Two new national parks have been created in Russia - «Kodar» (Transbaikal region) and «Khibiny»(Murmansk region). Corresponding resolutions were signed by the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev.
The area of the specially protected natural area (PA) «Kodar» will make over 490 thousand hectares. In the national park, there will be carried out the work on preservation of the high-mountain landscapes of the Kodar, complexes of lakes, historical and cultural objects, as well as the Red Book animals: the snow sheep, the black-capped marmot and others.
The National Park «Khibiny» will be located on the territory of more than 84 thousand hectares. It is established to protect the unique ecosystems of the mountain tundra and the northern taiga of the Kola Peninsula, the natural and historical and cultural heritage of the Khibiny mountain range. It is planned that the establishment of PAs would contribute to the development of ecological tourism in the Murmansk region.
We should note that in 1917 at the meeting of the Permanent Environmental Commission of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society, the first geographical plan for the location of reserves in the territory of Russia was presented. Statistics and geographer Veniamin Petrovich Semenov-Tyan-Shansky made a report «On typical localities in which it is necessary to organize reserves on the model of American national parks.» In the list of nature reserves at number one there was a national park in the Khibiny mountains. «In Russian Lapland, the most convenient and instructive place to create a national park is being the group of the Khibiny Mountains, up to 4 thousand feet of absolute height, near Imandra Lake, at the foot of which the Murmansk Railway is winding,», - the scientist wrote.
In total there are more than 13 thousand specially protected natural areas of federal, regional and local significance in Russia today. Their total area makes 209.5 million hectares. The federal system of PAs includes: 105 state nature reserves, 54 national parks, 57 federal sanctuaries, 17 natural monuments, 67 botanical gardens.