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Convention on Biological Diversity. Russia joined Convention in February 1995, thus continuing existing activities in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. In full understanding of a cross-sectoral and changeable character of the issue of compliance with obligations under the Convention, on July 1, 1995, the Russian Federation Government issued a special resolution to establish the Cross-Sectoral Commission for Biological Diversity Conservation. Among other activities the country participates in the Clearing House Mechanism on Biodiversity and established the Russian National CHM Focal Point (The Russian Conservation Monitoring Center of the GEF Project "Biodiversity Conservation in the Russian Federation"). The Center is responsible for the information support for the biodiversity conservation.
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar). The USSR joined the Convention in 1975, since then only three wetlands with the Ramsar status remained in Russia. The Government Act of 1994 expanded the List of wetlands of international importance up to 35 located in 21 RF regions.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). Russia (USSR) has been a Party of the Convention since 1976. A draft project of the Rules for Import and Export of CITES Specimens is now prepared. A joint-action plan for federal authorities to enhance control over preying, trade and customs clearing of CITES specimens was elaborated. Similar plans exist in many RF subjects.
In order to develop raising international cooperation in biodiversity conservation, it seems important that Russia should join both Bern Convention and Bonn Convention. Bern Convention adoption is required by the country membership in the European Council and participation in the Pan-European Landscape and Biological Diversity Strategy. At present Russia is involved only in the Memorandum on Mutual Understanding Concerning Measures on the Conservation of the Crane (Grus leucogeranus).
Russia signed the Agreement on the Protection of the Polar Bear and bilateral Agreements on the Protection of Migratory Birds and their Habitats concluded with South and North Korea, India, Japan, USA.
Russia participates in the International Convention on the Control over Whaling.
Cooperation with international NGOs in biodiversity conservation is no less important. The country is involved in joint efforts with NGOs such as, World Conservation Union (IUCN), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and such NGOs as International Wetlands Organization, TRAFFIC, and Tiger Trust. They are assisting Russia in the running biodiversity conservation projects, especially in European Russia forests, wetland inventory, protection of Haliaeetus pelagicus, Bison bonasus, Panthera tigris etc.
Program for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) is one of the four programs within the Arctic Region Environmental Protection Strategy ratified by Canada, Denmark, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States of America. CAFF plans include species and habitats conservation and application of traditional knowledge. The country works on the research aimed at establishment of a circumpolar network of protected areas and flora conservation. The program allows to achieve high efficiency of research efforts, information exchange, environmental management and rational use of Arctic resources.
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