Economic and Policy Analysis of Climate Change
©FAO/Vasily Maksimov

Russian Federation Projects

The Forest Fire Response Project (FFRP)

Russia, the largest country in the world (1.7 billion ha), also has the largest area of closed forests (0.76-0.77 billion ha). The forested surface represents 22% of the world's forests, and almost half of the total country area. However, Russian forests have undergone fragmentation and disturbances, as a result of industrial forest harvesting, agricultural use, road construction, extraction of mineral resources and the occurrence of intensive forest fires.

The proposed objective of the Forest Fire Response Project (FFRP) is to improve forest fire prevention and management and enhance sustainable forest management. The project is financed by the World Bank for a total cost of USD 120 million. The FFRP project has three components: (1) enhancing forest fire prevention, management and control; (2) building forest management capacity; and (3) project management.

The present analysis is a pre-appraisal of the mitigation potential of the FFRP project. As basis of the analysis two different climate change scenarios were developed that either assumed a continuation of current risks of forest fires ("current trends"), or an increased risk scenario driven by further climate change ("increased climate change").

Under both scenarios it could be shown that project actions have a strongly beneficial impact on mitigating further GHG emissions and conserving natural capital stocks. Under the current trends scenario the project would lead to the mitigation of 1.01 billion t CO2-e, while under the increased climate change scenario the lower amount of 654 million t tCO2-e would be mitigated.

Both results thus underline the significant impact strength of measures that prevent forest fire as well as invest in forest rehabilitation. Thereby such strong results depend on the assumption that the outlined field actions of improved forest management are indeed realized on the foreseen scale.

Besides the strong mitigation benefits, the here provided project analysis also underlines the strong co-benefits of the measures for increased climate change adaptation, watershed management and ecosystem resilience.


The WWF Bikin Forest Conservation Project (BFCP)

The Bikin Forest Conservation Project is implemented by WWF Germany and WWF Russia with financial support from the German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the German Development Bank (KfW) in partnership with the indigenous peoples’ enterprise «Tiger».

The main goal of the WWF’s project is to mitigate the impacts of climate change through the protection of large scale virgin forests in the Bikin Area. The Bikin River Basin is the biggest and last remaining untouched massif of temperate old-growth forests in the northern hemisphere, home for the Udege and Nanai indigenous people and haven for the Amur tiger. It is located in the Far East region. The massif is essential for the preservation of the natural habitats of some of the most endangered species, such as the Amur tiger also known as the Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), the scaly-sided merganser (Mergus squamatus) and the blakiston's fish-owl (Ketupa blakistoni), which are registered on the IUCN Red Data Book. The Bikin River Valley has been inscribed on the Russian Tentative List to be declared by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site. 

The indigenous peoples’ enterprise «Tiger» was granted a lease of 400,000 hectares of intact forests as a conservation concession. The conservation of the mixed Korean pine-broadleaf forests of the Bikin River includes preventing illegal logging; fighting forest fires within the Bikin River Basin; and maintaining the infrastructure for processing non timber forest products and supporting traditional livelihoods of indigenous people. These activities create a net sink of 4.2 t CO2-eq/ha/yr (almost 50 Mt CO2-eq during the 30 years of accounting).