Gap Analysis in Support of CPAN: The Russian Arctic

The present Gap Analysis for the Russian Arctic was undertaken in response to the CPAN Strategy and Action Plan requirement for countries to identify gaps in protected area coverage of ecosystems and species and to select sites for further action. Another important objective was to update the Russian data base.

The Analysis used a system of twelve landscape units instead of the previously used vegetation zone system as the basis to classify Russia's ecosystems. A comparison of the terrestrial landscape systems against protected area coverage indicates that 27% of the glacier ecosystem is protected, 9.3% of the tundra (treeless portion) and 4.7% of the forest systems within the Arctic boundaries are under protection, but the most important Arctic forested areas have only 0.1% protection. In general, the analysis indicates a negative relationship between ecosystem productivity and protection, which is consistent with findings in 1996. 

Overall the Analysis points to an increase in protection of Russia's Arctic from 3.5% in 1996 to 7.5% in 1999. However, it does not answer a question posed by the CPAN Strategy and Action Plan of whether or not all of the Russian Arctic ecosystems are represented in the protected area system "as fully as possible".

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