Enhancing biodiversity conservation through effective use of the World Natural Heritage status

Type: Biodiversity conservation

Participating countries:Russia

Duration: June 2008 – June 2009

Total budget: 20,000 EUR (of which 75% from a project grant)

Aim: To provide expert assistance and capacity-building to protected area managers in suitable management practices and biodiversity conservation through effective use of the World Natural Heritage status.

The project provided technical assistance and capacity-building instruments to managers of protected areas inscribed in 1995 on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List as the first such site in Russia and helped them in the development of management plans and tourism coordination for the entire area. It organized seminars for the employees of protected areas and other local stakeholders to raise their capacity in order to safeguard the ecological values of this unique area, to resolve existing conflicts with impact on local biodiversity and to foster positive attitude towards the conservation of the Virgin Komi Forests locally, nationally and internationally.

Main results:
1) Management plans for Yugyd Va National Park and Pechoro-Ilichsky Strict Nature Reserve;
2) Project conference in Vuktyl organized in August 2008 and a series of trainings for protected area managers and representatives of local stakeholders addressing local conservation challenges and the management of the World Natural Heritage Site;
3) Publication about the Virgin Komi Forests including comprehensive guidelines for biodiversity conservation and with information about nature-based tourism.

Role of Machaon: Project proposal development and expert consulting
Partners: National Heritage Protection Fund, Moscow
Location: Virgin Komi Forests UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, Russia
Protected areas involved: Yugyd Va National Park, Pechoro-Ilichsky Strict Nature Reserve
Funding source: KNIP-Matra Programme, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands