Regarding Greenpeace's "Eye on the Taiga" Report
Greenpeace has published a research on the use of taiga forests, including those located in the Arkhangelsk region. We feel that it is our obligation to communicate the position of Arkhangelsk PPM regarding the issues covered in the report.
Arkhangelsk PPM was the first among Russian pulp-and-paper companies that entered the market with finished products under the FSC mark (FSC Certificate NC-ÑoC-014148, NC-CW-014148 since 2006). Arkhangelsk PPM is a member of the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN).
The general supplier of wood materials for the Pulp-and-Paper Mill is Titan Group (NC-ÑoC-014137, NC-CW-014137) which obtained the FSC certification in 2005 and was re-certified in 2010.
In 2003, the Mill and Titan Group approved the Strategy for Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification, and in December 2011 they approved the Declaration according to FSC-POL-01-004 (Policy for the Association of Organizations with FSC). All documents related to FSCTM certification are available on Arkhangelsk PPM's website: http://www.appm.ru/fsc/
We have always been committed to the principles of sustainable forest management and compliance with the environmental, social, and economic standard requirements in our activities. To verify compliance with the international requirements and FSC standards, we are inspected by highly reputed auditors on an annual basis.
Compliance with the FSC forest certification requirements includes preserving high conservation value forests and rejecting the use of wood produced from these types of forests, including intact forests landscapes (IFLs).
In order to preserve the unique forest site in the interfluve area, Titan Group and the environmental organizations signed the moratorium agreements which can be freely accessed online http://hcvf.ru/moratorium. It is an unlimited-term moratorium agreement to preserve high conservation value forests between Titan Group, Greenpeace of Russia, and WWF, signed in February 2013.
Arkhangelsk PPM has credible knowledge that this agreement is adhered to by Titan Group in the leased areas of Ust-Pokshenga Logging Company.
Late in 2014, Titan Group acquired Severny Les LLC which had some of their leased areas located within the limits of the nature reserve project. Severny Les LLC and the environmental organizations (WWF and Arkhangelsk Environmental Initiative) signed a moratorium agreement to preserve the IFL located within the areas leased by the company. Titan Group complies with this agreement.
With the launch of the high-priority investment project for Cardboard Production Reconstruction in 2014, Arkhangelsk PPM acquired several lease sites adjacent to the limits of the nature reserve project.
In the Gorkovsky forest district of Vyyskoe Forestry, Arkhangelsk PPM and Tital Group carried out landmarking of the forest area located within the limits of the nature reserve project, in order to request this area to be removed from the mill's lease areas. As a result, an area of approx. 80,000 ha has been reserved for inclusion in the nature reserve.
In the Chelmokhotsky forest district of Yemetsk Forestry, some of the forest areas leased by Arkhangelsk PPM are located within IFL and within the limits of the nature reserve project in the Dvina-Pinega Interfluve Area.
Titan Group has complete control over the wood harvesting process under this lease agreement and assures that no wood harvesting activities are carried out within the limits of the protected areas.
To contribute to establishing the protected area in the Northern Dvina and Pinega Interfluve area, Titan Group and Lesozavod 25 have initiated a working meeting with representatives of the environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in order to discuss the issues related to IFL conservation. As a result of the meeting, the companies published a statement pledging assistance to establishing the protected area in the Northern Dvina and Pinega Interfluve area within the limits approved by the NGOs and committing to make every effort to achieve an official status for the protected area.
At the same time, the meeting parties recognized that the boundaries of the nature reserve project had to be partly modified within the leased forest areas in order to mitigate the social and economic impact related to the critical level of forest depletion. The moratorium agreements signed earlier will remain in effect until the protected area is established, following which the agreements will become void within the modified boundaries. The protected areas established in intact forests landscapes must preserve their high conservation value.
In addition, Greenpeace of Russia and WWF of Russia together with Titan Group are involved in the development of sustainable forest management methods for the forest areas leased by Titan Group. At the same time, the Group continues operating in IFL areas which are not included in the nature reserve project and the moratorium zones, in order to accomplish the transition to the new forest management model.
