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Ecology of Amur River Basin


Environmental Criteria and Restrictions in the Programs for Sustainable Nature Management in the Amur River Basin

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
  • OTH-OTH/Other/Other

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Genisaretskaya S V

Leading Institute
Russian Academy of Sciences / Far East Branch of RAS / Pacific Geographical Institute, Russia, Primorsky reg., Vladivostok

Supporting institutes

  • Russian Academy of Sciences / Far East Branch of RAS / Institute of Water and Ecology Problems RAS, Far-Eastern Branch, Russia, Khabarovsk reg., Khabarovsk


  • Hokkaido University / Institute of Low Temperature Science, Japan, Sapporo

Project summary

Project goal. The planned project implementation involves analysis of environmental condition of the Russian part of the Amur River basin, development of a system of environmental criteria and restrictions of the economic activities and land use in the Russian part of the Amur River basin to substantiate sustained nature management, to forecast and assess possible changes and to develop measures for improvement and preservation of high quality of the environment and regeneration of renewable resources.

State of affairs in the field of studies. The studies carried out in the network of joint project of the Institute of humanity and Nature, Kyoto city, Japan) in 2006-2009 revealed high dependence of productivity in the Sea of Okhotsk from water-dissolved iron used by phytoplankton for its development. The decrease of phytoplankton productivity directly results in the decrease of fishery resources. The Amur River is the main source of dissolved iron for the Sea of Okhotsk. The dissolved iron enters the Amur River mainly form forest and wetland ecosystems. Our statistical and mapping studies indicated considerable decrease of the area of these ecosystems in all parts of the basin in the XX century as a result of intensive economic activity. It served as a starting point for scientific and practical task of average- and long-term preservation of high ecological quality of regional development of the countries sharing Amur River basin and basin of the sea of Okhotsk (Russia, China, Mongolia, Japan).

Impact of the proposed project on the progress in the specified field. Development and further implementation of the project can have a considerable economic impact expressed in:

  • Quantitative increase and qualitative improvement of water, fishery, forest and land resources, also in view of restoration of forest and fishery resources;
  • More efficient use of water, fishery, land and mineral resources, their smaller loss;
  • Preservation and increment of bioproductivity of the Sea of Okhotsk,

Besides, it will serve for better preservation of the unique biopersity and traditional nature management of the aboriginal peoples, inhabiting the Amur River basin. This will finally lead to a considerable improvement of mutual understanding and confidence between the countries and their peoples.

Terms of reference of participants in the specified field. The group of the project participants from PGI FEB RAS and IWEP FEB RAS has all necessary capacity and experience in carrying out of similar works. The researchers performed related works (for the Russian part of the basins) on programs for sustainable development of transboundary basins of Ussuri River (1996), Khanka Lake basin (2001), Tumen River basin (2002).

Results of these works allowed tracing of the major problems related to the development of sustained nature management in the frontier areas and revealed the necessity of analysis of landscape structure of the territory and its transformation as a result of economic activities as one of the key trends at substantiation of similar programs. During three recent years the group developed GIS-technology-based electronic maps scaled 1:2500000 for the whole Amur River Basin: vegetation map, soil map, and modern land use map (on the basis of satellite image deciphering). There was composed a map of land use in the Amur River basin in 1930-1940-s scaled 1:2500000. The mapping data were used for the first time and have no equals. This is a basis for defining of the criteria and indexes of sustained nature management in the basin.

Expected Results and Their Application. The expected project results are as follows:

  • Complete, area-differentiated estimates of condition and anthropogenic disturbance of definite components of the environment: soil, fresh water, flora, air;
  • Complex estimation of natural resource potential in the region and trends of its dynamics;
  • Multilevel, multipurpose pision of the Amur River basin, its zoning by various ecologo-economic parameters;
  • Forecast data of environmental hazards and trends of environmental condition change;
  • System of ecological criteria and restrictions of sustained nature management in the Amur River basin;
  • Complex of recommendations on improvement quality of the environment and unique biopersity in the region;

The results of the project will be recommended for planning of social and economical development of krays and oblasts of southern Far East of Russia. They will also be used at the development of corresponding Russian-Chinese and Russian-Mongolian agreements aimed to the improvement of environmental situation in the Amur River basin. Study, analysis and forecasting of the dynamics of ecosystem condition will provide information basis for the strategy of sustained development of the regions for nature management optimization. The obtained results will serve as a starting point for long-term monitoring. There will be obtained data on the present condition of Amur River basin ecosystems, their composition, structure and functional role for preservation of sustainability in view of the global changes of the environment conditioned by natural and anthropogenic factors.

Meeting ISTC Goals and Objectives. The process of project implementation assumes goal-oriented and efficient collaboration with The Pan-Okhotsk Research Center of Hokkaido University (Sapporo, Japan) through informational exchange during the implementation, analysis of scientific reports, joint workshops, meetings and publications. Peaceful nature of the project and participation of researchers and specialists with experience in mass destruction weapon delivery correspond to ISTC goals. Besides the researchers from executive organizations are planned to participate in the international scientific meetings and conferences that will provide for the awareness of world community on the results of the project implementation.

Scope of Activities. The following works will be conducted for the project implementation:

  • general physical and geographical description and assessment of natural resource potential of the Russian part of the Amur River basin;
  • socio-economic description and assessment of the basic types of nature management in various parts of the territory;
  • cause-consequence analysis of the environmental problems and hazards, forecasts of possible changes in the environmental condition;
  • creation of landscape map of the territory, assessment of disturbance and pollution level, natural and nature resource environment;
  • landscape-geochemical zoning of forest and wetland ecosystems of the Russian part of the basin on the basis of data on input of water-dissolved iron;
  • development of the ecological-economical balance model in the programs of sustained nature management of basin geosystems;
  • development of the system of environmental criteria and indexes of sustained nature management on the basis of analysis of landscape structure of the territory, implementation of functional zoning, compiling of corresponding maps and diagrams;
  • preparation of definite proposals on improvement and preservation of high quality of the environment;
  • preparation of organizational proposals for the efficient implementation of the project recommendations.

Role of Foreign Collaborators/Partners. The project collaborators are researchers The Pan-Okhotsk Research Center of the Institute of Low Temperature Science of Hokkaido University (Sapporo, Japan) headed by Naoto Ebuchi. The Institute of Low Temperature Science of Hokkaido University in cooperation with Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (Kyoto, Japan) for the recent years have been involved in the study of bioproductivity restoration problem in the Sea of Okhotsk in relation with decrease of input of the dissolved iron from Amur River basin ecosystems. According to Prof. Ebuchi’s message of 5 August, 2009, their group is ready to coordinate cooperation and exchange of the information on the work implementation results in Amur River basin and basin of the Sea of Okhotsk, as well as to review interim and final report on the project.

Technical Approach and Methodology. The river basin analysis methodology for nature management, being developed by the authors, is based on consequent implementation of the following investigations on the basis of modern GIS-technologies: physical-geographical zoning of the territory with assessment of natural resource potential and types of economic use; economic zoning of territory and districts; natural-economic and landscape zoning, defining of disturbance level of natural ecosystems. Development of sustainable nature use is supposed as a map of functional zoning with corresponding environmental restrictions of economic activity as well as matrix model of sustained nature use.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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