The Autonomous non-profit organization “North Caucasus nature preservation and protection center” (ANO ”Caucasus Nature Center”) has been created by the Joint-Stock Company Northern Caucasus Resorts.
Preservation, augmentation and protection of the Northern Caucasus natural potential which forms the basis for the tourism development and the region social and economic development.
To implement consistently projects aimed at maintaining a steady state of biodiversity and of the Northern Caucasus natural areas.
restoration and conservation of the Leopard population in the Northern Caucasus;
the key objective of the project is to form a stable population of at least 50 persian leopards in the wild of the Northern Caucasus.
conservation of the Bison population in the Northern Caucasus;
the key objective of the project is to form a stable population of at least 400 European bisons in the wild of the Northern Caucasus.
conservation of the boxwood forests in the Northern Caucasus;
the key objective of the project is to create and annually support in the wild of the Northern Caucasus a Colchis boxwood biological forest nursery measuring at least 2 hectares.
environmental education in the Northern Caucasus regions;
the key objective of the project is to form the NCFD youth environmental responsibility for preserving the unique natural monuments covering not less than 10 thousand people.
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Competition in the tourism industry, due to its continuous growth and development, contributes much to the emergence of new tourist destinations and products, among which the centres of ski tourism are especially popular. Currently, the world leaders in this field are France and Austria. It is Western Europe that attracts the attention of the majority of lovers of ski holidays, sport and tourism in the present-day world. Ski resorts in the Alps are among the most attractive places of the winter vacation for tourists of both Europe and the rest of the world, offering its visitors delightful mountain sceneries and having the highest level of development of infrastructure and service.
JSC NCR is interested to study experience of the best ski resorts in order to ensure the operation on the basis of principles of sustainable development (environmental protection, economic value, social impact).
Within the framework of its activity, JSC NCR cooperates with foreign companies and environmental organisations to exchange experiences in the area of planning, development and operation of resorts on the basis of the principles of sustainable management of natural resources.
For the development of the all-season tourism and recreation complex Arkhyz, the Company would be interested to study foreign practices in the following fields:
Company cooperated with international experts in performing the following works “The identification of allowable recreational loads for the tourism and recreation special economic zone created on the territory of the Zelenchuksky municipal district of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic (all-season tourism and recreation complex Arkhyz)”.
Also JSC NCR has reviewed the ski resorts in the Alpine region, analysed and described their history of development. Based on this experience, the Company has developed the proposals for the development of summer and winter tourism in Arkhyz ATRC.
The project of creation of the tourism cluster in the North Caucasus is implemented by JSC NCR in the unique natural region which is characterised by high biological diversity.
One of the features of the location of the projected ski resorts is their adjacency to specially protected natural territories (SPNT) - nature reserves, national parks, protected areas, natural parks, monuments of nature.
The use and protection of these territories is governed by the special Federal Law of March 14, 1995 No. 33-FZ “On specially protected natural territories”.
JSC NCR considers it important to ensure the operation of all-season tourism and recreation complexes (ATRC), created within the tourism cluster, in strict accordance with the requirements of the environmental legislation of the Russian Federation and, in particular, those specified in this Federal Law.
Within the boundaries of the tourism and recreation special economic zones (SEZ), created for the development of the tourism cluster, and near them, there are such important protected areas as the Teberdinsky state nature biosphere reserve, Elbrus vicinity national park, as well as the reserves and natural monuments of regional importance.
The Federal Law provides special modes of economic activities in the territory of all specially protected natural territories. The permitted mode of use is also set in the regulation concerning a particular specially protected natural territory.
During the development of area planning designs of SEZs, JSC NCR is based on the permitted use of specially protected natural territories within the boundaries of SEZs. Partial placement of ATRC facilities of the tourism cluster of JSC NCR within the boundaries of protected areas is possible only on condition that it is allowed by the mode of use of those territories (as in the case of Elbrus vicinity national park). The territories, the use and protection modes of which do not allow the economic activities, are excluded from the plans for construction of ski resorts.
