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Премия рунета 2017

The issues of the development of UNESCO World Heritage Sites were discussed in Kamchatka

15 august 2019
The director of the WWF-Russia’s Kamchatka/Bering Sea Ecoregional Office participated in a meeting of representatives of non-profit organizations with a delegation of the UNESCO World Heritage Center.

The delegation included Isabelle Anatole-Gabriel, the chief of the Center’s Europe and North America Unit, and Robert Brunner, the former director of the Thayatal National Park, Austria. 

Robert Brunner, the former Director of the Thayatal National Park, Austria
Isabelle Anatole-Gabriel, the chief of the Europe and North America Unit, UNESCO World Heritage Center
Sergey Rafanov, the Director of Kamchatka/Bering Sea Ecoregional Office, WWF-Russia
© Yuri Kislyak / WWF-Russia

The meeting participants raised the issues of the influence of the fishing and tourism industries on UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kamchatka. First of all, the attention of the audience was attracted by the prospect of building a large recreational complex on the peninsula. The building process, in this case, may require the exclusion of part of the World Heritage Site.

UNESCO representatives are convinced that tourism in protected areas should be subject to permissible anthropogenic impact, and free handling of the World Heritage Sites’ boundaries is simply unacceptable and will create an unnecessary and very dangerous precedent.

“Ecotourism in protected areas, firstly, implies a responsible journey to a wild territory which helps to protect nature and improves the local population’s welfare. The development of sustainable tourism in protected areas should be based on the competent and rational use of recreational ecosystem services. Only in this case, it is possible to improve the socio-economic situation and contribute to preservation of unique natural landmarks and biodiversity,” said Sergey Rafanov, the director of the WWF-Russia’s Kamchatka/Bering Sea Ecoregional Office.

The meeting participants also discussed the problem of understaffing of the administration of protected areas in Kamchatka. The lack of scientists creates serious gaps in collecting necessary natural data via researches. An insufficient number of inspectors makes it difficult to patrol protected areas’ territory, prevent illegal forestry, and regulate the tourist inflow.

The delegates will supplement the report on the status of UNESCO World Heritage Sites after meetings with representatives of regional authorities and tourism organizations.

For reference:

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes six sites in Kamchatka, which are united under the “Kamchatka Volcanoes” nomination. They are:

  • Bystrinsky Nature Park;
  • Klyuchevskoi Nature Park;
  • Kronotsky Strict Nature Reserve;
  • Nalychevo Nature Park;
  • Southern Kamchatka Wildlife Reserve;
  • Southern Kamchatka Nature Park.

For additional information please contact
Head of WWF Kamchatka/Bering Sea Ecoregional Office