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Kamchatka needs national parks

Director of the Kronotsky Reserve - on the development of specially protected areas and investments for them

Advanced development areas, industrial parks, large enterprises and high-profile projects - investors are ready to come to these areas to invest money and make a profit. However, there are other territories in which you can invest with a benefit for the future, for example, in specially protected natural territories (SPNA). Director of the Kronotsky State Reserve Petr Shpilenok in an interview with EastRussia spoke about the features of the development of protected areas, attracting tourists and investors.

Kamchatka needs national parks

- The fifth Eastern Economic Forum, which you took part in, recently ended. Tell us about the results of the WEF for the reserve.

- The Forum is primarily a platform for meetings with participants from all over the country, from all over the world. With some, they agreed on a meeting at the forum for six months. There was also the opportunity to attend interesting sessions on energy, high technology - regarding the area of ​​specially protected natural areas. For example, the use of solar panels eliminates the need to import diesel fuel onto cardons and drives generators in the old fashioned way. This new technology has already been introduced in our country and is giving effect. Another related industry is the direction of biological resources. Since not only people want to eat fish, but also bears, eagles and foxes, you need to be in the trend and know what is happening. In addition, during the WEF, our representatives worked on the Street of the Far East in the pavilions of the Kamchatka Territory, the Ministry of Natural Resources, where you could learn about the Kronotsky Reserve and our work. I think that for people who are just planning to come to Kamchatka, information about the reserve will become an incentive to finally visit the region.

- At the last forum, you presented the guide “Reserves of the Far East”. What is the situation with him now?

- We did not just present it, but promoted it. This is a project of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia, all Far Eastern territories are represented there. The guide is unique in that it has become a synergy of the protected areas of the Far East - before that, this had not happened. Everyone knows the Kronotsky Reserve, the Valley of Geysers as a separate object, and few suspect that there are dozens of stunning specially protected natural areas in the Far East. When people come to the Far East, they ask how to get to these places, how to get to them. The guidebook is the first sign that allows you to make the protected areas a little closer, a little clearer for ordinary people.

Now the Ministry of Natural Resources is working on what to make this guide in the Internet space and within the entire system of protected areas in Russia: you go to the site, choose a route, order a tour. But this is not a very simple story, because there are a number of contradictions. Therefore, it is not yet clear how much time will be spent on the project.

- Reserves can also attract investment, like other territories. In your opinion, how to do this?

- It is necessary to immediately separate two concepts - reserves and national parks. Legislation distinguishes them, and quite strongly. With national parks, everything is more or less clear: there is the possibility of working within the framework of public-private partnerships, there is the possibility of lease agreements, but in the reserves there is an unspoken rule - we donate no more than 1% of the territory for the development of tourism, while nothing can be done in the reserve do. How do we attract investors? We become a kind of promotional product for their environmental friendliness. This is more of a sponsorship option for the reserve. In the first place in the reserve is nature protection, but in the national parks the recreational component is important. Therefore, it is important that national parks appear in Kamchatka, where there will be more conditions for tourism. Now it’s slowly getting better, large tourist companies, representatives of the hotel business are coming to the region. Our goal is to tell why it is important to preserve the territories in the form that it is now. And no matter who the investor is, it is more important that there are conditions for his arrival and the existence of restrictions for the conservation of protected areas. It is not necessary to pass on the infrastructure to future generations, but to give the opportunity to see pristine volcanoes, geysers and so on. Such a balance is the most important and difficult issue for the development of protected areas.

- And what are the current trends in the development of specially protected natural areas?

- Now ecotourism is actively developing in such territories - various ecological paths and routes are being formed. Protected areas are also getting closer thanks to modern technology. It is important, it seems to me, that the territories themselves begin to understand what they are working for. At the beginning of the 2000, there was a bet that tourism should be developed, extrabudgetary funds should be earned, and now many have thought about why tourism should be developed in specially protected areas. We get the answer that tourism is not important in itself or as a contribution to the economy, but as a tool for the formation of ecological culture in people. It is important that nature conservation and nature protection have broad public support, so that some kind of national idea is formed. We have a commodity economy, so we must organize our work in such a way as to invest as much as possible in the conservation of nature, which gives us resources. Therefore, when tourists come to us, we try to convey to them that nature is very fragile, for example, we say that the Valley of Geysers in Kamchatka is the only geyser field in the world in which not a single geyser has died at the hands of a person. After this, people begin to think.