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Creation of a Programme on Pan-European Ecological Network In Northern Eurasia.

Pilot phase.

1. Project name.

Creation of a Programme on Pan-European Ecological Network In Northern Eurasia. Pilot phase.

2. Project Objective.

To establish the Working Group and Programme for Pan-European Ecological Network in Northeast Eurasia in order to facilitate establishment of Pan-European Ecological Network from the East.

3. Main activities.

The project is leading by Biodiversity Conservation Centre (BCC) in co-ordination with CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, Intergovernmental Ecological Council and governmental conservation agencies, Global Environmental Facility (GEF), IUCN European Programme.

I. BCC put in place the Working Group for the Ecological Network in Northern Eurasia (NEWG) under auspices of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts for the Pan-European Ecological Network (PEEN) with a financial contribution from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs through IUCN European Programme. NEWG compiled first info package to inform conservation professionals about PEEN concept and perspective and invite them to take part in NEWG activities.

II. NEWG disseminated first information package to potentially interested conservationists and organisations in Northern Eurasia (more than 2000 addresses) by e-mail and posting as well as by publishing:

  • in BCC Information Bulletin for Nature Reserves and National Parks 21 (about 1500 copies);
  • in Kiev Centre for Environment and Culture Information Bulletin Biodiversity Conservation and Nature Reserves in Ukraine 3/97 (500 copies);
  • in Eco-Accord Centre Information Bulletin Road to Aarhus 1-2/97 (about 500 copies).

III. NEWG also presented and disseminated first information package and some other materials, discussed priority aspects of ecological networks establishment with conservation professionals, decision-makers and activists to reach the common platform during following meetings of experts:

  • The RF-USA Workshop on public participation in PEEN establishment (Ryazan, July 1997)
  • GEF Baikal Workshop attended by GEF Chair (Irkutsk, September 1997)
  • GEF Training Workshop for NGOs (Moscow, September 1997),
  • The Session of non-governmental Expert Committee for Biodiversity Conservation in the Eastern Europe and Northern Asia (B-12) (Nahabino, September 1997),
  • EuroMAB VI Conference (Minsk, September 1997),
  • World Forum for Sustainable Forestry with participation of CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (St.-Petersburg, September 1997),
  • Socio-Ecological Union Conference (Karaganda, September 1997),
  • Session of CIS Intergovernmental Ecological Council (Kishineu, October 1997),
  • Professional workshop Establishment of the Protected Areas System in Belgorod region (Borissovka, October 1997),
  • NGO Regional Meeting Volga river Days (Nizhni Novgorod, October 1997),
  • Professional workshop on Hot spots in the Far East (Far East region, November 1997),
  • NE Branch of IUCN WCPA Workshop (Kiev, December 1997).

IV. NEWG summarised input from experts and participating organizations as the resulting report Prerequisitions and Perspectives of establishment of the Ecological Network in Northern Eurasia including:

  • Draft overview of existing prerequisites, activities and concepts in ecological Network establishment;
  • Legal base of the land-use regulations corresponding to the Establishment of the ECONET
  • List of main Protected Areas in Northern Eurasia;
  • List of active ecological networks-related projects in the region;
  • List of experts, institutions and other sources of expertise and information on ecological networks in Northern Eurasia;
  • Preliminary Programme Framework and Action Plan for PEEN establishment in Northern Eurasia.

