The Russian-Mongolian Committee for the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve “Uvs Nuur Basin” held its session in Kyzyl.
The Russian-Mongolian Committee for the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve “Uvs Nuur Basin” held its 7th session on September 14–15 in Kyzyl, the Republic of Tuva, Russia, on the grounds of the Uvs Nuur Basin Reserve.
Heads of the Departments for Strictly Protected Areas of Russia and Mongolia Irina Makanova and D. Batmunkh, representatives of the neighboring reserves, Mr. Chimed Gandbold, Consul General of Mongolia in Kyzyl, Russia, experts, representatives of the Government and Parliament of Tuva, scientific institutions, Sibecocentre LLC, and WWF took part in the session.
Based on many years of research conducted by scholars from over 14 countries who were brought together in 1985 by the global project “The Uvs Nuur Experiment” (Dr. Victor Bugrovski, Dr. Svetlana Kurbatskaya, Dr. M. Batzhargal and others), UNESCO suggested setting up a body to study and preserve the unique transnational Uvs Nuur Basin.
In 1993, pursuant to the decisions of the governments of Russia and Mongolia, Uvs Nuur Basin reserves were established in the cross-border region; their various areas (clusters) represent all landscapes in the altitudinal zonality of the Northern Palearctic and are home to threatened and endangered species.
Cooperation between the reserves is guided by the 1972 UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the Agreement on Environmental Cooperation between the Governments of Mongolia and Russia dated February 15, 1994, the Ulan Bator Declaration dated November 14, 2000, and the Agreement on Trade, Economic, Cultural and Transnational Cooperation between the Government of Tuva, Russia, and the Administration of Ubsu Nur and Zavkhan Aimaks.
On July 5, 2003, the Uvs Nuur Basin was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a single entry comprising the Russian and Mongolian Uvs Nuur Basin reserves.
On December 15, 1997, the Uvs Nuur Basin Reserve was included in the global list of biosphere reserves along with the Mongolian reserve (the Directorate of the Uvs Nuur Basin Strictly Protected Area).
The staff of the neighboring reserves undertake joint efforts in the following areas:
- Research and monitoring of biological and landscape diversity (from the inland sea — Uvs Nuur Lake, wetlands, steppe, woodland, taiga, Alpine biomes to rare species — the snow leopard, wild sheep, forest reindeer, etc.);
- Protection of threatened species and their habitats in the border area in cooperation with Russian and Mongolian Border Control. Thus, in 2019, after more than 10 years of negotiations, it was decided to set up auxiliary checkpoints in the artificial obstacles along the border in Mongun-Taiga District of Tuva to facilitate wild sheep migration to and from Russia, which helped stabilize the number of wild sheep on the Russian side;
- Environmental education of the local community, including Russian-Mongolian international children’s eco camps since 2010, the “The Land of the Snow Leopard” festival, “The March of the Parks” international campaigns, publication and dissemination of printed publications and booklets on environmental protection.
Long-standing cooperation between the Russian and Mongolian reserves was acknowledged at the intergovernmental level: on May 31, 2011, the Russian-Mongolian Agreement on the Establishment of the Transboundary Reserve “Uvs Nuur Basin” was signed; the Russian-Mongolian Committee for the Transboundary Reserve “Uvs Nuur Basin” was established and is guided by the principle of parity of participation of experts from both parties. The participation of the high-level Committee in planning, performance appraisal of the neighboring reserves, and endorsement of management decisions is key to the implementation of ideas and projects undertaken by the reserves, as well as the management and development of the area.
At its session, the Committee discussed the implementation and review of previous joint action plans, as well as upcoming joint actions related to research, monitoring, territory protection and environmental education. The outcomes were approved by the Committee and recorded in the protocol signed by the Co-chairs of the Committee.
Cooperation between the Russian-Mongolian reserves is systematic and involves the development and approval by the relevant ministries of joint mid-term management plans, which include participation in international programs to study and protect the snow leopard, bustard, and predatory birds, climate change monitoring programs, etc.
At its opening session, the Russian-Mongolian Committee announced that on September 15, 2021, the session of the International Coordinating Council of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program, which was held in Abuja, Nigeria, designated the neighboring reserves as the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve “Uvs Nuur Basin”.
The Co-chairs of the Committee congratulated the staff and experts of the reserves on successful preparation and defense of the application and handed them the copy of the UNESCO MAB certificate “The Transboundary Biosphere Reserve “Uvs Nuur Basin”.
Diinmei Balban-ool, Director of the Reserve