Russian Environmentalist Seeks Help

Russian scientist from Khabarovsk founded new science
The Union of Far East Ecological Press-clubs held an interregional round-table discussion called “Tree of Life.” in Khabarovsk. Famous biologist Professor Anatoly Izmodenov took part in the round-table discussion. We would like to tell our readers about his very interesting ideas.

The mountainous landscape of Sihote Alin is a unique natural formation, which has no equal on the planet. A subtropical was found there before a glacier moved down from the north. A global drop in temperature destroyed the tropical plants, and new ones appeared in their place; they were cold-resistant (fir and larch trees). Even now, we can find ancient forests in Sihote Alin. Cedar, Amur velvet, Manjuria nut tree, Eleutherococcus, and aralia have been growing in Sihote Alin for millions of years. These plants were not destroyed by the glacier, but people destroy them, and if the plants disappear, it will be impossible to replace them.

How can we save the cedar-deciduous forests of Sihote Alin and at the same time use these natural resources? Anatoly Izmodenov suggests a good solution: he says that we shouldn’t deforest Sihote Alin for the sake of a quick bucks, but we should gather and process the products of the forest: nuts, mushrooms, berries, and herbs. According to the professor’s estimates, there are 1710 varieties of plants in the Sihote Alin taiga; all of them can be cultivated and grown in gardens.

Anatoly Izmodenov took up the problem of nature management in the 1950s. He founded a new science of natural food resources, which he himself calls “siledia”. The Khabarovsk scientist developed the world’s first law on forest products. But half a century had to pass before siledia was officially recognized; a new discipline, “forest food resources,” was added to the curriculum of higher institutions training specialists in forest management.

Siledia isn’t an academic science. Once, Professor Izmodenov conducted a rather unusual experiment: together with two tourists and a guide, he traveled to taiga. The travellers made the long trip, but they took no products or even salt for the long hike. They ate what they could find in taiga, and they were never hungry.

Anatoly Izmodenov wrote a series of three books under the title “Siledia.” The first book about wood products has already been published. However, the remaining two books on the use of herbs and non-wood products haven’t been published due to lack of financing. This scientist is looking for sponsors to help him publish his books

Yury Shmakov

Molodoy Dalnevostochnik newspaper

Picture by Yury Sizov

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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