On January 31, 2017, representatives of APPM, Titan Group, and Lesozavod 25 attended the working group meeting at the Arkhangelsk Region Government to review issues related to the establishment of regional-level protected areas, where the Group stated their support for the establishment of protected areas within the boundaries approved by all concerned parties.
On February 16, 2017, representatives of Titan Group attended a meeting chaired by the Arkhangelsk Region Governor to discuss matters concerning the establishment of the regional-level Dvina - Pinega State Natural Landscape Reserve and forest management investment projects. Titan Group confirmed its intention to support the protected area project in the Northern Dvina and Pinega Interfluve area within altered boundaries approved by concerned parties.
As it was noted at this meeting, the decision on implementation of the nature reserve project within the boundaries approved by concerned parties and approval of the official status of the protected area are in the cognizance of the Arkhangelsk region government.
Titan Group will continue to implement all signed moratorium agreements for virgin forest preservation, until the protected area is created.
Arkhangelsk PPM representatives have become members of the working group under the Federal Forestry Agency of Russia on harmonization of forest legislation requirements and laws and regulations for forestry relations and voluntary forest certification.
Issues concerning preservation of virgin forests and national forest reserves will be dealt with at the group meeting, which is projected for Q1 2017.
We would like to emphasize that Arkhangelsk PPM favors the creation of the protected area in the Northern Dvina and Pinega Interfluve area within the boundaries approved by concerned parties.
Before the protected area is created, Arkhangelsk PPM will monitor implementation of signed moratorium agreements for virgin forest preservation by Titan Group.
Attachment: scanned copy of minutes of the working meeting held on the 21th of December 2016.
ATTACHMENT to the Arkhangelsk PPM report
regarding sustainable forest management and preservation of virgin forests in the Northern Dvina and Pinega Interfluve area.
Summary of the Working Meeting as of December 21, 2016 on IFL (intact forests landscapes) attended by representatives of the environmental organizations Greenpeace and WWF.
The following has been agreed to by the working meeting:
1) Titan Group, Arkhangelsk PPM, and Lesozavod 25 support the establishment of the protected area in the Northern Dvina and Pinega Interfluve Area within the boundaries approved by the NGOs and will render all possible assistance for the protected area to gain an official status.
2) The meeting parties recognize that the boundaries of the nature reserve project have to be partly modified within the area leased by Titan Group and Arkhangelsk PPM in order to mitigate the social and economic impact related to the critical level of forest depletion. The moratorium agreements signed earlier will remain in effect until the protected area is established, upon which the agreements will become void within the modified boundaries. The protected area regime must allow preserving the high conservation values of the IFL.
3) Greenpeace Russia and WWF Russia together with Titan Group are involved in the development of sustainable forest management methods for the forest areas leased by Titan Group.
4) Titan Group continues to operate in IFL areas which are not included in the nature reserve project and the moratorium zones, in order to accomplish the transition to the new forest management model.
5) The attendees acknowledge that a joint meeting should be held with representatives of the Arkhangelsk Region Government to discuss the establishment of the protected area in the Northern Dvina and Pinega Interfluve Area before 01.03.2017. By this date, the meeting attendees need to reach an agreement as to the boundaries of the protected area in the Northern Dvina and Pinega Interfluve Area.
Kudryavtsev A.V. - CEO, ICE Titan, "signed"
Trubin Yu.G. - Director for Forestry, ICE Titan, "signed"
Kruptsov A.A. — Director for Logging Companies' Operations Control,
ICE Titan, "signed"
Zylev D.I. – CEO, APPM, JSC"signed"
Yaroshenko A.Yu. - Forest Program Manager, Greenpeace Russia, "signed"
Shmatkov N.M. - Forest Program Manager, WWF Russia. "signed"
Shchegolev A.A. - Manager, Arkhangelsk Subsidiary of WWF, "signed"
19.06.2017 - General supplier of forest raw material at APPM start selective cutting in Northern Dvina-Pinega interfluve