This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication is the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.
The district has several operating PAs (fig. 1). The largest and most promising in terms of tourism development is the Tolvajärvi landscape reserve. The area is briefly described in the Annex. There were plans to combine it with the Koitajoki area to form a single PA - a national park, but the proposals were not realized. A comprehensive description and assessment of this nature conservation body, including the management plan, are given in the brochure "Koitajoki-Tolvajärvi National Park: proposals for designation" (2001, fig. 2). The district also has two game reserves with a combined area of 44,000 ha, but there is hardly any protection regime there. There operate three small mire reserves covering 460 ha in total, as well as the "Kollasjärvi" war memorial complex (3,100 ha) with a thorough protection regime.
Fig. 2.Brochure "Koitajoki-Tolvajärvi National Park" (2001)
Fig. 3.Coniferous high-density (closed-canopy) forests
aged above 100 years (green) in the Suojärvi District (data
from a scanned high-resolution satellite image treated by P. Litinsky)
Of highest value for tourism development are pristine, climax forests, i.e. those formed in a natural way, without human disturbance. Yet, not a single more or less extensive pristine forest area has survived in the Suojärvi District (fig. 3). Timber harvesting in the district is quite intensive (the forest sector accounts for 98% of the total industrial production volume). There may remain some small climax forest fragments, but these would only be detected through in situ surveys.
There are quite a few recreationally attractive and even specially facilitated sites in the district, first of all in the Tolvajärvi landscape reserve (fig. 4-9).
All in all, there operate 8 PAs of most varied ranks - from small, high productivity forest areas (plus stands) to the large-size Tolvajärvi landscape reserve. Researchers from Karelian Research Centre, Russian Academy of Science have proposed 15 botanical and zoological reserves for designation (see the list and map below, see the summary description of proposed PAs in the volume "Suojärvi District (Republic of Karelia): economy, resources, nature conservation". Petrozavodsk, 2000, p. 87-91).
Fig.14.Operating and proposed PAs in the Suojärvi District