07 November 2012

Russian forests pivotal in mitigating climate change

Russian forests provided more than 90 percent of the carbon sink of the world’s boreal forests from 2002 to 2007, according to IIASA research published in a new report from the FAO.

Road in Russian Taiga:Image © Alex Zarubin | Dreamstime.com

Road in Russian Taiga:Image © Alex Zarubin | Dreamstime.com

The report assessed Russian forest resources, demand, and future potential for markets and investment. As part of the report, IIASA Ecosystems Services and Management researcher Anatoly Shvidenko and colleagues showed that Russian forests are critical for carbon storage, taking in 500 to 700 million tons of carbon per year. If climate change continues unabated, thawing permafrost could turn Russia’s northern forests from a net carbon sink to a new source of carbon emissions. The report recommends international research into permafrost processes, and including permafrost carbon in ongoing negotiations on climate change.

The new report, titled “The Russian Forest Sector Outlook Study to 2030,” was published in September by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and presented in Russia at the Russian Federal Forest Service at the Moscow International Forest Forum at the end of October.

The full report is available as a PDF at http://www.fao.org/docrep/016/i3020e/i3020e00.pdf

For more on Shvidenko and related research on Russian forests, climate change, and forest fire,  please read Q&A: Russia Burning.

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Last edited: 07 November 2012


Anatoly Shvidenko

Emeritus Research Scholar Agriculture, Forestry, and Ecosystem Services Research Group - Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 497

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313