Komi Republic

The republic is situated to the west of the Ural Mountains, in the north-east of the East European Plain. Its area is 416774 km2. Winters in the republic are long and cold, and the summers, while short, are quite warm. River system of the republic counts about 59 thousands of rivers with total length more than 400 thousands km from the Northern Dvina, Pechora and Volga Rivers basins. There are more than 78 thousands lakes with total area of 4.5 thousands km2.

The largest European mires Ocean and Usinskoe are located in the Komi Republic. Many of mires are under the state protection. Forests cover over 70% of the territory. The main forest tree species are spruce and pine. At the south of the republic, many of deciduous trees grow, at the north – open forests and tundra communities.

Nowadays the nature reserve fund of the Republic of Komi consists of 239 objects. Two of them (Pechoro-Ilychsky biosphere reserve and «Yugyd va» national park) have a federal status, the other ones – republican status. Totally, the nature protected areas cover more than 5.5 million ha (about 14.5 % of the area of the Komi Republic).

The «Virgin forests of Komi» object, including pristine forests and covering territories of the Pechoro-Ilychsky biosphere reserve and the «Yugyd va» national park, was the first Russian nature object included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995. These reserves, located in the foothills and mountains of the Northern and Subpolar Urals, play a key role in the regional biodiversity conservation on different levels (population, species, and ecosystem). They cover about a half of the total area of nature reserve fund in the Komi Republic. Here we can find ecosystems almost untouched by human, including the virgin forests array that is the largest in Europe.

Almost 20 % of the Komi Republic is covered by ancient mountains of Urals and Timan Ridge. Unique mountain formations are in the NPA system: 54 geological monuments of the regional level of protection. One the most famous monument is Manpupuner Ridge.

The republic’s natural resources include coal, oil, natural gas, gold, diamonds, and timber. Native reindeer are in abundance and have been intentionally bred for human usage by the indigenous population.

The population of the republic, as of the 2010 Census was 901,189. 65 % of population are Russians, 24 % – Komi people and 4 % – Ukrainians. The State languages are Russian and Komi.

In 2002, The Komi Republic joined the members of the Barents region, becoming the thirteenth region together with four Russian regions (Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions, the Republic of Karelia and the Nenets Autonomous District) belonging to the BEAR (Barents Euro-Arctic Region).

In recent years, tourism has been actively developing, including in the protected areas. The most attractive are the mountainous regions of the republic: Subpolar, Polar and Northern Urals.

The world’s first experimental moose farm is functioning in the Pechoro-Ilychsky biosphere reserve, a Nature Museum has been created, ecological paths have been laid, and ecological camps are being organized. Pedestrian and water routes are popular in the «Yugyd va» national park, tourist bases are active. On average, the park is visited by over 5 thousand people a year.