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On January 10, the constituent assembly of the public association "Expert Council on Reserve Affairs" was held in the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation. The event is timed to coincide with the 106th anniversary of the publication of the first national act on the creation of a state reserve - January 11, 1917, this date in Russia is informally called the Day of Reserves and National Parks.

The initiative to create the Council was established by a group of ecologists - authoritative experts in the field of natural heritage protection, with the aim of consolidating the efforts of an independent professional expert community in the field of territorial nature protection.

The expert council included a number of employees of the IEE RAS, who are close to the subject of nature conservation, and Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences V.V. Rozhnov, scientific director of environmental and environmental projects and international programs of IEE RAS.

At the time of the establishment of the Expert Council, 91 people confirmed their membership - all highly qualified specialists who have many years of practical experience in the environmental field. Among them - 1 academician and 5 corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 6 professors, 58 doctors and candidates of science, 9 honored ecologists of the Russian Federation, 1 honored worker of science of the Russian Federation.

Viktor Danilov-Danilyan, Doctor of Economics, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Scientific Supervisor of the Institute of Water Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, member of the Bureau of the Scientific Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences on Global Environmental Problems, and Vsevolod Stepanitsky, Honored Ecologist of the Russian Federation, Advisor to the General Director of autonomous non-profit organisation “Far Eastern Leopards".

In his introductory report, Vsevolod Stepanitsky noted among the negative trends at the present stage of the development of the reserve business "the adoption of managerial decisions that are not burdened by a sense of responsibility for the fate of the entrusted system of specially protected natural areas, formed over the past century", which often even run counter to the position of the President of Russia on relevant issues, expressed publicly. “Our conservation work needs the decision makers to listen to the opinion of the expert community. I am deeply convinced that the consolidated position of a team of reputable specialists will be perceived as much more weighty than the same position expressed separately,” Stepanitsky emphasized.

Among the priority actions that the Expert Council could take, he called the fight against threats of illegal seizure of land plots of protected areas, violation of the territorial integrity of protected areas or their involvement in illegal economic activities, preparation of proposals regarding the legal regulation of recreational activities in protected areas, initiating the granting of the status of federal protected areas to specific valuable natural areas, work with the problems of protected areas of regional importance and a number of others.

Viktor Danilov-Danilyan emphasized the representativeness and scientific weight of the Expert Council on Reserve Affairs. In his speech, he drew attention to the fact that the preservation of everything that appears in the now fashionable talk about conservatism is unthinkable without the conservation of wildlife in general and the protected areas themselves, where this nature has been preserved.

Elena Sharoikina, head of the Commission on Ecology and Environmental Protection of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, called the establishment of the Expert Council, which brought together the best specialists in territorial nature protection, a milestone event. “You embody biological reservation,” she said and offered the support of the Council from the Commission she chairs to discuss the most difficult issues in this area.

The members of the Council expressed their hope that the creation of such a public association from among highly qualified experts would be able to positively affect the solution of problematic issues of the reserve business and that the opinion of an independent professional community represented by well-known and authoritative specialists would be listened to.

Information about the Expert Council:

Among the key areas of work of the Expert Council:

  • defending the interests of the protected area in the legal, organizational, personnel and other areas;
  • initiating the creation of new and expansion of existing specially protected natural areas;
  • analysis and discussion of draft normative legal acts in the field of conservation, conservation of biological and landscape diversity;
  • assistance in the improvement of the current legislation in the field and support of state bodies in the fight against its violations;
  • analysis and discussion of draft strategies, concepts, plans, programs and decisions, as well as individual economic and other projects affecting the issues of territorial nature protection;
  • preparation of proposals and recommendations in the field of conservation, conservation of biological and landscape diversity, scientific research and environmental monitoring in protected areas;
  • providing methodological and advisory assistance to state and public organizations working in the field of territorial nature protection.