Monitoring our nature conservation network in Russia

Mondi has one of its largest operations in Russia with the pulp and paper mill in Syktyvkar, Komi Republic, surrounded by around 2.3 million hectares of leased forest areas. Komi Republic has a total area of 41.6 million hectares, with nearly two-thirds covered by natural boreal forests. The forest industry has been concentrated the southern half of the territory, where much of the intact forests are utilised and fragmented.

Mondi’s nature conservation strategy was developed together with the non-governmental organisations Silver Taiga Foundation and WWF Russia. The main principles and guidelines of more than 10 years of cooperation were published (in Russian) in 2020. Key to protecting boreal biodiversity is an effective network of natural ecosystems, preserved in intact areas with ecological corridors and mosaics of valuable habitats. These ecological networks can range from a landscape level down to the level of individual logging sites. The main measure is to ensure full preservation of these areas in their natural state and to prevent anthropogenic disturbances, such as human-induced forest fires and logging operations.

Management levels

Protected areas

Monitoring process

Landscape scale, thousands of hectares, level of entire region or water catchment

 

Long-term strategic planning (up to 50 years, duration of forest lease agreement)

About 1.2 million hectares of intact forest landscapes are voluntarily preserved beyond official protected areas. This was achieved by setting a moratorium on any wood supply from these areas in agreement with WWF and Silver Taiga Foundation.

Annual remote monitoring of forest cover change within the strictly protected cores of the IFLs and state nature protected areas via satellite images. Monitoring is done by partner NGOs, such as Silver Taiga Foundation, WWF Russia and others. Maps are available at the website HCVF.RU.  

Terrain scale, dozens-hundreds of hectares, level of forest management units

 

Within mid-term planning (up to 10 years, duration of forest management plan)

About 0.6 million hectares (about one quarter) of forest leased areas are set aside for conservation in its natural state, including forests along rivers, on wetlands and peatlands, and regionally rare forest ecosystems. It is more than double what is required by legislation.

Annual remote monitoring of forest cover change within the strictly protected HCV areas and representative sites of rare ecosystems. It is done by a local monitoring organisation, which identifies types and severity of disturbances followed by selective field verifications.

Local scale, several hectares, level of logging sites

 

Within operative planning (up to 3 years, duration of operative plan)

5 to 10% of logging sites are voluntarily set aside during logging operations, preserving the most ecologically vulnerable parts of forest sites and maintaining a mosaic of key habitats.

Sample-based on-site monitoring of a condition of set aside patches of habitats within and adjacent to old logging sites. It is done by a local monitoring organization, which makes field surveys of logging sites and young forest stands.

For more effective control of wood flows from logging sites to storage points and to the mill, we have rolled out use of GPS trackers for wood log trucks. This technology ensures control over the agreed transport routes. In our corporate Geographic Information System we have a map of nature conservation areas and registered roads for the whole region.

For more effective field exploration of logging sites and areas set aside, we have tested the use of drones and analysis of high resolution satellite images. This enables us to reach remote areas, which are not easily accessible. Identified deviations from prescriptions and recommendations provide a base for regular field training of our forestry staff.

 

Curious to learn about our sustainability commitments?

This case study presents some of the actions we took that relate to our 2020 sustainability commitments under the Growing Responsibly model. To learn about our 2030 commitments please see MAP2030.

 

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