The 146,237 ha Smolensk Lakeland National Park (Biosphere Reserve) is located in the northwestern Smolensk Oblast, Russia, close to the borders with Belarus and Ukraine. There are over 35 glacial lakes, many rivers and streams, floodplain wetlands and meadows, and old-growth coniferous and broad-leaved forests.
Organisation name: Smolensk Lakeland National Park (Biosphere Reserve)
Funding support: Russian Federation Budget, Smolensk Oblast Department of Natural Resources, Smolensk Oblast Department for Sports and Tourism, UNESCO National Committees of the Republic of Belarus and Russian Federation, Visitors, projects and additional grants.
Number of staff: No permanent staff. The Centre is run by the Department of Ecological Education and Tourism and Department of Science of the Smolensk Lakeland National Park (Biosphere Reserve)
Overall aims of the centre
Research, management and conservation of wetlands in the Smolensk Lakeland National Park (Biosphere Reserve) and adjacent areas, environmental education, transboundary cooperation on wetland conservation and wise use.
Description of the centre
The 146,237 ha Smolensk Lakeland National Park (Biosphere Reserve) is located in the northwestern Smolensk Oblast, Russia, close to the borders with Belarus and Ukraine.
There are over 35 glacial lakes, many rivers and streams, floodplain wetlands and meadows, and old-growth coniferous and broad-leaved forests. Peatlands cover 28% of the total area of the Park, and include 33 open and forested bog complexes.
The site is important for breeding and migrating water birds. The Smolensk Lakeland BR actively cooperates with many Belarussian, Ukrainian and Russian biosphere reserves and holds a key position in the regional system of ecological education.
It is planned to construct a new visitor centre in the park which will be equipped with interactive exposition on the wise use of wetlands.
Main CEPA work areas
Many CEPA activities take place in the National Park, including ecological summer camps for children, Bard Song Festival, Festival of Russian Fish Soup, excursions and lectures for local school children and other people coming to the Park from all over Russia and abroad.
Mobile exhibitions introducing the wetland landscapes, plants and animals, and some key facts have been created.
They travel around the Smolensk Region to communicate wetland values to the wider public.
The Park offers various eco-tours combining boating, excursions and foot walks along nature and historic sites.
Top three successes
Ecological summer camps have attracted interest from a large number of participants from all over the country.
Creating signage / site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails
Setting up a new visitor centre; Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre; Building / maintaining structures
Engaging hard-to-reach groups; Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers
Education and communication
Early years education; Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials