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What we do
Regions

Strategy in detail

Russia hosts one-fifth of all forests in the world, they cover half of the territory of the country. These are mainly boreal ecosystems with prevalence of coniferous species (larch, pine, spruce, and fir), but there are also unique forests of Korean pine in the Russian Far East, beech forests in Caucasus and other rare and valuable stands. The Russian forests perform important protective functions, helping prevent climate change, ensure water regulation and soil conservation.

More than 25% (255 million hectares) of Russian forests are classified as intact forest landscapes — large undeveloped forest areas with no settlements, no roads and no any signs of economic activities. Intact forest areas are of key importance for preservation of natural biodiversity and ecological links at a landscape level, preservation of water resources and hydrologic balance. Intact forest landscapes are immense reservoirs of carbon and provide a critical input to climate change mitigation.

However, their industrial developed continues due to lack of economically valuable timber in industrial forests due to ineffective reforestation, absence of thinnings in young stands, as well as for wild fires, outbreaks of insects and pathogens, illegal loggings under the guise of legal ‘salvage’ and ‘intermediate’ logging.

More intensive use of industrial forests should be well balanced with preservation of biodiversity. Legal requirements should be introduced and enforced.

The role of Forest Stewardship Council voluntary certification scheme is high in ensuring responsible forest management. FSC proves compliance of forest management to international sustainability standards. WWF supports and promotes the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification system, ensures quality and promotes strict application of the FSC standard. Above a quarter of Russian forests leased by forest companies is FSC certified However, additional efforts are needed to promote FSC certification in ecoregions and ensuring its high quality.