Associate Professor, Astrakhan State University
Sustainable Development of Astrakhan Oblast
Astrakhan oblast is the most economically and environmentally important region of the Russian Caspian Sea coast and the sea itself. With regard to its economic potential and assimilation, the oblast’s territory ranks second to none in the country. Its water reservoirs play the decisive role for maintaining environmental balance on the vast neighboring land and sea spaces.
The strategic goal of the environmental policy of Astrakhan oblast in the context of the program Sustainable Development of Russia is optimizing the use of natural wealth to preserve the unique natural landscapes of the Volga-Akhtuba plain and the Volga delta under the planned development of economic and recreational and tourist activity and the growth of socioeconomic profits from its implementation, improving the quality of life and health, and ensuring environmental safety.
To accomplish this, it is necessary:
- to preserve and restore the optimal relation of tillage, forage lands, and the system of specially protected natural lands for the sustainable development of the oblast’s natural-territorial complexes;
- to organize a natural park in the Volga-Akhtuba plain;
- to organize an agrarian-environmental landscape park in the Volga delta, where natural landscapes will coexist with small fields for special agricultural purposes;
- to preserve and restore the integrity of natural systems, including the prevention of their fragmentation in the course of economic activity targeted at creating linear engineering infrastructures and waterworks;
- to introduce a nature use regime for individual territories;
- to restore partially the steppe landscape at the ecosystem level and, at the same time, to transform stunted tillage into grazing and meadow lands, which will involve concentrating the production of agricultural crops on the best lands and applying advanced resource-saving technologies; and
- to account for the interests of the fishing industry complex in developing the oblast’s transportation, environmental, settlement, industrial, and other policies.