The research project intends to increase understanding and knowledge in the field of interconnection of nature conservation process and development of local communities. The study will be carried out on the base of comparison of different protected areas management systems and institutional framework in Russia and Norway. The research tasks is planned to achieve by using, in particular, qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups, workshop), involving participation of different stakeholders from both co untries, as well as quantitative data/numbers on economic figures. Expected results are: 1)enhanced and shared knowledge about Norwegian and Russian nature conservation policies 2)improved methods conflict resolution and local development in relatio n to nature protection, on a bilateral scale3)scientific recommendations within the field of nature protection for the benefit of local communities 4)long term relations between Norwegian and Russian academics.The results are expected to contribute to both authority bodies and NGOs, economical agents and other representatives of local communities. The comparative approach will most likely give feed back on how different conservation strategies within Norwegian and Russian environmental policy facil itate local participation and development which includes civil society and indigenous groups. The consortium represents researchers from both natural (biologcy/ecology) as well as social sciences (economy, political science, and sociology).