Petrov V.N., Petrova O.V., Koroleva N.E. About efficiency of the of the network of nature conservation protected areas (PA) in the Murmansk region

Kola Biodiversity Conservation Center, Apatity, E-mail:,Institute of North Industrial Ecology Problems Kola Science Centre RAS, Apatity, E-mail:, Polar-Alpine Botanical GardenInstitute of Kola Science Center of RAS, Kirovsk, E-mail:

Figuring of the efficiency of the network of PA in the region is of great practical importance, to avoid voluntarism when choosing the critical administrative and financial measures in the territorial nature conservation.
As was recommended, there is only one countable criterion of efficiency of nature conservation PA: the proportion of PA to the area of the region. This proportion is to be 13.5% to 2020, in accordance with the target criteria legislated by the RF Government Decree of 15.04.2014 326, the edition of the program "Nature Protection". In the Murmansk region the proportion of PA is now 12.4%, its rather high score. Accordingly, other criteria of PA, such as representativeness of rare species and protected landscapes, the number of value habitats, etc., also have relatively high score. Basing on this, further management of PA is considered to include in first and foremost creation and development of infrastructure for ecologically sustainable tourism, environmental education, sponsors and volunteer support, etc.
However, the GAP-analysis of PAs in the North-West of Russia and the analysis of the Concept of functioning and development of a network of protected areas of the Murmansk region showed the low efficiency of existed network of PAs that was indicated by following.
1. Low percentage of PAs with sufficient regime to protect rare species and valuable habitats and where interfering anthropogenic activity, such as logging, mining, road and other communications construction, change of the hydrological regime and transformation of soil, is prohibited. Only state reserves, a few regional reserves and natural monuments in the Murmansk region have such a strict protective regime; they comprise only 29.7% of the total area of PAs.
2. It is not taken into account the proportion of protected areas with adequate regime and position of borders, which exclude the destructive impact of economic activity outside the protected areas. The most striking example is the regional reserve "Seydyavvr", which has sufficiently strict management, but does not include the watershed of Seidozero Lake. Noteworthy that the regional reserve was created to protect the wildlife and environment of the Seidozero Lake. There is planned now open pit mining on the watershed area not included in the reserve, and that can lead to subsequent deterioration of the hydrochemical regime of the lake.
3. Lack of rare species and value habitats in PAs, together with low environmental value due to the modern protective regime. Estimate portion of such areas in PAs in the Murmansk region is no less than 30%.
Taking into account all these criteria, the portion of PAs with sufficient efficiency in Murmansk region is less than 3.7%. It defines low role of PAs in regional nature conservation. Accordingly, the organization of new PAs with proper regime and ecologically defined borders, as well as the reorganization of existing PAs to give them adequate management and borders are the top up-to-date priorities in the territorial nature conservation in the Murmansk region.

Last modified: September 22, 2015