Ownership of specially protected natural areas

The concept of specially protected natural areas.

Environmental protection is carried out not only in the form of organizing the rational use of natural resources, but also through the complete or partial withdrawal of natural complexes and objects from active economic development and the creation of specially protected natural areas in order to preserve them intact as standards of the natural environment, habitats plants and animals, remarkable and unique natural formations.
Specially protected natural areas are areas of land, water surface and air space above them, where natural complexes and objects of environmental, scientific, cultural, aesthetic, recreational and health significance are located.
For them, a special (reserved) regime of protection is established, the essence of which is the complete prohibition or restriction of economic and other activities that are contrary to the goals of the conservation.
The legal regime of specially protected natural territories is regulated by acts of environmental legislation of a general nature (the Law of the RSFSR “On the Protection of the Environment”, Decree of the President of the Russian Federation “On Specially Protected Natural Territories of the Russian Federation” dated October 2, 1992 No. 1155), laws on the legal regime of certain types of natural resources (Forest, Water, Land Codes, the Federal Law “On the Wildlife”, the Law of the Russian Federation “On Subsoil”, etc.), as well as special legislation on specially protected natural areas – the Federal Laws “On Specially Protected Natural Territories” of 1995, “On natural healing resources, health-improving areas and resorts” 1995, Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation “On the procedure for maintaining the state cadastre of specially protected natural areas” dated October 19, 1996 No. 1249, provisions on specific types of specially protected natural areas (reserves, wildlife sanctuaries , national parks, etc.).
In the system of legislation under consideration, the main normative act of a codification nature that regulates the organization, protection and use of specially protected natural areas is the Federal Law “On Specially Protected Natural Areas”.

Categories and types of specially protected natural areas

The Law on Specially Protected Natural Territories distinguishes several of their categories, taking into account the peculiarities of the legal regime of these natural territories and the status of environmental institutions located on them (Article 2):
– State natural reserves;
– National parks;
– natural parks;
– state nature reserves;
– monuments of nature;
– dendrological parks and botanical gardens;
health-improving areas and resorts.
The Government of the Russian Federation, executive authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and local self-government may also establish other categories of specially protected natural areas – territories in which there are green areas, urban forests, city parks, monuments of landscape art, protected coastlines, protected river systems, natural landscapes, biological stations, micro-reserves, etc.
The most important place in the system of specially protected natural areas is occupied by the natural reserve fund, which includes several basic organizational and legal forms of nature conservation (reserves) – reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, national, natural parks, natural monuments. The Law of the RSFSR “On the Protection of the Environment” also includes rare and endangered species of plants and animals listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation (Article 60) as a natural reserve fund.

Ownership of specially protected natural areas

The legislation classifies specially protected natural territories as objects of national property, which may be in state or municipal ownership.
Creation, development and expansion of areas of specially protected natural areas is recognized as one of the priorities of the state environmental policy*
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* Decree of the President of the Russian Federation “On Specially Protected Natural Territories of the Russian Federation” dated October 2, 1992 No. 1155.

Specially protected natural territories may have federal, regional or local significance, depending on what their ownership is determined and the forms and types of ownership for them are established.
Specially protected natural areas that are of federal significance and are only in federal ownership include state nature reserves and national parks.
The territories of state reserves, natural monuments, dendrological parks and botanical gardens, as well as medical and recreational areas and resorts can have either federal or regional significance, that is, they are state property of the Russian Federation or its subjects. Natural parks belong to the territories of regional significance, that is, they are the property of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.
Territories of local significance, which are in municipal ownership, may be declared medical and health-improving areas and resorts.
Depending on the ownership of these specially protected natural areas, state management and control in the field of their use and protection is carried out by the executive authorities of the Russian Federation or its constituent entities, local governments, as well as the relevant specially authorized bodies of state environmental management (the State Committee of the Russian Federation for Environmental Protection , the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Russian Federation, the Federal Forestry Service of Russia, etc.).
In order to assess the state of the natural reserve fund, determine the prospects for the development of a network of specially protected areas, and improve the efficiency of state control over the regime established on them, a state cadastre of specially protected natural areas is maintained. It contains information about the status of these territories, their geographical location and borders, the regime of special protection, subjects of use, as well as environmental, scientific, economic, cultural and other values (Article 4 of the Law on Specially Protected Natural Territories).

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