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Timber logging in the Dvinsky Forest, Russia

Intact Forest Landscapes, very important biodiversity hot spots, in the Arkhangelsk Oblast of Russia are intensively logged via clear-cutting by the timber sector. There are demands to protect the Dvinsky Forest Reserve.


The Intact Forest Landscapes (IFL) in the Arkhangelsk region of northwest Russia is intensively logged by the timber sector, mainly by three companies, Pomor Timber, Arkhangelsk Pulp & Paper Mill (APPM) and the ICE Titan Group (Titan). These companies are considering to expand their production capacity, despite the fact that one of the most important IFLs, the Dvinsky Forest is in this region, which is an important habitat for many species. While 60% of the Dvinsky Forest has been proposed as a forest reserve area in 2008, conflicts exist over the area of protection and its boundaries. While Titan and APPM expressed support for the protection of the reserve and yet argue that its boundaries need to be renegotiated, Pomor Timber is strongly against the establishment of the reserve. Yet, the destruction of the forest is mainly driven by the demand from European, American and Australian companies, some of which are global brands. Greenpeace and WWF demand the protection of IFLs in this region, also arguing that the rights of indigenous peoples must be respected by these companies. These companies need to  stop industrial logging (clear-cutting) of IFLs that are critical for biodiversity and many species under threat of extinction,  and make the maps of their logging operations publicly available.  Moreover, IFLs are also important as huge sinks of carbon and are more resilient to climate change than other forests. The Great Northern Forest is also home to hundreds of Indigenous communities, and other forest-dependent communities. Despite their presence in the territory, no mobilization from their part has been reported. Timber "mining" implies that once logging companies have fully extracted the harvestable wood from one area, they simply move their operations to a new area, without any long-term forest management strategy or afforestation activity in these fully-exploited areas.  

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Timber logging in the Dvinsky Forest, Russia
Country:Russian Federation
Location of conflict:Arkhangelsk Oblast
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Logging and non timber extraction
Specific commodities:Biological resources
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Pomor Timber has plans to expand its logging operations to 1.3 millions m3/year, while APPM and Titan partnership is considering to expand its extraction from 4.5 milliom m3/year in 2015 to 7.8 million m3/year by 2025. Most of this expansion will be covered from coniferous species from IFLs. The timber sector's dependency on IFLs does not leave mcuh room for the long-term management and protection of the Dvinsky Forest. Environmental NGOs such as Greenpeace and WWF demand that these companies stop expanding their operations in the IFLs, especially in the Dvisnky Forest Reserve, and respect the rights of indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities living in the area. The companies should also make their maps regarding logging operations public. Dvinsky Forest is the most threatened IFL in the Arkhangelsk Oblast, and it was officially proposed to be become a reserve area, yet, despite efforts of NGOs and due to the pressure coming from the timber sector, its area and boundaries are still under dispute.

Project area:850,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/01/2001
Company names or state enterprises:Pomor Timber from Russian Federation
Arkhangelsk Pulp & Paper Mill (APPM) from Austria
ICE Titan Group (Titan) from Russian Federation
Pulp Mill Holdings GmbH from Austria
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation;
The Arkhangelsk Regional Assembly of Deputies;
The General Assembly of the Forest Stewardship Council
International and Finance InstitutionsEximbank of Russia from Russian Federation - The state-owned Eximbank provided loans to Pomor Timber in 2015 to promote timber production and exports in the Arkhangels Oblast.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Greenpeace
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Global warming
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Development of alternatives:Demands for The Forest Code to be amended are there, and an effective forest management system needs to be introduced.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Intensive clear-cutting of the IFLs is not stopped in the Dvinsky Forest Reserve. The boundaries are still not clearly defined. Mobilization of local and indigenous peoples is very limited. The Forest Code needs to be amended, and an effective forest management system needs to be introduced.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Yale Environment 360 - "Greenwashed Timber: How Sustainable Forest Certification Has Failed"
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Saving Dvinsky Forest: If companies don't act, customers will
[click to view]

Eye on the Taiga, Greenpeace Report
[click to view]

"Too long to wait: Russia’s Dvinsky Forest could be lost in a decade"
[click to view]

"Nothing else left to log: are eco-certified timber companies stripping Russia of its last old growth forests?"
[click to view]

ACtivatica - Who ruins the forests of Siberia and the Far East?
[click to view]

Other documents

[click to view]

Road in the Solombabales (Boretskaya) Road adjacent to large clearcut inside Dvinsky Forest (IFL) in the Solombabales (Boretskaya) concession area. Road building and clearcuts are drivers of IFL fragmentation and degradation. Arkhangelsk Region, Russia.

[click to view]

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Last update29/03/2018
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