21.06.2009. UNDP/GEF project on biodiversity conservation in the Lower Volga reports on its results
On 19-22 June 2009 UNDP/GEF project “Conservation of wetland biodiversity in the Lower Volga region” conducted a Steering Committee meeting and stakeholder consultations in Astrakhan oblast. The project events were attended by the UNDP and UNDP/GEF staff from Moscow and Bratislava and by representatives from the Ministry of natural resources and environment of the Russian Federation, regional authorities, protected areas, academia and NGOs. The meetings were devoted to the preliminary results achieved by the project since its launch in 2006.
The UNDP/GEF project addressing conservation of globally significant wetland biodiversity of the Lower Volga has been implemented since 2006 in Astrakhan and Volgograd oblasts and in Kalmykia republic. The most important project tasks for the coming years include development of the regional Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, restoration of wetlands and important spawning grounds, development of recommendations for biodiversity-friendly land use practices and proposals for sustainable hydrological regimes in the hydropower stations upstream. The project will support establishment of the new regional nature park in the Volga-Akhtuba floodplain, development and implementation of protected areas management plans, strengthening enforcement and educational capacities of the Lower Volga protected areas. The project carries out active environmental education and awareness work and implements a Small Grants programme for local communities.
In the course of the June events, UNDP mission visited Ikrianinsky and Enotaevsky districts of the Astrakhan Oblast included into the project. Ilmenno-Bugrovoy zakaznik (nature reserve) in the territory of the Ikrianinsky district harbours unique nature complexes that cannot be found anywhere else. Last year the UNDP/GEF project provided technical assistance to the zakaznik. This year, the project is starting the work towards design and construction of a visitor centre for the zakaznik in Ikrianoye village. Enotayevsky district is one of the areas where the project will support establishment of the new regional nature park “Volga-Akhtuba Interfluve”. At the meeting with the UNDP mission, the Head of the Enotayevsky district Mr. Mikhail Anishko confirmed his support to the establishment of the park with the project. The nature park will help preserve unique natural values of the territory, attract new tourists to the district and improve the quality of tourist services.
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