The Russian government has decided to increase the territory of the "Russian Arctic" national park and to include in its membership the archipelago of Franz Josef Land, according to National Geographic. This decision was taken in conjunction with the US decision to expand the marine reserve in the Hawaiian Islands, indicating that healthy competition in oceanic leadership.
On the same day that US President Barack Obama has decided to undertake a significant expansion of a marine reserve in the Hawaiian Islands, the Russian government decided to expand the national park "Russian Arctic" and include the islands of Franz Josef Land archipelago, according to National Geographic. It is the northernmost archipelago, which consists of more than 190 islands, mostly uninhabited and frigid ice most of the year. Nevertheless, the diversity of life forms on this rocky, ice-covered islands, shocking, the author writes Brian Clark Howard. The newly expanded National Park would be a protective area for species such as the Atlantic walrus, bowhead whale, polar bear, narwhal and white gull. As reported in the article, a decree on the extension of the "Russian Arctic" was signed on Friday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The reserve area is expected to increase by 7.4 million hectares. National Park, whose territory now extends to 8.8 million hectares, has now become the largest protected nature reserve in Russia. Fleet expansion "will contribute to the integrated conservation of the pristine islands and marine ecosystems of the north-eastern part of the Barents Sea," the publication quoted an official statement of the Russian government. They are represented by "glacial and periglacial landscapes of the polar deserts, ecosystems offshore shallow water and sea ice from the Arctic fauna endemic." "This historic national park showed Russia's commitment to preserve the environment in the Arctic and sent a powerful signal to other Arctic countries", - said Researcher National Geographic Enric Sala, who led the expedition to Franz Josef Land archipelago in 2013. According to him, these islands - "one of the few places where you can see how the world would be without the people." As Enric Sala said, "this is one of the wildest and most beautiful places," he had seen in his life, and "one of the most valuable natural treasures of the Arctic." Co-head of his expedition Paul Rose noted that the timing of the US and Russian announcements about the expansion of protected areas shows that now is "a gold mine for the conservation of the ocean." According to him, people are watching developments in the protection of marine protected areas around the world and want to do it themselves. "We are also going through a period of healthy competition in oceanic leadership," - said the researcher. The inclusion of new areas in the national park is particularly important because that "The Arctic is changing at an unprecedented rate due to global warming," said Paul Rose. He believes that "by the end of our lives Arctic will change beyond recognition." In summer, there will be no more ice. In populations of polar bears, fish and other living organisms are likely to occur a significant change. Areas will be open to navigation, from cruise ships to fishing vessels, as well as those looking for deposits of oil, gas and minerals from the seabed, Rose said. According to him, all of which can have disastrous consequences for marine resources - but "in the protection of the unique nature of the Franz Josef Land, all this can not happen there now." "As the past week, we can really protect large parts of our planet", - quotes the words of the researchers National Geographic.