2012 / 06 / 05

ROO SPOK Analyzes Changes to Karelia’s Land Use Plan.

The Land Use Plan of the Republic of Karelia (LUP RK) was approved by Resolution No. 102-P of the Government of the Republic of Karelia Dated June 6, 2007. Changes were made to the LUP RK in Resolution No. 89-P of the Government of the Republic of Karelia Dated March 22, 2012.

The LUP RK from 2007 provided for the creation or expansion of sixty Specially Protected Natural Areas (SPNAs), a total of 1,838,500 hectares, with an estimated completion date of 2025. From 2007 through 2012, three SPNAs were created (the Voynitsa and Syrovatka natural areas and the Vottovarra Natural Monument) with a total area of 41,300 hectares.

The edited 2012 LUP RK provides for the creation or expansion of fifty-eight SPNAs with a total area of 1,475,400 hectares.

Compared with the 2007 LUP, the total area for the planned SPNAs has been reduced by almost 320,000 hectares (17%):

  • More than 330,000 hectares of planned federal SPNAs (Ladoga Skerries National Park) and their protected zones have been eliminated, despite the fact that their creation is specified in the Model for the Development of a System of Specially Protected Natural Areas of Federal Significance for the Period to 2020 (approved by Order of the Government of Russian Federation Dated December 22, 2011).
  • Eleven planned SPNAs have been reduced in size by almost 150,000 hectares: seven of them as a result of additional research (29,900 hectares) and four without additional research (119,000 hectares).
  • Due to the initiative of non-governmental organizations, the planned Chupinsky Nature Park (164,200 hectares) has been eliminated, because its most valuable areas fall almost entirely within the new borders of the planned Gridino Scenic Reserve and the existing Polyarnyi Krug Scenic Reserve.
  • One scenic reserve and five wildlife preserves (a total of 264,500 hectares) have been added.
  • Two planned SPNAs—the Gridino Scenic Reserve and the Muezersky Intact Forests—have been enlarged by 27,500 hectares following additional research.

The LUP RK describes the locations and boundaries of only seven high-priority planned SPNAs. The remaining planned SPNAs are only listed in the land use plan documents. On the Map of Objects Influencing the Planned Location of Objects of Regional Significance and the City Limits of Municipalities, the locations of these SPNAs are indicated with small circles that correspond with the approximate centers of the planned SPNAs. The specific size and locations of the SPNA quadrangles are given only in the LUP RK Supporting Materials in text form. (The LUP RK Supporting Materials are not part of the LUP and have not been approved by the RK Government.)

Thus, the LUP RK does not give precise and understandable information about the planned SPNA sites, That is, there is no information about possible restrictions on commercial operations. Meanwhile, ecologically responsible companies, which are not permitted to log or purchase timber from planned SPNAs, need this information to avoid possibly losing their certification. (Certified companies hold a significant part of Karelia’s leased forest reserves.)

A detailed analysis of the changes in the LUP can be found on ROO SPOK’s website: http://spok-karelia.ru/2012/06/news/2870/#more-2870

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