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Nature conservation: econet and protected areas
Cooperation between nature reserves in Amur-Heilong
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In 1994 a trilateral agreement was signed by China, Mongolia, and Russia to establish Dauria International Protected Area (DIPA) to protect globally important grasslands in the headwaters of the Amur-Heilong basin .  Joint research and conservation efforts have focused on wetlands and migratory waterfowl, grasslands, and migratory gazelle.  DIPA staff led the planning and negotiations for expansion of existing reserves and establishment of new reserves in the most important habitats.  By 2005 a framework for cooperation led to useful analysis of conservation problems and needs throughout the Daurian Ecoregion and development of a cooperation plan for the 5-year period 2006-2010.  A trilateral meeting in Chita in March 2006 endorsed the plan and many proposals for joint projects and actions.(see DIPA)
In 1996 a China-Russia agreement was signed for the “Khanka-Xingkai Lake International Nature Reserve.”  The agreement envisioned a broad range of cooperative activities and established a “Mixed Chinese-Russian Commission on Lake Khanka-Xingkai International Nature Reserve.”  From 1996-2001 meetings were held and cooperative plans were developed, but no sustained cooperative initiative emerged.  In 2000-2001 the UNEP-led project-preparation activities on “Lake Khanka-Xingkai Diagnostic Analysis” prepared a knowledge base on environmental issues of the lake basin for use in developing closer cooperation. In 2003-2005 a series of international meetings was held on the China side of the reserve.  Discussions centered on a draft charter of a “Mixed China-Russia Commission on Lake Khanka-Xingkai International Nature Reserve” and plans for immediate cooperation.  Those meetings encouraged species inventories, joint wetland research, joint training for monitoring of waterfowl migration, hosting an international camp of environmental student groups from Amur-Heilong basin "Amur Ambassadors", and multiple joint workshops and field trips.  Cooperation enabled both sides to apply for biosphere reserve status and the Man and the Biosphere UNESCO program, and helped China to improve local wetland conservation legislation.
A bilateral agreement was signed in 2001 by Sanjiang NNR and Bolshekhekhtsirsky Zapovednik). One of its original goals was to protect seasonal migration route for ungulates across the Ussuri River. Lack of clarity in the agenda for cooperation combined with international bureaucratic difficulties led to little cooperation under this agreement.  In 2006 the agreement was renewed with additional involvement of Honghe NNR in China and Bastak and Bolon Zapovednik in Russia, now uniting most important PAs of Middle Amur Meadow-steppe Ecoregion..
An agreement between Onon-Balj NR in Mongolia and Sokhondinsky Zapovednik in Russia was signed in 2005.  By 2006 it had led to several joint expeditions to inventory biodiversity of the Onon headwaters in the Khentii Mountains and an ambitious plan for a new international protected area called the "Source of the Amur" that would unite two Mongolian and two Russian NRs in the Trans-Baikal Coniferous Forests Ecoregion.
Cooperation started in 2005-2006 on bird banding between the network of bird-banding stations of Heilongjiang Province (many of them in NRs) and ornithologists from several Russian zapovedniks.  This immediately improved the exchange of essential data on band returns that was impeded for years and resulted in several useful training events and greatly eased the financial burden on the Russian side by easing access to inexpensive made-to-order birding nets.
Khingansky Zapovednik (Amurskaya Province) once had extensive contacts with colleagues in the NRs in China that protected migratory birds from Khingansky such as Zhalong, Zhanghe, Dongtinghu, and Poyanghu.  Practical cooperation in recent years has been impeded by a lack of funding and inconsistent attention from supervising institutions.  To overcome difficulties in transboundary nature conservation and to develop lasting communication and coordination mechanisms Khingansky Zapovednik, with support mainly from WWF and PERC, organized in autumn 2004 the first Amur Green Belt workshop.  Representatives from scientific institutions, conservation agencies, NGOs and 15 NRs of Russia and China participated.  Partnerships were strengthened, communication channels established, transboundary activities were planned, and agency authorities were given recommendations for improvement of international cooperation.  The workshop format proved effective and now the Amur-Heilong Green Belt enjoys support of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and many provincial stakeholders.  One recommendation of the Khingansky workshop was to convene regular workshops to discuss transboundary conservation in the Amur-Heilong River basin and effectively coordinate these efforts.

Professional discussion. Russian nature reserve managers visit Tumuji NNR in Inner Mongolia. (Photo by E.Simonov)


Protected areas of Eurasia

Protected areas and human footprint

Protected areas of Amur-Heilong (all)

Major protected areas of Amur-Heilong

Vegetation map

Terrrestrial ecoregions

Global 200 Ecoregions

Freshwater ecoregions

Upper Ussury –Lake Khanka.

Khanka Lake international nature reserve

Small Hinggan transboundary area (Manchurian forests ecoregion)

Dauria Steppe Global 200 ecoregion

Detailed hydrography of Amur River basin

Wetlands of Amur



International cooperation

Protected areas in Russia

Protected areas in China

Protected areas in Mongolia

Barbwire Scenery

Three gorges of the dragon river

Introductory tour of Amur basin

Da Hinggan - Dzhagdy forest ecoregion in Russia

Ussury forests

Small Hinggan


Daurian steppe

Song-Nen plain

Amur meadows and wetlands – Amur midflow

Khanka Lake and Upper Ussury Wetlands


GIS: Ecological network


Also look:

Protected areas in Amur-Heilong River basin:

Protected areas coverage in Amur River Basin

Protected areas types in Russia, Mongolia, China

Russian protected areas

Mongolian protected areas

China nature reserves

Protected areas planning


Econet-ecological networks:

WWF Vision for Amur-Heilong Conservation

Conservation along the border

Wetland conservation

Grassland conservation and migratory wildlife

Selected Amur-Heilong protected areass and proposed fields of cooperation (Table)

Major wetland regions of the Amur-Heilong River basin ( Table )

Ecological Network for Amur: The Amur-Heilong Green Belt Concept


Model areas for transboundary conservation:

Dauria international Protected Area-DIPA

Middle Amur –Sanjiang wetlands

Khanka –Ussury wetlands and forests

Small Hinggan Mountains-Three Gorges of Dragon River

Land of the Leopard


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