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Премия рунета 2017

ENVIRONMENTALISTS CALL ON MINISTERS TO PREVENT REDUCTION OF THE AREA OF NATURE RESERVES

22 november 2018
The implementation of the draft federal law “On Amendments to the Land Code of the Russian Federation and Certain Enactments of the Russian Federation (Aimed At Moving From Dividing Land Into Categories to Territorial Zoning)” may lead to a decrease in the territory of specially protected natural areas and the forest resources. In this regard, WWF Russia sent letters to the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia with an appeal to finalize the document.

The draft law proposes a new land management system that replaces dividing land into categories for a specific purpose by including them in certain territorial zones. 

“This draft law has already caused a massive public outcry, since a number of its provisions make it possible to reduce the territory of specially protected natural areas and forests,” comments Yekaterina Khmeleva, Director of the Environment Management Program at WWF Russia. 

Environmentalists are most worried about the consequences of the implementation of Article 57 of the draft law, which allows for the removal of land from among specially protected natural areas (PAs) and the forest resources, which will result in a significant reduction in their area. 

According to this article, when establishing the boundaries of a protected area of federal or regional significance, territories not intended for nature protection purposes are excluded, i.e.: land under settlements, linear structures, industrial buildings, subsurface use facilities and other similar structures, whose location and usage within the protected area do not correspond to the purposes of its establishment. Similar rules are established for forests. According to WWF experts, such wordings can lead to unreasonable removal of land from among specially protected natural areas, forest resources, destruction of conservation areas and protected nature sites, violation of the international obligations of the Russian Federation, and, what is more, they contravene Federal Law No. 33-FZ of March 14, 1995 "On Specially Protected Natural Areas" and the Forest Code.  

“Whether settlements or linear structures could be excluded from among the nature reserves and national parks should not be determined by a law on the abolition of land categories,” said Yekaterina Khmeleva. “The draft law requires additional discussion involving representatives of relevant PAs, the environmental community, municipal authorities of settlements located within the boundaries of PAs, and, if necessary, individual decision making on each issue.”

Photo in the preview and caption by: (с) Yuliya Kalinicheva / WWF Russia

For additional information please contact
Director of Environmental Governance Program