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Specially Protected Natural Areas: Opportunities for Government and Business
7 September 2017

Russia’s national park network is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Specially protected natural areas (SPNAs) are an effective means of preserving Russia’s unique biodiversity. At the federal level, 103 state nature reserves, 51 national parks, and 58 state wildlife reserves are classified as SPNAs. According to Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources, nine new nature reserves, 12 national parks, and two federal wildlife reserves will be created by 2020. The largest SPNAs in Russia’s Far East are the Lazovsky, Sikhote-Alinsky, Komandorsky, Kronotsky, and Kedrovaya Pad nature reserves and the Beringiya and Zov Tigra national parks. These protected sites are intended to serve conservational, educational, scientific, and cultural goals. Ecotourism has been experiencing rapid growth in recent years, but there are a number of issues in this area that require special attention. Are we willing to open Russia’s national park network up to business and tourism? How can we make tourism accessible in SPNAs? What risks do protected sites face if tourist numbers increase? Public—private partnership: what steps does business expect the government to take in order to spark more active involvement in these projects? Cross-border areas in the Russian Far East: intergovernmental cooperation mechanisms to protect ecosystems and rare species. International cooperation: what useful lessons can be learned from the experience of countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Mongolia, India, Thailand) to help develop SPNAs in Russia’s Far East? How can foreign tourists be attracted to SPNAs in Russia’s Far East?

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