About the Fund News  

IUCN expert mission to the Lena Pillars NP in the Republic of Sakha

On August 28 - September 05 IUCN experts visited Moscow, Yakutsk and the Lena Pillars Natural Park (Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)) in order to evaluate the Lena Pillars natural site nominated for inscription on to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

During this field mission David Sheppard, an IUCN expert and the Head of IUCN's Programme on Protected Areas, made a few hiking tours and boat trips and a helicopter over flight for better viewing of the Park's area. He examined natural and cultural values of the site and the state of conservation of natural complexes of the nominated property and its buffer zone. Mr. Sheppard also held working meetings with the Park's staff and representatives of scientific organizations and Ministries and Agencies of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), including meetings with the President of Yakutia V. Shtyrov and the first President of the Sakha Republic, currently a representative of the President of the Sakha Republic in the Federation Council, M. Nikolaev. A closing meeting was held on September 05, 2008, in Moscow, between D. Sheppard and the Heads of concerned departments of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. At the meeting the federal support for the nomination was affirmed and guarantees of the long-term conservation of the site were provided.

The mission will result in a report, on the base of which IUCN will further develop its recommendations to the 33 Session of the World Heritage Committee (June 2009, Seville, Spain). At the Session a final decision will be made concerning the Lena Pillars potential World Heritage site.

The Lena Pillars nomination was prepared in 2004-2008 and is the result of successful collaboration between organizations from Moscow and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia): the Institute of Biological Problems of Cryolitozone of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS), the Sakha (Yakutsk) State University, Institute of Diamonds and Noble Metal Geology of SB RAS, Lena Pillars Nature Park, RAS Institute of Geography, Russian Research Institute for Cultural and Natural Heritage and Natural Heritage Protection Fund.