There are plans to create 12 national parks and 9 nature preserves in Russia before 2010. This is according to the statement made today during a briefing by Vladimir Pishchelev, Director of the Agency for Managing Specially Protected Natural Territories.
He said, the Ingermanland Preserve would be opened in the Leningrad Region, on a group of islands in the Gulf of Finland, in the end of 2002 or early in 2003. Similar preserves will be created over the next several years on the Shantar Islands in the southeastern part of the Sea of Okhotsk and in the Chukotka Peninsula. Specially protected zones will be opened in the Kostroma Region and in the northern Far East.
Today, Mr. Pishchelev said, most nature preserves remain in the European part of Russia and the southern Far East. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, today, they total 188.6 million ha or 10.5% of the whole territory of Russia. As to the number of such territories, Russia holds the first place in the world and is second after the US as to their combined areas.
Mr. Pishchelev also said, the area of the specially protected territories had increased by 72% over the past 10 years, 26 preserves and 8 national parks created anew.
Two ballistic missiles attacked the US Navy destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) from the territory of Yemen. The destroyer came to the aid of the hijacked Central Park tanker of Zodiac Maritime