Bikin National Park gets started
It has become clear that the Ministry on Natural Resources and Environment of Russia has considered all proposals developed by the initiative group of indigenous people with the support of WWF and Primorsky Province Administration.
For the first time ever in Russia, the main document of the national park encompasses not only nature conservation aims but also focuses on the support of the traditional life style of aboriginals, sustaining their environment and securing their rights to co-manage the Park’s territory.
In accordance with the Policy provisions, the indigenous communities are allowed to conduct their traditional economic activities and lead their traditional lifestyle in the three zones of the Park (recreational, economic use, and extensive nature use zone) covering 8000 square kilometers which is 5% of the entire Primorsky Province.
To effectively exercise the rights of aboriginals a special council will be formed consisting of their representatives with the Council’s head to be responsible for traditional nature use. The Council will have the broad powers on allocation and securing hunting plots, on assigning quotas for hunting and collecting non-timber forest products, on “selecting” sacred plots of lands, and on choosing places to develop infrastructure for aboriginal tourism. The Policy also empowers the hunters to participate in the protection of their hunting plots located in the Park’s territory.
Alongside with putting into force the Policy, the PA’s head was assigned. It is Aleksey Kudryavtsev who has been nominated by Vladimir Shirko, head of the indigenous people’s enterprise Tiger, and the initiative group of Krasny Yar citizens.
According to Yury Darman, head of WWF Russia Amur branch, a distinguished ecologist of Russia, “Aleksey Kudryavtsev came to Krasny Yar right after graduating the University. Being a wild biologist by profession he has been working for over ten years for the Tiger enterprise. He has become relatives to the Udege tribe. The Russian President’s Administration has given a huge amount of credence to the Udege people having chosen Aleksey out of maybe more experienced administrators”.
“And the people of Krasny Yar have to support their head, have to help him organize the work to meet the interests of traditional nature use, and to appoint the best people to the key positions in the Park’s Units for protection, tourism, and environmental education”.