3% of Russian to be National Parks by 2020Some good news out of Russia, a country that hasn't always been very good at protecting its ecosystems. The Russian government is establishing 9 new nature reserves and 13 national parks covering a total area of over 3.8 million hectare by 2020. It's also introducing marine buffer zones of over 1 million hectare. To get an idea of the scale, this is almost the size of Switzerland!
Photo: Wikipedia, CC
Spasiba! ("Thank you" in Russian)
An existing 9 reserves and 1 national park will see their areas increased by 500 thousand ha. The decision was based on an analysis of WWF in cooperation with The Nature Coservancy and MAVA Foundation, carried out between 2006-2008, and is aimed at fulfilling Russia's commitment under the Convention on Biodiversity to establish effective protected area systems that safeguard biodiversity. (source)
This makes environmental sense, and we encourage Russia and other countries to protect much bigger areas than what is currently being protected. But it doesn't just make environmental sense for plants and animals, it also makes a lot of sense for us: "Natural habitats and species underpin the global economy and directly supports billions of people who dependent on forests, fisheries and wetlands for their livelihoods. 'We need to understand that protecting biodiversity means not only protecting nature but also our economy and wellbeing. By allowing biodiversity loss to continue we are undermining our future ,' said Rolf Hogan, Biodiversity Manager at WWF International ."