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                    Группа планирования проекта ГЭФ по биоразнообразию аграрных регионов

PROJECT CONCEPT PAPER

1.Project Name"Creation of Territorial Biodiversity Conservation System on a Basis of Environmentally Safe Agricultural Technologies in Establishing a Land Market in Old-Developed Regions of Russia"
2.GEF Implementing AgencyUNEP-GEF
3.Country or Countries in Which the Project is Being Implemented The Russian Federation
4.Country EligibilityThe country is eligible for funding according to the Convention on Biological Diversity
5.GEF Focal Area(s)Land Degradation (with relation to objectives of Biodiversity conservation)
6.Operational Program / Short-Term MeasureIntegrated ecosystem management (OP-12), in particular, arid and semi-arid ecosystems (OP-1), coastal, sea, and freshwater ecosystems, including wetlands (OP-2), forest ecosystems (OP-3), mountain ecosystems (OP-4); the specific relation of the project proposals to the Climate change program should be underlined, because one of the main project's activity is directed to environmental restoration of forest and steppe ecosystems that substantially increase carbon sequestration, and would contribute to stabilization of the Earth climate, and, in particular, in Europe. (OP-7)
7.Project Linkage to National Priorities, Action Plans, and ProgramsThe portfolio of law drafts on reform of state regulative system, on dividing of responsibilities between the state bodies, entities of the Russian Federation, and municipal bodies (2003). The Ecological Doctrine of the Russian Federation (2002). The Federal Program of the Russian Federation "Environment and Natural Resources" (2002-2010). The National Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity Conservation (2001), national programs and action plans (programs on rare species conservation, development of the system of natural protected areas, realization of principles of CBD, RAMSAR, CITES conventions, etc. Recommendations of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002). Statement on National Priorities in Nature Conservation in Russia, approved by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and its regional departments (2003).
8. Status of GEF National Operational Focal Point Review (Dates)The Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation #1063 of September 13, 1994 in which the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources was appointed a focal point of GEF projects in Russia.
9. Project Rationale and ObjectivesThe project basic goal is to create legislative, organizational, political, and financial opportunities for strengthening regional land use management and wild life conservation system by assisting development ecological networks in old-developed regions of Central and Southern Russia in conditions of new administrative reforms and land market establishing.
10. Expected Outcomes
       The experience and results of the GEF Project "Conservation of Biodiversity" led to the conclusion that a success of various activities in nature conservation in Russia depends on cross-sectoral cooperation between governmental bodies - business and NGOs at different levels - intergovernmental, national, regional and local.To carry out intergovernmental cooperation it is required:
       to establish in Russia political, economic and legislative framework for development of intergovernmental trans-boundary cooperation in the field of ecologically safe land use, and formation of ecological networks and their integration into the Pan-European ecological network;
       to provide succession and high efficiency of GEF investments in biodiversity conservation and land use optimization in Northern Eurasia by completion of Russian segment of "The East-West Environmental Corridor" (old-developed rural regions in Central and Southern Russia);
       to prepare project proposal for CIS countries on ecological networks "United Eastern European Segment of the Pan-European Econet", as a gap in the system of European initiatives for biodiversity conservation;to prepare recommendation on use such tools as "reimbursement for ecosystems services", "debts for nature" (in Europe and worldwide), and "direct relations within the framework of the Kioto Protocol" into the system of financing nature conservation and restoration in old-developed regions.For implementation of a national policy of sustainable land use, land degradation control and biodiversity conservation, it is necessary:
       to optimize the land use and to involve federal and regional branches of the Land Cadastre Service of Russia (Roszemkadastr) into the process of nature protection. The process should be base on: environmental assessment and monitoring of agricultural lands, functional zonation and economical stimulation of environmental thinking;
       to introduce principles of environmentally safe agricultural production into the practice of land market establishing through including environmental ideology into assessment and monitoring of lands, jointly with corresponding economic incentives (benefits, differentiated discount rates, including agricultural enterprises protecting the nature "international environmental funding list", etc.);
       to develop the legislative framework allowing land reservation for environmental needs;
       to create leverage for involving the "Russian agrarian and environmental money" into agrobiodiversity conservation in agricultural lands, including restoration of steppes and forests in rural regions of Central and Southern Russia;
