Nord Stream 2 AG, the developer of a pipeline to supply Russian natural gas to the EU market through the Baltic Sea, today announced a partnership with Strelka KB. Strelka KB is the leading company in spatial development strategies in Russia. At Nord Stream 2’s request, Strelka will develop a Management Plan for the Kurgalsky nature reserve which will serve as an administrative tool for the sustainable implementation of conservation objectives of this protected area in the medium and long term.
In Russia, the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline crosses a section of about 3.7 km in the southern part of the Kurgalsky nature reserve, which is protected under the Ramsar and Helsinki Conventions. Nord Stream 2 recognises its responsibility towards Kurgalsky. As a project developer seeking external financing, on top of compliance with applicable national legislation, the company follows the International Finance Corporation Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability (IFC PS). IFC PS no. 6 “Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources” requires project developers working in protected areas to demonstrate that project implementation will achieve a net gain on the area’s biodiversity value.
To this end, the company has agreed with the Committee of Natural Resources of the Leningrad Region to sponsor and coordinate the development of a Management Plan for Kurgalsky. The Management Plan will be delivered in partnership with Strelka KB and in dialogue with key regional experts and institutions.
“The Kurgalsky project is the first transboundary project for Strelka KB, but not the first experience of working with green zones, including protected areas. The Management Plan development will be based on a comprehensive scientific analysis that will offer strategies for biodiversity enhancement. At an early stage our task is to define all risks and to pay particular attention to the possible threats to the biodiversity of the reserve. The main direction of the work on this project will be the establishment of a management model that would strike a balance between environmental protection and the development of recreational potential of the Kurgalsky reserve,” says Alexei Muratov, Partner at Strelka KB.
The objective of the Management Plan is to establish a structured conservation framework for the reserve, in compliance with the existing regulations, and:
Determine the long-term conservation priorities and objectives of the reserve;
Establish pilot projects for biodiversity enhancement;
Develop a management strategy to control threats to the biodiversity value of the reserve;
Identify the focus areas for scientific research of ongoing natural processes within the reserve;
Establish a framework for sustainable public use of the reserve.
“Nord Stream 2 is committed to the highest standards of sustainable development. The partnership with Strelka KB will lead to a set of measures that would ensure achievement of a net gain on the biodiversity value of the Kurgalsky peninsula and enhance the conservation aims and effective management of the entire area,” said Dirk von Ameln, Senior Advisor to the CEO at Nord Stream 2.
The Kurgalsky Management Plan will be developed as part of the comprehensive Environmental and Community Initiatives Strategy(ECo-I) being implemented by Nord Stream 2 to ensure benefits for the environment and communities in the project area in Russia. The Strategy is based on four pillars and adopts a holistic approach to compensation, biodiversity enhancement measures, community initiatives and sponsorship activities that Nord Steam 2 plans to undertake in and around the landfall in the Kingisepp district.
Biodiversity enhancement, including the development of the Kurgalsky Management Plan, an ongoing telemetry study of ringed sealsin the Gulf of Finland and related projects, is the key element of the ECo-I Strategy and the company’s compliance with the IFC PS. Nord Stream 2 is committed to implementing initiatives in close coordination with the expert community and regional authorities, as envisaged by the cooperation agreement signed in February 2018with the Leningrad Region Government.
The Kurgalsky Management Plan will be developed taking into account a comprehensive ecological studythat was conducted in 2017 in accordance with an established international methodology and covered the entire Kurgalsky peninsula, as well as other studies, such as tourist load and invasive species studies carried out over the summer of 2018.