Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands

Field Project Summary
Sustainable coastal development in the White Sea - Barents Sea region,  northern Russia

Revision Date: 1 January 2004
Title:  Sustainable Coastal Development in the White Sea - Barents Sea Region, Northern Russia (Former title 'Baltic Floating University- North’ the project is known locally by an old acronym ‘BFU-North’).
Goal: Elaboration of a strategic planning methodology for the wise development of the coastal region in Northern Russia (White Sea-Barents Sea Region): Development of Integrated Coastal Management in the Gulf of Kandadalaksha.
Location: Coastal areas of the White Sea (specifically Kandalaksha Bay) and the Barents Sea (specifically Kislaya Bay).
Starting date: The project started in 1992. It was refocused in 2000 on coastal management with a significant social-economic component.
Partners: United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, through the Training and Education in Marine Science programme 1993-1995, and through the Coastal Regions and Small Islands platform from 1996 onwards, also through the UNITWIN/UNESCO Network “WiCoP-Europe” from August 2002 onwards) and the Russian State Hydrometeorological University with its partners: the Local Administration of the City of Kandalaksha; the Knipovich Institute for Polar Fisheries and Oceanography (PINRO, City of Murmansk); the Kandalaksha State Nature Reserve and local enterprises. The Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology of the Russian Federation has supported this activity through the Federal Target program “The World Ocean” within the framework of the Project “Optimisation of relationships between different resource users in the coastal zone of the Russian Seas and analyses of the national marine policy”, from 2001onwards.
Field project leader: Prof. Dr. Lev Karlin, Rector,
Russian State Hydrometeorological University (RSHU)
98 Malookhtinsky Emb., 195198 St. Petersburg, RUSSIA
Tel +7812 4444163 (Rector)
Fax + 7812 4446090
e-mail rector@rshu.ru
Contact person: Dr. Nikolaj Plink
Head of the Department of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM), RSHU
e-mail plink@rshu.ru  
Description: The Russian State Hydrometeorological University (RSHU), St. Petersburg has developed field research in coastal regions of northern Russia (White Sea-Barents Sea regions), since 1992, in cooperation with the Knipovich Institute for Polar Fisheries and Oceanography (PINRO, City of Murmansk) and the Kandalaksha State Nature Reserve (City of Kandalaksha). Early research work concentrated on hydrological, hydrochemical and hydrobiological monitoring of semi-enclosed water bodies. The studies were carried out in the White Sea (Palkin Bay) and the Barents Sea (Kislaya Bay). The objective was to provide hydrometeorological support to local stakeholders, such as a tidal power plant, caged salmon culture, an oil terminal, a state nature reserve, etc. In 2000, the project was refocused to concentrate on the socio-economic problems of the coastal zone of the Murmansk District and the Kandalaksha Bay of the White Sea. In 2003, an ICM program for the Gulf of Kandalaksha was initiated. Due to the educational nature of the lead institution (RSHU) the project involves students (both under- and postgraduate), providing opportunities for advanced, on-the-job training.  
Achievements & Assessment: Scientific impact of the project  

The Gulf of Kandalaksha is a good research ground for developing principles of sustainable interaction between numerous resource users in the coastal zone and the assessment of the ecological safety of their activities. Within the framework of the Project environmental data have been collected and used by a number of local stakeholders in their practical work. An analysis of coastal problems has been made taking into account the results of social surveys. Analysis of potential conflicts has shown the existence of five types of conflict between different coastal stakeholders. The social, economic and environmental impact of the use of various marine and coastal resources has been codified. Economic assessment of the current and potential value of the Murmansk coastal zone (about 3x103 and 9x106 US $ per coastal inhabitant respectively) testifies to the great potential for further development of the region.

The research has provided a scientific basis for initiating integrated coastal management by the municipal authorities of the Gulf of Kandalaksha.  

