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18 juin 2012 1 18 /06 /juin /2012 05:50

NOUVELLE STRATEGIE ANTI INCENDIES DANS LA RESERVE NATURELLE DES LEOPARDS DE L'AMOUR (source : Phoenix Fund, ce jour).

Steps Towards Fire Safety in Leopard Habitat

A mutually beneficial quadripartite agreement has been signed by four state and non-governmental organisations, namely Primorsky Branch of All Russia Volunteer Fire Organisation, Phoenix Fund,  Kedrovaya Pad Biosphere Nature Reserve, and Slavyanka Municipality,  in order to improve fire-fighting efforts in Southwest Primorye.  The uniqueness of the agreement lies in the fact that the parties have combined their efforts to fight forest fires and agricultural burnings in the region, which is home to many endangered species, including the Amur tiger and Amur leopard.  The value of this region is reflected in an extensive protected area system consisting of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Kedrovaya Pad and Land of Leopard National Park. According to statistics, over 46% of total area of Southwest Primorye has been burned at least once, and 97% of forest fires are caused by people. Due to those fires the most part of the forest has already turned into meadows and open brushwood. 

The necessity of combining the efforts of different bodies emerged long ago.  Presently the two fire-fighting volunteer teams in cooperation with Slavyanka Municipality and the Kedrovaya Pad – Leopardovy Protected Area are operating in the Khasan district. Their work is fully financed by the Phoenix Fund and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).  In connection with the latest changes in Russian legislation it has become questionable whether these teams were legal. The Phoenix Fund proposed the creation of a network of volunteer teams in Southwest Primorye in co-operation with a large Russian NGO that is closely affiliated to the Russian government, have a fire-fighting license and meet all legal requirements for organizing volunteer teams. 

Primorsky Branch of All Russia Volunteer Fire Organisation (PB ARVFO) took an interest in such cooperation and agreed to sign the quadripartite agreement.  Since then PB ARVFO  has adopted two volunteer teams supported by the Phoenix Fund and WCS, and provided them with legality for fire-fighting.

Additionally, in order to improve the efficiency of the volunteer teams, a 12-km fire break has been created in the south of Land of Leopard National Park. This work was financed by the Pacific Environment. The fire-fighting efforts in Southwest Primorye are also financed by the BBC Wildlife Fund.

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