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CONNECTIVITY IN A CHANGING CLIMATE: THE ALTAI  SAYAN ECOREGION <br />Adriana Dinu, UNDP, Regional Environment and Energy P...
Overview<br />Altai Sayan Ecoregion:<br /><ul><li>Globally significant biodiversity
Carbon sequestration
Climate Change</li></ul>Improve Connectivity <br /><ul><li>Within national borders
Across the national borders
Across ecoregions</li></li></ul><li>Altay Sayan Ecoregion <br />1,065,000 km2<br />62%<br />5% <br />29% <br />4% <br />
 Mosaic of woodlands, meadows, mountain tundra, steppes and deserts in the center of Asia<br />
4000 species of vascular plants ….. 12% endemic<br />
700 vertebrate species<br />
Home for 5 million people speaking more than 20 languages<br />
Carbon storage: 3.21 billion tones of Carbon<br />
2.8C increase in mean annual temperature – 50 years <br />Western Altai Zapovednik<br />Katon Karagai NP<br />Markakoli Z...
The most vulnerable ecosystems to climate change <br />nival (glaciers, permafrost<br />Water ecosystems<br />Alpine and t...
Climate Change Impacts in Altai: Changes in forest composition<br />лесные<br />
Climate Change Impacts in Altai: Intensification of forest fire<br />1999 – 2003: <br />700,000 m3 wood burned on 60,000 h...
Climate Change Impacts in Altai: Shifting ecosystem ranges<br />
UNDP, GEF  and ICI partnership: to improve connectivity in Altai Sayan as an adaptation measure to Climate Change <br />
Connectivity within national borders: establishing new PAs (Russia: 0.5 million ha) and improve effectiveness of existing ...
Connectivity within national borders: Green Corridors and buffer areas in Kazakhstan <br />348,400 ha<br />Protecting carb...
Connectivity across borders: transboundary Protected Areas<br />
Altai Transboundary PA network <br />
Connectivity across borders: Transboundary agreements for collaboration<br />Ubsunur NP transboundary<br />Altai<br />Ubsu...
Altai Argali<br />Connectivity for migratory species – Altai Argali<br />
Connectivity for migratory species – Snow Leopard<br />Snow Leopard<br />
Connectivity across ecoregions: Altay - Baikal Megaconnectivity Conservation Corridor:proposed<br />Altai – Baikal CC mega...
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Altai Sayan Ecoregion: Connectivity in a changing climate (UNDP presentation)

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The Altai-Sayan Ecoregion is one of the last-remaining untouched areas of the world. It covers over 1 million square km and is shared by Russia (62%), Mongolia (29%), Kazakhstan (5%) and China (4%).

It’s globally significant biodiversity is recognized by the 2 World Natural Heritage Sites – “Altai Golden Mountains” in Russia and transboundary “Uvs Lake basin” in Mongolia and Russia.

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  • The Altai-Sayan Ecoregion is one of the last-remaining untouched areas of the world. It covers over 1 million square km and is shared by Russia (62%), Mongolia (29%), Kazakhstan (5%) and China (4%). It’s globally significant biodiversity is recognized by the 2 World Natural Heritage Sites – “Altai Golden Mountains” in Russia and transboundary “Uvs Lake basin” in Mongolia and Russia.
  • It is one of the world’s largest least disturbed and least transformed forest and steppe tracts, situated at the juncture of the Central-Asiatic and Siberian faunistic provinces, which contributes to its high levels of biological diversity. Almost one-third of the ecoregion, 270,000km2, is covered by forest. Several major mountain ranges are found here with large areas of alpine tundra and alpine meadows.
  • Often referred to as a “cradle of civilization”, the Altai-Sayan is rich in archaeological sites including cave paintings andburial mounds, some dating back 35,000 years. The current population is about 5 million people speaking more than 20 languages.
  • With a territory of 535,000 km2 in total Altai-Sayan forests represent a very important carbon sink estimated at 3.21 billion tones of Carbon.Calculated using coefficients from Table 3.A.1.2 Aboveground biomass stock in naturally regenerated forests by broad category (IPCC Good Practice Guidance).
