World Heritage

Russian Natural properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, Tentative List, and potential properties for inscription

Russia (the former Soviet Union) signed the World Heritage Convention in 1988 and is now represented on the World Heritage List by 15 cultural and 10 natural properties. In its number of natural properties inscribed on the List, Russia is on the fourth place among nations, following China, United States, and Australia. Thirty Russian Specially Protected Nature Areas have World Heritage status, among which 12 are Strict Nature Reserves (zapovedniks) and 5 are National Parks.

At present, the following sites in Russia have World Natural Heritage status:

Curonian Spit National Park was inscribed on the List as a cultural landscape.

Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources proposed that the following natural complexes be included on the Tentative List for the Russian Federation, which presents the properties that Russia may decide to nominate for inscription on the World Heritage List in the future:

The aforementioned sites were selected based on an analysis of their natural significance, which was carried out by scientific and public organizations and approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources. For all territories, executive organs from the corresponding subjects of the Russian Federation sent proposals to Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources about their inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Also in 1996 the mixed cultural and natural property Valaam archipelago has been inscribed on the Preliminary (Tentative) List of Russian Federation.

Work is underway to expand Russia's Tentative List of prospective and nominated natural complexes with the addition of sites such as the Volga Delta, Lena Delta, the Green Belt of Fennoscandia, the Kuril Islands, the Great Watershed of Valdai, Western Sayan, Beringia and the Solovki Islands.

Natural properties inscribed on the World Heritage List

Properties and their component parts Area Status
Virgin Komi Forests 3.28 million ha Inscribed on the World Heritage List (1995)
Criteria - N ii, iii
1. Pechoro-Ilychsky State Biosphere Reserve 721 322
2. Yugyd Va National Park 1 891 701
3. Buffer zone of the Reserve 666 000
Baikal Lake 8.8 million ha Inscribed on the World Heritage List (1996)
Criteria - N i, ii, iii, iv
1. Baikalsky State Biosphere Reserve 165 724
2. Barguzinsky State Biosphere Reserve 374 322
3. Baikalo-Lensky State Nature Reserve 660 000
4. Pribaikalsky National Park 418 000
5. Zabaikalsky National Park 246 000
6. Frolikhinsky Federal Nature Preserve 910 200
7. Kabansky Federal Nature Preserve 18 000
8. Tunkinsky National Park (partially)  
Volcanoes of Kamchatka 3.996 million ha Inscribed on the World Heritage List (1996)
Criteria - N i, ii, iii, iv
1. Kronotsky State Biosphere Reserve 1 147 619.37
2. Bystrinsky Nature Park 1 368 592
3. Nalychevsky Nature Park 286 025
4. Southern Kamchatsky Nature Park 500 511
5. Southern Kamchatsky Federal Nature Preserve 322 000
6. Kluchevskoy Nature Park 371 022
Golden Mountains of Altai 1.51 million ha Inscribed on the World Heritage List (1998)
Criteria - N iv
1. Altaisky State Biosphere Reserve 881 238
2. Katunsky State Biosphere Reserve 150 079
3. Belukha Mount Nature Park 131 337
4. Ukok Nature Park 252 904
5. Teletskoye Lake Protected Area 93 753
Western Caucasus 0.3 million ha Inscribed on the World Heritage List (1999)
Criteria - N ii, iv
1. Caucasian State Biosphere Reserve and its buffer zone 288 200
2. Bolshoi Tkhach Nature Park 3 700
3. Upper reaches of Pshekha and Pshekhashkha rivers Natural monument 5 776
4. Upper reaches of Tsitsa river Natural monument 1 913
5. Buiniy Ridge Natural monument 1 480
Curonian Spit (in cooperation with Lithuania) 0.031 million ha Inscribed on the World Heritage List (2000)
Criteria - C v
1. Curonian Spit National Park (Russia) 6 600
2. Kursiu Nerija National Park (Lithuania) 24 600
Central Sikhote-Alin 0.395 million ha Inscribed on the World Heritage List (2001)
Criteria - N iv
1. Sikhote-Alinsky Sate Biosphere Reserve 390 184
2. Goralovy Federal Nature Preserve 4 749
Uvs Nuur Basin (in cooperation with Mongolia) 0.883 million ha Inscribed on the World Heritage List (2003)
Criteria - N ii, iv
1. Ubsunur Hollow State Biosphere Reserve (Russia) 73 529
2. Uvs Nuur Biosphere Reserve (Mongolia) 810 233,5
Wrangel Island 2.226 million ha Inscribed on the World Heritage List (2004)
Criteria - N ii, iv
Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve
Putorana Plateau 1.887 million ha Inscribed on the World Heritage List (2010)
Criteria - vii, ix
Putoransky State Nature Reserve
Lena Pillars 1.272 million ha Inscribed on the World Heritage List (2012)
Criteria - viii
Lena Pillars Nature Park in the Republic of Sakha


