Preservation of intact forest landscapes in lease area of Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and Titan Group

31.07.2017

On July 20, 2017 Greenpeace Russia has published at the Greenpeace Russia Forest Forum comments by the Head of its Forest Department to the message of the Russian office of the voluntary forest certification system FSC on the round table dedicated to the preservation of intact forest landscapes (IFL) in Russia, which took place in Bonn (Germany) on June 23, 2017.

In connection with the publication of this comment, in order to explain exactly the essence of our contradictions with Greenpeace, and with the aim to be as open as possible to our partners in question sensitive for all the parties involved, we inform of the following.

Position about conservation of intact forest landscapes of Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and Titan Group is explained in the statements of these companies dated March 15, 2017 and published at the respective web sites.

http://www.appm.ru/news/2328/
http://www.titangroup.ru/news/2017/03/15/382.shtml

From June 2016 to the present, Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and Titan Group have been repeatedly confirming at various venues our commitment to the principles of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and expressing support to establish Specially Protected Natural Areas in Arkhangelsk region in the interfluve of the rivers Severnaya Dvina and Pinega.

Thus, as the results of the working meeting with representatives of international environmental organizations about IFLs conservation, which took place on December 21, 2016, the companies stated their cooperation in the establishment of Specially Protected Natural Areas in the interfluve of the rivers Severnaya Dvina and Pinega in the boundaries to be agreed with NGOs, and comprehensive support for Specially Protected Natural Areas officialization.

At the same time, participants of the meeting recognized the need to partially change the boundaries of the projected reserve within the leased forest areas of Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and Titan Group to mitigate socio-economic impacts, associated with a critical level of exhaustion of forests in the Arkhangelsk region.

http://www.appm.ru/news/protVstrechisNPO.pdf
http://www.titangroup.ru/news/2016/12/26/378.shtml
http://www.appm.ru/news/2300/

Since June 2016, Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and Titan Group have been conducting systematic, scientifically grounded work to provide data, demonstrating the need for changes to the boundary, proposed by the initiators of creation of Specially Protected Natural Areas in the interfluve of the rivers Severnaya Dvina and Pinega.

Before the round table, dedicated to intact forest landscapes (IFLs) protection in Russia, which was held in Bonn on June 23, 2017, Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and Titan Group held three rounds of negotiations with non-governmental organizations (WWF, Greenpeace) about reserve’s boundary alignment.

At the round table in Bonn, we reaffirmed our commitment to the values of sustainable development and support the Specially Protected Natural Areas in the interfluve of the rivers Severnaya Dvina and Pinega on an area of 350 thousand hectares in the borders, agreed with all stakeholders.

https://ru.fsc.org/ru-ru/news/id/615

The fourth round of negotiations was opened by the meeting between Titan Group management with the representatives of international NGOs, held on June 30, 2017.

Figure 1 — Borders of Specially Protected Natural Areas in lease area of Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and Titan Group. The version proposed by Titan Group, June 30, 2017.

Figure 2 — Borders of Specially Protected Natural Areas in lease area of Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and Titan Group. The version proposed by Greenpeace and WWF, June 30, 2017.

Currently, as Greenpeace really points out, we have not reached an agreement on the boundaries of the projected reserve.

However, in order to preserve intact forest landscapes in the interfluve of the rivers Severnaya Dvina and Pinega, Titan Group and environmental organizations concluded in 2013 open-ended moratorium agreements on conservation of High Conservation Value Forests. These agreements are publicly available on the Internet (http://hcvf.ru/moratorium).

The boundaries of the moratorium zones are wider than the boundaries of the planned reserve (that is wider than what Greenpeace and WWF want).

Figure 3 — The boundaries of the moratorium zones in lease area of Titan Group.

At the moment, Titan Group does not harvest timber in these areas. Not a single cubic meter of wood is cut in the area where Greenpeace proposes to create the reserve.

The discussion is about the future boundaries of the planned reserve, therefore we consider that in order to save the most valuable parts of the forest area it is possible to exclude some areas from the currently agreed moratorium zones, and include in the projected Specially Protected Natural Areas forest areas in eastern part.

But, once again we want to repeat: today, Titan Group does not harvest a single cubic meter of wood in the agreed moratorium zones, and fully complies with the agreements made with Greenpeace and WWF.

The Moratorium agreements will be valid until the moment of creation of the Specially Protected Natural Areas, after which their action will stop.

Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill  Titan Group actively participate in the creation of the reserve.

At the same time, we note that the establishment and legal registration of the reserve is sole responsibility of the Government of the Arkhangelsk region.

In addition, the creation of the reserve requires goodwill of other tenants, whose forest plots are located within the boundaries of the projected reserve.

Before the creation of Specially Protected Natural Areas in the interfluve of the rivers Severnaya Dvina and Pinega, Titan Group is fulfilling and will continue to fulfil all the signed moratorium agreements on conservation of intact forest landscapes and does not harvest wood on the territory of the moratorium zones and within the borders of the projected Specially Protected Natural Areas, recorded in the Forest Plan of the Arkhangelsk Region.

All our discussions with Greenpeace concern only the boundaries of the future reserve.

164900, Russia, Arkhangelsk region
Novodvinsk, 1 Melnikova St.

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