  • degradation and destruction of larch forests;dominance of dark coniferous trees over light coniferous species. This has an impact on the carbon storage, as dark coniferous species store
  • The existing protected areas are not interconnected and lack buffer zones; thus, human activities outside the established protected areas, such as fires, result in severe damage to the neighboring protected sites. It is clear, though, that even if interconnectivity is achieved through the establishment of new protected areas and corridors, certain human-induced threats would continue sweeping through the border of protected areas, and would need targeted adaptation action, if the forest integrity is to be retained against the background of changing climate. One such obvious threat, and by far the dominant one, is represented by fires. Fires usually cover large areas due to the considerable time lag between a fire’s start and its discovery, and also difficulties in accessing fires. Fire frequency has been increasing due to the combination of more people going into forests for either recreation, the collection of NTFPs, the illegal felling of trees, as well as climate change. In 2006, the ASE protected areas network consisted of 288 protected areas in Russia and 5 disconnected sites in Kazakhstan. They did not represent well a number of ecosystems, such as alpine meadows, taiga, steppe, forest steppe. The PA designation alone did not result in better management capacities and conservation effectiveness in either country. Three UNDP/GEF projects – in Russia (Improving the Coverage andManagement Efficiency of Protected Areas in the Steppe Biome of Russia269), inKazakhstan (Conservation and Sustainable use of Biodiversity in the KazakhstaniSector of the Altai-Sayan Mountain Ecoregion270), and in Mongolia (CommunitybasedConservation of Biological Diversity in the Mountain Landscapes of Mongolia’sAltai Sayan Ecoregion271) – work in tandem to improve the ecological connectivitybetween existing and planned protected areas across the entire ecoregionThus in 2006, UNDP with GEF funding, launched two national projects aimed atexpandingthe PA estate in ASE and increase its conservation effectiveness. 
  • By early 2010, the Russian project facilitated establishment of two new IUCN-II sites (Ergaki- and Ukok parks), thus almost 0.5 million ha into the region’s protected area network, all of which have been supplied with advanced management plans. Through this, 3.2% of the region’s underrepresented ecosystems – notably mountain tundra, alpine meadows and taiga – became protected. By early 2010, 36.8% of the region’s mountain tundra and alpine meadows were protected (up from 31.9% in 2006); 29.9% of the region’s taiga (from 26% in 2006).
  • In Kazakhstan, in 2009 the Committee for forestry and hunting of Ministry of agriculture endorsed establishment of the Tarbagatai state zapovednik (250,000 ha) and agreed on the expansion of the existing Markakol state zapovednik by 27,913 ha and delineating a buffer zone for it with total area of 79,390 ha. Further, there is plan to establish four other protected areas in Markakol part with the total area of 179,790.5 ha. In order to improve the inter-connectivity between the protected areas, the project developed a regulation on green corridors connecting the Western part of the Kazakh ASE with Zapadno Altai state zapovednik, Lower-Turgussun zakaznik and Katon Karagai national park. In both countries, the above activities resulted in a decline of illegal economic activities and better conservation of mountain ecosystems.
  • Bilateral agreements between the three neighbouring countries to establish trans-boundary national parks “Ubsunur” along the border of Russia and Mongolia (critical for the conservation of the transboundary population of snow leopard and Altay mountain sheep) and “Altai” along the Russian-Kazakhstan border (Katun Karagai National park in Kazahstan and Katunsky Biosphere reserve on Russia side). Kazakhstan Government is fully supportive of this initiative and has written to its Russian counterpart in this regard. Further, two International Agreements on collaborative management in conservation were revived, one between the Russian “Ubsunurskay Kotlovina” biosphere reserve and the Mongolian “Uvs-Nuur” reserve, the other between the Katunskiy biosphere reserve in Russia and the “Katon-Karagai” nature national park in Kazakhstan. This enables joint activities critical for the conservation of the transboundary population of Altai argali sheep and Snow seopard.