Natural properties inscribed on the Tentative List

Properties and their component parts Area Status
Valaam archipelago 0.026 million ha Included on the Tentative List of the Russian Federation (15.05.1996)
Valaam archipelago Nature Park
Magadansky Reserve 0.884 million ha Included on the Tentative List of the Russian Federation (07.02.2005)
Nomination file prepared
Magadansky State Nature Reserve
Commander Islands 3.649 million ha Included on the Tentative List of the Russian Federation (07.02.2005)
Nomination file prepared
Komandorsky State Nature Reserve
Daurian Steppes (in cooperation with Mongolia) 0.859 million ha Submitted to the World Heritage Centre on 31.01.2013
1. Daursky State Nature Biosphere Reserve
2. Federal Nature Preserve "The Valley of Dzeren"
3. Strictly Protected Area "Mongol Daguur"
Great Vasyugan Mire 0.4 million ha Included on the Tentative List of the Russian Federation (06.03.2007)
Vasyugansky State Complex Nature Preserve
Krasnoyarsk Pillars 0.047 million ha Included on the Tentative List of the Russian Federation (06.03.2007)
Stolby State Nature Reserve
Ilmensky Mountains 0.034 million ha
Included on the Tentative List of the Russian Federation (11.08.2008)
Nomination file prepared
Ilmensky State Nature Reserve of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Bikin River Valley 1.154 million ha
Included on the Tentative List of the Russian Federation (19.11.2010)
Nomination file prepared
Indigenous Peoples' traditional landuse area 407 764
Verkhnebikinsky State Landscape Nature Preserve 746 482
Bashkir Ural 0.045 million ha Included on the Tentative List of the Russian Federation (30.01.2012)


Potential Natural properties for inscription on Tentative List

Properties and their component parts Area Status
Volga Delta 0.068 million ha Recommended by IUCN for inscription on the List (Criteria: N iv)
Nomination file prepared
Astrakhansky State Biosphere Nature Reserve
Lena Delta 1.433 million ha Recommended by IUCN for inscription on the List (Criteria: N iv)
Nomination file prepared
Ust-Lensky State Nature Reserve
Kuril Islands 0.295 million ha Nomination file prepared
1. Kurilsky State Nature Reserve and its buffer zone 65 365 and 41 475
2. The Smaller Kurils Federal Nature Preserve 45 000
3. Urup Island Regional Reserve 143 000
Green Belt of Fennoscandia (in cooperation with Finland and Norway) 0.541 million ha Russian part of nomination file prepared
1. Laplandsky State Biosphere Reserve 278 436
2. Kostomukshsky State Nature Reserve 47 457
3. Pasvik State Nature Reserve 14 727
4. Paanaiarvi National Park 104 354
5. Kalevalsky National Park 95 886
Valdai - the Great Watershed 0.183 million ha Nomination file prepared
1. Valdaisky National Park 158 500
2. Tsentralno-Lesnoy State Biosphere Nature Reserve 24 447


Natural properties submitted but not inscribed

Properties and their component parts Area Status
Vodlozero National Park 0.58 million ha Nomination submitted but not inscribed (1998)
1. Vodlozersky National Park 404 700
2. Kozhozersky Regional Nature Preserve 178 600
Bashkirian Urals 0.2 million ha Nomination submitted but not inscribed (1998)
1. Shulgan-Tash State Biosphere Reserve 22 531
2. Bashkirsky State Nature Reserve 49 609
3. Bachkiria National Park (Strict Protected Area) 32 740
4. Altyn-Solok Regional Nature Preserve 93 580
Extension of "Western Caucasus" Site 0.085 million ha Nomination submitted but not inscribed (2004)
Teberdinsky State biosphere Reserve

Russia is indisputably rich in unique natural complexes, which are, very importantly, undisturbed by human activities. According to the approximate estimates of scientists, Russia has close to twenty territories that are worthy of natural World Heritage status. The most prospective sites were identified as part of a joint project on boreal forests, which was implemented by UNESCO and The World Conservation Union (IUCN).