The Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra is located in the forest natural zone. The main part of the Okrug’s territory takes waterlogged taiga. There are about 30 thousand rivers in Ugra. The Okrug is one of the richest with the mineral resources region of the country. The unique oil and gas province is opened here. There are large amounts of the hard coal and brown coal, iron ore and nonferrous metal ores are concentrated in the Ugra territory. There are large amounts of turf, also large amounts of wood and predominantly soft wood concentrated in the region.
The Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra with its huge natural resources potential is a major Russian oil and gas province and one of the largest global oil producing regions. Natural capital is one of the main components of the territory's sustainable development, is lays a solid foundation for economic growth and wealth of the population.
However the region's resource structure specifics, its geographic and climatic characteristics, as well as the manufacturing sector development are at the same time the source of its major environmental hazards: atmospheric pollution, water and soil contamination, waste placement and utilization, deterioration of flora and fauna natural habitats.
All these factors have a pronounced negative effect on the environment and pose continuous threats of damaging both the environment and vital interests of the population.
In order to protect the environment and ensure ecological safety in the territory of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra the government works on implementation of a dedicated program "Environmental Safety of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra 2014-2020". The program consists of 4 sub-programs:
- environment quality management in the Autonomous Okrug;
- preservation of bio-diversity in the Autonomous Okrug;
- development of industrial and household waste management system in the Autonomous Okrug;
- development of hydroeconomic system in the Autonomous Okrug.
The government of the Autonomous Okrug signed socio-economic agreements with all major oil companies providing for accidents prevention and incident rate reduction (worn pipes replacement), as well as accumulated environmental damage recovery (remediation works) and APG utilization programs.
Implementation of measures stipulated by the government program will reduce negative environmental effect, improve ecological damage prevention rate, and provide better protection for the population and economic assets.
Core element of the territorial environment protection work in the Autonomous Okrug is the system of specially protected nature reserve territories (SPNR) of the Okrug. SPNR make possible protection of the typical and unique natural landscapes, flora and fauna diversity, natural and cultural heritage objects. Ugra has 24 specially protected nature reserve territories with the total area over 2.7 million hectares, i.e. 5.2% of the total Okrug's territory. In addition there are two waterlogged areas of international significance: Upper and Lower Dvuobje with the total area over 1 million hectares, main purpose of which is supporting waterfowl habitats, spawning areas and forage reserves.
The Red Book of Ugra contains 48 animal species, 150 plants and 38 fungi species.
The Okrug has plenty of wonderful noteworthy natural sites: 2 nature reserves - "Malaya Sosva" and "Ugansky"; 8 wildlife sanctuaries; and 4 natural parks: "Samarovsky Chugas”, "Sibirskiye Uvaly", "Numto", and "Konda Lakes"; 10 nature sanctuaries; archaeological complexes "Barsova Gora", "Saigatino", Sherkaly hillfort.
To raise the environmental awareness of the population the region developed a system of ecological education embracing a wide range of educational institutions: public associations, sports and culture facilities, mass media, library systems.
One of important components of improving ecological culture in the Okrug is the International Environmental Action “Save And Preserve” - a large scale socially oriented project which has been implemented in the Okrug since 2003. Annual agenda of the Action covers about 7 thousand events of the Okrug, national and international scale: conferences, forums, round table discussions, etc. Over 30% of the Okrug's population traditionally take part in the events.