About the Fund

Seminar "The Virgin Komi Forests as a model World Heritage site"

Russia, Vuktyl, 18-19 August 2008

Organized by: Natural Heritage Protection Fund, the national park "Ugyd Va".

Supported by the Netherlands Matra/KNIP programme, LLC "Gazprom Transgaz Ukhta", LLC "Gazprom processing" subsidiary of the Vuktyl gas-field directory.

The meeting was attended by 25 participants: representatives of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage of the Russian Federation and its Directorate in the Komi Republic, representatives of the Ministry of Natural resources and environmental protection of the Komi Republic, representatives of the Komi Republic Agency for physical training, sport and tourism, representatives of the municipal region "Vuktyl", the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the national park "Ugyd Va", the Pechoro-Ilychsky reserve, the Natural Heritage Protection Fund, the society "Save the Pechora committee", LLC "Gazprom Transgaz Ukhta".

The seminar had two major issues on the agenda:

  • Working out the management plans for the natural park "Ugyd Va"and the Pechoro-Ilychsky reserve.
  • Using the World Heritage site status for effective natural protection and boosting local social-economic development.

As a result the following suggestions have been put forward:

I. Working out the management plans for the natural park "Ugyd Va" and the Pechoro-Ilychsky reserve

The participants of the meeting set out the following priorities for the activities and events of the national park "Ugyd Va" in 2009-2013:

Preserving the natural heritage of the national park and securing the protection regime

  • A stronger control over the special protection regime in the park and its conservation zone;
  • To provide transport and (radio) communication facilities for the task group as the major agent in the fight against poaching and other violations of the special protection regime;
  • To involve trained local dwellers to set up three additional road blocks;
  • To organise cross-raids among the park subsidiaries;
  • To organise training seminars for the junior and middle staff of the state inspection service in collaboration with the Directorate of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage in the Komi Republic and the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance;
  • To raise the efficiency of the annual technical training for the inspecting staff with a bigger focus on the legal issues of the controlling activities, paper work and operational work tactics;
  • To ensure effective use of the potential of the R&D institutions to assess the state of the protected natural complexes and properties of the park and to work out measures to protect the ecosystems.

Research & Development

  • To provide facilities for scientific research on the territory of the park;
  • To participate in the programmes of the R&D work in the academic an industry institutions;
  • To publish the returns of the scientific research conducted in the national park both in the internal publications and scientific periodicals;
  • To run the statistics of the tourism activities of the national park and assess the cumulative effect of the tourist flow in the park "Ugyd Va";
  • To take an inventory and monitor the flora and fauna, the rare and endangered species (to compile an atlas of the flora and fauna, work out recommendations on their protection and preservation);
  • To take an inventory of the affected territories, carry out the projects on revegetation and restoration;
  • To research and create a programme to protect the historical-cultural sites;
  • To take an inventory of the existent tourist routes, to monitor the tourist flows;
  • To create a data base on the tourism development on the territory of the national park "Ugyd Va";
  • To identify the bearing capacity of the natural complexes;
  • To draft suggestions on amending the functional zoning of the national park;
  • To publish the collection of the scientific works on the park.

Environmental education

  • To compile and update the library, the museum and the visit-centre expositions in Vuktyl under the national park administrative supervision, involving modern technologies (info-billboards, diagrammes of the park's nature, office equipment);
  • Information search, bibliography;
  • To expand the exposition and refurbish the visit-centre and the museum in Podcherie;
  • To set up communities of folk craft (venues and equipment);
  • To increase the number and quality of the children expeditions (new programmes, extra financing for the tourist equipment);
  • Regular update of the park's web-site;
  • To increase the media contacts;
  • To participate in the republican programmes on the preparation of the print production, films, booklets etc. (in cooperation with the Ministry of natural resources of the Komi Republic and the Ministry of nationalities of the Komi republic;
  • To create and update the museum expositions in the regional natural history museums and national cultural history museums of Pechora, Inta, Podcherie (the Vuktyl region), the Priuralskoe village (the Pechorsky region);
  • To publish the monthly 1-page supplement "The land of the virgin forests" for the newspaper "Ekologicheskij vestnik Predpechorya" ("The ecological messenger of the Predpechorye");
  • To set up training courses in bio-diversity for the deputies of the local councils, the representatives of the local administrations etc;
  • To produce and distribute the info-advertorial publications with the "Vergin Komi forest" symbols;
  • To set up information boards in big villages and towns to promote the natural heritage;
  • To publish easily accessible literature for different age groups and a series of popular-scientific colourful publications "Virgin Komi Forests" ("The Predpechorie birds", "The Priuralie legends" etc);
  • To work out the means of general education (posters, educational and methodological manuals - following a competition among the teachers);
  • To encourage regional holidays related to the specially protected natural sites and the biodiversity values.

