Taimyr national park initiative

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Taimyr represents one of the largest unfragmented wilderness areas in the entire Arctic (and worldwide). Photo: Peter Prokosch

The Taimyr peninsular in northernmost Siberia represents both the largest continuous tundra area in Eurasia and one of the best coverage of protected areas in Russia. The last major contribution to the protected area network on Taimyr happened in 1993 with the establishment of the Great Arctic Reserve (Zapovednik). With new industrial development interests growing in the Arctic and protected areas of the Zapovednik type on the other side, which don’t allow access for visitors, there is a need to establish a national park to the existing protected area system. This could raise the awareness of the socio-economic benefits of biodiversity and increase the local people’s interests to preserve their natural capital. The planning and rationale of a national park on Taimyr today can be based on investigations, which take both satellite
and airborne data as well as traditional fieldwork into account. The national park initiative for Taimyr could also contribute to secure a complete North-South transect, where in times of climate change, natural habitats and ecosystems could adapt through “migration”.Taimyr

Why is the LT&C concept and initiative sensible to apply?

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Huge portions of the global population of curlew sandpipers breed on Taimyr. Photo: Peter Prokosch

 As tourists worldwide are most interested in natural areas and as national parks are meant to provide access and education for visitors, the LT&C concept of tourism supporting this initiative should be given a trial.

Why could Taimyr become a good example of Linking Tourism & Conservation?

 Taimyr offers several superlatives, which can be attractive particularly for eco-tourists and natural science visitors: Taimyr among other

  1. is the northernmost part of mainland Eurasia;

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    The East Atlantic Flyway of coastal birds

  2. is the largest continuous tundra area in Eurasia representing the highest diversity of tundra habitats and ecosystems;
  3. is one of the largest unfragmented wilderness areas of Russia and the entire Arctic;
  4. is the key breeding area for several shore- and water-bird populations on the Northeast end of the East-Atlantic Flyway;

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    The Siberian knots (Calidris canutus canutus) each year fly up to 16 000 km along the East Atlantic Flyway to breed on Taimyr. Photo: Peter Prokosch

  5. hosts the largest wild reindeer population and the biggest (reintroduced) musk ox population of Eurasia;
  6. is the best area in the world, where the natural phenomena of lemming cycles and the dependence of other wildlife on it can be studied;
  7. has a unique diversity of indigenous peoples groups (often reindeer herders) operating on the southern border of the peninsula.

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    Taimyr has a unique diversity of indigenous peoples groups (often reindeer herders) operating on the southern border of the peninsula. Photo: Peter Prokosch

Taimyr could serve also as an ideal site, where the climate adaptation concept of providing protected corridors, and where habitats and ecosystems can move could be applied.

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Taimyr has the largest continuous tundra area in Eurasia representing the highest diversity of tundra habitats and ecosystems. Photo: Peter Prokosch

If a national park, in addition to existing strict protected areas, can be established, it could be of benefit for local people, e.g. in Khatanga, where locals can be involved in the management and guiding of tourism. They would, therefore, develop increasing interests in their protected areas and thereby contribute to safeguarding the wild natures’ future. In addition, tourists would get interested to visit Taimyr if attractive and affordable national park visits and related transportation can be offered. Because of this potential win-win, which can be studied in other parts of the world, a Taimyr national park could become an LT&C Example.

If once established as LT&C example how could it be transferred to another protected area and how could your experience be shared with others?

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Taimyr can be attractive particularly for eco-tourists and natural science visitors. Photo: Peter Prokosch

 The project can be related to the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative and/or other projects and partners along the East Atlantic Flyway of coastal birds in its initial phase. Information exchange and sharing experiences among important sites along this flyway could make major sense. And the exchange of experiences among other Arctic national parks and protected areas would be valuable. As Taimyr is a remote Siberian area, where tourism is facing specific challenges, other areas in the Russian Arctic could learn from the experiences gained from the development of this project.

For more information contact: Dr Natalia Malygina  (or phone +7-89086305077)