United Nations Development Programme

Russian Federation

MOSCOW, March 21 - RIA Novosti. In 2015 more than 50,000 hectares of steppes will be referred to 12 specially protected natural territories in Russia - said on Wednesday the Head of the project of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Global Environment Facility and the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia Yevgeny Kuznetsov.

"Our project contains 12 specially protected natural territories of different levels. The project ends in the beginning of 2015, and we will certainly work until the legal approval of these territories. As a result their minimum area will consist of 50,000 hectares," - said Kuznetsov to RIA Novosti on the "round table" in the Public Chamber of Russia.

As he said, within this project there are already created two natural parks in Chita region - the federal and regional, as well as the extension of Daurian national park is holding now. Moreover there are creating five regional natural monuments in Kursk region, and two monuments in Orenburg region.

"Creating a natural monument is a simple way. It is much easier than to create a natural park. We are in a hurry and trying as much as possible to stake out the valuable steppes and to withdraw them from the plowing. We are not against the cattle and the haying. It is more important to escape the plowing of the steppes" - said the member of the agency.

According to Kuznetsov, the productivity of the steppe zones for agriculture is very low, while at the same time the steppes are very valuable as they are unique biological landscapes.

"Plowing the steppe lands lead actually to economic losses for farmers who invest more than receive. At the same time there are destroying the whole ecosystems and last remaining large steppes of Eurasia. We don’t confiscate lands from agricultural use, but we promote the idea of the most rational and economically proved use of steppes, which doesn’t break the biodiversity ", - concluded the expert.

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