- Issue: Fall 2020
ARKHANGELSK REGION :: RUSSIA
In October 2019, WWF-Russia announced the establishment of a new 1,166-square-mile reserve. Densely packed with lush spruce and pine trees, the Dvina-Pinega Landscape Reserve is one of the last large expanses of intact forest in Europe. Experts say that without conservation measures, this taiga (or subarctic forest), which shelters more than 60 species of rare animals and plants, could have vanished within 15 to 20 years.
This wasn’t an overnight success story. Seventeen years of tireless work by WWF-Russia and our partners finally made it a reality. On the way, there were 10 expeditions into remote areas, dozens of specialists who conducted research, and difficult negotiations with timber companies that had leased much of the forest.
With the reserve came new restrictions on industrial logging, mining, and infrastructure construction. And those wins brought environmental windfalls. The taiga will continue to effectively absorb CO2. The sources of rivers that flow through the reserve will be protected. And biodiversity, including species such as white-tailed eagles and wild forest reindeer, can thrive. In addition, local communities that depend on the forest for their livelihoods—hunting, fishing, and foraging—can continue to access it freely while respecting the reserve’s restrictions.