Educational impact of the project

(i) Students’ field work  
The principal features of the training that students involved in the projects receive are, their active involvement in field research, and
direct cooperation between the students and the final users of their research work. As a result students participate in solving specific socio-economic problems as members of multi-disciplinary teams with their teachers; thus students apply academic results to complex natural and socio-anthropogenic processes and phenomena in the coastal zone of the northern seas of Russia. This helps to develop the students’ practical skills under field conditions during the process of data analysis, in preparation of scientific reports as well as in extensive discussion of the results with leading specialists.

(ii) Training and educational courses  
In 2003 a training course on the development of small businesses in the coastal zone was organised by the Kandalaksha Center on Employment in co-operation with the Russian State Hydrometeorological University (St. Petersburg) with the financial support of UNESCO/CSI. During this two-week course sixteen inhabitants of the city of Kandalaksha enjoyed lectures and computer-based business simulations. All participants received State and UNESCO certificates on their participation.

In 2002 and 2003 summer environmental educational courses for children were organised at the Children’s Health Base “Gandvik” in the Gulf of Kandalaksha (Palkin Bay).

(iii) Workshops and seminars
Since 1995 the RSHU and the Kandalaksha State Nature Reserve have held annual workshops on the “Rational use of the Northern Seas Coastal Zone”. The workshops have all been held in the
Kandalaksha city region and have resulted in dissemination and deeper understanding of integrated coastal management methodology and tools, greater public awareness, capacity building in the region and recognition by the local authorities.  

Impact of the project on partnerships and public information  

The project has involved work with the mass-media; interviews and meetings. Its output includes articles in the local newspapers, an ICM booklet and a more general brochure, workshop proceedings and a series of textbooks prepared by the RSHU on “Coastal Policy”, “Coastal Economics”, “Integrated Coastal Management Planning Strategies” and “Coastal Law”. The textbooks include case studies of the development of ICM in northern Russia. They will assist in promoting wise practices at national and international levels. The results of the Barents Sea-White seas Field Project were discussed at the UNESCO/UNITWIN “WiCoP-Europe” meeting held in Roja, Latvia, in December 2003. The meeting presented an opportunity for sharing and assimilating experience gained by other universities on ICM, specifically the UNESCO/CSI “Northern Kurzeme” Field Project run by the University of Latvia.  

The effect anticipated from this work: dissemination of ICM methodology and increased public awareness of coastal issues.  

Impacts of the project on institutions, legislation and management  

An ICM Working group was created within the Local Administration of the Kandalaksha Municipality in 2003. In addition to local decision-makers, the Working Group includes representatives of different coastal stakeholder groups (port, oil terminal, biosphere reserve, etc). With the participation of the ICM department of RSHU, an Integrated Management System for the coastal zone of the Gulf of Kandalaksha was elaborated. The plan was discussed and adopted at the ICM Working Group meeting in October 2003. Taking into account the absence of special coastal jurisdiction in the Russian Federation, one possibility to make this plan legal is the inclusion of the ICM process in a General Strategic Plan for municipality development. Some management efforts, such as impact assessment of the Apatite terminal in the port of Kandalaksha, have been started recently.  

The strengthening of institutional structures and the development of ICM legislation in the Gulf of Kandalaksha and the project’s accumulation and dissemination of ICM experience are likely to continue to be mutually self-sustaining.  

Future Directions: Future activities will be focused on:
  • Implementation of a strategic plan for ICM development;  
  • Involvement of different coastal actors in the ICM development process;  
  • Participation in local planning processes;  
  • Capacity building in the Kandalaksha coastal zone in co-operation with local authorities by enlarging the spectrum of training and educational efforts;
  • Carrying out fieldwork and data collection to support ICM mechanisms and tools such as coastal zoning procedure, environment impact assessment (EIA), introducing GIS technology in the decision making process, etc.;  
  • Dissemination of national and international experience of the ICM development through participation in related project and programs such as the UNITWIN Network on “Wise Coastal Practices and Sustainable Human development in Europe, WiCoP-Europe”, and setting up links with partner Universities, decision makers, private enterprises, and NGOs.  

    

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