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Sustainable forest management as an approach to regional development in the Russian Federation: State and trends in Kovdozersky Model Forest in the Barents region

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The Russian forest sector is under transformation, and the Model Forest (MF) concept is used as an innovative approach to regional sustainable development based on forest goods, ecosystem services and values. This study evaluates the development of the MF concept in north-west Russia's Barents region, using Kovdozersky MF in Murmansk region as a case study. This report (1) describe the main historical phases of forest use, (2) summarizes the state and trends of the economic, ecological and sociocultural situation, (3) explores reasons for establishing the MF, and (4) evaluates the main steps towards implementation of the MF concept. Qualitative and quantitative methods were applied. Actors were identified and interviewed to understand the process of MF development. Statistic data were collected and analyzed. The main goal of this MF is to support development through participatory collaboration regarding (1) balancing needs and interests among actors and stakeholders, (2) implementation of sustainable forest management, (3) encouraging the development of ecotourism and bioenergy production in the area, and (4) increasing public awareness with respect to sustainable forest management. Potential challenges for the MF partnership include: (1) domination by partners from the traditional forest sector, with their potentially more narrow needs and interests in the partnership development, and (2) disparity in sharing responsibilities and power between regional and local levels in MF management.
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Keywords: Barents region; Model Forest; Russian Federation; forest policy; governance; implementation; landscape case study; rural development; sustainable forest management

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Geography, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine,School for Forest Engineers, Faculty of Forest Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skinnskatteberg, Sweden 2: School for Forest Engineers, Faculty of Forest Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skinnskatteberg, Sweden

Publication date: 01 January 2007

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