Community Forestry in Russia
Eastern Siberia is home to the world's largest contiguous forest, an area greater in size than the Amazon and one that provides habitat for species such as the Siberian tiger, the brown bear and the golden eagle. At the very heart of Russia's vast Siberian Federal District is Krasnoyarsk, the key administrative hub for forestry in the region. In 2008, the Rainforest Alliance and longtime partner, NEPCon, began working together in Krasnoyarsk to address problems in the area's wood supply.
The three-year project focuses on strengthening the area's readiness for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification as well as enhancing the traceability system for independently verified forest products that flow from regional suppliers and sub-suppliers to the Swedish furniture giant IKEA. Together with the company, the Rainforest Alliance and NEPCon have been working to prepare Siberia's forest managers for evaluation according to FSC Controlled Wood (CW) guidelines as well as full FSC forest management (FM) and Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certification. This joint initiative, which makes full use of the Rainforest Alliance and NEPCon's extensive experience in spreading FSC certification around the globe, is expected to build on the relationships that both organizations have already established through their successful IKEA-supported efforts in China (the company's largest supplier of solid wood furniture).
The work in Russia involves conducting training and outreach activities throughout Siberia to help relevant forest suppliers familiarize themselves with FSC FM, CoC and CW certification. We are also working closely with IKEA's key Chinese suppliers -- who have long sourced raw materials from Siberia. We help to analyze the supplier's current performance and identify any key gaps they may have, help guide their investments in any independent technical assistance needed to eventually certify the entire chain-of-custody of these raw materials flowing from Siberia to China. We are also helping IKEA strengthen its own internal assessment and audit procedures for its wood supply chain.
The Rainforest Alliance's Training, Extension, Enterprises and Sourcing (TREES) program's central objectives in Russia are to:
- Continue working with forest managers and better understand the challenges they face on their path toward responsible management;
- Help forest-product manufacturers identify risk in their supply chains -- assisting suppliers that want to move toward more responsible practices and/or helping manufacturers find alternative suppliers for sustainable materials; and
- Address Russia's overwhelming need for sustainable forest managers through an intensive outreach initiative and training efforts carried out via extension education systems, industry associations and other appropriate public and private partnerships.
For more information, please contact your regional TREES representative.