Cover Image

PAPERBACK
$47.25



View/Hide Left Panel

GLOBAL FOREST WATCH: AN EXAMPLE OF INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP WITH RUSSIAN NGOs AND SCIENTISTS

L.Laestadius

World Resources Institute

THE WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE

The World Resources Institute (WRI) was founded in 1982, in Washington, DC, as a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization. The John D. and Catherine T.MacArthur Foundation supplied a large initial grant. Today, funding comes from many sources, including private foundations, corporations, agencies and cooperating organizations (such as a number of United Nations agencies, the World Bank, agencies for development aid, and many others), and individuals. WRI currently has 125 employees from about 20 countries.

WRI is active in many policy areas. These include biological resources, climate, institutions and governance, economics, business management, and information (see Box 1). A well-known product is the World Resources Report, a semi-annual book of world statistics and topical assessments prepared together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank. The latest edition, the Millennial Edition, presents a comprehensive assessment of five of the world’s major ecosystems.

From the very beginning, WRI’s goal has been to propose practical policy solutions to environmental and resource problems. Attention to facts and analytical excellence has always been emphasized. In the beginning and for many years, the typical WRI product was a report, rich in text, written for official policy makers and their advisors. And this is still the case, sometimes.

But the world has changed, and so has the way that WRI works. Public participation in policy-making has become more important, and so has the positive role of industry. Our experience shows that reports, no matter how well



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 33
The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop GLOBAL FOREST WATCH: AN EXAMPLE OF INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP WITH RUSSIAN NGOs AND SCIENTISTS L.Laestadius World Resources Institute THE WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE The World Resources Institute (WRI) was founded in 1982, in Washington, DC, as a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization. The John D. and Catherine T.MacArthur Foundation supplied a large initial grant. Today, funding comes from many sources, including private foundations, corporations, agencies and cooperating organizations (such as a number of United Nations agencies, the World Bank, agencies for development aid, and many others), and individuals. WRI currently has 125 employees from about 20 countries. WRI is active in many policy areas. These include biological resources, climate, institutions and governance, economics, business management, and information (see Box 1). A well-known product is the World Resources Report, a semi-annual book of world statistics and topical assessments prepared together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank. The latest edition, the Millennial Edition, presents a comprehensive assessment of five of the world’s major ecosystems. From the very beginning, WRI’s goal has been to propose practical policy solutions to environmental and resource problems. Attention to facts and analytical excellence has always been emphasized. In the beginning and for many years, the typical WRI product was a report, rich in text, written for official policy makers and their advisors. And this is still the case, sometimes. But the world has changed, and so has the way that WRI works. Public participation in policy-making has become more important, and so has the positive role of industry. Our experience shows that reports, no matter how well

OCR for page 33
The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop BOX 1 The World Resources Institute Provides information, ideas, and solutions to global environmental problems. Our mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment for current and future generations. Our program meets global challenges by using knowledge to catalyze public and private action. Our goals are: To reverse damage to ecosystems. To expand participation in environmental decisions. To avert dangerous climate change. To increase prosperity while improving the environment. written, sometimes end up rather quickly on the bookshelf, where they lose much of their intended power. CONNECTIVITY In order to maintain its influence on the policy agenda, WRI is increasingly emphasizing something we call connectivity: additional contacts and cooperation with individuals and organizations outside government, including both industry and the community of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). When adding connectivity to analytical excellence, WRI is trying to make the most of the new information technology. An increasing number of people worldwide meet WRI through its website (www.wri.org). WRI is increasingly turning its website into a connectivity tool: not only a place to get information (although this is significant), but also a place for real dialogue. Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a recent initiative of WRI that emphasizes connectivity and the use of new technology. GLOBAL FOREST WATCH Created in 1998, GFW is an international data and mapping network that combines on-the-ground knowledge with digital technology to provide accurate information about the world’s forests and threats to them. The overall objective

