterprises ofthe regional forest complex which would enable toengage the local population inreforestation and cuttings inyoung forest growth areas, which promote intensive forestry development outside the boundaries ofthe Specially Protected Natural Areas. Inthe experts opinion, itwould help both tosolve environmental problems and toprovide the earnings tolocals.

Alexander Dyatlov, the Chairman ofthe Committee onNatural Resources and Industrial Complex ofthe Assembly ofDeputies ofthe Arkhangelsk region, reminded that the Committee under his direction for several years has been calling all parties tostart ajoint work onthe establishment ofthe natural reserve. This isabig step forward towards the efficiency ofthe environmental protection measures, management ofthe natural reserve and conservation ofthe Dvina taiga,- hesaid.

Alexander Dyatlov drew attention tothe fact that during alot ofyears the Deputies ofthe municipalities, Heads ofthe municipalities, the locals, who were worried bythe termination ofthe production activities ofthe logging enterprises inVinogradovsky, Kholmogorsky, Pinezhsky and Verkhnetoemsky districts, were applying tothe regional Assembly ofDeputies inconnection with the establishment ofthe Dvinsko-Pinezhsky Natural Reserve. The discussion became even wider, asthis issue affected the budgets ofthese districts, small and medium business ofthe timber industrial complex and the local population.

Inthis regard, headdressed aproposal tothe representatives ofGreenpeace Russia and WWF Russia tocontinue joint work inorder toreach the agreement with the locals asfor the establishment ofthe Natural Reserve. After the timber producers have agreed the new borders ofthe Reserve, the responsibility for its creation rests with the Government ofthe Arkhangelsk region, the deputies and the environmental organizations, Alexander Dyatlov underlined. But the decision toestablish aNatural Reserve should betaken ascarefully aspossible taking into account the opinion ofall interested parties. Ifwecontinue aconstructive dialogue, taking into account the arguments and interests ofall parties, then the reserve can becreated assoon aspossible. Ican assure you that wewill doour best.

Alexander Erulik, the Minister ofthe Natural Resources and Forestry Complex ofthe Arkhangelsk region, told that the work onestablishment ofthe reserve had been already conducted for several years. And the fact that the management ofthe enterprises ofthe timber industry complex and environmental organizations came toacommon solution, first ofall, asfor the territory size, isvery important. Natural studies aimed atconfirming the feasibility toprotect taiga plots included inthe moratorium agreement and determining the final borders ofthe Dvinsko-Pinezhsky Natural Reserve, will beheld inspring and summer ofthe current year, hesaid. All interested parties, first ofall, the specialists ofthe relevant ministry, non-governmental nature-protecting organizations will jointly work over the actual map ofthe Protected Areas. Itisrecorded inaseparate minutes, which has been signed today. The public hearings inthe municipalities will become anobligatory stage ofcoordination.

According toAlexander Erulik, the draft ofthe protected areas prepared bythe participants ofthe research will besent toenvironmental expertise inautumn, and then tothe Ministry ofNatural Resources ofthe Russian Federation. Thus, the approval ofthe Regulations onthe Reserve should befinished either atthe end ofthis year, orinthe beginning ofthe next year.

Yuri Trubin, Forestry and GR-Director ofGCTitan, emphasized that itwas rather acomplicated way before the parties has come tothis agreement, but the priority inthe economic calculations ofthe logging enterprises was put onaccountability tolocals and municipalities where the company fulfilled its economic activities. This agreement twice increases the restrictions inthe operational activity ofour logging enterprises, Yuri Trubin said. But weconsciously take this step inorder toguarantee tothe nature-protecting organizations, the regional Government the conservation ofthis territory for its legal registration asaspecially protected territory.

According tohim, the next step will besigning ofanagreement with WWF upon further measures toprotect forest plots within intact forest landscapes onthe leased base ofGCTitan, JSC Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and Sawmill-25 asawhole. According tothe plans, in2025it will amount to5million cubic meters.

Alexey Kudryavtsev, General Director ofGCTitan, said that having abandoned harvesting, the logging enterprises ofthe holding would continue topay for the leased forest plots within the intact forest landscapes zone. Wehave asustainable development model until 2030, which includes operation inthe situation ifthe reserve iscreated. Wewill take into account the natural reserve factor while planning operational activities, hesaid.

Dmitry Zylev, General Director ofJSC Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill, recalled that the cutting area designed for the priority investment project ofthe mill has become smaller. Taking into account the plans ofArkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill toincrease the production capacity upto1million tons, the management realized that the mill would need additional timber volumes. Therefore, they would continue team work with the Government ofthe Arkhangelsk region inorder tofind acompromise.

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