Kirichenko V.Y., Chernyagina O.A. An integrated anthropogenic impact map for the natural systems of Kamchatka // : . 12- . () - (), 2006 . , 2006 .

 

AN INTEGRATED ANTHROPOGENIC IMPACT MAP FOR THE NATURAL SYSTEMS OF KAMCHATKA

V.Y. Kirichenko, O.A. Chernyagina

See mapKamchatka Branch of Pacific institute of Geography FED RAS

Kamchatka League of Independent Experts

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii, Russia

vadim_kir@mail.kamchatka.ru

 

Abstract: A shift in natural resource use priorities is creating genuine threats to those sectors of the Kamchatskaya Oblast and the Koryakskii Autonomous Okrug economy that are based on the use of renewable resources. This article presents the results of the authors' initial analysis of a map developed to show total anthropogenic impact on natural systems. The results obtained to date speak to the need to reexamine existing notions about the status of natural systems on the peninsula and in adjacent territories, and they also point to the urgent need to revise environmental statutes regulating anthropogenic impacts in river watersheds.

 

Kamchatskaya Oblast and the Koryakskii Autonomous Okrug are territories with a high volume of wilderness, one of the few unspoiled areas left on our planet. The region's wilderness status is not only a result of being at great distance from Russia's industrial centers but is also a consequence of the region's traditional economic orientation of using renewable resources and of maintaining a well developed network of protected territories. With the onset of the third millennium, a noticeable intensification of natural resource use is observed that is being accompanied by a shift in natural resource development priorities. The area directly and indirectly affected by non-renewable resource extraction is expanding along with the infrastructures built to service those sectors: roads, gas pipelines, power lines. This is resulting in a degradation of natural systems and is reducing total wilderness area. There is a formal recognition of the need to conserve biodiversity and the conditions necessary for renewable biologic resources because these renewable resources are the basis for the Kamchatskaya Oblast and Koryakskii Autonomous Okrug economies.

Economic assessment and forecasting are not part of the planning process for land based mineral resource development facilities, for oil and gas deposits in salmon rivers and on the shelf of western Kamchatka, for plans to build new roads, recreational areas or other commercial development plans. A reliable assessment of the current condition of natural systems and a true representation of the current anthropogenic impact on wilderness are important planning tools because protecting these systems is an indispensable feature of promoting economic development based on renewable resources. The use of integrated assessments to evaluate the anthropogenic impact of development activities on natural systems is an intriguing and yet poorly applied tool. The success of environmental regulations to manage anthropogenic impacts on natural ecosystems, however, depends upon such assessments [1].

This article presents the initial results of an analysis of a map of total anthropogenic impact on the natural ecosystems of Kamchatka. Materials from the "State Report on Environmental Conditions in Kamchatskaya Oblast and Koryakskii Autonomous Okrug in 2003" [2], published and file data containing information on existing and planned use of natural resources on Kamchatskaya Oblast and in Koryakskii Autonomous Okrug, GPS based data and observations, and the results of deciphering satellite images from "Landsat ETM+" and "ASTER" for the 1999-2002 period serve as the baseline data for compiling the map. Materials were systematized and assessed based on a contemporary classification of direct threats to wilderness [3] and existing impressions of the analyzed material [4]. At the same time, it should be noted that of the 47 recognized types of direct threats accounted for on contemporary world threat and "human trace" maps, 40 of those threat types are noted on Kamchatka (Table 1).

Table 1.

