HCVF Types

Any forest somehow possesses environmental value. Even small forest tracts contribute to maintaining climate and preserving soil covering and serve as a habitat for numerous living organism species as well as yield benefit and bring joy to people who use them to hunt, to pick up mushrooms and berries or just to rest. In the course of economical activity planning it is required to take into account all these forest functions, so that to keep the balance between economic interests and necessity of preserving all the rest various forest functions.  

In order to represent in HCVF all the variety of forest values and functions, they are divided into several types. Standards of FSC voluntary forest certification involve the following basic HCVF types:

a) forest areas playing a special global, regional or national role:

- because of large biological diversity (e.g. unique endemism, endangered species, a lot of refugia, etc.) (HCVF 1);

- as they are large forest landscapes (located inside the economical unit of forest management, or containing it), within them viable populations of species majority (or even of all of them) living in this area can exist in a natural condition (HCVF 2);

b) forest areas that contain rare, threatened or endangered ecosystems (HCVF 3);

c) forest areas that provide habitat forming and resource protection (e. g. watershed protection, erosion control, etc.) (HCVF 4)

d) forest areas that are necessary to meet basic needs of local communities (e.g. subsistence, health) (HCVF 5) and/or playing the key role in preserving traditional cultural identity of local communities (HCVF 6).

Value of certain HCVF can be different. For example, for HCVF 1 and HCVF 2 there are three kinds of values: global, national or regional. Other types still don’t have such gradation; though in our opinion, other HCVF types (at least HCVF 3 and 4) can be of different value.

Apart from virgin forest areas the examples of HCVF in Russia are:

  • lots of special protected natural areas (SPNA) – conservancy areas, reserved forests, national parks including those being under project if they belong to long-range development plans of SPNA system confirmed by government (HCVF 1)
  • forest areas with relic and endemic plants – like forests in the Arkhangelsk Region where there are at least 10% of cedar (HCVF 1)
  • virgin forest areas in Republic of Komi (HCVF 2)
  • areas in broad-leaved forests where Manchurian fir grows being rare ecosystems in Far East of Russia (HCVF 3)
  • impoundment water conservation zones (HCVF 4)
  • forest areas playing the key role in providing subsistence to local communities and being places of traditional folk craft or recreation for local people (HCVF 5 and 6).