  • Agreements were signed for new protected areas to cover the migration habitat of Altai Argali and
  • Transcript of "Altai Sayan Ecoregion: Connectivity in a changing climate (UNDP presentation)"

    1. 1. CONNECTIVITY IN A CHANGING CLIMATE: THE ALTAI SAYAN ECOREGION <br />Adriana Dinu, UNDP, Regional Environment and Energy Practice Leader, Europe and CIS<br />© 2010 UNDP. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.<br />Proprietary and Confidential. Not For Distribution Without Prior Written Permission.<br />
    2. 2. Overview<br />Altai Sayan Ecoregion:<br /><ul><li>Globally significant biodiversity
    3. 3. Carbon sequestration
    4. 4. Climate Change</li></ul>Improve Connectivity <br /><ul><li>Within national borders
    5. 5. Across the national borders
    6. 6. Across ecoregions</li></li></ul><li>Altay Sayan Ecoregion <br />1,065,000 km2<br />62%<br />5% <br />29% <br />4% <br />
    7. 7. Mosaic of woodlands, meadows, mountain tundra, steppes and deserts in the center of Asia<br />
    8. 8. 4000 species of vascular plants ….. 12% endemic<br />
    9. 9. 700 vertebrate species<br />
    10. 10. Home for 5 million people speaking more than 20 languages<br />
    11. 11. Carbon storage: 3.21 billion tones of Carbon<br />
    12. 12. 2.8C increase in mean annual temperature – 50 years <br />Western Altai Zapovednik<br />Katon Karagai NP<br />Markakoli Zapovednik <br />Tarbagatai NP<br />
    13. 13. The most vulnerable ecosystems to climate change <br />nival (glaciers, permafrost<br />Water ecosystems<br />Alpine and tundra<br />Forest ecosytems<br />
    14. 14. Climate Change Impacts in Altai: Changes in forest composition<br />лесные<br />
    15. 15. Climate Change Impacts in Altai: Intensification of forest fire<br />1999 – 2003: <br />700,000 m3 wood burned on 60,000 ha: emissions of 3,600,000 t C <br />
    16. 16. Climate Change Impacts in Altai: Shifting ecosystem ranges<br />
    17. 17. UNDP, GEF and ICI partnership: to improve connectivity in Altai Sayan as an adaptation measure to Climate Change <br />
    18. 18. Connectivity within national borders: establishing new PAs (Russia: 0.5 million ha) and improve effectiveness of existing ones <br />
    19. 19. Connectivity within national borders: Green Corridors and buffer areas in Kazakhstan <br />348,400 ha<br />Protecting carbon pools:<br />725,000 ha of natural forests<br /><ul><li>52.4 million t of carbon –</li></li></ul><li>Work within and beyond boundaries of protected areas: Fire Management <br />
    20. 20. Connectivity across borders: transboundary Protected Areas<br />
    21. 21. Altai Transboundary PA network <br />
    22. 22. Connectivity across borders: Transboundary agreements for collaboration<br />Ubsunur NP transboundary<br />Altai<br />UbsunurskayaKotlovina BR<br />Katusnky BR<br />UvsNuur Reserve<br />Katun Karagai NP <br />
    23. 23. Altai Argali<br />Connectivity for migratory species – Altai Argali<br />
    24. 24. Connectivity for migratory species – Snow Leopard<br />Snow Leopard<br />
    25. 25. Connectivity across ecoregions: Altay - Baikal Megaconnectivity Conservation Corridor:proposed<br />Altai – Baikal CC mega-corridor<br />Altai-Sayan eco-region<br />
    26. 26. Challenges in designing and implementing connectivity:<br />Scale: institutional, across administrative boundaries, national boundaries.<br />Improving management effectiveness of existing areas is a more urgent priority for governments<br />Creating PAs areas automatically excludes any form of economic use – bias towards Category I in CIS<br />Assumptions that all proposed PAs will be created immediately - Expansion Plans difficult to negotiate<br />Funding for existing vs planned <br />Timeframes - gazettment takes much longer than a project lifetime<br />
    27. 27. Thank you!<br />
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