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2nd stage of forest restoration project begins in Altai Republic

September 18, 2012, 10:19 UTC+3

WWF several years ago has already helped to revive the unique pine forests of the Altai Territory that were destroyed by fires in 1997-1999

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GORNO-ALTAISK, September 18 (Itar-Tass) — The second phase of the reforestation project, implemented jointly by the Russian branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Yves Rocher, with support of the region’s Forestry Ministry, was launched in the Altai Republic on Tuesday. Young cedars will be planted on the high mountain Seminsky pass at the site of burnt forest. Bruno Leproux, Director General of Yves Rocher Vostok, takes part in the work, the Altai-Sayan branch of WWF told Itar-Tass.

“Helping the local forest service to restore forests, we are making a significant contribution to the preservation of one of the richest biodiversity sites of our country in its original form,” said Alexander Bryukhanov, forest program coordinator of the Altai-Sayan branch of WWF Russia. More than 400 thousand new plants, including more than 248 thousand seedlings of cedar - the main tree of Altai taiga, will be planted this autumn in the Altai Mountains. The planting will be made at the sites of fires and felling areas.

This spring, the republic’s Forestry Ministry with the support of WWF Russia within the framework of Yves Rocher’s campaign Plant for the Planet Together have already planted more than one million seedlings of spruce, pine and larch in five districts of the region. The total area of ··new forests in the region has increased by 310 hectares. Inspections conducted this summer have shown that almost 100 percent of the trees have taken root.

WWF several years ago has already helped to revive the unique pine forests of the Altai Territory that were destroyed by fires in 1997-1999. Over 10 years of implementing the Plant your Forest! program with money provided by private individuals and businesses, as well as WWF supporters, more than 1,000 hectares of unique pine forests have been restored. And in 2010, a joint project of WWF and Yves Rocher to restore forests in Russia was launched.

“Yves Rocher has undertaken to plant 50 million trees worldwide by 2013,” Bruno Leproux said. “We plant forests in Africa, India, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and other countries. Russia is the second country in terms of plantings after India, and by the end of 2013 we, along with WWF Russia plan to plant 3 million trees in the Altai Republic and Arkhangelsk Region.”

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