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International training workshop on management planning for managers of the World Natural Heritage sites in Russia

 Curonian Spit  NP, 17-21 May 2004

Organizers: Natural Heritage Protection Fund,  Curonian Spit  National Park, Greenpeace Russia.

With the support of Federal Agency of Nature Conservation, Germany.

From 17 to 21 of May, 2004, in the Curonian Spit Natural Park (Kaliningradsky region) an international workshop was convened with more than 30 experts from governmental institutions, specially protected areas (SPAs), charity foundations and NGOs of Germany, Canada, Lithuania and Russia to discuss the problems of management planning for Russian SPAs included into the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

The workshop recognized the progress has been made since the first workshop for the managers of Russian SPAs in summer of 2003 on the Island of Vilm, Germany.

At the workshop the following lectures have been delivered by the experts from IUCN, Parks Canada Agency, Natural Heritage Protection Fund, Biodiversity Conservation Center, and Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences:

  • Implementation of the World Heritage Convention. Current situation in Russia;
  • Management Plans for Protected Areas: concepts and proposals;
  • Management planning in a World Heritage Site. Jasper National Park as a part of the Canadian Rocky Moutains World Heritage Site;
  • Basic models for planning: static expert model, dynamic participative model, etc.;
  • Canadian experience: a legal/ administrative framework, public and organizational engagement, accountability and linkage with budgeting;
  • Russian experience of management planning. Current situation and prospects;
  • Management plan for the "Volcanoes of Kamchatka" World Heritage Site;
  • Management plan for the Baikal nature area. Landscape zoning as a constituent of a management plan;
  • Details of the process, structure and contents of a MP;
  • Management planning: monitoring and audit. Annual Plan Reviews; 5 Year Major Reviews; State of Parks Reporting;
  • Biosphere Reserves - benefits for conservation and effective management of the Sites. Look from Latin America;
  • World Heritage - benefits for conservation and effective management of Sites. Look from Canada;
  • Procedure of submission of MP to official approval before its expert evaluation;
  • Methods of management planning. Linkage to the public and stakeholders involvement. Public awareness and participants approaches;
  • International financial institutions. Requests for assistance for work in connection with properties included on the World Heritage List.

The workshop participants recognized the need for the development and implementation of an effective management system in support of SPAs. They proposed the establishment of framework regulations for World Heritage Site properties. But as far as the most Russian World Natural Heritage properties have a cluster structure, for every cluster site they proposed the requirement for a detailed management plan for every SPA within a site (in accordance with guidelines, prepared for the property).

The workshop recommended:

  1. To apply to the federal and regional legislative bodies for the following issues:
    • To supplement legislation (the law on specially protected areas) with an article on 5-10 year management plans for SPAs. Mark the components of management plan are to be officially approved.
      To put in the law on specially protected areas the following item: "To optimize the regional SPA systems: give the priority to establishment of regional and local natural and recreational parks as buffer zones of existing reserves and national parks as well as connecting links uniting SPAs into one system and contributing to development of recreational services and educational work".
    • To bring the federal legislation to conformity with regional legislative acts on management planning. (in the issues related to ownership of lands (transferring the lands from jurisdiction of Ministry of Natural Resources to the SPAs; powers and rights of federal and regional SPAs' inspectors; the right of national parks to fix recreational/admission fees);
    • To define the legal status of World Heritage sites. To settle the problem of management for areas without any protected status belonging to the World Natural Heritage sites.
      To put in the federal environmental regulations the term of "ecological corridor" (connecting either SPAs or separated population), and the term of "ecological islands" (clusters, distanced from each other but available for protected species to migrate from one to another). To establish regulations for their conservation.
  2. To recommend to the subjects of the Federation owning more than one World Natural Heritage property to establish special World Natural Heritage management departments.
  3. To spread among the participating SPAs the format of management plan for the Baikal natural sitedeveloped by request of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. On the basis of the participants' remarks (should be collected by the first of July, 2004, the latest) the common format of a management plan for World Natural Heritage SPAs is to be developed by the 1 st of September, 2004.
  4. To approve the unified format of a management plan for World Natural Heritage SPAs at the extra meeting of the working group (Moscow, October-November, 2004).
  5. On development of the common format of a management plan for World Natural Heritage SPAs:
    • To use land use zoning as a universal management instrument;
    • For cluster properties: to select the most significant common elements unifying the clusters into one property;
    • For trans boundary and frontier World Natural Heritage properties: to establish regulations between SPAs and frontier services;
    • To develop mechanisms for monitoring and public reporting on implementation of the management plan;
    • Identification of linkages between plan approval and commitments for funding of management plan priorities;
    • To take into account experience of Canada and Latin America, especially acceptable environmental and social changes methods of recreational pressure monitoring.
  6. To organize the next seminar for managers of World Natural Heritage SPAs in summer 2005 in the Lake Baikal World Heritage site(Pribaykalsky National Park) on the subject of alternative forms of nature management and sustainable development of World Natural Heritage sites. To discuss the issue of financial support of the seminar at a meeting of Russian-German working group.
  7. To raise the level of the next seminar inviting regional authorities and attracting attention of federal and regional mass media.
  8. To initiate the enlarged meeting of National World Heritage Committee with the subjects of RF - holders of the Russian World Natural Heritage sites. To raise a question of financing of the Committee and Russian World Natural Heritage sitesby the subjects of the Federation.
  9. To intensify fundraising for the World Natural Heritage sites in particular by way of receiving grants from national and above-national World Heritage Foundations, WWF, etc for some certain short-range projects.
  10. To increase the efficiency of Russian World Natural Heritage sites: organize work meetings and seminars; realize exchange programs for Russian and foreign managers, authorities, UNESCO and IUCN experts.