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The goal of Project 5-100 is to maximize the competitive position of a group of leading Russian universities in the global research and education market.

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The first Russian Geopark is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List

August 18, 2020

The Yangan-Tau Bashkir Geopark has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in July 2020 thanks to the activities of scientists from Kazan Federal University, Project 5-100 participant. This is already the 12th object located in Russia, which is included in the UNESCO list. The first one was the Virgin Komi Forests in 1995. Among the other wonders under special protection are Central Sikhote-Alin, Golden Mountains of Altai, Lake Baikal, Landscapes of Dauria, Lena Pillars Nature Park, Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve, Putorana Plateau, Uvs Nuur Basin, Volcanoes of Kamchatka and Western Caucasus.

The geopark is a unified area with a geological heritage of international significance. Features of the landscape, mineral deposits, and the remains of the ancient organisms and plants help to trace the history of the formation of the planet. Only 147 Geoparks from different parts of the world are included in the UNESCO list. Finally, the first Russian Geopark included in a global network.
It opens up new opportunities for the research of "Yangan-Tau" and provides additional funds for the conservation of the park and its management.
Now, only the Bashkir Geopark "Burning Mountain" (this is how Yangan-Tau is translated) has received global fame. On mountain slopes, the temperature ranges from + 37℃ to + 150℃ due to water vapor coming out to the surface. When drilling a well up to 90 m, scientists recorded a temperature of + 380℃.

The Kazan University scientific team of the representatives of the Institute of Geology and Petroleum Technologies started to supervise the Mechetlino geological section in Yangan-Tau in 2015 due to the XVIII International Geological Congress on The Carboniferous and Permian held in Kazan. The next year the university won a grant from the RFBR for detailed research of Mechetlino.

As Guzal Sungatullina, associate professor of the Department of Paleontology and Stratigraphy, KFU explains: “A prerequisite for the inclusion of a Geopark in the UNESCO list is the presence of an international importance object in its composition. This function was performed by the Mechetlino section, which claims to be the “golden nail” of the Kungurian stage of the Permian system. Fun fact: before the start of work in 2015, the open pit was a small abandoned quarry. And the Mechetlino section has become the center of geotourism in the Salavat region”.

Mechetlino has great research potential and will be further studied. At the same time, the KFU scientists have selected several more sites for possible inclusion in the World Heritage List: the Usolka and Dalniy Tyulkas open geological sections in the Geopark “Toratau”. The lone mountain Toratau, consisting of fossils of flora and fauna of the late Paleozoic era, is already included in the GEOSITES List of Geological Heritage of World Significance, but KFU geologists are working to improve the status of the entire Geopark and replenish UNESCO list with another site.

Participation in Project 5-100 gave a powerful impulse to conducting world-class research at Kazan Federal University. This has positively influenced the increased level of the university among the leading research centers.