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

└´­ňŰŘ 23, 2018

OnáAprilá19, 2018, the Government ofáthe Arkhangelsk region signed the bilateral agreement (aámoratorium agreement) onáthe establishment ofáthe borders ofáthe projected Verkhneyulovsky (Dvinsko-Pinezhsky) State Natural Reserve ofáregional importance and ensuring the protection ofáIntact Forest Landscapes within the established boundaries between all tenants ofáthe forest plots ináthe interfluve ofáthe Northern Dvina and Pinega and environmental organizationsጠWWF Russia, Greenpeace Russia.

Ináaccordance with the moratorium agreement, the forest users whose forest plots are located onáthe territory ofáthe proposed Dvinsko-Pinezhsky Natural Reserve assumed the obligations toárefuse wood harvesting there until the actual borders ofáthe Specially Protected Natural Area are determined. According toápreliminary estimations, the area ofáthe reserve will amount toá302 thousand hectares. Atáthe same time, the consolidated contribution ofáGCáźTitan╗, JSC Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and CJSC źSawmill-25╗ will achieve more than 170 thousand hectares, that isáover 50%. Other forest tenants transferred about 80,000 hectares toáthe intact forest landscapes zone.

The agreement was signed byáAlexey Kudryavtsev -General Director ofáGCáźTitan╗, Dmitriy ZylevጠGeneral Director ofáJSC Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill, Dmitry KrylovጠGeneral Director ofáCJSC Sawmill-25, Alexey BulyginጠDeputy General Director ofáGKáUstyanskiy Timber Industry Complex, Sergei BarbolinጠDirector ofáLLCáDvinslesprom, Ivan PotaychukጠGeneral Director ofáOOO źVaengskiy logging company╗, Yuri Filĺ -Director ofáLLC źForest Specialists╗ onáthe one hand and Eugenie ScwartsጠDirector ofáEnvironmental Policy ofáWWF-Russia and Alexey Yaroshenkoጠthe Head ofáthe Forest Department ofáGreenpeace Russia onáthe other hand.

Evgeny Shwarts, the Director for Environmental Policy ofáWWF Russia, evaluated the event and remarked that the Arkhangelsk region, onáthe level ofálarge export-oriented business companies, managed toádemonstrate aáconstructive position onáthis issue. Heástressed asáwell that WWF has always adhered toáthe principle ofáescaping from excessive restrictions ináthe interfluve. The natural reserve isánecessary toálimit the industrial logging. The collection ofámushrooms, picking ofáberries, legal hunting and fishing, ecotourism should not beáprohibited.

Evgeny Shwarts did not exclude that WWF would test the projects with the enterprises ofáthe regional forest complex which would enable toáengage the local population ináreforestation and cuttings ináyoung forest growth areas, which promote intensive forestry development outside the boundaries ofáthe Specially Protected Natural Areas. Ináthe expertĺs opinion, itáwould help both toásolve environmental problems and toáprovide the earnings toálocals.

Alexander Dyatlov, the Chairman ofáthe Committee onáNatural Resources and Industrial Complex ofáthe Assembly ofáDeputies ofáthe Arkhangelsk region, reminded that the Committee under his direction for several years has been calling all parties toástart aájoint work onáthe establishment ofáthe natural reserve. źThis isáaábig step forward towards the efficiency ofáthe environmental protection measures, management ofáthe natural reserve and conservation ofáthe Dvina taiga,╗- heásaid.

Alexander Dyatlov drew attention toáthe fact that during aálot ofáyears the Deputies ofáthe municipalities, Heads ofáthe municipalities, the locals, who were worried byáthe termination ofáthe production activities ofáthe logging enterprises ináVinogradovsky, Kholmogorsky, Pinezhsky and Verkhnetoemsky districts, were applying toáthe regional Assembly ofáDeputies ináconnection with the establishment ofáthe Dvinsko-Pinezhsky Natural Reserve. The discussion became even wider, asáthis issue affected the budgets ofáthese districts, small and medium business ofáthe timber industrial complex and the local population.

