Wildlife and environment
Donskoi: Taimyr Nature Reserves may become an exclusive and cruise tourism destination
© Aleksey Voevodin

Donskoi: Taimyr Nature Reserves may become an exclusive and cruise tourism destination

The Taimyr Nature Reserves are virgin territories which may become an exclusive and cruise tourism destination, the Russian Natural Resources and Environment Ministry's press service reported Minister Sergei Donskoi as saying following a meeting in Norilsk.

"This is vast area where ecotourism can be developed in line with the legislature," the natural resources minister said. He added that to boost educational tourism in the Taimyr region of the Arctic, it is necessary to provide conditions based on the resources of the Taimyr Nature Reserves.

According to Viktor Matasov, director of the Taimyr Nature Reserves, well-developed infrastructure of the reserves may attract about 80,000 tourists a year. "Tourism may become one of the drivers of the region's development. For example, the Putorana Plateau, a UNESCO world natural heritage site with an area of 2.5 million hectares, hasn't been developed at all," he said.

The area of the Putorana Plateau includes 25,000 lakes, which are the largest in Siberia after Lake Baikal and Lake Teletskoye in the Altai Territory. Most of the lakes reach 180-420 meters in depth. This is Russia's second largest freshwater reservoir after Lake Baikal.

The Taimyr Nature Reserves, a joint directorate which is subordinate to the Russian Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, encompasses the Putoransky, Great Arctic and Taimyrsky reserves. The overall territory of the Taimyr Nature Reserves and the protected zones almost totals 12 million hectares. These are the Putorana Plateau, which has been recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site, Central Taimyr, the Arctic coastal zone and the islands. The Taimyr Nature Reserves also oversees two federal nature sanctuaries — Purinsky and Severozemelsky.