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What we do
Премия рунета 2017

Reserve necklace of the Amur

The well-being of Red Book species of animals directly depends on their habitat. The better the animals are protected, the higher the likelihood of their survival. Such conditions can be ensured only in specially protected natural areas (PAs): in reserves, in national parks, in sanctuaries and ecological corridors. One of the main tasks of WWF in the Amur ecoregion is the creation of PAs. This is done in different ways. Sometimes the Foundation acts as an initiator and finances experts to prepare an environmental and economic feasibility study for the new territory. More often experts of the Foundation organize expeditions themselves, prepare materials, conduct public hearings and bring documents up to the stage of signing the resolution on creation. Partners in this work are directorates for PAs in the regions, hunting management departments, the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia, public organizations and scientific institutions.

Over the 20 years, with the support and direct participation of the Foundation have been created: five national parks, two reserves (and three reserves expanded), two federal sanctuaries, four ecological corridors, one wetland complex and 29 regional wildlife sanctuaries have been established and expanded in the Amur ecoregion.

An interesting fact: until 1994, before the opening of the WWF office in Vladivostok, in 8 subjects of the Amur ecoregion 8 million 400 thousand hectares of protected areas of different levels have been created, which was 4.7% of the entire territory of the ecoregion. The most successful were 1963, when four reserves and ten regional sanctuaries appeared at once, and the beginning of the eighties. In 1994–2014 the state has created only 1 million 948 thousand hectares (1.09%) of PAs. And on the initiative and with the direct support of WWF 5 million 413 thousand hectares of protected areas have been created. Today, the total area of PAs in the Amur ecoregion is 15 million 783 thousand hectares, which is 8.8% of the total territory.

Since the beginning of the 2000s, continuous reform of the PA system has begun. The Fund had to literally save regional sanctuaries. Before the reforms, all regional PAs were under the control of the Department of Hunting Management. Then the functions have been divided. The departments began to control only hunting grounds of general use, and for the work in the sanctuaries they began to create separate structures. As it always happens in such cases, the regional administrations immediately tried to fire people, reduce the number of sanctuaries, reduce funding, and deprive newly created structures of authority. For four years, WWF wrote letters to all instances, defending sanctuaries, organized meetings, and seminars on the exchange of experience. The Directorate for PAs has been formed, new structures, to which the Foundation has also provided initial financial support. By joint efforts all regional sanctuaries have been preserved.