Direct Threats to Kamchatka's Wilderness and an Evaluation of Opportunities to Map those Threats

 

Threat Category

Threat Type

Mapping

Data Access and their Availability

Opportunity

Importance

Habitat Conversion & Degradation

 

      Housing & Urban Development

      Industrial Development

      Commercial Development

      Farms & Plantations

      Forestry

      Natural System Modifications

      Recreation Areas

      Military Activities

      Altered Fire Regime

Very Good

Very Important

Very Good

+

Good

Average

+

Low

Very Good

Good

-

Transportation Infrastructure

      Utility Lines

      Energy Lines

      Communication Lines

      Roads

      River Shipping Lanes

      Flight Paths

Very Good

Very Important

Very Good

+

Good

+

Good

Low

Energy & Mining

      Mining

      Oil & Gas Drilling

      Renewable Energy

      Water Diversion

Good

Important

Good

Biological Resource Harvesting

      Logging

      Fishing

      Grazing and Ranching

      Hunting

      Non-Timber Forest Product Gathering

Good

Very Important

+

Average

Average

-

Good

Good

-

Average

Average

-

Recreation & Work in Natural Habitats

      Motor-Powered Recreation & Work

      All Forms of Tourism

      Scientific Research

      Military Training

Average

Low Importance

Average

Pollution

      Solid Waste

      Nutrient Loads

      Toxics

      Noise

      Thermal

      Light

      Radioactive Materials

Average

Important

Important

-

Average

-

Low

Good

-

Average

Very Good

Low

Low Importance

Low

-

Invasive & Other Problematic Species & Genes

      Vegetation

      Animals

       Illness & Pathogenic Organisms

Low

Important

Average

-

Low Importance

Low

-

Change in Natural Processes

      Climate Change

      Grazing Patterns

      Fire Regimes

Low

Important

Low

-

Average

Very Important

Average

-

The uneven study of the influence of various impact types and the absence of a uniform classification system and methodology transforms an integrated analysis of anthropogenic impacts and threats into a complex, multilevel task. We have attempted to solve this problem by calculating the impact area for each threat type, without accounting for specific impacts on natural environment components. Our attention, in working on this task, was focused on the direct impact of human infrastructures and populations and whose range of impacts has an immediate influence on flora and fauna. Base line materials are combined into 22 layers of data that have been ordered in significance of impact (Table 2).

Table 2.

Base Line Data Layers Used for Calculations

Spot Locations

Spatial Locations

1.     

Licensed Mineral Deposits

11. 

Agricultural Lands

2.     

Helicopter Landing Pads

12. 

Coniferous Timber Harvest

3.     

Recreation Sites

13. 

Cities, Villages greater than 1000 People

Linear Locations

14. 

Villages from 100-1000 People

4.     

Road Network (Category 4)

15. 

Villages from 50-100 People, Dachas, Resorts

5.     

Road Network (Category 5)

16. 

Villages from 20-50 People, Geologic Prospecting Parties

6.     

Energy Networks

17. 

Villages with less than 20 People, Abandoned Villages

7.     

Communication Networks

18. 

Airports (Class 5)

8.     

Gas Pipeline Right of Way

19. 

Airports (Unclassified)

9.     

Coastal Shore Zones

20. 

River Shipping Lanes

10. 

Recreational River Rafting

21. 

Ministry of Defense Sites

 

22. 

Mineral Mining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following a summary and analysis of data on anthropogenic impact zones contained in normative documents, of expert opinions, and of specific methodological manuals [5-14], the types of threats identified were correlated with specific impact dispersal models. The results of these summaries are presented in Tables 3 and 4. Supplemented by additional materials at our disposal, these summaries are the basis for a compilation of characteristics for those zones that have an impact on natural systems (Table 5).

Table 3

Distribution Models for the Influence of Anthropogenic Impacts (Transgressions)

Distribution Radius, km

Critical Impact

Strong Impact

Significant Impact

Moderate Impact

Low Impact

Model No.

