Building peace in the minds of men and women

Valdaiskiy Biosphere Reserve, Russian Federation

Valdaiskiy Biosphere Reserve is located in the Valdai Highlands, the main watershed of the Russian plain (including the source of the River Volga), in the northwest of the country. The core area and buffer zones are made up of the Valdaiskiy National Park. The relief is hilly and includes hill-moraine glacier relief with different forms of glacial morphology such as moraine banks and ridges, and lifting cones.

Designation date: 2002


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 243,932 ha 

    • Core area(s): 23,418 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 70,514 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 150,000 ha

    Location: 58°00'N; 33°15'E

    Administrative Authorities

    Sokolov Viktor Anatol’evich
    Pobedy ul., 5
    Valday, Novgorodskaya obl. 175400
    Russian Federation

    Tel.: +8 1666 21809

    Website ǀ Facebook ǀ Twitter 

    Ecological Characteristics

    The area includes characteristic ecosystems of the southern sub-zone of the Eastern European taiga. For centuries the area has been exposed to human activities of variable intensity. The native forests, typical and unique bogs and lake-river ecosystems, are mixed with former agricultural landscapes, and in particular with areas of regenerating clear-cut forest. The Biosphere Reserve has to ensure protection of flora and fauna of forest and wetland ecosystems, as well as different forms of traditional land. The flora encompasses more than 750 species of vascular plants and 126 moss species including rare and endangered species. There are about 50 mammals and more than 180 bird species. 



    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    The population of the Biosphere Reserve counts 36,000 people of which 95% are Ethnic Russians. The major part (about 60%) lives in Valdai town, while the other part lives in rural areas. The main economic activities are industry and services, and agriculture (farming and animal husbandry). Collection and processing of forest products is a highly developed business. One of the main objectives of the Biosphere Reserve is to provide new employment opportunities and improve the socio-economic conditions for local people in the region while encouraging environmentally friendly natural resource use such as collection and processing of forest products, fishing, hunting, and development of traditional crafts. The most promising activity is the development of ecotourism, which is a key priority of the local community development strategy. 

    The Biosphere Reserve shows unique evidence of cultural traditions. Traditional folk crafts were developed and are preserved here such as birch bark and woodcarving, weaving using willow root, clay doll farbrication and cast iron production. Recently 500 archeological monuments (burial hills, mounds, settlements, sites from the Stone and Iron Ages) have been identified. The area holds 230 monuments of historical and cultural value, including the Iversky monastery from the 17th century located on the Valdai Lake Island. There is a 'Scheme of institutional organization and development' of the Valdaiskiy National Park, which is a key document for the long-term development (25 years). 



    Back to Biosphere Reserves in Russian Federation
    Back to Biosphere Reserves in Europe & North America
    Back to World Network of Biosphere Reserves

    Last updated: July 2019