Field research

The field work within the ClimaEast project lasted for over a month and was successfully finalized in the end of August 2013. The survey was aimed at the development of a knowledge base for ecological restoration/rehabilitation of arctic ecosystems disturbed by oil and gas industry activities.

The project component among others is aimed at the development and implementation of an ecosystem management approach to maintain the ecosystem status, conservation and restoration of natural functions particularly connected to conservation of the carbon store and permafrost.

One cannot stop the Arctic development, including the infrastructure development. Thus, the key point of the project is development of land rehabilitation methods based on ecosystem principles.

What is the specific approach to land rehabilitation that we plan to develop in the frame of the ClimaEast project and its Nenetsky component? The approach is based on ecosystem principles. Over 20 years ago 150 parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) agreed to apply those principles in their national land use practices.

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Tundra and forest-tundra landscapes in North-Eastern European Russia are standing on two functionally interconnected geological components – permafrost and peat layers. Climatogenic changes in any of these components result in landscape and biogeochemical cycle changes and atmosphecric carbon emissions. Man’s economic activities facilitate these processes; therefore, catastrophic degradation of tundra and forest-tundra landscapes under changing climate can be prevented only by using safety technologies in mining industry and when building transportation networks, and by improvement of the management system of unique natural complexes in the north of Russia.

The Permafrost Component of the UNDP/GEF KR PA Project has been launched this year, and its main objectives are establishment of new protected areas and conservation and restoration of carbon pools in permafrost forest and marsh ecosystems in the Republic of Komi and Nenets Autonomous Area.

According to the competitive tender results, the Institute of Biology, Komi Science Center, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, became one of the project participants. This summer the staff of the Institute carried out integrated scientific study of the landscape and biological diversity to justify the establishment of a new regional reserve in Inta District and select climate and permafrost monitoring points.

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Under the Nothern Peatlands ClimaEast Project "Protection and restoration of forest and peatland permafrost carbon pools in Komi Republic and Nenetsky Autonomous Okrug" an expedition of the Institute of Biology was organized in August 2013 in order to select key sites for climate monitoring in Inta area. Members of the expedition visited a few points where a long-term studies of ecosystems on the southern boundary of permafrost distribution in the Republic of Komi is supposed to be organized.

Building site
On photo: S.Shvetsov, M.Miglovets, A.Dobrynin, I.Komarov are taking part in the monitoring sites construction on the large mound swamp

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