OVER 5 YEARS, 14 PROTECTED AREAS SPANNING NEARLY 3 MILLION HECTARES HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED IN THE RUSSIAN PART OF THE AMUR BASIN
Protected areas (PAs) in the Russian part of the Amur basin now measure 14 million hectares overall, Sergei Donskoy, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment of Russia, said at a working meeting in Beijing with Li Ganjie, Minister for Environmental Protection of China.
The two ministers met during Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to China (31 October–2 November 2017) and discussed development of bilateral relations in environmental protection.
“Our countries are actively developing cooperation in various areas, including environmental protection. The Environmental Sub-Commission has become a solid platform for these relations”, Mr. Donskoy said.
Through both countries’ efforts, mechanisms have been established for collaboration in reducing cross-border pollution in Russia and China’s border regions.
According to Sergei Donskoy, in May 2017, training exercises were held on information exchange in emergencies and on testing communications channels. Assessment of fresh-water ecosystem diversity served as the basis for developing an action plan that involves establishing or expanding 12 PAs measuring 540,000 hectares total along the border with China.
Work is continuing on implementing the Global Tiger Recovery Programme. Since 2016, Russia has been monitoring Amur tigers on its territory, with trail cameras already in use in 9 federal PAs. The programme for tiger cub rehabilitation is also going on. In 2016, a young tiger was released into the wild on the river Bikin, and a tigress was released in the Jewish Autonomous Region in order to recover the Hinggan tiger population.
Collaboration continues in monitoring water quality in cross-border water bodies. On the whole, water quality has remained stable over several years of joint monitoring, with a tendency for improvement. It was noted, however, that the River Argun is relatively highly polluted.