July 24, 2017
Russian Natural properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, Tentative List, and potential properties for inscription. Russia (the former Soviet Union) signed the World Heritage Convention in 1988 and is now represented on the World Heritage List by 17 cultural and 11 natural properties. In its number of natural properties inscribed on the List, Russia is on the fourth place among nations, following China, United States, and Australia. Thirty Russian Specially Protected Nature Areas have World Heritage status, among which 13 are Strict Nature Reserves (zapovedniks) and 5 are National Parks.
At present, the following sites in Russia have World Natural Heritage status:
•Virgin Komi Forests;
•Volcanoes of Kamchatka;
•Golden Mountains of Altai;
•Uvs Nuur Basin;
Curonian Spit National Park was inscribed on the List as a cultural landscape.
Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources proposed that the following natural complexes be included on the Tentative List for the Russian Federation, which presents the properties that Russia may decide to nominate for inscription on the World Heritage List in the future:
•Great Vasyugan Mire;
•Bikin River Valley;
•Testament of Kenozero Lake.
The aforementioned sites were selected based on an analysis of their natural significance, which was carried out by scientific and public organizations and approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources. For all territories, executive organs from the corresponding subjects of the Russian Federation sent proposals to Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources about their inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Also in 1996 the mixed cultural and natural property Valaam archipelago has been inscribed on the Preliminary (Tentative) List of Russian Federation.
Work is underway to expand Russia's Tentative List of prospective and nominated natural complexes with the addition of sites such as the Volga Delta, Lena Delta, the Green Belt of Fennoscandia, the Kuril Islands, the Great Watershed of Valdai, Western Sayan, Beringia and the Solovki Islands.
Russia is indisputably rich in unique natural complexes, which are, very importantly, undisturbed by human activities. According to the approximate estimates of scientists, Russia has close to twenty territories that are worthy of natural World Heritage status. The most prospective sites were identified as part of a joint project on boreal forests, which was implemented by UNESCO and The World Conservation Union (IUCN).