Mainstreaming biodiversity
conservation into Russia's energy
sector policies and operations

Amur Oblast. Projects Contribution.

The Project has been working in the Amur Oblast under a cooperation agreement between the Project, the Oblast Ministry of Natural Resources, Department for Protection, Control and Regulation of Wildlife Use of the Amur Oblast, and the Lower Bureyskaya HPP.
The Project has established connections with business entities in the hydropower sector such as Bureyskaya HPP (branch of RusHydro, PAO), Trest Gidromontazh, and regional authorities including the Ministry of Natural Resources, and Ministry of Economic Development of the Amur Oblast.

Significant outcomes have been already attained or are at the implementation stage:

- Materials for the establishment of the Bureyski Nature Park as an offsetting measure to minimise impact on biodiversity due to construction of the Lower Bureyskaya HPP have been updated. As a result, on 03 April, 2015, the Amur Oblast government issued decree No. 141 on the establishment of the Bureyski Nature Park (total area ca. 132,000 ha);

- A set of measures compensating negative impact on the animals and vegetation to be flooded after the Lower Bureyskaya HPP construction have been carried out. A special focus was made on the Project’s key (indicator) species (Siberian Stag, Mandarin Duck), flagship Red Book species (Oriental White Stork), and on the most valuable or vulnerable plant groups occurring in the future reservoir flood zone;
  • 25 feeding sites for ungulates have been built and equipped with photo- and video surveillance in the Bureyski Nature Park; systematic monitoring demonstrates they are visited frequently. Starting from 2016, the Lower Bureyskaya HPP has taken responsibility for replenishing the feeding sites with salt and mineral mixes, and maintaining them in proper condition; the HPP personnel continued doing this in course of reservoir flooding.
  • around 50 nest boxes were installed in the Bureya river valley for the mandarin duck (RF Red Book species); 5 tripods for the nests of the oriental white stork were erected in the Arkharinski Plain downstream of the Lower Bureyskaya HPP;
  • rare and endangered plant species have been moved from their natural habitats that will be flooded by the reservoir to similar habitats outside the flood zone downstream of the Lower Bureyskaya HPP. HPP personnel assisted with this transfer; furthermore, in 2016 they moved more plants themselves.
  • the HPP plans to carry out rescue operations when animals are caught on islands and peninsulas forming during the flooding;
  • under the cooperation agreement, HPP specialists have been monitoring the state of the environment, including the state of biodiversity, during the Lower Bureyskaya HPP construction
- An ecological sensitivity geoportal has been developed to solve the geoecological tasks pertaining to the planning of industrial and energy development of the Amur Oblast. The portal will provide useful information to scientists, relevant organisations, authorities and municipalities involved in strategic planning of industrial projects. The geoportal is to be used in course of the Project-initiated strategic environmental assessment of the Amur Oblast, which will be performed as part of the Year of Ecology in Russia in 2017. Developing the geoportal included collection of available data on the current biodiversity in the region, and field surveys of possible flood zones in course of future hydropower construction projects. This will make the information on the portal relevant when plans for hydropower development in the Amur Oblast are developed;

- Guidelines on the arrangements for and conduct of biodiversity monitoring in course of hydropower projects, and guidelines on identifying biodiversity impact zones of hydropower projects have been developed.

- Implementation of compensation measures aimed to conserve ex situ the rare fern species Aleuritopteris kuhnii growing in the Lower Bureyskaya HPP flood zone in order to subsequently create its natural populations in suitable habitats. To this end, the Botanical Garden of the Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences intends to purchase plant growth chambers and is preparing guidelines on conservation of rare fern species during large-scale infrastructure projects;

- A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on the Amur Oblast pilot site is underway. The Project assisted with including the SEA on the Amur Oblast pilot site in the RF Government decree concerning the action plan for 2017 which was declared for the Year of Ecology. A working group that included representatives of the respective authorities and experts on environment protection was established. As is noted, conducting a SEA in the Amur Oblast is a highly relevant task due to a quick growth of numerous industrial projects, which are scheduled to be completed before 2025;

- the Compendium of innovative solutions for biodiversity conservation for the hydropower sector is under preparation, which is designed to offer a wide range of biodiversity conservation examples that use various techniques. The Compendium will also include a list of practical measures aimed at mitigating and offsetting negative impacts of the Lower Bureyskaya HPP construction on the local ecosystems.

© 2019