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UNESCO World Heritage in Kamchatka

December 30, 2018 / Volunteering

Kamchatka is a special place for everyone, whose heart begins to beat faster just hearing something about travelling. It attracts and calls, shakes imagination and fascinates from the first photo found on the web. Be careful: after several reviews and articles it is possible to fall in love with the peninsula and to decide to see it one day with your own eyes.

There is one serial natural World Heritage site in Kamchatka called the Volcanoes of Kamchatka. The word ‘serial’ has nothing to do with TV series: it means that UNESCO World Heritage site designation was given not to one area, but to an assembly of territories or so called components. In case of the Volcanoes of Kamchatka, there are 6 components: Nalychevo, Southern Kamchatka, Bystrinsky and Klyuchevskoy Regional Nature Parks, the Kronotsky Nature Reserve and Southern Kamchatka Wildlife Reserve. They constitute almost 4 million hectares, which is 15% of the entire Kamchatka peninsula! The loss of any of the components would be irreplaceable for the whole humanity.

According to the UNESCO, the Volcanoes of Kamchatka have a whole treasury of outstanding universal values, including:

• landscape of exceptional beauty (huge symmetrical volcanoes, lakes, rivers and a picturesque coastline)

• spawning areas of salmon and other places of concentration of rare species (which is important for the biodiversity of the planet)

• active volcanoes (they are not only dangerous and fascinating, but also important for natural sciences)

• exceptional diversity of the Paleoarctic fauna (some of which can be found only on the peninsula)

• birds, including rare and endangered species (for example, 50% of the Steller's sea eagle population could be found in Kamchatka); fish and mammals (dolphins and whales often come to coastal waters).

The World Heritage designation of the Volcanoes of Kamchatka would probably mean its automatic inclusion to various must-see lists. However, this status also opens more opportunities to be directly involved in the

preservation of its nature for the future generations, including volunteering. You could find some of them in GoodSurfer and start your own journey with meaning to Kamchatka.

Authors: Nargiz Aituganova

Translated by: Drejk Barkov

Photo: Alexia Shoffa

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