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Russia’s got a new World Heritage site — Landscapes of Dauria — in Year of Ecology

Today, during the evening session of the World Heritage Committee, the transboundary Russian-Mongolian property “Landscapes of Dauria” has been included in the World Heritage List at the Committee’s 41st session taking place in Krakow. The “Landscapes of Dauria” have become the Russian Federation’s eleventh natural site that has received the high status of UNESCO World Heritage.

Inscription of the “Landscapes of Dauria” on the World Heritage List has to become one of the most brilliant nature-protective events in the Year of Ecology. This event deserves being widely publicized in mass media and attracting attention of Russian citizens.

“Landscapes of Dauria” has been inscribed on the World Heritage List according to natural criteria (ix) and (x): 

"Shared by Mongolia and the Russian Federation, the “Landscapes of Dauria” is a transboundary serial World Heritage property of four component parts. It is an outstanding example of the Daurian steppe ecosystem, which covers over 1 million square kilometers, extending from Eastern Mongolia to Russian Siberia and into North-Eastern China.  The serial property covers a total of 912,624 ha and comprises several protected areas in the northern part of the Daurian steppe ecoregion which occupy large areas of the transition from taiga to desert, including various steppe ecosystems.  

The main natural value of the property resides in its intact steppe systems (including forest steppe), interspersed with wet meadows and floodplains, at the convergence of three floristic provinces belonging to three floristic regions. This exceptional ecological context results in a diverse combination of ecological complexes which derive from the cyclic climatic and hydrological variations over the year. The property provides key habitats for rare fauna species such as White-naped Crane, Great Bustard and millions migratory birds of other species, including vulnerable, endangered or threatened. The property is also an important area of the migration routes of the Mongolian Gazelle (Dzeren) and the major known place where this species breed in the Russian Federation in present time. The property also provides sanctuary to endangered Mongolian Marmots (Tarbagan), as well as to the near-threatened Pallas Cat".

The “Landscapes of Dauria” nomination had been prepared for more than five years (from 2011 to 2017) and has become an example of successful international interaction of scientific, non-governmental and State structures of Russia, Mongolia and Germany. The nomination was prepared by the Natural Heritage Protection Fund and Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences jointly with the Daursky Reserve, Mongolian protected area Mongol Daguur, Institutes of Biology and Geography of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, International Academy for Nature Conservation on the Isle of Vilm (Germany) and supported by the German Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), Greenpeace Russia, Amur Branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature and UNDP/GEF Steppe Project.