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"And" "Or"

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on the long-term cooperation between the Alaska Region of the National Park Service (USA) & the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy Of Sciences

Robert Barbee, director of the Alaska Region of the United States National Park Service and Georgy Elyakov, vice-president of Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and the chairman of the Far-Eastern Branch of RAS discussed the status of efforts in both Russia and the United States to establish an international park in the Beringia region and prospects for study of the rich natural and cultural heritage of that region, as well as the development of joint programs for the preservation of that heritage.

Both sides noted with satisfaction that the joint statement (June of 1992) of George Bush, president of the United States and Boris Yeltsin, president of Russian Federation, on the establishment of an international park in the Beringia region plays an important role in the implementing of these projects. The neighboring proximity of our territories, and continuing joint research, create favorable conditions for the establishment of cooperation between the Alaska Region of the United States National Park Service and the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The Russian side has developed a feasibility study for the Nature-Ethnic Park Beringia on the Chukotka Peninsula. Within the limits of the feasibility study, an evaluation of the potential of nature and resources was conducted; the nature preservation issues were outlined, as well as the concept of the use of nature that considers the interests of the Natives population and other residents of the region was developed. At the present time the development of detailed project for park organization is nearing completion. There has been a joint trip of Russian and American specialists dedicated to studying the state of the organization of new nature protection areas of the Russian Far East.

On the American side, the Congress has established four nature preservation units administered by the National Park Service (Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Kobuk Valley National Park, and Noatak National Preserve) that would comprise the United States component of the international park. No new lands or waters will be authorized to be included in an international park. Further legislative action is necessary in Congress to authorize the establishment of an international park before such an agreement can be negotiated with Russia.

In order to provide for long term, stable and friendly cooperation and conducting joint projects both sides agreed as follows:

To continue mutual discussions and develop a plan for joint projects to be conducted in the Beringia region.

To jointly discuss the need for legislative action in both countries to authorize an international park in the Beringia region.

Working in cooperation with the Chukotka government, to jointly prepare a progress report outlining the current status of efforts in both countries to establish an international park, and to include recommendations for future actions in both countries.

To seek to establish a common database of Geographic Information System (GIS) data for the Beringia region, and to share with each other GIS data already collected in each country.

In order to fulfill the projects mentioned above, the sides consider it necessary to conduct regular meetings of officials responsible for the organization of joint projects, exchange of scientific information, and exchange of staff members for the benefit of their professional training and orientation. The purposes of such meetings will also include the need to conduct joint research and consultations on issues of mutual interest, including the organization of joint expeditions in either country, to study biodiversity, its preservation and the protection of rare and endangered species of plants and animals in the Beringia region.

In addition, both sides may consider it desirable to prepare and publish joint publications on history, natural conditions, natural and cultural resources, ethnography and other scientific areas for the Beringia region.

The present Agreement comes into effect after its signing and is effective for the period of 5 years. The present Agreement can be changed, and its effective period can be extended upon the joint agreement of both sides.

This agreement is signed in Anchorage, Alaska in two copies, each in English and Russian, both texts have the same power.

RAS. Far Eastern Branch © 1997-2004.