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Authors: Ekaterina Gataulina and Thomas R. Waggener
Following implementation of Russian Federation political and economic reforms, the Russian Far East (RFE) and its forests became a focal point of international attention. The Forest Industry Complex (FIC) can be considered as one of the most interesting sectors of the region due to its importance for business, international trade, tourism and the environment.
This study reviews the current state of the FIC in the RFE region, recent trends of development, and the outlook for the near future.
Economic Development in the Russian Far East
Tundra grows further south, forming a thin belt in Yakutia, covering most of Chukotka and northern Kamchatka, portions of Magadanskaya Oblast and northern Khabarovskiy Kray.
Taiga, the largest mass of boreal forest, forms the third zone that is the heart of the RFE. Further south, this forest gradually becomes more complex, although tundra can still be found along the mountain ranges. The forests of this zone provide a main base for the FIC.
Korean-pine-broad-leaved forests grow below the taiga zone in Primorskiy Kray and southern Khabarovskiy Kray. The conifer broad-leaved forests in these regions are called Ussuri taiga. This forest supports the majority of the RFE’s endangered species. Ussuri taiga also is a productive source of timber.
Group II includes forests in areas with a high density of population, a developed transport network, and both protective and limited-use functions (1 % of the Forest Fund). Principal cutting (commercial harvests) should be carried out in a way to preserve the nature-conservancy functions of these forests.
Group III forests (85.8% of Forest Fund) are forests allocated primarily for commercial exploitation. They are specified by legislation as developed and to-be-developed forests. The forest resource base which is potentially available for logging and for support of the FIC is mainly the group III forests.
been carried out on a limited, enterprise basis and has largely depended upon funding by foreign capital investments.
intermediary firms and associations have tried to unite small exporters in order to maintain the previously prevailing price levels. About 20% of timber is exported directly by independent exporters, mainly exports of logs by truck and railroad to China.
changed in significant ways over the last three forest inventory periods. However, conditions for the economic utilization of the resources as well as introduction of sustainable forest management and environmental regulations will be critical to the future. This group of factors includes overall land use, classification of forest resources for non-timber and protective uses, conditions of forest resources and the economic accessibility, forest management (including reforestation), forest-linked environmental policies and requirements.
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