MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. The Pasvik natural reserve in the Murmansk region, which is a part of a unique trans-border reserve, will offer to visitors tourist routes across the virgin Arctic nature. Vice President of the Norilsk Nickel Company (Nornickel) Elena Bezdenezhnykh told an environmental conference the work on tourists routes would continue the cooperation between the company, the region's authorities and the natural reserve.
"Nornickel has a program with the Murmansk region on support of the scientific, educational directions," she said. "Under this program, we are working on tourist routes in the Pasvik natural reserve."
The Pasvik natural reserve, she continued, has a few advantages - unlike other territories of Nornickel's presence, it is not that far and it is a very interesting territory, which is situated in three countries - Russia, Norway and Finland.
"The numbers of visitors is very high," she said, however without giving further details on the routes.
The Pasvik natural reserve is a part of the Pasvik-Inari Trilateral Park. It was organized in July 1992 for keeping and studies of northernmost European pine woods, vast water-swamp areas of the global importance, the waterfowl fauna and for complex monitoring of the northern ecology systems. It is a unique reserve, which begins in Finland, where the Paz River comes out of the Inari Lake, crosses the Russian territory and enters the Barents Sea in Norway. The reserve’s area is 14,600 hectares.
The reserve has rare species, which are in Red books of Russia, the Murmansk region, East Fennoscandia and on the international IUCN list. The reserve names rare vascular plants, lichens, mushrooms. Among the rare birds, here live or stop crested cormorant, lesser Swan, piskulka, black and Barnacle goose, sea-eagle, peregrine falcon, etc. Among rare mammals, there are wood lemming, wolverine, lynx, roedeer.
Pasvik participates in work of the Russian-Norwegian intergovernmental commission on environment, the Russian-Finnish commission on border water reservoirs, the Russian-Finnish intergovernmental working group on environment, the EUROPARC Federation. It has become a platform for political, administrative and cultural relations between the three countries.
Earlier in the year, the natural reserve opened a Visit Center in Nikel (Murmansk region) in a house of 840 square meters. The Visit Center would be a venue for meetings between specialists of the international environmental direction, social, political and cultural spheres, recreational and tourist activities. The Center will host exhibitions, lectures, discussions, forums of various international organizations - the EUROPARC Federation, the European Green Belt, and others.
The Visit Center has a conference for 85 seats, two small conference halls, a hall for the permanent exhibition, areas for temporary exhibitions, guest rooms for visiting specialists, staff rooms, an observation platform on the roof and labs. The building’s purchase was financed by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. NorNickel invested in the building’s reconstruction 77.5 million rubles ($1,345,440).
The Visit Center will coordinate work in the tourist routes across the three borders. Norway organized a similar center - Svanhovd - at the time the natural reserve was formed there.
For school students, Pasvik is a center of tourism and sciences. Every year, the natural reserve organizes a camp in summer, where teenagers, apart from enjoying summer rest, learn methods of natural studies.
The future scientists study weather using portable meteorology equipment, they make water and soil tests, participate in birdbanding, make crafts objects using natural materials. The children receive lessons both from the natural reserve’s staff and from invited specialists from different regions.
It is a one of a kind camp in the region. The natural reserve organizes it with support from Nornickel. The camp welcomes school students of all ages, and some of them prefer to come there each year.