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

Nenets Autonomous Okrug and Komi Republic. Projects Contribution.

Demonstration activities on LUKOIL-Komi sites.

In 2016, the Project completed monitoring and evaluation of the impact on biodiversity caused by hydrocarbon extraction and evaluation facilities in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug and Republic of Komi.
Biodiversity conservation efforts in the energy sector of the NAO and Republic of Komi will result, among other things, in an increase of 700 ha in restored lands, 7000 ha in the possible impact areas, and creation of conditions for biodiversity conservation in vulnerable species’ habitats on an area of 500 thousand ha.
In 2016, Project solutions were used in LUKOIL-Komi’s impact area to restore 65 ha of oil-contaminated or disturbed lands, process oil sludge, and restore oil sludge containers and adjacent areas on up to 40 ha.
Joint work of the Project, the Department for Natural Resources, Ecology and Agroindustrial complex, and the Department of Property and Land Matters of the Nenets AO, resulted in adopting the regulatory document “Regulation on a Standing Committee for Restoration of Lands and Plots of Lands Located in Inter-settlement Territories of the Nenets AO”, which describes the procedures for acceptance and transfer of restored lands in the region.

- Monitoring of areas of former geological exploration. Development of a monitoring programme.

A monitoring programme has been prepared that includes validation of the main evaluation parameters for ecosystems disturbed by exploration work on NAO deposits in the past years. The programme is ready for application on the sites of LUKOIL-Severneftegaz (Naryan-Mar), a company of the LUKOIL Group. It will be used to manage monitoring and prepare reports on the state of indicator species on the sites where geological exploration was conducted in the past.

- Monitoring of various approaches to contaminated land restoration completed on LUKOIL-Komi demo sites in the NAO and the Republic of Komi.

Standard plans for land restoration in the environmental conditions of the Nenets AO and Republic of Komi on LUKOIL-Komi sites have been prepared. These standard plans include validations for best practices of oil-contaminated land restoration in the North that take into account the soil and vegetation blanket, determine the procedures and conditions for selecting best available technologies for biodiversity conservation and monitoring.
The standards have been coordinated and approved by the management of LUKOIL-Komi. The company will use them to plan restoration works on contaminated lands in the NAO and Komi, identify the most appropriate contractors, perform works and monitoring in various stages of land restoration, including biodiversity monitoring.

- Preparation of final documents on the evaluation of oil waste utilisation methods in Komi and the NAO completed.

The Project’s experts identified the best available technologies for oil waste treatment on LUKOIL-Komi sites, evaluated the impact of the waste on local ecosystems’ biodiversity, and did a comparative assessment of technologies for two regions (Komi and the NAO). It was found out how the composition and percentages of hydrocarbon cuts in the oil sludge change during depending on the processing method. A system for monitoring soil, plant ecosystem biodiversity, soil biota dynamics and activity on oil sludge processing sites was developed.
Standard plans for oil sludge treatment and oil sludge pit recultivation on LUKOIL-Komi sites were prepared. Drafting of regional regulatory documents on land acceptance after oil sludge pit restoration, and on methodology guidelines regarding preparation of oil sludge pit restoration projects, was initiated.
Upon their completion, the technologies of oil waste utilisation for BD conservation in the NAO and the Republic of Komi were evaluated, and then the assessment results were used to work out criteria on acceptance of land. Upon undergoing the required approval procedures, the documents will be proposed for use in the planning stage and during the acceptance of oil sludge treatment results.

Development of a methodology for ecological vulnerability assessment, including biodiversity vulnerability, continues. An ecological vulnerability map of the NAO is in progress.

A geoinformaton system has been developed in the ArcGis programming environment that consists of a set of thematical layers reflecting a wide range of biodiversity parameters of animal and plant model groups in their interaction with the database, which contain all the currently available information on the biology, ecology and distribution of all the animal and plant model groups in the NAO.
The database on model group diversity contains data on 1173 animal species and 1667 plant species. The information accumulated in the database helps characterise and evaluate the biodiversity of particular geographic areas and locations.
A description of creation steps and a detailed characteristic of GIS layers on the NAO biodiversity is provided. Criteria for differentiated assessment of natural values of the NAO territory have been described, and the respective maps have been generated. In order to monitor changes in ecosystems caused by human activities, a database of historic and actual multizonal satellite images has been compiled (remote sensing data - RSD) together with an archive of RSD metadata for the NAO territory.
A 1 to 200,000 scale map of human-induced damage has been created for the NAO, with disturbed areas calculated for each geobotanical district. This map can serve as a basis to monitor remotely the state of ecosystems in the NAO.

Establishment of protected areas.

In 2016, the Project, under the agreement on cooperation with the Vostok NAO oil company and the Department of Natural Resources, Environment and Agroindustrial Complex of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, began drafting materials validating the creation of the regional natural refuge Vashutkinski in the area of the Okrug where oil extraction operations are particularly active.
The Project plans to assist with working out effective offsetting measures for the company and to support the rights of indigenous minorities of the North to traditional nature management in the proposed protected area.

© 2019