Documents Research projects

Project FWP-RF-2008-017 “Enhancing biodiversity conservation through effective use of the World Natural Heritage status”

Narrative Report

The following work was executed by the Natural Heritage Protection Fund within the framework of the project «Enhancing biodiversity conservation through effective use of the World Natural Heritage status» during the period of August 2008 - October 2009:

I.​ A workshop "Virgin Komi forests as a model World Heritage site" was organized and hold in Vuktyl, 18-19 August 2008. The workshop was attended by the representatives of the Administration of the Republic of Komi, business persons, leaders of regional departments and agencies, scientific and public organizations, specialists of the Fund, the Institute of Geography of the RAS and the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia. The detailed information over the benefits provided by the WH status was disclosed during the workshop, about the prospective of the alternative environmental management development, primarily eco-tourism. Particular attention was paid to the interaction with the local population and the integration of WH sites into the socio-economic structure of the region.

A number of presentations were aimed at the training of the specialists of Pechoro-Ilichsky Reserve and Yugyd Va National Park over mid-range management plans preparation taking into account a high international status of the territory. Training was managed in conformity with Order of Rosprirodnadzor (Federal Service for Nature-use Supervision) № 491 of 03.12.2007. Particular emphasis during the workshop was placed on the fact that the WH status is not a restrictive mechanism, but a real alternative development not only for protected areas that make up "The Virgin Komi Forests" site, but for the region as a whole.

The training was organized as an interactive workshop permitting local area managers and invited specialists, so the existing benefits of the WH status were evaluated, opportunities for further improvement identified and wider stakeholder (public) involvement created. Workshop participants analyzed the current situation of the territory, learned how to implement the requirements of the Convention, including promotion, education and co-operation related to World Heritage, identify existing resources (sources of funding, social and human capital, etc.), and devised alternative scenarios how to capitalize on the WH status. Training also elaborated on the development of partnerships of local stakeholders, joint projects, traditional nature-use and sustainable tourism practices, etc.

A three-day field program was organized for the participants after the workshop that included a helicopter fly-off around the territory of the "The Virgin Komi Forests” site (8 hours), water sight-seeing tour on the river Podcherem, road route along the gas pipeline "Northern Lights" (“Siyanie Severa”) which passes through the territory of the National Park. Car and water excursions funded by the National Park Yugyd Va, helicopter fly-off – by the National Park’s partner LLC "Gazprom Transgaz Ukhta". During field trips workshop attendees became acquainted with the current state of the WH site integrity, the work of the various structural units of the National Park and Reserve (primarily, security services), the awareness among local people about the Convention and the WH site and obtained detailed information about experience over interaction between protected areas and industrial plants that are active in the designated areas of the National Park. Workshop attendees went through the photo survey and these materials used in the brochure "The Virgin Komi Forests - Russia's first World Natural Heritage site".

Reports which were made and agreements which were reached during the workshop showed in the summary(Annex 1).

II.​ Following the decisions taken during the workshop a mid-range management plan (for the period 2009-2013) for the Yugyd Va National Park have been developed toward the March 2009 assisted by the Fund’s specialists and approved by the Ministry of National Resources of Russia (Annex 2). In the main section of the management plan, Action Plan, 6 major areas of the park listed which is scheduled to implement specific actions, identified executors, deadlines and sources of funding. The plan provides for implementation of a number of activities, taking into account the special status of WH site. Proper implementation of the management plan will help to deal with the main objectives of the project for the enhancing biodiversity conservation through effective use of the World Natural Heritage status.

Management plan of the Pechoro-Ilichsky Reserve was not completed due to the lack of funding.

III.​ During the execution of the project together with the specialists from the Reserve and National Park were made a decision to launch an innovative for Russia project over producing a series of brochures on Russia's Natural Heritage sites included in the UNESCO WH List and WH Tentative List, as well as potential for inscription in the Lists. An ideology of a new series was developed, the whole content of brochures was defined and the principal place in them was to be taken by the archival nominations and corresponding documents of WH Center. An edition of 500 copies of the first brochure "The Virgin Komi Forests - Russia's first World Natural Heritage site" (Annex 3) was prepared and published in the course of the project. The brochure includes materials of the nomination "The Virgin Komi Forests” developed by Greenpeace Russia in 1994, the corresponding documents of the World Heritage Center, as well as excerpts from the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention which are the most important for the proper use of the WH status by the regional authorities. The final part of the brochure shows modern information about the area which prepared by the staff of specially protected natural areas that make up the object: Pechoro-Ilichsky State Nature Biosphere Reserve and Yugyd Va National Park. These help to build better public awareness of Virgin Komi Forests as a World Heritage site and to promote area's ecosystem values and opportunities for sustainable nature-based tourism.

IV.​ Also with the assistance of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Moscow the basic working document of the World Heritage Convention - "Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage” was translated into Russian and published an edition of 500 copies for the first time (Annex 4). This edition, long awaited by the specialists who work in Russia under the Convention, will certainly show a great positive role for the further implementation of the Convention literate.



President Alexey Butorin