OCR for page 33
The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop of GFW is to infuse transparency and accountability into the decision-making processes that determine how forests are managed, and for whom. The GFW network includes NGOs, universities, and other institutions that are monitoring logging, mining, and conducting other development activities within major forested regions of the world. GFW is governed by an international Steering Committee consisting of representatives of national GFW Chapters, while the secretariat (GFW International) is housed within WRI. GFW is currently active in Indonesia, Canada, Gabon, Cameroon, Venezuela, Chile, and Russia. Activities are planned for the United States, the Baltic countries, Romania, and the Amazon basin. THE GFW CONCEPT The GFW concept is built on the power of accuracy, transparency, and connectivity. Accuracy is achieved by a scientific approach. The systematic use of modern technology is coupled with a rigorous review of all maps and data products: an expert review to build accuracy and a stakeholder review to build credibility. Transparency is achieved by sharing GFW products as widely as possible, typically at no cost to the user, again using modern technology and media approaches. Through an interactive website (www.globalforestwatch.org), and through printed reports, media coverage, and op-ed articles, GFW information reaches different stakeholders and interested citizens worldwide. Connectivity is inherent in the GFW bottom-up approach, relying as far as possible on local and national groups and capacities, creating and catalyzing new national networks, creating new international collaboration. GFW should not be seen as a limited-life project. Rather, GFW is a continuous, systematic, and rigorous civil-society based auditing process of forest conditions and utilization. FOREST WATCH RUSSIA The Russian Chapter of GFW, called Forest Watch Russia (FWR), was born in November 1999 at a meeting in Krasnoyarsk in Siberia. FWR is a unique national coalition of Russian NGOs with the interest and capacity to map and monitor forests. Member organizations represent all corners of Russia as well as outstanding technical expertise. The goal of FWR is to improve the conservation

OCR for page 33
The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop and utilization of Russia’s forests by means of high-accuracy forest mapping and monitoring. RUSSIAN INTEGRITY AND WRI’S ROLE FWR is a thoroughly Russian network (see Box 2), despite its close links with WRI and GFW. Priorities and plans reflect Russian concerns, and FWR relies entirely on technical capacity inside Russia. WRI’s role is limited to fundraising, facilitation, and light overall coordination. The work is currently financed through a donation from the company IKEA. BOX 2 FWR Steering Committee Lars Laestadius, WRI (Chairman) Academician Alexander Isaev, International Forest Institute, Moscow (methods and data review) Dmitry Aksenov, Socio-Ecological Union, Moscow (national GIS function, data issues) Mikhail Karpachevskiy, Biodiversity Conservation Centre, Moscow (national GIS function, editor) Andrei Laletin, Friends of the Siberian Forests, Krasnoyarsk (coordinator Eastern Siberia) Anatoly Lebedev, Office for Regional Public Campaigns, Vladivostok (coordinator, Russian Far East) Olga Tarakanova, Transparent World, Moscow (remote sensing, administrative coordination) Alexey Yaroshenko, Greenpeace, Moscow (coordinator European Russia, map verification) Alexander Yumakaev, The Fund for 21st Century Altai, Barnaul (coordinator Western Siberia). NGO LINKS FWR is cooperating with environmental NGOs from all over Russia. A prominent member organization is the International Forest Institute, led by Academician Alexander Isaev, former chairman of the USSR State Committee for Forests. This informal link with the Russian Academy of Sciences is very

OCR for page 33
The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop useful for FWR. The Forest Service of Russia has been participating as an observer. INTERNATIONAL LINKS Being a member of the GFW family connects FWR to the world. Maps and information on Russia can reach the world quickly and effectively through the network and communications capacity of GFW International. Approaches, methods, experiences, and people can be exchanged with other GFW countries Canada is an interesting parallel for Russia. The international connection also allows Russian know-how to be available outside of Russia. The members of FWR have significant experience and advanced competence in forest mapping using satellite images and geographical information systems. Russia is without doubt a world leader in this kind of mapping. STRUCTURE AND CAPACITY BUILDING Russia is a large country where regional balance and reach are crucial. FWR has adopted a structure with four macro-regions (Far East, Eastern Siberia, Western Siberia, and European Russia), each with a Regional Data Center based in existing organizations and networks in Vladivostok, Krasnoyarsk, Barnaul, and Moscow. In Moscow the Center doubles as the FWR National Data Center. The plan is for these centers to serve as coordination points, providing organizational and technical know-how, equipment and software, training, and outreach, and also as data management centers, (such as regional libraries for satellite images and GIS data). FWR OBJECTIVES AND ACHIEVEMENTS The initial task of FWR is to map all remaining frontier forests, and particularly large blocks of intact forest in Russia. An FWR partner, Transparent World, has prepared a draft map at the scale of 1:1 million, which would be more than 8 meters wide if printed to scale, using recent medium resolution images from the Russian satellite Resurs and high resolution images from the American LandSat. This is the first map of Russian forest cover that has been made from such detailed images. FWR partners conducted field verification of the map during 2000. The map will be published at the end of 2001, following revision and review by experts and different stakeholders.

OCR for page 33
The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop Transparent World has also supplied the Regional Data Centers with images and interpretation software and conducted training courses for their staffs. The Regional Data Centers, in turn, have trained and organized local groups to conduct field verification (ground truthing) of the map. FWR plans to continue to build technical capacity among Russian NGOs as it expands and refines its mapping activities.