Work on peatland conservation under the Wetlands International-Russia Programme is based on a long-term strategy and involves the following subject areas: national policy and legislation, international cooperation, methodological and informational support to the conservation and wise use of peatlands, information exchange among peatland experts, education and training, ecotourism, pilot projects for introducing innovative techniques, and emergency actions.
Photo by: N. Vlasova
These activities were started with a breakdown of information on peatland reso
urces accumulated in sectoral informational systems by 2000. The resulting report summarises the inventories of peatlands as peat deposits, hydrological features, habitats of plants and animals, agricultural and forested lands.
The report also provides a review of peatland-related legislation and management structures. Since then, information on the status of peatland resources has been updated each year, on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of statistical and sectoral data.
Consistent inter-sectoral coordination
The integrated nature of peatlands requires the consistent inter-sectoral coordination of wise use planning activities. To meet this objective, an Action Plan for Peatland Conservation and Wise Use in Russia has been developed in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation. This framework document provides the basis for effective allocation of resources to peatland wise use and conservation.
To provide the Action Plan’s implementation, a project portfolio was developed, with over 60 project proposals to be implemented throughout Russia. Some of the proposed activities have been included into sectoral and local development programmes.
Two workshops on peatland restoration and rehabilitation were organized in 2003-2004, including an excursion to four restored peatland complexes in Belarus in October 2004.
A guideance on peatland restoration and a review of international and national experience accumulated in this field are under preparation.
A unique technique for evaluating the peatlands’ social role has been applied in a few localities.
Photo N. Vlasova
Methods for economic valuation of peatlands are worked out and will be tested in the Moscow and Vladimir Regions. Procedures to assess the damage onto peatland biodiversity caused by human activities are developed for their further introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment legislation.