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Along many parts of the Russia’s coastline, tourism (if any) has developed in a haphazard and unplanned fashion and causes major environmental and social problems. Western and Russian tourist activity significantly differ mainly in terms of infrastructure development and objectives.

Russian leisure time is often spent in nature, e.g. on natural beaches, and involves gathering berries and mushrooms for winter, amateur fishery (recently by inexpensive and effective monofilament nets) and less often hunting (including in prohibited season). These activities are deeply rooted in traditions and history.

Coastal code assessment

Assessment of the Coastal Code approach in Northwest Russia included the issue of sustainable tourism and was done in the framework of a pilot project for integrated development of the coastal zone of Kingisepp District (Leningrad Region). It was implemented jointly by EUCC and Baltic Fund for Nature (BFN). Sponsor of the project was the 1998 Pin-Matra programme of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries.


The project determined whether the guidelines proposed in the European Code of Conduct for Coastal Zones are adequately reflected in the existing strategic and development plans of the area.


Main objectives of the project were:

  • Characterise the environment of the coastal zone;
  • Analyse common practice and trends of coastal zone management;
  • Assess the ecological status of coastal habitats and biological communities and determine negative human impacts;
  • Select those approaches of the Coastal Code, which are best suited to tackle problems related to biodiversity loss in Kingisepp District;
  • Work out recommendations on optimising the Coastal Code taking Russian specificities into consideration.


Analysis of the situation in Kingisepp District had shown that organised tourism was developed poorly in the area. Only 50% of Coastal Code guidelines had been applied in management practices of Kingisepp District. In particular, the following ones were not respected:

  • Integrate sectoral development in coastal zone management;
  • Non-development zones;
  • Protected coastal land and seascapes;
  • Realisation of polluter pays principle.

The most suitable areas for development of tourism in the district are those adjacent to the Gulf. Taking that into account, the administration of the district took the decision to construct a tourist complex at the shore of Narva Bay. The projected area is 4,500 ha and its recreation capacity is 50.000 person per day. The project will require large investments from the local goverment.


Main difficulties of realising Coastal Code principles in practice were formulated as follows:

  • Recent economical difficulties in Russia;
  • Lack of effective instruments for motivating inhabitants and businesses to apply nature-friendly methods of management;
  • Lack of traditions of environmentally friendly behaviour among population.

Further information

Incorporation (1999) of the principles and guidelines of the Coastal Code and ECMEN into the ICZM programme being developed in the Kingisepp District, Russia. St. Petersburg, BFN.

Contacts: Alan Pickaver -;
Dr. Vladimir B. Pogrebov -

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