More about the Sredny and Rybachy talks

Just stumbled into an article  on b-port.com outlining the nature of the discussion. It is in Russian but below I reproduce very slightly edited output after it’s been run through translate.yandex.ru that seems to do a better job than many other online trasnlators.

January 31, 2014 at a meeting with the Deputy Governor of the Murmansk region Sergey Skomorokhov a discussion was held about creation of the specially protected natural territories (SPNT)at the Rybachy and Sredny peninsulas.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Northern fleet, Border Department of the FSB of Russia on Murmansk area, administration of the municipality of Pechenga district, Ministry of natural resources and ecology of Murmansk region. Experts, on the recommendation of the regional government, have prepared a draft of the use of the peninsulas as a natural Park of protected areas of regional subordination. That prompted Kola biodiversity conservation centre and WWF to hold a press conference today dedicated to the fate of these peninsulas.

«At the meeting with the Vice-Governor the discussion was not about the creation of a natural Park but only a so-called «protected areas of regional subordination». Such “protected areas” are in the lowest category of protection. They are the least protected by law, and their borders can be changed at the discretion of the local administration without ecological examination. This means that the Peninsula at any time may be left without protection», said Olga Petrova, a representative of Kola wild nature conservation center.

The Peninsula belongs to the Pechenga district, where the authorities say they plan to create protected areas, but at the same time representatives of WWF assert that Pechenga authorities are actively giving land allocations for the needs of reindeer herding, including the most valuable in the environmental sense territories.

An extract from the cadastral registry with the enclosed cards was presented as evidence for the above asertion, and this was demonstrated allocation of land among which is supposed to protect the land for agricultural purposes.

«In 2008 the specialists of scientific and nature protection organizations were designed three monuments of nature: «Skorbeyevskaya bay”, «Gorodetsky rookeries» and «Rocks of the Sredny Peninsula». All the documentation was transferred to the relevant Executive authorities. The regional government wants to set up a national park on the peninsulas, rather than to designate a series of natural monuments», added Olga Petrova.

In light of the increasing tourist attractiveness of the peninsulas the proposal seemed acceptable to the environmentalists: natural Park provides zoning that will protect valuable objects while allowing tourism yet regulating it to minimize harm.

Work on the design of the natural Park were performed on the own funds of WWF and Kola wild nature conservation center with the attraction of specialists of scientific institutions of the region, as well as Moscow and St. Petersburg. The draft of the natural Park was presented and approved at the full session of the Committee for industrial development, environment and natural resources of the Murmansk region in 2012. Minister of natural resources and environment Alexey Smirnov has repeatedly stated publicly that until the end of 2013 natural Park will be created. Bodies of Executive power could only resolve land issues with the military and border guards.

Idea of creating a «protected areas of regional subordination», instead of the natural Park began to appear from the mid-2013, they found strong support from the regional authorities.

«In the present situation, experts of the Kola centre of protection of wild nature and WWF believe that we should return to the idea of creating a series of natural monuments of regional importance. They are highlighted in the draft of the natural Park in the form of six specially protected areas – Bay Skorobeevskaya, Bay Zubovskaya Guba, Chuck-Navolok», Guba Eyna, «Gorodetsky rookeries, and Rock the Sredny Peninsula», said Petrov.

The Rybachy Peninsula is unique in many ways. Here is the fossilized blue-green algae – stromatolites, that have created the original oxygen atmosphere on the planet Earth, whose age is estimated billion years, and the only habitat of the tiny plants – weeds squat, tundra lawns, where in a few square metres crowd of more than a dozen species of plants listed in the Endangered Species book of the Murmansk region and Russia, and the largest in the North of the European part of the country rookeries. Unique rock paintings – ochre rock carvings made of the hand of the ancient man, and traces of the worst battles of the great Patriotic war. Rybachy and Sredny peninsulas are one gian museum under the open sky.

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