Siberian Federal University: SibFU’s International Forum discusses the effectiveness of carbon management in Russian forests

The head of the SibFU Center for Low-Carbon Development and Climate Policy, which was launched under the Priority 2030 state program, presented a report at the international scientific conference on the Problems of Predicting Socio-Economic and Scientific and Technological Development in the context Global Climate Change.

The event took place on 17 November 2021 at the Institute of Economic Forecasting of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow).

The scientist’s presentation was devoted to regional assessments of the efficiency of forest management to increase their absorptive capacity. According to candidate of sciences in Economics Anton Pyzhev, the research idea is based on the need to develop a policy aimed at both reducing anthropogenic emissions and increasing the absorption of carbon by natural ecosystems, primarily forests.

“Reducing the rate of deforestation and changing the age structure of forest stands can make a significant contribution to mitigating global climate change, and the spatial aspect is of paramount importance in managing the carbon budget for forests,” says Professor Pyzhev. “The results of the study showed that the spatial distribution of assessments of the effectiveness of carbon management in forests and individual input parameters is uneven.”

The researcher attributed most of the sparsely forested areas (for example, the Republic of Mari El and Oryol Region), as well as some of the most forested regions of Russia (the Republic of Sakha and Irkutsk Region) to the “effective” regions. “Inefficient” regions, that is, those that spend too much financial and labour resources to achieve a lower potential for carbon absorption by forests per hectare, are spatially dispersed throughout Russia and highly heterogeneous: from wood-rich Krasnoyarsk Territory to predominantly steppe Rostov Region.

Thus, the Russian regions showed different efficiency of carbon management in forests and low relative efficiency, especially in Geographic Siberia, the eastern and most forest-rich region of the country. Since forest carbon management is still outside the scope of current forest policy in Russia, the relative effectiveness of forest carbon management is mainly a consequence of the natural dynamics of ecosystems and the side effects of traditional forest management.

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