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Natural Heritage Protection Fund summarized its work over a period of 10 years

Natural Heritage Protection Fund, established on the 4 of April 2000 in compliance with the article 17 of the UNESCO Convention concerning the protection of the World Heritage, celebrated its first vast anniversary and summarized its work over a period of 10 years.

Fund was established for the all-round support of the Russian properties inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as well as to obtain this status for unique natural sites both in Russia and CIS. In recent years much attention was directed to Russian Natural Heritage popularization and promotion, creation of a national sense of pride for Russian natural wealth and environmental responsibility among modern Russian society.

The primary Fund's achievements against 4 main lines of activity are:

Preparation of nomination files for natural sites toward its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List
14 Russian nominations and 3 nominations related to the Central Asia republics were assisted by the Fund, took the lead and coordinated the work in some instances. Four nominations were inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List, two are being under consideration of the Committee and three are going through departmental accommodation. Three nominations are transnational ("Curonian Spit", "Uvs Nuur Basin", "Western Tien Shan"). Also 13 natural properties were inscribed to the Russian and Central Asia republics Tentative Lists with the participation of the Fund.

Fundraising for the support and Russian properties conservation
In the period of 2005-2009 more than $240 000 were attracted by the Fund and forwarded to the supporting of the protected areas already inscribed and claimed for inscription on the World Heritage List. The main sponsors are the United Nations Development Programme, Global Environment Facility, European Commission, the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management, Royal Netherlands Embassy in Moscow, European Nature Heritage Fund "Euronatur", German World Heritage Foundation. The facility was forwarded directly to the SPAs and to the regional scientific research and public organizations in support of the "Virgin Komi Forests", "Lake Baikal", "Volcanoes of Kamchatka", claimed to be on the List "The Volga Delta", biosphere reserve under formation "Kugu Kakshan".

Publishing projects, popularization of the Convention and World Heritage properties which already are on the List
A set of World Heritage Centre publications were translated into Russian and published by the Fund, informational packets and data about Russian World Heritage also were published by the Fund, a publishing project devoted to the Russian properties which are on the World Heritage List and the Tentative List was started. A Russian release of the full version of the "Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the Convention" was edited for the first time.

Training programs and research-practical designs
Five international training workshops and conferences focused on the World Natural Heritage properties managers training and discussing issues for the implementation of the Convention by the Russian Federation were organized and hold. Fund staff took part in more than 40 workshops and conferences related to the World Heritage theme.

Fund consulted and took part in the developing of the management plans for the SPAs which a part of the "Uvs Nuur Basin", "Volcanoes of Kamchatka", "Virgin Komi Forests" properties and "The Putorana Plateau" and "The Volga Delta" which are claimed to be in the List. Jointly with the Katunsky and Altaisky Reserves the Fund took part in the development of an innovatory document according to the implementation of the Convention in Russian practice - "Development strategy and Management of the World Natural Heritage Property Golden Mountains of Altai".

A set of analytical and scientific-methods projects was executed by the Fund's staff within the implementation of the Convention in Russia.

The Fund's near-term plans are: finalization of "The Ilmensky Mountains" nomination execution; assistance in developing a transnational nomination "Western Tien Shan"; preparation of the nomination "Bikin River Valley", "Daurian Steppes", "Great Vasyugan Mire"; publish of a Russian version Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the Convention; publish of a booklets "Volcanoes of Kamchatka", "Lena Pillars", "Lake Baikal"; a startup phase of the project consisting publishing of a periodical bulletin World Heritage in Russia; develop a set of billboards within the territory of the Russian properties keeping the information about the Convention and outstanding universal value of the property; renew a series of the annual training workshops for the World Natural Heritage properties managers; attract Russian business area funds for the all-round support of the Russian World Natural Heritage properties.