Russia owns the most abundant forest resources in the world, mainly boreal – coniferous and mixed forests located in the Northern latitudes. Territory the world’s forests is 4 billion ha, of which more than 20% of 815 million hectares in Russia. The loss of value of the Russian forests may be about 10%.
Russia has a fifth of the world’s forest resources worth more than $ 4 trillion. However, the growing of extensive cutting and fires can result in loss of this global advantages, if not to take decisive action. “The current value forests in Russia – which is about $ 4 trillion – greater than the value of all Russian oil by 28%. However, in order not to lose this unique resource in 20-30 years, you should strongly reconsider approaches to management from the point of view of rational use and restoration of forests, as well as the effectiveness of eliminating the two major negative factors – extensive logging and fires. You must act decisively now to at least hold current level, and maybe to reverse the trend,” – said Konstantin Polunin, partner and Director of BCG.
the value of the forest in the world is declining due to five main factors: changes in the nature of land use, including the transfer of lands to the forest, in the category of agricultural land; global temperature increasing, irrational deforestation, forest fires, spread of pests and diseases. The world average impact of fires is significantly less than the land-use change and increasing temperatures – these two factors together account for 27 of the 30% of the projected loss of value of forests in the period up to 2050.
In Russia, the main damage comes from unsustainable logging and fires. Extensive logging, both illegal and clear cutting, low control over reforestation – all this destroys the ecological value of forests. The area of forest fires has been increasing in recent years. On the one hand, this may be due to improving the quality of satellite tracking of the areas of the fires. On the other, the lack of resources for firefighting and the presence of zones of control (49% of forest areas) in which to put out the fires optional, BCG experts say.
“the Commercial potential of Russian forests is still far from implemented, – said Polunin. Key to this is in the development of forest based industries with a higher added value. It is important to develop production is not due to the expansion of the used area of the forest, and by switching to more effective methods of intensive forestry on already developed areas and plantation forestry”.
the Value of forests to preserve the current situation – 4 trillion dollars – calculated in the p��ivaska to current trading prices of European Union (ETS – EU Emissions Trading System): $ 27 per ton of CO2. However, to prevent global warming the cost of CO2 must be above 135 dollars per ton of CO2. In this case, the value of the Russian forests increased to 17 trillion dollars, which is already 5.5 times higher than the cost of oil.