The first project started in the region in July 1998: Establishment of a Network of Protected Areas for Waterfowl and other Wetland Birds in the Forest-Steppe of Northern Kazakhstan. It was supported by WWF Sweden, and since 2000 - by WWF Finland as well.
The project included:
The major practical nature conservation results of the projects are:
The main data of the key wetlands monitoring are presented in the book (in Russian), which includes:
The English version of the book «Wetlands of northern Kazakhstan» is in final preparation and will be soon published with the help of the crane restoration GEF–ICF project.
Results of the project were discussed and very highly appreciated by all participants of the international workshop in October 2002 .
Documents were prepared for nominating Naurzum area as the first natural World heritage site in Central Asia.
In 2005 WWF-Sweden recommenced funding the project which allows to prepare initial documents for the establishment of a biosphere reserve, which would include the existing zapovednik, sanctuaries and surrounding territories.