V. NEWG compiled and issued:

  • information booklet (in English) about PEEN and NGO activities in this field.
  • first info package including:
    • Info letter ¹ 1;
    • Information materials on ECONET ¹ 1 to inform conservation professionals about PEEN concept and perspective;
    • Questionnaire to get response from interested experts.
  • second info package including:
    • Info letter ¹ 2;
    • Information materials on ECONET ¹ 2 in Russian to inform conservation professionals about latest developments concerning PEEN;
    • Draft of pilot phase results (2nd Draft of the Framework Programme of the Establishment of the Ecological Network in Northern Eurasia and corresponding Action Plan) to involve experts to refine them.
  • special information package for CIS governmental agencies to provide an active participation of CIS governmental agencies in PEEN process including:
  • Info letter ¹ 1a;
  • selected articles from Information materials on ECONET ¹ 1 and ¹ 2;
  • Draft of pilot phase results (3rd Draft of the Framework Programme of the Establishment of the Ecological Network in Northern Eurasia and corresponding Action Plan).
  • Guidelines Criteria and methods of establishment of Ecological Network 1 (in Russian - - . 1) (200 copies)
  • A brochure Prerequisitions and Perspectives of establishment of the Ecological Network in Northern Eurasia (in Russian - / - . 1 (9) (600 copies) with a collection of articles on ecological networks development case-studies and overviews to be disseminated among conservation officials and NGOs in CIS experts and agencies in Central and Western Europe
  • A brochure Ecological Networks in Northern Eurasia (in English) (200 copies).

+ NEWG also published a brochure with a collection of articles on establishment of the ecological network in the Central Russian plain - the result of the 2nd Workshop on the Programme Heart of Russia (in Russian - ) (300 copies)*

VI. NEWG presented the results of its conservation researches and suggestions on further development of the establishment of ECONET in professional workshop and conservation meeting and conferences:

  • Workshop of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts for setting up the Emerald Network of areas of special conservation interest (Strasbourg, October 1997),
  • Meeting of the Bureau of the Committee of Experts for the Pan-European Ecological Network (Strasbourg, October 1997),
  • NGO Strategy Meeting (Lake Bled, November 1997),
  • NE Regional IUCN Member Meeting (Almaty, November 1997),
  • From Islands to Networks Conference (Albany, November 1997);
  • Meeting of Taiga Rescue Network experts (Stockholm, November 1997) - D. Aksenov presented information booklet about PEEN and NGO activities in this field in Northern Eurasia,
  • Professional international workshop on Establishment of the Polish ECONET (Warsaw, December 1997) - NEWG presented the information on the current state of involvement of experts in ECONET establishment
    • in Russia (N. Sobolev)
    • in Belorussia (Z. Muraviov).
  • The Green Backbone of Central and Eastern Europe Conference (Krakow, February 1998)
    • In the context of the preparation of the Conference NEWG:
        • discussed the Conference with Organising Committee and recommended some additions to the List of persons invited to the Conference;
        • invited about 40 experts to discuss the Conference materials;
        • made comments and remarks on draft presentations of some Conference participants (by their requests).
  • At the Conference NEWG presented:
    • oral presentations:
      • E. Simonov. Working with international financial instruments, in particular GEF
      • E. Shvarts. Scientific and social prerequisites in ECONET establishment in CIS
    • posters:
      • N. Sobolev, E. Simonov, E. Shvarts. Ecological Network in Northern Eurasia: first results and Action Plan.
      • N. Sobolev, A. Blagovidov, M. Kazakova, B. Rousseau, L. Volkova. "Heart of Russia" Programme: The ECONET of the Central Russian Plain.
      • J. Gorelova, I. Kuleshova. PESBLD: Vision from the East
      • I. Chebakova. March for Parks: ECONET Days in Northern Eurasia
    • several motions at the thematic sessions.
    • propositions for Krakow Declaration:
      • to base ECONET establishment on the biogeographic approach
      • to stress the importance of local NGO activities in ECONET establishment
  • Establishment of the regional ECONET for sustainable development professional workshop for conservation and forest agencies of the RF regions (Golitsyno, May 1998) - NEWG presented:
    • lectures:
      • N. Sobolev. International experiences in establishment and support of ECONET.
      • N. Sobolev. Principles and methods of the establishment of the ECONET.
    • issues:
      • Guidelines Criteria and methods of establishment of Ecological Network 1
      • Information materials on ECONET ¹ 2
  • Professional workshop on Establishment of the National ECONET in CEE Countries (Konstancin-Jeziorna, May 1998).
  • ECOForum Conference (Aarhus, June 1998) - NEWG organised:
    • Public participation in establishment of ECONET round table;
    • Living on the Green East exhibition on public participation and support of the ecological network.
  • IV European Ministerial Environmental Conference (Aarhus, June 1998).
  • Session of the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (Bishkek, August 1998) - NEWG presented comments on draft model CIS Forest Code
  • Workshop of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts for setting up the Emerald Network of areas of special conservation interest (Strasbourg, September 1998),
  • Workshop of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts for the Pan-European Ecological Network (Strasbourg, October 1998).

