Journal of Geodesy and Geoinformation Science ›› 2022, Vol. 5 ›› Issue (2): 75-84.doi: 10.11947/j.JGGS.2022.0208

• Special Issue • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Extent and Effectiveness of Protected Areas in the Russian Federation

Kseniia SERGEEVA1,2(),Hui LIN1,2()   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Environment/UNESCO HIST-NB, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang 330022, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Wetland and Watershed research Ministry of Education, Nanchang 330022, China
  • Received:2021-10-03 Accepted:2022-03-21 Online:2022-06-20 Published:2022-07-22
  • Contact: Hui LIN;
  • About author:Kseniia SERGEEVA (1990—), female, majors in application of remote sensing tools for geographic solutions. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The Second Comprehensive Scientific Investigation and Research on the Qinghai Tibet Plateau(2019QZKK0308)


To tackle environmental challenges and in particular, the problems associated with the high demand for forests and resources, the consequence of which is the degradation of ecological systems, Russia has developed the biggest network of specially protected natural areas in the world. Although the scale of SPNA may look impressive, a recent comprehensive study of the period from 2001 to 2018 brought the spotlight on protected areas in Russia experiencing significant tree loss annually. Since Russia is confronting unprecedented fires that break records every year, the problem of preserving rare animal and plant species, their habitats, and natural ecosystems is acute. This paper is intended to assess the extent and effectiveness of SPNAs with regard to wilderness conservation in the Russian Federation based on the latest data; the main focus being on the period of 2014—2019, before and after the launch of the environmental safety strategies, along with additional analysis of available data for the following year of 2020. With due consideration of unique geographical, economic, and socio-cultural circumstances, as well as historical background and legislative reality of SPNAs in Russia, we have conducted a statistical analysis of data from the official annual reports from the Federal State Statistics Service on SPNAs by territories and significance, expenditures on maintenance and ecotourism, followed by RGB analysis of satellite imagery via means of GIS software for visualization of obtained data and further analytics. Despite the growth of the SPNA network in Russia, resulting in an astonishing 2402Mha in 2020, an estimated 4Mha of tree loss accounted for SPNAs over the period of 2014—2019, and 134Mha in 2020 alone. Our findings indicate a need for the application of a comprehensive GIS approach for further development and effective management of the SPNA network in Russia. Furthermore, the results include recommendations on legislative changes, engagement of locals in SPNA protection, and popularization of ecotourism, all of which can be valuable for policymakers and SPNA development.

Key words: GIS; remote sensing; protected area; SPNA; nature conservation; deforestation; tree loss