New protected areas in the Republic of Karelia

In 2013, two new regional protected areas were established in the Republic of Karelia: Gridino complex reserve (zakaznik) and Kumi-Porog nature monument.

The regional nature monument Kumi-porog is situated in the Kalevalsky municipality, covering 3 475 hectares of natural area surrounding the Voynitsa River and waterfalls Kumi, Dyrkino and Tuhko. It represents ecologically as well recreationally unique values.

Gridino complex reserve (area 8 408 hectares) is established in the Kemsky municipality and belongs to the Green Belt of Fennoscandia. Goals of the Gridino complex reserve are to preserve archaeological sites of the Kemsky region, maintain the ecological balance of the vulnerable northern nature and promote tourism.

Gridino reserve in the Republic of Karelia. (Photo: Ekaterina Polevaya)

Gridino reserve in the Republic of Karelia. (Photo: Ekaterina Polevaya)

According to the scheme of territorial planning of Karelia, approved in 2007, Gridino consists of two areas; Kemsky and Loukhi clusters. The Kemsky part was established in June 2013 to safeguard valuable and vulnerable, almost untouched, natural areas situated in rocky coastal landscapes of the White Sea. The created reserve will protect the mouth and the lower reaches of rivers in the areas as well as the valuable spawning grounds of salmon species and habitats of European freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera).

Work still continues to establish the Loukhi part.

Establishing new protected areas in the Republic of Karelia has been a success as problems to protect and sustainably utilize northern nature; beautiful and, at the same time, so vulnerable to human activities, have been solved.

Gridono complex reserve and Kumi-Porog nature monument are also part of the protected area network in the Barents Region, which aims to promote and support a representative protected area network for conservation of unique territories that safeguard biological and landscape diversity in the European north.