Anton and Trond’s trip was focused on WCS’s “Tiger Friendly” program. The coolest thing about Tiger Friendly is that it is an on-the-ground project working to demonstrate that conservation and sustainable economic development are compatible, and that market incentives can stimulate nature protection – something environmentalists love to talk about, but that is very hard to actually do in practice. Tiger Friendly engages owners of hunting leases – privately-owned plots of land on which may take place not only hunting, but also, for example, tourism, collection of herbs from the forest, and so on. It’s not rare that the territory of these hunting leases is also habitat for tigers.
How does the Tiger Friendly program work? Right now it focuses on sustainable harvest of herbs like Siberian ginseng and rosehips on the territory of these hunting leases. There is a buyer in the
The purpose of the
“Forest Products” also makes a lot of different teas, syrups, honeys and jams from non-timber forest products harvested in the taiga. Khrustov gave us a bunch as a gift to take home to
While we were in
Anyway, enough about the environment, back to the trip. We went to
I’ve wanted to go to
But this time around most of the snow melted on contact with the ground, so perhaps spring really is just around the corner.