Wildlife and environment
Natural Resources Ministry approves plans to create specially protected areas in the Nenets Autonomous Area
© RIA Novosti

Natural Resources Ministry approves plans to create specially protected areas in the Nenets Autonomous Area

Three new specially protected areas — the Khaipudyrsky and Pakhanchesky nature sanctuaries and North Timan Nature Park — will be established in the Nenets Autonomous Area. The projects have been approved by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, and a regional law is to be adopted to create the new specially protected areas, the press service of the Nenets Autonomous Area Administration reported.

"The creation of two nature sanctuaries and a nature park will significantly expand the total area of specially protected areas with restricted economic activity in the region. The main goal of expanding such areas is to preserve the landscape and to protect rare species of animals, waterfowl and fish," said Sergei Andriyanov, head of the Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Agro-Industrial Complex of the Nenets Autonomous Area.

The specially protected areas to be set-up will sprawl across almost 730,000 hectares. This will increase the share of specially protected areas from 5.8 to 9.9 per cent of the total area of the Nenets Autonomous Area.

According to Andriyamov, the creation of these areas will not affect land users. Reindeer herders will be able to hunt and fish in keeping with their traditional way of life.

In addition, the department is working on establishing the Vashutkinsky (Vashutkin Lakes) Nature Sanctuary. The relevant documents will be submitted shortly to the respective federal agency for approval.

To date, seven specially protected areas of regional importance have been created in the Nenets Autonomous Area: the Vaigach, Morye-Yu, Nizhnepechorsky and Shoinsky nature sanctuaries, as well as the Great Gate Canyon, Stone City and Pym-Va-Shor natural monuments. Their total area comes to 409,500 hectares, which is 2.3 percent of the region's area. They help preserve the most vulnerable Arctic ecosystems ‒ polar bears, walruses and rare species of plants on millions of hectares of tundra and forest tundra.

Five specially protected areas —North Timan Nature Park, the Pakhanchesky, Khaipudursky and Vashutkinsky nature sanctuaries and the largest nature park, Yugorsky — are expected to be established by 2021.