JSC NCR is interested in preserving the environmental characteristics and aesthetic appeal of the regions where the tourism cluster is being developed.
In this regard, JSC NCR cooperates with the administrations of the specially protected natural territories located within the boundaries of the tourism cluster in terms of preservation of the unique nature of Northern Caucasus in the course of the tourism cluster development.
The Company has carried out works on functional zoning of the territory and definition of admissible recreational loads for the natural system in the territory of the tourism and recreation special economic zone in Karachay-Cherkessia, where the Arkhyz ATRC project is being implemented.
The territory of SEZ is 13,863 hectares, it has a pronounced mountain character, the vertical drop is from 1600 to 3200 m. The territory is represented by subnival, Alpine, sub-Alpine, mountain-forest and valley landscape-ecological systems.
In order to conduct the functional zoning, the experts performed the analysis of the status and importance of natural complexes, their degree of disturbance, and identified typical and unique natural features of the territory as a whole and its individual areas. The general recommendations for the sustainable development of mountainous areas were implemented.
The results of the work show that almost all natural and cultural sites, which are unique in terms of ecological, scientific, educational, recreational and historical aspects, and which require special attention, are located outside Arkhyz ATRC. Although many of them, such as the Arkhyz plot of the Teberdinsky state nature biosphere reserve and the Sophia glacier with the group of waterfalls, are immediately adjacent to Arkhyz ATRC.
A large part of the territory of Arkhyz ATRC was affected and continues to be affected by anthropogenic effects felt in varying degrees by all components of the represented landscapes. The forestry has been kept and summer grazing of livestock has been carried out during a long time in this area. However, there are sections of natural complexes with conditions ensuring the preservation of rare, endangered species. The sites of the greatest environmental relevance include rocky cliffs and scree southern slope of Abishira-Akhuba Ridge, as well as the plots located on the northern slope of the Arkasara Ridge.
The territory of Arkhyz ATRC has 4 functional zones: protected area, recreation area, infrastructure area, tourists accommodation area.
83% of the protected area consists of undisturbed mountain natural complexes. They include ecosystems with rocks and screes, glaciers, snowfields and mountain lakes,
as well as Alpine meadows and sub-Alpine tall grasses with rosebay thickets.
The recreation area is the largest area (5,822 ha), it adjoins the protected area and occupies an intermediate position between it and the area of tourists accommodation. The operational mode of the recreation zone involves, on the one hand, the limitation of all types of commercial use of this territory, but, on the other hand, the promotion of the development of recreation and tourism. In this connection, the restrictions primarily relate to the cattle gazing which should be carried out exclusively on the specially separated areas. This sub-area may be visited by tourists.
The infrastructure area is located mainly in the central part of Arkhyz ATRC, it covers the total area of 4,485 hectares and is characterised by a relatively low degree of biological diversity and a high degree of disturbance of natural complexes. The functioning of the infrastructure of the tourists accommodation area is aimed at the development of tourism and ensuring the optimal conditions for a great number of tourists visiting the tourism and recreation facilities. In this regard, there are limitations for all types of economic activities in this area which may prevent the increase of tourist flow and the period of operation of the tourism and recreation infrastructure. The infrastructure to be created can help to improve the conditions of mass leisure, to ensure the accessibility of tourism and recreation facilities, while reducing the negative impact of mass visits to them.
The tourists accommodation area is 457 hectares, which is about 3% of the territory of Arkhyz ATRC. Despite its small size, it provides the maximum degree of amenities. It will be created within the territory of heavily disturbed and degraded natural systems. According to the area planning design, the tourists accommodation area consists of four tourist villages (Romantik, Lunnaya polyana, Dukka, Dukka 2000).
This area will host the stationary accommodation and catering facilities, tourism services, recreation facilities, information services and communications, as well as administrative and economic infrastructure facilities of the year-round operation.