VII. Bibliography and library on domestic and world-wide experience with ecological networks and related issues is developed. It is available to experts and interested users in BCC office.

4. Main outputs.

  • NEWG got contact with more than 100 conservationists in all the CIS countries, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and some other countries of the Europe - this provides a good opportunity for realising further NEWG activities;
  • The framework programme and Action plan on establishment of the Ecological Network in Northern Eurasia are compiled;
  • Library (651 units) on experience with ecological networks and related issues is available to users;
  • The Bureau of the Council of and Europe Committee of Experts for the Pan-European Ecological Network as well as NE Regional IUCN Member Meeting approved the creation of the NEWG and its starting activities;
  • CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly accredited BCC under Committee on Ecology and Committee on Regional Policies (BCC compiled and presented in CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly comments on draft model CIS Forest Code);
  • The Committee on Ecology of Russian Parliaments asked NEWG experts to suggests the corrections to the Federal Law On the Protected Natural Areas (in work).
  • Several issues are distributed among experts:
    • Information booklet (in English) about PEEN and NGO activities in this field.
    • Information materials on ECONET ¹ 1
    • Information materials on ECONET ¹ 2
    • Information materials on ECONET, special issue
    • Guidelines Criteria and methods of establishment of Ecological Network 1 (in Russian - - . 1) (200 copies).
    • A brochure Prerequisitions and Perspectives of establishment of the Ecological Network in Northern Eurasia (in Russian - / - . 1 (9) (600 copies)
    • A brochure Ecological Networks in Northern Eurasia (in English) (200 copies).
    • A brochure with a collection of articles on establishment of the ecological network in the Central Russian plain - the result of the 2nd Workshop on the Programme Heart of Russia (in Russian - ) (300 copies)

The first phases of several model projects was implemented:

  • Professional workshop on Establishment and Management of the Protected Areas System in the Central Russian plain (Moscow, November 1997) was organised in co-operation with All-Russian Society for Nature Conservation and several other NGOs (see Resolution)
  • the draft of the ecological network of the Central Russian plain was designed
  • the conception of the ecological network of the Volga basin was compiled;
  • the course of wild nature conservation for Ryazan university has been started;
  • the Ecocentre in Kassimov and young conservation group in Zhelannoye were organised within the Ryazan regional network of public support of the ECONET.

5. Lessons learned.

The delay of the presentation of the project outputs shows us the necessity of the better correspondence between the financial support and the goals we would like to reach.

6. Follow-up.

Dissemination of the information about PEEN as well as the methods of establishment of ECONET:

  • Russian Centre for ecological policies reedited the brochure Prerequisitions and Perspectives of establishment of the Ecological Network in Northern Eurasia for dissemination during the National CBD Forum;
  • BCC reedited Guidelines Criteria and methods of establishment of Ecological Network 1 for dissemination among officials and activists;
  • Now we compile Guidelines Criteria and methods of establishment of Ecological Network 2;
  • IUCN Russian office and Russian Programme Office of Wordwide Fund for Nature begin the preparation of Guidelines of the establishment of the ecological network in Northeast Eurasia at the whole.

Design of ECONET:

The folowing regional ecological networks should be planed in 1999 2000:

  • Central Russian plain;
  • Central Chernozem zone;
  • Volga-Ural region;
  • Volga and Viatka region;
  • Lower Volga region;
  • Mountain Altai

N.A. Sobolev,
NEWG Coordinator

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