Sight-seeing and tourism

  • To work out tourist routes and assessing the recreational burden for the development of tourism;
  • To make available the information on the tourist routes through the Internet and other mass media;
  • To set the conditions for the development of the tourist infrastructure in the park and to involve tourist firms and other stakeholders into its development;
  • To work out a simplified scheme for the development of the youth tourism on the territory of the park from the neighbouring regions: Itinsky, Pechorsky and Vuktylsky;
  • To set agreements with the tourist agents to develop tourist routes;
  • To equip, certify and describe the tourist routes on the territory of the park along the Pechora river (Vuktyl-Podcherie-Kyrta-Ust-Shugor);
  • To improve the roads and paths network as well as set up the bridges across the rivers and streams;
  • To set up, equip and maintain several campings in Podcherie, the Orlovka village, near the Lower gates of the Shugor river (involving the local population as the staff). Maintaining the Ozernaya, Sana Vozh, Indysey, Zybkalyniel campings;
  • To hold training seminars on the organization of ecological and regional tourism;
  • To train guides from the local population;
  • To create a data base of potential tourist guides (from the local population);
  • To organise the souvenir production with the symbols of the national park involving the local population in Podcherie, the Byzovaya village, Inte;
  • To produce information publications (maps, guides);
  • To organise transportation services (to get the transport means with good cross-country ability to ensure the accessability of the territory of the park for leisure and tourism, to build boxes for the transport means);
  • To rent the transport means from the locals dwellers;
  • To settle the scheme of delivering the tourist groups to the territory of the parks (the drive along the gas pipeline, to equip the helipads in the park).

International Cooperation

  • To participate in the meetings of the International contact Forum on the preservation of the habitats in the Barentsev sea;
  • To organise and hold the international seminar in the Pechora town devoted to the 15-th anniversary of the park;
  • To participate in the organisation of the conference "The UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Barentsev region: the present state, challenges and solutions";
  • To participate in the project "The management and tourism development in the National park "Ugyd Va" - the biggest protected territory in Europe inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list as Virgin Komi forestswith the financial support of the Council of the northern countries' ministers;
  • To participate in the project UNDP/ GEF "The protection of the Virgin Komi forests";
  • To set an agreement with the Norwegian Directorate of Nature on the cooperation with the twin national park in Norway;
  • To organise an international seminar on the occasion of the 15-th anniversary of the site Virgin Komi forests.

Integration into the social-economic structure of the region

  • To use the status of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the national park "Ugyd Va"to promote knowledge about the Komi republic and its riches;
  • To promote awareness about the national park "Ugyd Va"and its history as a World Heritage site;
  • To involve the park into the social-economic activities of the regions where the park is situated;
  • To investigate the questions related to the agreement between the Komi Republic government and the Park's administration on the development of sustainable tourism;
  • To involve the national park "Ugyd Va"into the tourism development programmes on the territory of the Komi Republic (in cooperation with the Komi Republic Agency of sport and tourism);
  • To involve the municipal administrations, the local population, the travel firms of the republic in the development of the ecological tourism on the territory of the park; to attract investors to develop the tourist infrastructure;
  • To involve the management of the national park to work out and carry out the regional and municipal plans in tourism development;
  • To regulate the legal business activities on the territory of the park (business activities on the territory of the park are not necessarily unwelcome; in some cases it is an effective means to offset the occasionally considerable expenses of the park);
  • To fulfill the social obligations to the population living on the territory of the park and in its immediate neighbourhood;
  • To promote the use of the leisure resource as an economic resource from which the local community can benefit;
  • To organise a network of public monitoring of the tourist flows in the park "Ugyd Va";
  • To ensure public control over the implementation of the ecologically hazardous projects on the areas bordering on the park and the reserve.

II. Using the World Heritage site status to effectively protect the nature and boost the local social-economic development

The participants of the meeting set out the following priority activities:

  • To introduce amendments to the legal status of the World Natural Heritage site status into the republican legislation;
  • To set up a coordinating council of the World Natural Heritage site;
  • To interact with the local business, administration, the local population in order to solve the problems of the site;
  • To work out the strategy of alternative fundraising for the site, to keep in touch with various institutions within the framework of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre programme "The partnership for conservation";
  • To work out a management plan for the World Heritage site;
  • To update the materials of the nomination according to the UNESCO new requirements;
  • To submit annual reports on the state of preservation of the World Heritage sites to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre; to organise the system of regular monitoring;
  • To organise educational programs (conferences training seminars, meetings, programmes of experience exchange with the overseas colleagues);
  • To develop alternative environmental management on the territory of the site: ecological tourism, traditional folk craft etc. To introduce cheap means of boosting employment and the income of the local population in the environment related activities;
  • To promote the first Russian World Natural Heritage site (to publish a brochure, a photoalbum and a film "Virgin Komi forests", to celebrate the jubilee, to create a web-site etc);
  • To equip the territory of the site with the boards with the UNESCO and the World Heritage centre, the information on the convention and the outstanding general value of the site;
  • To create an open geological museum on the Sana Vozh basis;
  • To launch the project "The twin-sites of the World Heritage";
  • To analyse the present and potential conflicts between the environmental and social-economic priorities. To work out the methods to resolve them;
  • To work out the methodology of assessing the ecological services provided by the site to the local population and the whole mankind;
  • To set out the norms of the anthropogenic affect on the natural complexes of the site;
  • To work out the methodology of digitalisation of the long-running monitoring records using the internet technologies;
  • To ensure the mapping side of the on-going work at the site, to provide the information on distance probe and the results of their automated decoding.