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The Threats of Natural and Technogenic Hazards in the Russian Far East as a Part of Northeastern Asia and the Directions of International Cooperation

Petr Baklanov 1 A. N. Kachur 2

1Pacific Geographical Institute
2Pacific Institute of Geography FEBRAS

Accredited

ABSTRACT

High probability of natural catastrophes in the Russian Far East and in Northeast Asia as a whole is connected with their geographical position at the interface of Eurasia and two oceans: the Arctic and Pacific oceans. The threats of natural catastrophes caused by the extreme natural processes, such as volcanism and earthquakes, tsunami, storms, cyclones, typhoons and flooding are singled out. The threats of technogenic catastrophes connected with possible spills of oil and oil products, with forest fires, with extraction of natural resources on the sea-bottom are distinguished. Specific threats are connected with the trans-boundary transfer of the water and air contamination into the trans-boundary watersheds of the rivers (the Amur River, the Tumen River, and others) and into the seas (the Sea of Japan – the East Sea). The paper gives the examples of natural catastrophes – the extreme flooding in the Amur River watershed (July - August, 2013) and technogenic catastrophes - extreme technogenic contamination of the Sungari River (December, 2005). A small-scale natural-economic zoning of the Russian Far East, including identification of four zones with various danger to economic activities, and fractional natural-economic zoning, including identification of 24 areas with the different combinations of possible extreme processes, are carried out. The projects of UNEP on protection of the sea environment in the Northwest Pacific, including the sea oil spills, contamination of the seas by other kinds of technogenic substances, the trans-boundary transfer of air contamination and others are considered. The directions of the international cooperation on minimization of the negative consequences of natural and technogenic catastrophes, including the conclusion of the international contracts on the trans-boundary watersheds (rivers, lakes, and seas), the formation of the joint international programs, commissions, insurance funds, and monitoring systems are offered.

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