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MOSCOW, January 11 (Itar-Tass) —— The network of specially protected natural reservations in Russia will be enlarged substantially by 2020. The country will create 11 new nature reserves, 20 national parks and three federal wildlife refuges in eight years. The concept for the development of federal specially protected natural reservations that the Russian government approved last December envisaged this measure, a source in the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources said on Wednesday.
The state-run nature reserve Ingermanlandija in the Leningrad Region and at least three national parks, including Beringia (the Chukotka Autonomous Area), the Onega Pomorye (the Arkhangelsk Region) and the Land of Leopard (the Primorsky Territory) are planned to create in 2012.
“The concept is seeking to preserve natural and cultural heritage, make the state management in specially protected natural reservations more efficient,” Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Trutnev said.
Russia marks the Day of Nature Reserves and National Parks on Wednesday. The decree to create the first Russian nature reserve Barguzin was signed on January 11, 1916. Presently Russia has about 12,000 specially protected natural reservations of various levels and categories on a total area of 203 million hectares. The system of federal specially protected natural reservations currently includes 102 state nature reserves, 42 national parks and 71 state wildlife refuges.
“The formation of this unique system of specially protected natural reservations is one of the most remarkable Russian achievements in environmental protection,” the minister said.