WASHINGTON, September 20, 2012 - The World Bank’s Board of
Directors today approved a US$ 40 million loan to co-finance with the
Russian Federation a US$ 121.26 million Forest Fire Response Project in
The Project will assist the Federal Forestry Service and the Ministry
of Natural Resources and Environment to improve forest fire prevention
and suppression in select forest ecosystems, including targeted
protected areas. It also will help enhance forest management in pilot
regions, which include Voronezhskaya and Moskovskaya oblasts,
Krasnoyarsk and Khabarovsk Krais, and the Republic of Komi.
Russia, one of the largest countries in the world, also has the
largest area of true closed forests, which represent 20 percent of the
world's forests and account for 15 percent of the world's growing stock.
Russian forests play an important role in the carbon cycle, providing
significant carbon sequestration services, including to other countries.
Official data on forest fires shows that on average there are 24,000
forest fires annually covering 1.4 million ha of forest. Preliminary
analysis of data collected during project preparation indicates that up
to 93 percent of the country's forest fires are of human origin. In
addition, total carbon emissions from fire-disturbed Russian forests are
estimated at 50 to 231 million tons of carbon per year.
Most human-origin fires are quite naturally near settlements, which
for that very reason are the more urgent to prevent, monitor, suppress,
and extinguish, given the high potential for loss of life and property.
In more remote locations, many fires may be worsened by clear-cutting by
Any successful program of fire prevention will thus have to invest in
public awareness campaigns, and devote attention to forest practices
which may increase fire incidence.
For more information, please, visit the web-site of The World Bank.