Deforestation in Russia: an Issue that Needs to Be Resolved

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Russia is the largest country in the world, by surface area. Covering over one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, Russia’s tree cover was 761 MHa in 2000. To put it in a more understandable way, in 2000, 47% of Russia was covered in trees, almost half of the entire country. Deforestation is a problem in Russia, and it has more severe consequences here than most other regions. Since Russia has extremely cold and long winters, trees have a very short growing season. If deforestation continues in Russia, we may get to a point where the damage done is irreversible.

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Between 2001 and 2014, Russia lost a total tree cover of 40939593 Ha, while only gaining 16229621 Ha between 2001 and 2012. This shows that Russia is definitely losing way more trees than it is capable of replacing. Plus, since 2012, tree loss in Russia per year is at an all time high for the country, meaning that in the future, the figures of tree loss to tree gain will become even further apart. Illegal logging in the north-west and far eastern parts of Russia is one of the factors in deforestation. The overall cold climate of Russia is probably the biggest factor.

Russian authorities have tried to preserve the forests in Russia by using nature reserves and parks, but since park ranger funding is lacking, the protection efforts of forests are limited. There have also been several other solutions proposed, such as increasing regulation of current forestry laws and stopping exports from the Russian Taiga, although neither has really been used. There have been a few solutions that have brought about some good outcomes. “The creation of the Bolonsky Nature reserve, various wildlife refuges, and three ecological corridors – to bring the total area of created protected territories in Khabarovsk region to about 200,000 hectares.” Increasing work between Russian youth and government officials, and indigenous peoples, have helped to bridge some differences and reignite interest in protecting certain species of animals, as well as protecting sacred land.

As anyone can see, deforestation is a major problem worldwide, and Russia has been suffering in recent times due to it. Will there ever be a way to completely stop illegal logging in Russia? Probably not. Will there ever be a way to cut down on deforestation and help revive the number of tress in Russia? Yes. Progress is being made towards cutting down on deforestation, and I believe that Russia is headed in the right direction. I think other countries should look towards Russia as an inspiration, especially seeing as how big Russia is. If we all work towards it, I believe that deforestation everywhere can eventually be brought down.

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