CONCEPT OF ZAPOVEDNOST (COMPLETE WILDLIFE CONSERVANCY)
V.Boreyko, Kyiv ecological cultural center, (Ukraine)
V. Brynikh Institute of regional biological research, (Russia)
Translated by Alexey Burkovskiy, All-Ukrainian environmental league, (Ukraine)
Edited by Laura Sutcliffe, European Dry Grassland Group, (United Kingdom)
Notion of absolute zapovednost.
The notion “absolute zapovedost” (absolute wildlife conservancy) implies eternal preservation of some extensive wildlife areas in absolute inviolability. It should be achieved by means of stopping any economic use of natural sites and ceasing any intentional direct anthropogenic influence on zapovednik wildlife (zapovednik is a natural reserve protected on the principle of zapovednost). One of the early proponents of native zapovednost G.A. Kozhevnikov wrote: “The main idea of wildlife conservation is protection of primeval wildlife for itself, considering applicative matters as secondary… Only noninterference in the life of wilderness will make wildlife interesting scientifically”.
The outstanding figure of modern zapovednost F.R. Shtilmark pointed out that: “the dream of absolute zapovednost is certainly idealistic”. Ideals are almost always not achievable but they show right direction of social movement. The ideal of absolute zapovednost is a vector of development for the native zapovednik system that was deservedly acknowledged by international community as the best method of conservation for reserved wildlife areas of the world.
Another classic of zapovednost D.K. Solovyev noted: “Usually it is impossible to achieve absolute zapovednost even in general zapovedniks because sometimes it may result in an absurd situation. Some territories can be turned loose without any human interference but in whole it is impossible to isolate a zapovednik completely from external life. It is possible only to weaken its influence by watchful guard”.
Therefore in practice we can speak merely about zapovednost of nature zapovedniks (nature sanctuaries) that implies practical embodiment of absolute zapovednost idea in management of nature zapovedniks on the basis of local conditions. Zapovednost means stopping any economical activity and minimizing intentional and direct anthropogenic influence on wildlife of zapovedniks. Zapovednost is based on 6 practical principles elaborated at different times by F.R. Shtilmark, A.M. Krasnitskiy, S.A. Dyrenkov, V.A. Brynikh.
The idea of absolute zapovednost as the superior eco-ethical imperative
The idea of absolute zapovednost as a superior eco-ethical imperative is an ideological base of 2 eco-ethical directions: the native scientific environmental school and North American eco-philosophical school.
The native school is represented by Russian and Ukrainian classics of zapovednost from the scientific community: zoologists G.A. Kozhevnikov, D.K. Solovyev, V.V. Stachinskiy, A.P. Semyonov-Tien-Shanskiy, A.V. Zakharenko, V.N. Gramma, and V.M. Yakushenko, agrologist V.V. Dokuchayev, botanists I.P. Borodin, V.A, Taliev and A.A. Yanata, anthropologist and geographer D.N. Anuchin, geographer V.P. Semyonov-Tien-Shanskiy, arborists G.F. Morozov, A.L. Piasetskiy, A.M. Krasnitskiy, S.A. Dyrenkov, and game manager F.R. Shtilmark. The imperative of the native school, stated and proposed by G.A. Kozhevnikov at All-Russian jubilee acclimatization congress in Moscow in 1908, proclaims the following: “People need to remove nothing, to add nothing, to improve nothing. It is necessary to grant independence for nature and to observe results for us”.
North American eco-philosophers J.Turner, H. Rolston III, T. Birch have stated the same eco-ethical imperative in the following manner: “the right of wildlife to existence and freedom must be protected in a sanctuary completely”. In whole idea of absolute zapovednost is expressed as follows: “The right of wildlife to existence and freedom must be protected in a zapovednik completely and forever. People need to remove nothing, to add nothing, to improve nothing. It is necessary to grant independence for nature and to observe results for us”.
