From August 16 to September 4, an international expedition of the Russian Geographical Society was held on the Kamchatka Peninsula. It was organized with the support of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. The purpose of the project was to conduct a comprehensive survey of the territory and water area of Kamchatka to identify valuable natural and territorial complexes and prerequisites for the creation of new reserves, carbon sites, as well as the development of ecological tourism.
The project also involves presenting the research and environmental potential of the Russian Far East to the foreign scientific community. More than 20 young scientists from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Egypt, Serbia, and Belarus took part in the expedition in the following areas: geography, geology, biology, and ecology.
The expedition consisted of two teams: "Avachinskaya" and "Morskaya". From August 17 to 28, the first team conducted research on the territory of Nalychevo Nature Park. The scientists assessed the anthropogenic load on the tourist route from the Avacha ranger station to the Central ranger station "Nalychevo", the state of environmental components and the behavior of bears, studied soils, landscapes and geomorphological objects, simultaneously identifying areas of tourist and recreational activity.
"During the work of our team, we walked about 125 km, evaluated three key tourist routes of the park – from the Avacha ranger station to the Central ranger station, from the Central ranger station to the Talovsky Hot Springs, and from the Central ranger station to Pinachevo. We studied the hydrology of fresh, mineral, and hot springs, described landscapes, assessed the quality and condition of tourist routes, and monitored bears. We have assessed the anthropogenic load on the territory of the park. As a result of the expedition, we really want to offer real research results that will help the development of ecological tourism in the territory of Nalychevo Nature Park," said Marina Sushentsova, an employee at the Youth Work Department of the Executive Directorate of the Russian Geographical Society.
The second team, working with the support of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia in the waters of the Kamchatka Peninsula, assessed the composition of marine landscapes and their potential in absorbing carbon dissolved in water in Bolshaya Sarannaya Bay. The materials collected with the participation of the Kamchatka Branch of Pacific Geographical Institute of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences will form the basis for choosing the location of a marine carbon site. In addition, the study of coastal ecosystems of the Khalaktyrsky Beach water area and the assessment of anthropogenic loads on the water area were carried out.
"During the work in Bolshaya Sarannaya Bay, many people went to sea for the first time, but at the same time they coped perfectly with the tasks of collecting scientific data. It is gratifying to see such a cohesive team consisting of specialists from different fields, from different countries. This is what provided a comprehensive approach to our research and a new look at the environmental problems of the region," said Anton Yurmanov, director of the Youth Work Department of the RGS Executive Directorate.
Preliminary results of the expedition were presented on September 1, at the forum "Ecosystem: The Reserved Land". The participants and leaders of the field and marine teams made a report "On the role of the RGS’s research and educational projects in involving young people in environmental protection activities and the interim results of the field stage of the research expedition project ‘Kamchatka: Northwestern Ring of Fire’".
In the long term, the aim of the project is also to establish academic contacts and establish a permanent partnership between the participants of the expedition and Russian scientific and public organizations.