World Wetlands Day 2010: Russian Federation

24/02/2010

We are sending you this short note to share the latest way in which the Amur Government (Far Eastern Russia) has contributed to wetland Conservation for World Wetland Day-2010.

Muraviovka Park for Sustainable Land Use is the first non-governmental protected area in Russia since 1917 (see www.muraviovkapark.ru). During its 15 years of existence, Muraviovka Park has initiated new approaches in rare bird conservation, sustainable land practices and environmental education. The wetlands within the Park are one of the few remaining strongholds for the endangered white-naped crane, red-crowned crane, and oriental white-stork within Russia. In addition, these wetlands are a vital stopover for huge numbers of hooded cranes and Siberian cranes.

Muraviovka Park was globally recognized in 1995, during a conference organized by the International Crane Foundation (USA), the International Socio-Ecological Union (Russia) and the Department of Nature protection of the Amur Region. At this conference, it was suggested that Muraviovka Park and its adjacent wetlands be designated as a Ramsar site. Today, Muraviovka Park is recognized as Ramsar site no.685, Zeya-Bureya Plains.

The Park currently consists of 5, 971 ha which it leases from the Amur Government. However, Oleg Kozhemyako, the Amur Governor, along with the Amur Government and the Legislative Assembly gifted an additional 514 ha of wetlands to the Park this December. In addition to this generosity, they cut the rate of renting the land tenfold. These contributions to wetland conservation will help to improve the land use practices and wetland conservation alongside the East-Asian / Australasian Flyway.

Kind regards,
Sergei Smirenski and Adam C. Stein
Muraviovka Park for Sustainable Land Use
Amur Region, Russian Federation

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