Purpose of nature zapovedniks
The regime of zapovednost in nature zapovedniks is necessary for the provision of:
- original course of natural processes, phenomena and events;
- biological and landscape diversity, genetic fund of flora and fauna;
- long-term monitoring and scientific research
Foundations of zapovednost
Conceptual issues for management in nature zapovedniks are the following 6 foundations of zapovednost:
1. The idea of absolute zapovednost is an ideal, by which everyday activity in any nature zapovednik must endeavor to achieve zapovednost
2. Indirect anthropogenic influence on a zapovednik (global pollution, heating effect on atmosphere, accidental introduction of non-native species, acid rains and etc.) must not be considered as a disturbance of zapovednost.
3. Zapovednost extends not only to natural or slightly changed landscapes but also to zapovednost areas exposed to anthropogenic influence where zapovednost can be considered as an act of renewal and restoration of nature system.
4. Zapovednost implies restriction of influence to a minimum on course of natural processes and phenomena because of scientific researches and actions of zapovednik safeguard service.
5. The main function of nature zapovedniks is protection of ecosystems and their spontaneous (natural) processes. Herewith, the problem of conservation in its current state for certain ecosystems should be solved through imitation or support of the environmental management regime that has become a condition of their origin and genesis.
6. Declaration of a certain area as a zapovednik means complete legal inviolability of this territory (aquatorium) from any anthropogenic interference (presumption of absolute zapovednost). Types of activity that don’t contradict purposes and tasks of each specific zapovednik must be scientifically argued and conducted through procedures of environmental impact assessment regarding planned economical or other activity.
Objectives and targets of zapovednost concept
The aim of zapovednost concept (hereinafter – Concept) is a practical embodiment of absolute zapovednost idea directed to free (spontaneous) development of wildlife excluding any intentional anthropogenic influence. Herewith studying of zapovednost ecosystems should be done under conditions of their inviolability.
This aim is achieved by provision of maximal complete noninterference in original course of natural processes and phenomena through maintenance of strict protection regime of natural ecosystems within natural zapovedniks.
Development of zapovednost affair towards zapovednost is achieved by accomplishment of the following tasks:
Improvement of legal and regulatory framework to support zapovednost.
Optimization of zapovednik territories and their regimes.
Improvement of monitoring in zapovedniks.
Organization of staff training for natural zapovedniks.
Popularization of zapovednost concept and zapovedniks in general.
Public control over activity within natural zapovednics.
1. Perfection of legal and regulatory framework in zapovednost affair
1.1 Introduction in legislation about specially protected nature areas the following notions: “wildlife”, “zapovednik” (in accordance with concept of zapovednost), “zapovednost affair”, “zapovednost”, “presumption of absolute zapovednost”, “ecological-ethical expertise”, “ecological-ethical audit”.
wildlife (wilderness) – freely developing without human interference and not transformed (least altered) natural ecosystem or ecosystem restored to natural state or their parts where biological diversity supports itself and where only extensive natural management is possible.
zapovednik – territory (aquatorium) of wildlife completely and forever excluded from economic circulation where any intentional human interference in original course of natural processes and phenomena is restricted as minimally as possible.
zapovednost affair – term uniting different aspects of organization and functioning in the system of specially protected natural areas:
nature conservation branch uniting all the categories of specially protected natural areas (SPNA) and agencies managing them whereby the main its purpose is preservation of wildlife and reproduction of ecosystem service.
zapovednost management as a system of administration of SPNA and making decisions concerning functioning of SPNA.
scientific direction providing theoretical and practical research of natural processes and phenomena in specially protected natural areas, elaboration of effective measures for wildlife preservation, optimization of management system of SPNA.
educational subject related to theoretical and practical aspects of preservation and research of ecosystems within specially protected natural areas.
zapovednost – preservation forever of wildlife areas under conditions of ceasing any economical activity and extreme minimization of any intentional direct anthropogenic influence on wildlife, and original course of natural processes and phenomena;
presumption of absolute zapovednost ― complete legal immunity of zapovednik territory (aquatorium) from any human interference when nature zapovednik is declared there, if necessity of such an interference will be not proved as an exceptional case.
Ecological-ethical expertise – assessment of expertise object from viewpoint of its conformance to the requirements for ecological ethics.
