Wildlife and environment
Russia marks Nature Reserve and National Park Day
© RIA Novosti. Yuryi Abramochkin

Russia marks Nature Reserve and National Park Day

Russia marks Nature Reserve and National Park Day on January 11. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment press service, the order to establish the Barguzinsky Nature Reserve, the first reserve in Russia, in the Republic of Buryatia was signed on December 29, 1916 (January 11, 1917 Gregorian calendar).

In all, Russia has over 13,000 federal, regional and local specially protected nature areas occupying over 206.7 million hectares. All these areas, minus water bodies, cover 195.5 million hectares or 11.4 percent of Russia's entire area. They include 103 nature reserves, 48 national parks and 63 federal wildlife sanctuaries.

Sergei Donskoi, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, said there were plans to establish five new protected territories in 2016, including a wildlife sanctuary in the Solovetsky Archipelago, the Ladoga Fjords National Park in Karelia, the Sengileyevsky Hills National Park in the Ulyanovsk Region, the Vasyugansky Nature Reserve in the Tomsk and Novosibirsk regions and a federal wildlife sanctuary on the Novosibirsk Islands.

New protected nature areas are being established at the federal level under a plan to expand the national system of protected nature areas until 2020.