Northwestern Federal District
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Land and Resources: The Komi Republic is a republic to the west of the Ural mountains, in the north-east of the East European Plain. The Komi Republic is situated in the far northeast of the European part of the Russian Federation within the boundaries of the Pechora and Mezen-Vychegda plains, the Central and Southern Timan, and the western slopes of the Urals (Northern, Subpolar, and Polar Urals). The territory of the republic extends from the Northern Urals in the south to the Pai-Khoi in the northeast and from the area between the Pinega and Mezen rivers in the west to the watershed of the Pechora and Ob rivers, which follows along the Urals, in the east.
The Komi Republic is bordered on the west, northwest, and north by Arkhangelsk Region and the Nenets Autonomous District of Arkhangelsk Region; on the east by the Yamalo-Nenets and Khanty-Mansi autonomous districts of Tyumen Region; on the southeast by Sverdlov Region; on the south by Perm Region and the Komi-Permyak Autonomous District of Perm Region; and on the southwest by Kirov Region. The Komi Republic covers an area of 416 800 sq. km. There are many lakes in the republic. Major lakes include: Sindorskoye Lake, Yam-Ozero Lake. Forests cover over 70% of the territory of the republic and swamps cover approximately 15%.
Climate: The republic`s location in the subarctic (far north and northeast) and temperate (most of the republic`s territory) climatic zones results in a climate with long, severe winters and short, comparatively cool summers. The average annual air temperature in most of the republic is negative, decreasing from +1°C in the south to -6.3°C in the northeast.
Transportation: Railroad transportation is very well developed. The most important railroad line is Kotlas–Vorkuta–Salekhard, which is used to ship most goods in and out of the republic. There are airports in Syktyvkar, Ukhta, and Vorkuta. The Sysola, Vychegda, Pechora Rivers are navigable and are a major transport route of forestry products from Syktyvkar.
Syktyvkar is located on the Sysola River, which is the origin of its former name Ust-Sysolsk. The city`s current name comes from Syktyv, the Komi name for the same river, plus kar, meaning "city".
The republic`s natural systems are also of interest for recreational and therapeutic purposes and tourism. Specially protected natural areas cover 15% of the Komi Republic`s territory. This is where oxygen that all of Europe breathes is generated. Around 32,800 km² of mostly boreal forest (as well as some alpine tundra and meadows) in the Republic`s Northern Ural Mountains have been recognized in 1995 as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Virgin Komi Forests. It is the first natural UNESCO World Heritage site in Russia and the largest expanse of virgin forests in Europe. The site includes two pre-exiting protected areas: Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve (created in 1930) and Yugyd Va National Park (created in 1994).
The Pechora-Ilych nature preserve is a unique part of the world. Such virgin forests untouched by human activity no longer exist in Europe. Therefore, the preserve was deservedly included in the list of biospheres in 1985. Ten years later, by a decision of UNESCO, the Pechora-Ilych preserve, along with protected and buffer zones, and Yugyd Va National Park were united under the common name of "Virgin Forests of Komi" and added to the list of World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites. According to a statement of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee, the sites on this worldwide list represent a priceless possession of all of humanity.
The regions bordering on the Ural Mountains are unique in themselves. There are many protected natural areas here, each one of them distinctive in its own way. However, the Pechora-Ilych preserve occupies a special place. The preserve organically combines mountains and plains and old-growth, almost undisturbed forests and has a rich flora and fauna of European and Siberian species, many of which are listed in the Red Books of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, the Russian Federation, and the Komi Republic. The Pechora-Ilych preserve was also the site of the world`s first experimental moose farm.
Syktyvkar Railway station
the Avenue of Glory, SyktyvkarSources:
Encarta World Atlas
http://www.rkomi.ru/ - Official Site of the Komi Republic Administration
http://www.komi.com/ - Komi Republic Information site