November 29, 2021
Karelsky Okatysh, a subsidiary of Severstal, one of the
world’s leading steel and steel-related mining companies, signed an agreement
with the Federal State Budgetary Institution State Natural Reserve Kostomuksha
on the development of a Programme for Monitoring and Conservation of
Biodiversity in JSC Karelsky Okatysh’s region of operation.
It was previously reported that, in 2019, Karelsky Okatysh
signed a trilateral agreement to cooperate with the Federal State Budgetary
Institution State Natural Reserve Kostomuksha and the administration of the
Kostomuksha urban district on promoting the sustainable development of the
UNESCO Metsola Biosphere Reserve in the Kostomuksha urban district.
The project for monitoring and conserving biodiversity in
Karelsky Okatysh’s region of operation includes the following stages:
Stage I (01.05-30.06.2021) – Draft the
“Programme for monitoring and conserving biological diversity in Karelsky
Okatysh’s region of operation”
Stage II (01.07-20.11.2021) – Determine JSC
Karelsky Okatysh’s region of operation. Collect and analyse information
regarding possible risks and the potential impact of economic activities on
biodiversity and ecosystems, which would indicate how the operations might
impact the environment.
Stage III (01.01-30.06.2022) – Prepare the
section on “Characteristics of the state of biodiversity and ecosystems in
Karelsky Okatysh’s region of presence” according to data: inventory of flora
and fauna; defined monitoring stations (trial plots)
Stage VI (01.07-20.11.2022) – Collect and
analyse field data on biodiversity in Karelsky Okatysh’s region of
Stage V (01.01-30.06.2023) – Run the programme
of monitoring and conserving biodiversity in Karelsky Okatysh’s the region of
operation, report monitoring results to Karelsky Okatysh’s responsible
officials to assess compliance and make management decisions.
Stage VI (01.07-31.12.2023) – Develop proposals
for measures aimed at solving the problems of conserving biodiversity and
ecosystems, developed in accordance with the Principles. Prepare a report
for a popular science brochure on the topic of “Monitoring and conserving
biodiversity in Karelsky Okatysh’s region of operation”.
The territory of JSC Karelsky Okatysh is located in the
northwestern part of the Republic of Karelia and belongs to the Kostomuksha
urban district. The territory borders the Kalevala in the southeast and
the Muezersky districts in the north and east. In the west, the study area
borders Finland (35 km from the border). The centre of the Kostomuksha
urban district is the city of Kostomuksha. The founding of the city is
connected with the construction of a mining and processing plant in this
area. The city was built 10 km from the plant due to the wind
rose. The city’s sanitary protection zone, which separates it from the
production site, is 7.5 km.
Karelsky Okatysh is an object of the 1st category of
negative impact on the environment. It does not border any specially
protected natural areas (hereinafter – SPNA) such as nature reserves, national
parks or reserves. It is situated about 18km from the nearest protected
areas. However, these territories are in the plant’s zone of possible
Reconnaissance field research was carried out in 2021:
· A geoecological
survey of the territory in Karelsky Okatysh’s region of operation was carried
· a network of
stations for monitoring biodiversity was organised;
characteristics of the most widespread natural-territorial complexes were
species of vascular plants, reflecting changes in biocenoses under the
influence of anthropogenic load, were observed.
52 soil samples and 38 samples of indicator plant species
were taken. 11 camera traps were installed to assess the diversity of
In addition to this, Severstal continues a large-scale
landscaping project called “Green Shield” at Cherepovets Steel Mill. The
Company is implementing this in partnership with the Cherepovets State
Scientists have already conducted a study of green spaces
along the perimeter of the industrial site which borders the city limits, as
well as how best to encourage plant growth in areas which separate the main
production facilities of the business. The total area of research was about
100 hectares. Dendrologists assessed the number and condition of the plants and
determined their species composition.
Evgeny Vinogradov, CEO of the Severstal Russian Steel
division and resource assets, commented:
“Today we have a detailed understanding of the green spaces
surrounding our industrial site and have received recommendations on how to
best to create more green spaces. The recommendations are aimed at creating an
ecosystem that is resistant to external negative influences, including changes
in weather and climate. Planting new trees in these areas will help to
trap dust emissions from the plant and reduce the carbon footprint.”
Within the framework of the “Green Shield” project, the
scientists at the ChGU and the ecologists at the Cherepovets Metallurgical
Plant selected species of large trees and planned the planting scheme. About 20
million rubles will be allocated to the Green Shield project this year. In
total, about 3500 large trees and shrubs will be planted, including 1600 trees.
On average, 400 plants will be planted per 1 hectare of industrial area.
According to preliminary estimates, Green Shield will allow about 8000 tons of
dust to be deposited annually and absorb about 2,380 tons of carbon.