       to mobilize national financial resources for econet support and transferring the existing agricultural practice into environmentally safe one in old-developed rural regions.To develop regional and local ecological networks in rural regions in Central and Southern Russia it is necessary:to improve regional legislation on environmental optimization of land use, land reservation, ecosystem restoration, and econet development;to harmonize the state administrative systems with international and national priorities of integrated biodiversity management, considering poverty alleviation, rights of local communities in regard to the environment, providing people with sweat water and access to natural resources;
       to develop and test a model system of integrated regional econet management, based on coordination of actions between regional state agencies of environmental control, land use, water, forest, fish and hunting resources;
       to elaborate regional schemes of land use planning and functional zonation aimed on establishing recreational zones nearby settlements and industrial centres and roads linking them, buffer zones of agricultural lands under intensive use and agrarian areas of those natural and semi-natural ecosystems, turning into exploited lands with limited protection regime, sorraunding protected areas;to create and test regional models of sustainble land use including traditional methods, providing establishment and maintainance of a regional econet;
       to create and test regional models of sustainable agricultural practice in areas with high percentage of natural and semi-natural ecosystems and their involvment into a regional econet;
       to support activities of regional associations of zapovedniks and national parks in Southern and Central Russia, and also Northern Caucasus as a partners for regional state committees of natural resources on providing territorial biodiversity conservation in old-developed regions;
        to create a standard business plan for "wild flora nursery" to provide actions on ecological restoration with seeds and seedlings;
       to hold regional seminars on integrated ecosystem management, development and support of econet, ecological restoration, establishment of "wild flora nurseries", re-introduction of locally rare species.To involve municipal authorities and private agricultural enterprises into development of local econet elements, it is necessary:
       to develop and test the model of municipal integrated land use and econet management, based on coordinated activities of municipal bodies, protected areas administrations, regional state agencies of environmental control, land use, water and hunting services, agricultural enterprises, etc.;
       to develop, distribute and introduce in practice technologies of disturbed lands restoration, adapted to local conditions; to carry out experiments on vegetaion recovering across areas damaged by mining, over-pastuing, erosion, industrial pollution that could be further involved in local econet, e.g. at the level of individual farms;
       to involve local communities and municipal authorities into maintenance of optimal land use regime on municipal lands, which are econet elements;
       to create "wild flora nurseries" and consulting companies on restoration of native vegetation cover types on the basis of botanical gardens in old-developed regions in Central and Southern Russia;
       to organize actions on model areas aimed on habitats reconstruction and reintroduction of animal species (predatory birds, marmots, Russian desman (Desmana moschata), bison (Bison bonasus), possibly bear).
11. Planned Activities to Achieve OutcomesA. Actions in bordering areas of Russia ( 3 tenders for consulting contracts):
       preparation of Russian proposals to the intergovernmental agreements on trans-boundary protected areas and regimes of ecosystems protection here;
       assistance in development of trans-boundary cooperation on sustainable land use and territorial-based biodiversity conservation - preparation of standard acts on environmental regulations in land use in bordering areas; preparation and implementation of three model projects in trans-boundary natural protected areas (e.g.: Northern Caucasus; basin of Vorksla river; Pre-Caspiy and Southern Ural );
       definition of conservation status of the Russian part of Chernobyl catastrophe zone;
       establishment of a CIS permanent working group for preparation of investment proposals on "United Eastern European Segment of Pan-European Econet" and its maintainance by international financial tools ("reimbursement for environmental services", mechanisms of the Kioto Protocol, initiatives and programs of the European Union on sustainable forestry and agriculture, etc.).B. Inter-regional collaboration of entities of the RussianFederation (5 tenders for consulting):preparing and signing agreements on interregional natural protected areas and ecosystem regime control on the borders of the Russian Federation entities (e.g.: Low Volga - Astrakhan, Volgograd Oblast and Republic of Kalmykiya; Northern Caucasus - Stavropolsky kray, Northern Osetiya, Karachaevo-Cherkessiya, Kabardino-Balkariya, Ingushetiya, and Chechnya Republics; basin of the river Khopior - Tambovskaya, Penzenskaya, Saratovskaya, Voronezhskaya, Volgogradskaya oblasts, etc.);
       initiating activities on unification of regional legislation systems on land use optimization, land reservation, trans-boundary natural protected areas, aimed on econet creation;
       support the activities of regional associations of zapovedniks and national parks;
       holding seminars for Roszemkadastr regional departments, land evaluation and monitoring services, development of agri-ecological insurance, optimization of land use;
