Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a List of orders to complete establishing the “Bikin” National Park
This document is a result of the activity of the Bikin Working Group headed by Konstantin Chuichenko, chief of the Control Department of the Presidential Administration. At its recent meeting, Yury Darman, director of WWF Russia Amur branch, presented the materials of feasibility assessment for the “Bikin” National Park creation prepared jointly by WWF Russia, the Pacific Institute of Geography and the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Peoples of the Far East, and representatives of indigenous people. Special attention was given to the inclusion of all comments and requests of the Udege and Nanai people into the assessment to provide their rights for traditional nature use and ensure their participation in the management of the federal institution.
Pavel Sulyandziga, vice president of the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia and the Far East, highlighted the importance to guarantee the rights of Udege and asked to adopt the relevant amendments to the Law on Protected Areas of the Russian Federation as soon as possible. Vladimir Miklushevsky, the Governor of Primorsky Province, earlier also emphasized the necessity to do so.
According to Yury Darman, head of WWF Russia Amur Branch, distinguished ecologist of the Russian Federation, “The “Bikin” National Park is planned to be established in the northern Primorsky Province and encompass 1, 16 million hectares. For more than ten years WWF together with the indigenous people’s enterprise “Tiger” has been implementing conservation projects here to preserve the unique nature and traditional livelihood.”
“Considering the controversial situation and difficulties to get the papers approved by different agencies, I find the orders of Vladimir Putin to establish the national park very timely. For the first time Russia is establishing a national park that entirely ensures the interests of indigenous people.”
The President ordered the Russian Government to amend legislation to ensure the indigenous people with the right to maintain their traditional lifestyle and to run traditional economic activities in the national parks by June 1. A Decree on establishing the National Park and its directorate should be adopted by August 1, 2015 while by mid-September the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation has to adopt Regulations and the Charter that will envision mechanisms for the indigenous people living in the park to participate in its managing.
As explained by Sergey Aramilev, head of the Amur Tiger Center, “The Bikin River basin is unique not only due to the intact Korean pine-broadleaved forests and considerable number of Amur tigers but also due to the people living here. The mix of aboriginal traditions and the pristine wilderness opens vast perspectives for conservation of the entire system. The new document once again proves the commitment of the Government to respect the interests of the indigenous people.”
According to the Orders, the Agency on Tourism together with executive agencies of Primorsky and Khabarovsky Provinces has to develop and adopt a comprehensive Policy on tourism development in the planned Bikin National Park with its activities to be integrated into the regional and federal target programs.