Pyotr Shpilenok: it is necessary to preserve nature not by humans, but together with humans: IA “Kam 24”

The Kronotsky Reserve closed at 86 this year. The director of the reserve, Pyotr Shpilenok, spoke about what has been done in 2020 and what remains to be done to preserve Kamchatka’s nature.

– With what results did the Kronotsky Reserve celebrate its next birthday? What projects in general – scientific, educational, environmental protection – were you able to implement in 2020? Did the coronavirus prevent you from realizing your dreams?

– The main priority for our reserve for the near future is the interaction with the inhabitants of the settlements located near the Federal Bank of South Kamchatka, in order to protect nature not from humans, but together with humans. A very successful project in this direction was the visitor center of the Kronotsky Nature Reserve in the village of Ozernovsky, which started operating less than a year ago.

The new space proved to be in demand by the villagers, they willingly started to participate in environmental campaigns, to learn to lead an ecological way of life, they literally demand from us new knowledge about nature, about the organization of tourism, about the main principles of conduct in the most upward territory of Kamchatka. And of course we try to satisfy their requests. In the near future, a modern interactive exhibition dedicated to the nature of southern Kamchatka, the protected system and the history of the fishing villages will be placed in the visitor center. By the way, locals also helped us create it – with archival photos, documents, memories.

Regarding the situation with the coronavirus, the mode of operation in specially protected natural areas has not changed much: the patrol in the area, the detection of violators of the special protection regime, the scientific research and the development of infrastructure were carried out in a timely and complete manner. The protected areas opened to the public a month later than usual, but still about 9,000 people were able to visit them.

The special health regime did not allow us to hold environmental education events this year, which include a mass gathering of people. But on the other hand, in the new conditions, our employees gained an interesting experience of working with people on the Internet – courses with new naturalists of the Kronotsky Reserve, various master classes and competitions. Live broadcasts on social networks with famous scientists, photographers and other people who study, preserve wildlife and talk about it, received a great response from the public. And we will continue this work in parallel with our usual form of events, when the situation returns to normal.

This year, for the first time at the Kronotsky Shelter, comprehensive studies on Steller’s marine eagles have been launched in specially protected natural areas of Kamchatka. We conduct them together with the Darwin Shelter, where the methodology for observing large fish-eating birds is very well developed. The Steller’s Sea Eagle is a species of Red Book, the largest bird of prey in the Far East, one of the symbols of the Kamchatka Territory, and is still poorly studied. During the long-term research, experts will need to discover the nesting sites of wintering birds in the Kuril Lake Basin and study migration routes, including the use of GPS tags.

In addition, this year in the Golden Trail of Russia competition organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, the Kronotsky Reserve took first place in the organization of ecological routes, which made us proud of our work in such a difficult year. At the same time, the route network is constantly evolving. We strive to ensure that, regardless of income, any visitor can make their trip to reserved Kamchatka.

– In your opinion, what is the most important event in the life of the reserve this year?

– In fact, there are several such events. For the first time in many years, the number of groups of wild reindeer living in the shelter began to increase. During the spring aerial surveys, observers saw many young animals, which means that the survival rate of the offspring has increased. This gives us hope that Kamchatka will not lose this species.

One of the most important events of this year for the whole territory of Kamchatka was the victory in the Pan-Russian ecotourism competition. The result of its implementation will be a sustainable model of tourism in the south of Kamchatka, based on the interaction of a specially protected natural area, the inhabitants of the area, the socially and environmentally responsible businesses. We have a new opportunity to involve the people of the villages near the South Kamchatka refuge in activities related to the sustainable conservation of natural resources and not their reckless consumption for immediate benefits. This victory is the result of the hard work of the project team: representatives of the government of the Kamchatka Territory and the Kronotsky Reserve.

The long-awaited release of the documentary “Sockeye salmon. The fish is red. The story of this project began 13 years ago, when, after arriving for work in Kamchatka, we were surprised by the strong contrast between the most beautiful nature and the consumer attitude of the locals towards it.

This film tells how the wild salmon is an important resource, a part of the ecosystem of southern Kamchatka, how delicate the links between individual elements of nature are, how important it is to maintain a balance between consumption and conservation. The film has already been screened at film festivals in dozens of countries and has received high marks from film critics and environmentalists, many festivals have not yet come. In early December, the film was released in Russian cinemas. It is very important for the people of Kamchatka to watch it and feel once again proud of their land, to realize our responsibility to preserve the nature of Kamchatka.

– What support measures does the Kronotsky reserve take, is it enough? Do we need funds for the development of science? After all, not only the development of tourism needs support.

– The whole Russian reserve system is heavily underfunded and local support measures can not change the overall picture. This also applies to federally specially protected natural areas, and especially to peripherals, most of which are in poor condition. The environmental event on the Pacific coast of Kamchatka this autumn showed everyone that not only the reserve system, but the whole of Russian science is facing an acute shortage of funds and highly qualified specialists. As a result, there is no understanding of the effective solution of many environmental problems.

Of course, the development of science requires significant capital: for the purchase of scientific equipment, on-site equipment, the participation of third-party experts from the country’s leading research institutes, the transportation costs for the delivery of scientists and the burden required for research in mission parts, often very remote and difficult to access. , And so on. We could not implement many projects without a grant. The research is carried out in part or in full to the detriment of various institutions and public bodies.

– What key projects are planned in the reserve for next year?

Next year, the active phase of the project “Reserved Kamchatka: the land of people, volcanoes and salmon” will begin to create a tourist and entertainment complex in the south of Kamchatka. Together with the Kamchatka Government, we have a lot of work to do to develop the settlements in the areas adjacent to the South Kamchatka Shelter, in order to interact with the local population.

Well, my personal task, as a leader, is to strengthen the role of conservation science by attracting new specialists of different profiles and reforming the organization of the foundation’s work, taking into account the international experience and modern management needs of the conservation, environmental industry, and society.

– In your opinion, what should be done to keep Kamchatka’s unique nature the same in the future?

– It is necessary to ensure harmony between man and nature. Today, I see many important issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve this balance. This is a garbage problem – the lack of a disposal system, a waste management culture and the excessive use of plastic. This is the need to organize sustainable fisheries, in which fishing does not harm the safety of aquatic ecosystems and their productivity. A very serious problem in Kamchatka today is the growing number of conflicts between humans and bears, which are mostly due to ignorance of the characteristics of behavior, animal lifestyle and lack of ecological culture. In this direction, a lot of educational work is needed from the side of the state, environmental and public bodies. The nature of the peninsula, no doubt, can damage the huge uncontrolled trism and today there is still the problem of insufficient participation of the population in solving the environmental problems of the Kamchatka Territory.

We must understand that no one but ourselves will change our land for the better. It is important to make sure that conservation unique nature becomes an economic resource of Kamchatka and people see the benefits in conserving it.

Interview by Ilya Andreev

Leave a Comment