       facilitating cooperation between entities of the Russian Federation on territorial approaches to biodiversity conservation - preparing and launching three model trans-boundary projects to be implemented in natural protected areas.C. Objectives for creation of preconditions for the development and functioning of econet in model region (4-5 tenders for consulting contracts):
       to improve regional legislation for land use optimization and econet development;
       to develop and test a model of regional econet integrated management based on coordinated activities of regional state agencies for environmental control, land, water, forest, fish and hunting resources use;
       to develop regional schemes of land use planning and functional zonation, directed to forming recreation zones nearby settlements (and connecting highways), buffered by intensively used agricultural lands and periphery of semi-natural and natural ecosystems, followed by lands with controlled regime of protection around zapovedniks;
       to test methods for anthropogenic pressure control on "protected natural periphery" through regulation of land price, imposing additional restrictions on access and use of lands (limited transport access) and highways to protected areas;
       to fulfill cadastre evaluation of protected areas in Central and Southern regions of the European part of Russia, attracting regional institutions to implement environmental control and land monitoring (Vladimir, Voronezh);to identify model sites for experimental activities aimed on restoration of damaged lands; to generalize the experience and to develop methods of vegetation cover restoration; to conduct field activities (involving research institutes - All-Russian Institute of Forages, Moscow oblast, All-Russian Research Institute on Agro- and Aforestation, Volgograd, Steppe Institute, Orenburg, Russian Institute on Agronomy and Soil Erosion Control, Kursk, etc.);
       to create "wild flora nurseries" based on regional botanical gardens;to demonstrate activities on reintroduction of rare species of wild fauna;
       to facilitate an establishment of new regional protected areas in steppe and forest-steppe regions of European Russia;
       to organize a number of educational seminars, to publish guidelines, to support local NGOs;
       to introduce Internet technologies into regional ecosystem and land use management (decision-making informational support).D. Objectives of involvement of local municipal bodies and non-governmental communities into the process of environmental optimization of land use and econet creation (3 tenders for consulting contracts);
       to develop integrated management schemes of sustainable land use for municipal authorities in model regions (3-5 model projects);
       to introduce ecosystem approach to local municipal authorities activity (education, dissemination of positive experience on rational use of local bioresources - public control for pastures, hayfields, water reservoirs; creation of mushroom and other natural vegetation raw materials collecting enterprises, etc. - 20-30 demonstrative projects through "small grants" program);
       to support farmers that apply technologies preventing land degradation, and plan micro-natural reserves on their lands (education, financial support of environmental planning, activities on restoration, test of "rancho" model for dry steppes and semi-desert areas, support for traditional breeding - horses and sheep - 10-15 projects through "small grants" program).E. Management and informational support of the project implementation.planning project activities;
       financial support;
       current management, competitive selection of a Project Management Group (PMG), reporting and implementation monitoring;
       arranging tenders for implementation of project components A,B,C,D;establishing a project press-center, informational support (including Internet).
12. Stakeholders Involved in ProjectKey project implementators will be selected on the competitive basis (during the Project preparation advance (PPA)) from qualified specialists of Ministries and governmental agencies of Russia, scientific research institutes, international and national non-governmental conservation organizations, private businesses. Potential candidates will be defined during the series of workshops will take place both at a preliminary phase of the Project, and at a launching phase. At a phase of project proposal preparation and PDF-B implementation phase the IUCN Representative Office for Russia and the CIS (IUCN CIS) will be responsible for management and communication.
13. Information on Project ProposerIUCN - The World Conservation Union Representative Office for Russia and the CIS.Within the framework of the European Regional Programme, IUCN Moscow Office was opened in 1994, and IUCN Office for Russia and the CIS countries - in 1999. The objectives of the Office's activities are strengthening the collaboration of government agencies, scientific, and non-governmental organizations; coordination of their efforts towards environment protection and biodiversity conservation. The current priorities are:
       Forest Programme;
       Establishment of Northern Eurasia Ecological Network;
       Rare species conservation;
       Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development;
       Arctic Programme;
       Public support for conservation initiatives.
14. Information on Executing Agency (in different from above)At the project preparation phase IUCN CIS will be an executive agency. At the project implementation phase the Federal Land Cadastre Service of Russia and the Ministry of Natural Resourses of the Russian Federation will be responsible for the project management.
15. Estimated Budget (in US$ or local currency) US $14,000,000 (Fourteen million US Dollars)