Ináthis regard, heáaddressed aáproposal toáthe representatives ofáGreenpeace Russia and WWF Russia toácontinue joint work ináorder toáreach the agreement with the locals asáfor the establishment ofáthe Natural Reserve. źAfter the timber producers have agreed the new borders ofáthe Reserve, the responsibility for its creation rests with the Government ofáthe Arkhangelsk region, the deputies and the environmental organizations,╗ጠAlexander Dyatlov underlined. ŚáBut the decision toáestablish aáNatural Reserve should beátaken asácarefully asápossible taking into account the opinion ofáall interested parties. Ifáweácontinue aáconstructive dialogue, taking into account the arguments and interests ofáall parties, then the reserve can beácreated asásoon asápossible. Iácan assure you that weáwill doáour best.ź

Alexander Erulik, the Minister ofáthe Natural Resources and Forestry Complex ofáthe Arkhangelsk region, told that the work onáestablishment ofáthe reserve had been already conducted for several years. And the fact that the management ofáthe enterprises ofáthe timber industry complex and environmental organizations came toáaácommon solution, first ofáall, asáfor the territory size, isávery important. źNatural studies aimed atáconfirming the feasibility toáprotect taiga plots included ináthe moratorium agreement and determining the final borders ofáthe Dvinsko-Pinezhsky Natural Reserve, will beáheld ináspring and summer ofáthe current year,╗ heásaid. All interested parties, first ofáall, the specialists ofáthe relevant ministry, non-governmental nature-protecting organizations will jointly work over the actual map ofáthe Protected Areas. Itáisárecorded ináaáseparate minutes, which has been signed today. The public hearings ináthe municipalities will become anáobligatory stage ofácoordination.ź

According toáAlexander Erulik, the draft ofáthe protected areas prepared byáthe participants ofáthe research will beásent toáenvironmental expertise ináautumn, and then toáthe Ministry ofáNatural Resources ofáthe Russian Federation. Thus, the approval ofáthe Regulations onáthe Reserve should beáfinished either atáthe end ofáthis year, oráináthe beginning ofáthe next year.

Yuri Trubin, Forestry and GR-Director ofáGCáźTitan╗, emphasized that itáwas rather aácomplicated way before the parties has come toáthis agreement, but the priority ináthe economic calculations ofáthe logging enterprises was put onáaccountability toálocals and municipalities where the company fulfilled its economic activities. źThis agreement twice increases the restrictions ináthe operational activity ofáour logging enterprises,╗ጠYuri Trubin said. źBut weáconsciously take this step ináorder toáguarantee toáthe nature-protecting organizations, the regional Government the conservation ofáthis territory for its legal registration asáaáspecially protected territory.╗

According toáhim, the next step will beásigning ofáanáagreement with WWF upon further measures toáprotect forest plots within intact forest landscapes onáthe leased base ofáGCáźTitan╗, JSC źArkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill╗ and źSawmill-25╗ asáaáwhole. According toáthe plans, iná2025áit will amount toá5ámillion cubic meters.

Alexey Kudryavtsev, General Director ofáGCáźTitan╗, said that having abandoned harvesting, the logging enterprises ofáthe holding would continue toápay for the leased forest plots within the intact forest landscapes zone. źWeáhave aásustainable development model until 2030, which includes operation ináthe situation ifáthe reserve isácreated. Weáwill take into account the änatural reserveô factor while planning operational activities╗,ጠheásaid.

Dmitry Zylev, General Director ofáJSC Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill, recalled that the cutting area designed for the priority investment project ofáthe mill has become smaller. Taking into account the plans ofáArkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill toáincrease the production capacity upátoá1ámillion tons, the management realized that the mill would need additional timber volumes. Therefore, they would continue team work with the Government ofáthe Arkhangelsk region ináorder toáfind aácompromise.

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