Wetland Centre at the Sebezhsky National Park
The project was aimed to increase awareness (locally and regionally) of the ecological and socio-economic functions and values of wetlands, their conservation needs and sustainable management options, through the establishment of a wetland center at the Sebezhsky National Park and the creation and publication of educational and awareness materials.
The Sebezh Lake Complex is located in southwestern Pskov Region, on the border with Belarus and Latvia, and covers over 50,000 ha. There are c. 90 lakes in the area totalling 7,000 ha. The lakes are interconnected by rivers and channels.
Peatlands cover 15% of the area and include fens, raised bogs and transitional sedge-sphagnum mires. This area supports over 200 bird species, including 15 species listed in the Russian Red Data Book. The Sebezh Lake Complex has qualified as internationally important wetland against the Criteria of the Ramsar Convention.
The area is protected as the Sebezhsky National Park. The park was established in 1996 to protect natural, historical and cultural complexes, and to create favourable conditions for recreation and tourism. The park is managed according to an officially approved management plan identifying sustainable forestry and recreational capacity building as most important objectives.
Globally important wetlands located in the area, although having been identified as a potential Ramsar site, have never been the target of conservation activities. There is a need for active promotion of wetland conservation objectives through the implementation of small-scale projects targeted at raising awareness in wetland functions and values.
This project will produce the following outputs:
- A Wetland Centre will be created on the base of the Ozeryavki Centre for Environmental Education of the Sebezhsky National Park;
- A mobile exhibition on wetlands of the Sebezh Lake Country will be installed;
- A leaflet on wetlands and waterbirds of the Sebezh Lake Country will be designed and published;
- Educational and awareness materials will be developed, including lectures for school children, excursion description, press releases and computer presentations;
- Recommendations for wetland management will be developed to be included in the management plan for Sebezhsky NP.
The Wetland Centre will work on continuing basis under the Envronmental Education Department of Sebezhsky NP providing excursions and lectures to local school children and other people coming to the Park from all over Russia. An important objective of the Centre will be to accumulate information on wetland resources and wetland management and wise use practicies, to exchange information and experience with other wetland centres in Russia and abroad, in particular with the global network of wetland education centres established under the Wetland Link International Programme of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, UK.
Financial support to the project is provided by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Moscow.