"Development of Specially Protected Natural Areas" is one of the projects in the "Environment" area, implemented within the framework of the Northern Forum along with such areas as "Sustainable Development" and "Society and Culture". The first seminar on the development of PAs was held in 2012 as part of the chairmanship of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in the Northern Forum. The second seminar "Mechanisms for ensuring the PA regime: The experience of the regions of the Russian Federation and the regions participating in the Northern Forum" was held in 2015 in St. Petersburg.
Representatives of more than 10 regions of the Russian Federation, 8 foreign countries, as well as a number of international organizations that are members of the above-mentioned Northern Forum working group took part in the seminar.
Since a significant part of the northern regions of the world is occupied by PAs, the implementation of this project is important, both for employees of nature protection areas and for executive authorities in the field of nature protection and ecology. Familiarization with the experience of other regions in the sphere of PAs, as well as the establishment of business contacts, helps strengthen cooperation in an important area of Northern and Arctic relations.
The activities of the working group are aimed at improving the environmental performance of the PA system in the interests of sustainable development of the northern regions, improving the management system for preserving the natural environment, and ensuring environmental stability.
- a) Organization of systematic exchange of information on regional policies in the field of environmental protection and development of PAs
- b) Establishment of cooperation with working groups and permanent participants of the Arctic Council (CAFF organizations, indigenous peoples of the North and observers), commissions of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, organizations of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the participating countries of the working group
- c) Use of ecological education in the environmental work in order to promote spiritual and moral, ecological traditions of the peoples of the North
- d) Joint work on upgrading the skills of PA specialists
- e) Development of standards for the number of state inspectors in the field of environmental protection in the Russian Federation, as well as standards for material and technical support for state inspectors in the field of environmental protection, exercising their powers in the PAs of regional importance, and providing cordon farms
- f) Development of measures of state support and protection of the activities of non-staff public environmental inspectors, including financial support of activities (equipment, remuneration for activities), physical protection and insurance
- g) Creation of a geoinformation system in order to create a platform for solving state and municipal governance issues in the PAs
The members of the working group are actively cooperating in the joint resolution of issues related to organizing the functioning of PAs and ensuring efficiency.
Results Achieved in 2017:
Consultations were held with the staff of the Committee on Natural Resources of the Leningrad Oblast, the Directorate of the PAs of St. Petersburg on the organization of a scientific and practical conference in Yakutsk, with the staff of the PA of the Krasnoyarsk Krai, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug on the provision of the PA regime, discussion of the Primorsky Krai experience of creating anti-poaching brigades. Working contacts are maintained with all members of the working group.
Within the framework of interaction with the members of the working group - the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug the following activities were carried out:
The head of UBR Popov A.L. visited Salekhard, in order to get familiarized with the life of musk ox. During the trip, meetings were held with the staff of the nature protection institutions of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (Department of Natural Resource Regulation, Forest Relations and Oil and Gas Complex of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, State Institution "Service for the Protection of Biological Resources of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug", "Polar-Uralsky", PA Administration). Certain agreements were reached on the issue of the transfer of musk oxen.
Within the framework of the interaction of the members of the working group, a scientific and practical conference with international participation "Specially Protected Natural Territories: Current State and Future" was held in Yakutsk.
The conference was included in the Main Plan for holding the Year of PAs in the Russian Federation in 2017, approved by the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 2720-r dated December 26, 2015 and is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of nature protection in Russia.
In mid-2017, the chairman of the working group Yakov Sivtsev took part in the NF Regional Coordinators Committee meeting in Khanty-Mansiysk. In the course of which the regional coordinators and experts had a roundtable discussion of the NF project activities, where Yakov Sivtsev delivered a project progress report on the development of specially protected natural areas.
Results Achieved in 2018:
Yakov Sivtsev, WG Chair – Director, Directorate of Biological Resources and Specially Protected Areas under Ministry of Nature Protection of Sakha Republic (Yakutia), attended the XIII General Assembly of the Northern Forum held in Krasnoyarsk from 11th to 12th of April 2018.
XIII General Assembly of the Northern Forum resulted in binding an agreement between Krasnoyarsk Krai and Sakha Republic (Yakutia) on environmental cooperation. The document was signed by Acting Minister of Environment and Rational Environmental Management of Krasnoyarsk Krai Vladimir Chasovitin and Yakutian Minister of Nature Protection Sakhamin Afanasiev.
The signed agreement calls for improved protection measures aimed at preserving wild reindeer stock within Northern regions of Krasnoyarsk Krai and Yakutia – the main habitat of this animal. The parties agreed to carry out simultaneous raids in order to identify and prevent violations of environmental legislation on hunting and preserving wild reindeer.
Furthermore, the parties will share information based on the results of monitoring hoofed mammals stock status, and will cooperate in determining limits and quotas for harvesting Taimyr wild reindeer in upcoming hunting season.
We continue joint work with WG members on the Development of Specially Protected Areas project that throughout its existence contributed to establishment of working relations and cooperation on a long-term basis among various Northern regions of country and to successful improvement of functioning and governing regional SPAs systems. As proved by results of previous years, this project is highly efficient and have a huge potential for further development.
Future WG objectives include forming a set of information and proposals for developing local projects, carrying out teleconferences, consultations among WG members to further discuss issues related to project implementation.
As a part of the Sakha Key Ornithological Territories Inventory Control, terrestrial monitoring was conducted in tundra between lower rivers of Indigirka and Kolyma, as well as on the left bank of Berelyakh river and Middle Aldan. The study covered 2158 km. Local concentration of rare and valuable species were found, including Siberian crane, Sandhill crane, greater white-fronted goose, taiga bean goose, spectacled eider and Steller's eider. The comparison of long-standing records show the stock stability and increase of these species. As part of the habitat protection system adjustment, it was recommended to review the forms of conservation of newly found nesting bird colony in the lower river of Shandrin. Thirty-five industrial projects that are being implemented in the natural habitat of cranes and other rare animal species were ornithologically examined. The biggest potential danger for crane habitat in Indigirka might be a gold mining project in Ercha River situated at a distance of 188 km to Southwest from Chokurdakh village. The harmful chemicals (cyanide, alkali) used for open-pit gold mining can enter Indigirka River and affect the food resources and stock wellbeing. In order to prevent the negative implications, there is a need for regular water analysis at the nest sites of cranes.
Work plan for 2019:
Maintaining working relations with WG members, forming a set of information and proposals for developing local projects, carrying out teleconferences, consultations among WG members to further discuss issues related to project implementation.