Desna River Floodplains






East Atlantic flyway


WLI Russia


Desnyansko-Starogutsky NationalNaturePark, Desnyanski Zori (Desna Sunrise)

Funding support: State budget; donations

Number of staff: 2

Number of visitors per year: 400

Overall aims of the centre

Environmental education, scientific studies, conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, public involvement in monitoring of wetlands, development of ecological tourism.

Description of the centre

The site covers an area of 4270 hectares and is located in the floodplain of the Desna River which channel has preserved its original natural state. In July 29, 2004 the certificate number 1398, the inclusion of land to the wetlands of international importance, was granted to the wetland “Desna River Floodplains” by Ramsar Convention Bureau.

At the wetlands are all typical types of vegetation for flood plains of large rivers, meadows, water, and coastal aquatic vegetation, gallery forests and shrubs, floodplain forests, swamps. There are areas with higher psamophytic vegetation. List of vascular plants of wetlands has 594 species.

List of vertebrate consists of 325 species including 1 species of cyclostomes, 40 species of fish, 12 species of amphibians, 7 species of reptiles, 214 species of birds and 51 species of mammals.

Desna is an important migration corridor for migratory birds. When during migration is flooding there are large number of islands in the valley that allows migratoty birds to stop for rest. The site is provided sufficient protection because of its location on lands of Desnyansko-Starogutsky National Nature Park.

Ecological and educational activities are carried out by relevant parts of Desnyansko-Starogutsky National Nature Park and public environmental organization “Desnyanski Zori”. Since 2002 began the work of annual environmental camp “Desnyanski Zori” for students.

Work Areas

Main CEPA work areas

– preservation of natural systems Desna River floodplain;
– expansion of territory on the right bank of the Desna river floodplain;
– ensure the development of green tourism;
– provision of information about wetland complexes and positive examples of their wise use to various target groups.

Top three successes

1) Environmental camp for students “Desnyanski Zori”, which helps children to encourage scientific and environmental activities

2) Ornithological environmental school that provides attraction of students to observe the birds during migration

3) Cycling race by the territory of Desnianskyi Biosphere Reserve in order to increase environmental awareness of local people.

Top three challenges

1) insufficient interest of local people in environmental cooperation

2) location of the wetlands within two areas causes problems in dealing with certain administrative matters

3) lack of cooperation with international environmental organizations.


Interpretation techniques


Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails

Visitor centres

Running a visitor centre


Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers

Education and communication

Early years education; Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Lobbying / running campaigns; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials


PR and marketing; Running effective administration; Health and safety; Fund-raising; Project planning.



National Nature Park,

Novgorod – Siverska Street,

62, Seredyna-Buda,

Sumy Region,

Ukraine, 41000.


Phone/fax: +38(05451)71449