2011 / 10 / 03

Karelia To Lose Over a Million Hectares of Valuable Natural Areas.

On October 4, the Karelia Regional Nature Conservancy SPOK held a press conference concerning the changes to the current Land Use Plan of the Republic of Karelia, which the government intended to approve in the near future. A review of these changes revealed that the amount of land for the Specially Protected Natural Areas that must be created in Karelia before 2025 will be reduced by more than one million hectares, and the deadline for creating the SPNAs will be extended until 2030. Moreover, more than 450,000 hectares of well-established areas of unique intact forests have been removed from the planned SPNAs and are now threatened by industrial development.

According to ROO SPOK, these changes to the Land Use Plan of the Republic of Karelia not only violate Russia’s international obligation to protect the environment, but, in fact, undermine the high-priority goals of the republic’s new administration to develop tourism and sustainable forest use. Details concerning the changes to the regional land use plan were given at ROO SPOK’s press conference on October 4 at the Severnaya Hotel.

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