Model No. 1

0,03

0,1

0,4

1

2

Model No. 2

0,05

0,3

0,7

1,5

4

Model No. 3

0,15

1

2

3,5

8

Model No. 4

0,3

1,5

3

5

12

Model No. 5

0,5

2

4

7

16

Model No. 6

1

5

10

25

50

 

Table 4

Division of Source Data According to Impact Model Types

Model No

Source of Impact

Model No. 1

         Helicopter Landing Pads

         Recreation Sites

         Recreational River Rafting

         Coastal Shore Zones

         Coniferous Timber Harvest

         Villages with less than 20 People, Abandoned Villages

         Ministry of Defense Sites*

Model No. 2

         Energy Networks

         Communication Networks

         Gas Pipeline Right of Way

         Agricultural Lands

         Villages with 20-50 People, Geologic Prospecting Parties

Model No. 3

         Road Network (Category 5)

         Villages with 50-100 People, Dachas, Resorts

         River Shipping Lanes

Model No. 4

         Licensed mines

         Villages with 100-1000 People

         Airports (Unclassified)

         Mineral Mining

Model No. 5

         Road Network (Category 4)

         Cities, Villages greate than 1000 People

Model No. 6

         Airports (Class 5)

*Given an absence of reliable data on the degree of impact on natural systems, only moderate and low impact zones are evaluated.

Table 5

Total Impact of Various Models for the Distribution of Impact of Anthropogenic Transgression on Natural Systems

Impact Type

Distribution Radius, km

Mammals

Birds

Model

 

No

 

1

Model

 

No

 

2

 

Model

 

No

 

3

Model

No

4

Model

 

No

5

Model

 

No

 

6

Reduction in Numbers, %

Reduction in Productivity, %

Habitat Quality Reduction Coefficient

 

Reduction in Numbers, %

Reduction in Productivity, %

Habitat Quality Reduction Coefficient

 

Catastrophic

In Actual Area

100

100

0

100

100

0

Critical

0.03

0.05

0.15

0.3

0.5

1.0

90-100

90-100

0-0.1

90

90

0.1

Strong

0.1

0.3

1.0

1.5

2.0

5.0

70-80

70-80

0.2-0.3

80

80

0.2

Significant

0.4

0.7

2.0

3.0

4.0

10

50-60

50

0.4-0.5

50

50

0.5

Moderate

1.0

1.5

3.5

5.0

7.0

25

30-40

40-50

0.6-0.7

30

30

0.7

Weak

2.0

4.0

8.0

12

16

50

10-15

40-50

0.85-0.9

10

10

0.9

Insignificant

0-10

0-40

0.1-1

0-10

0-10

0.1-1

*For this model an experimental assessment of impact on mammals and birds is not carried out.

 

A standard calculation methodology is applied to the ArcGIS module "Modeling" to estimate "buffer zones." First a map was designed to establish "buffer zones" for spot, linear and spatial sites identified as the most pernicious sources of impact (Table 2). Then, using a map modeling methodology, layers were combined and what was obtained was an "Integrated Map of Anthropogenic Impact on the Natural Complexes of Kamchatka." An interim, first order watershed map was prepared to illustrate total anthropogenic impact on Kamchatka's river watersheds. These natural systems are especially significant since the territory's rivers provide spawning grounds for six species of Pacific salmon. The result of combining the "Integrated Map of Anthropogenic Impact on the Natural Complexes of Kamchatka" and the interim, first order watershed map was a model of total spatial transformation within first order river watersheds (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Anthropogenic Impacts and Threats to Natural Systems Calculated for the River Watersheds of Kamchatka

 

The maps produced make it possible to assess the impact of existing and potential threats to natural systems for the territory and the level of impact on river watersheds (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Assessments of River Watershed Condition for Kamchatka

 

The results obtained from this first attempt to assess territorial impact demonstrate the need to reexamine existing notions of the condition of natural systems on the Kamchatka peninsula and adjacent territories. Experts are already forecasting a decline in total allowable catch (TAC) for salmon or total bans on fishing in a number of Kamchatka river watershed where mining is developing and oil extraction is planned (15, 16). The further reduction in wilderness area and the identification of impacts degrading river watershed ecosystems will significantly and irreparably reduce the opportunities of those sectors of the economy that are based on renewable resources.

 

 

Literature

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2. State Report on Environmental Conditions in Kamchatskaya Oblast and Koryakskii Autonomous Okrug in 2003. 2004. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii: Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Ministry of Natural Resources, Kamchatskaya Oblast and Koryakskii Autonomous Okrug Branch. 206 p.

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