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Soviet-United States Joint Statement on the Establishment of a Soviet-United States International Park in the Region of the Bering Strait

June 01, 1990

The Presidents of the United States of America and of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, expressing support for the expansion of bilateral cooperation in the field of environmental protection and in the preservation of cultural heritage, endorse the intention of the two countries to create, in the region of the Bering Strait, a U.S.-Soviet International Park embracing protected terrestrial and aquatic areas.

Both leaders recognize that elements of natural and cultural heritage of the Bering region represent a common heritage of the American and Soviet peoples. Thousands of years ago, across a land bridge uniting the Asian and American continents, the first arrivals came to North America. Later, the sea divided the continents but failed to destroy the ecological, cultural and spiritual community of the inhabitants of Beringia. This community has remained essentially undisturbed by the influences of historical change.

Both leaders recognize that the creation of an international park would facilitate permanent recognition of the unity of this heritage and secure a framework for joint efforts in its preservation.

During 1990 - 1991, both countries will undertake the following practical steps:

-- preparation and signature of a protocol on the creation of a complex of specially designated protected terrestrial and aquatic areas; and

-- determine all organizational details connected with the functioning of the park.

Continuing close cooperation regarding the international park, between the representatives of both countries, may take the form of regular meetings of senior park management officials, the exchange of park personnel for professional training and orientation, joint research and consultations on planning and exchange visits to both sides of the park for touristic and cultural purposes, in particular by native populations.

The two sides express their confidence that establishment of the international park will serve the development of U.S.-Soviet cooperation in the protection of nature, and the activities of local populations in preserving the unique natural and cultural heritage of the Bering region.

Note: The joint statement was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary but was not issued as a White House press release.

The Office of the Press Secretary issued a fact sheet on the same day which provided the following additional information on the establishment of the Soviet-U.S. international park:

The U.S.-U.S.S.R. joint report "International Park Program, Beringian Heritage Cooperation" was endorsed as the framework for establishing an international park by the end of 1991.

The Bering Land Bridge National Reserve will be the initial companion site to be linked with a Soviet protected area on the Chukotskiy Peninsula.

George Bush, Soviet-United States Joint Statement on the Establishment of a Soviet-United States International Park in the Region of the Bering Strait Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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