Ecological-ethical audit – procedure of independent inspection of activity, project or product concerning its conformance to the requirements for ecological ethics
Introduction of changes and additions in environmental legislation strengthening regime of nature zapovedniks.
Allocation of nature zapovedniks in special category of specially protected natural areas (SPNA) and passage of separate law for nature zapovedniks.
Introduction of statutory prohibition against changes of areas and borders of nature zapovedniks excepting situations of their enlargement.
Complete (without any exception) withdrawal of natural resources of zapovednik territories (primarily it concerns lands) from civil circulation.
Prohibition of any types of activity in nature zapovedniks excluding scientific researches, monitoring and control-supervisory measures.
Including of zapovedniks management plans and projects of any types of activity in their territories into the list of objects for state environmental expertise.
Introduction of procedures of ecological-ethical expertise and ecological-environmental audit together with environmental expertise into environmental legislation.
Provision of possibility for establishment of private and public natural zapovedniks subject to observance of the zapovednost principles under supervision of authorized government bodies.
2. Optimization of zapovednost territories and their regimes.
2.1 Detection of zapovednost territories where noninterference in the course of natural processes and phenomena leads to degradation of their current state shaped by factors of anthropogenic origin whereby thementioned state has scientific and natural-oriented value. Elaboration of scientific rationale for transferring such zapovednost territories into other categories of SPNA.
2.2 Land inventory of nature zapovedniks for the purpose of itemizing areas affected by economical and other activity. Project development for transferring of economical activity outside zapovednost territories including protective zones of zapovedniks.
2.3 Complete ceasing of any economical use of zapovednost territories; reduction of intentional anthropogenic influence as minimally as possible in the process of scientific research, security, and environmental education; gradual ceasing of regulative measures in zapovedniks.
2.4 Dismantling of real estate units within zapovedniks but not serving the purposes of nature zapovedniks.
2.5 Elaboration of scientific research and monitoring programs of nature zapovedniks as well as plans of their security on the basis of remote and other methods excluding interference into natural processes.
2.6 Taking regulative measures in steppe (grassland) nature zapovedniks is allowed in extraordinary circumstances on the basis of presumption of absolute zapovednost if efficiency of these regulative measures is confirmed and they are not harmful for a nature zapovednik ecosystem. Such measures are considered temporary until the problem of admissibility of anthropogenic regulation in steppe zapovednost ecosystems will be solved scientifically. However, right now it must be forbidden mowing regime from May to September and any haying by means of motor vehicles there all year round. The area of inviolable territory in the steppe zapovednik must amount to not less than 50 % of its total area.
Improvement of monitoring in zapovedniks.
Elaboration of single monitoring program for all the zapovedniks.
Creation of modern ecosystem monitoring stations and their elements on the base of zapovedniks using mainly remote observation methods and information gathering.
Supplying of zapovedniks with modern research equipment for monitoring.
Creation of electronic scientific databases obtained in the process of monitoring.
Including of nature zapovedniks into the unified system of environmental monitoring as reference areas.
4. Organization of staff training for nature zapovedniks
4.1 Introduction of scientific skill profile with a specialization in “Zapovednost affair” for universities and colleges that should be obligatory for preparing of mid- and top-level executives of state nature zapovedniks.
Introduction of subjects for idea of absolute zapovednost, concept of zapovednost and history of their development in course “Zapovednost affair”.
Conducting of regular re-qualification (at least once every 5 years) of staff members in state nature zapovedniks after professional retraining course “Zapovednost affair”.
5. Promotion of zapovednost concept and zapovedniks
5.1 Writing and publication of brain games and literature for children.
5.2 Edition of research and practice magazines, holding of research and application conferences about zapovednost concept.
5.3 Application of media for popularization of absolute zapovednost idea.
5.4 Dissemination of zapovednost concept in other countries.
6. Public control of situation in nature zapovedniks
Public control of correspondence of laws and subordinate acts to principles of zapovednost concept in zapovednost affair.
Public environmental control of compliance of zapovednost regime in natural zapovedniks.
Organization of public ecological-ethical expertise of research activity methods in natural zapovedniks.