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Премия рунета 2017

WWF in the Barents Region: step by step

  • With WWF’s participation, a plan for the Integrated Management of Marine Environmental exploitation for the Barents Sea has been developed for the first time.
  • With WWF’s participation, a law «On Marine Spatial Planning» is being developed, which will allow the introduction of an ecosystem approach in marine management.
  • WWF has been able to establish regular marine mammals monitoring data acquisition.
  • The development of «Strategy for the Conservation of Atlantic Walruses» document has begun.
  • On the initiative of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug Governor, Igor Kosin, with the participation of WWF, a group has been set up in the district to prevent conflicts between humans and polar bears, which includes environmental organizations, local authorities and law enforcement agencies.
  • A landscape protected area of regional importance «Uftyugo-Ileshsky» has been created. Its design has been developed by WWF and coordinated with forest users. As a result of a compromise 78,000 hectares (780 km²) of intact forest has been saved from logging.
  • WWF recommendations for biodiversity conservation during timber harvesting are reflected in the forestry regulations of the Arkhangelsk Region and they have become mandatory for all forest users. Now logging has become less destructive to nature, and the forest environment persists even when clear cuttings are carried out.
  • With the assistance of WWF, four large areas of the Barents and Kara Seas have been internationally recognized as ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSA) by the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  • A WWF expedition has helped to discover the «disappeared» rare Novaya Zemlya subspecies of reindeer. The last evidence of its existence is from 1996. The Novaya Zemlya subspecies of reindeer are included in the Red Book of Russia (fifth category of protection) and in the Red Book of the Arkhangelsk Region (fourth category of protection).
  • For the first time in 10 years, a case of a murder of a polar bear has been solved in Russia. The dead bear was discovered during the WWF expedition on Vaygach Island. With this highly publicized case it was possible to prevent other cases of poaching on the island.
  • The WWF-designed landscape protected area design, aimed to preserve intact forest landscape in the interfluve of Northern Dvina and Pinega rivers, received positive resolution from the state environmental review.
  • With WWF ‘s participation, the work on the creation of a database of specially protected natural areas (PAs) of the Barents Region within the framework of the international initiative BPAN (Barents Protected Area Network) has been completed. Now everyone can find out the exact boundaries and regime of protection of any of several thousands of PAs in the region.
  • With the assistance of WWF, Yamal SPG has adopted a corporate strategy aimed to preserve Atlantic walruses for the first time in Russia. This is the first and important step on the way to corporate responsibility for Arctic biodiversity conservation of extracting companies.
  • Thanks to the efforts of WWF and active research conducted since 2010, it was possible to estimate for the first time the number of walruses in the Pechora Sea (the most vulnerable walrus grouping), which was practically unknown.
  • With the support of WWF, the «Onega Pomorie» National Park has been established in the Arkhangelsk Region. As a result of this, more than 200 thousand hectares (2000 km²) of forest, coastal and marine ecosystems have been preserved and will be used sustainably.
  • The WWF Arkhangelsk office has joined the Barents Branch of the Foundation.
  • The WWF expedition to the Laptev Sea has helped to determine the status of the Laptev walrus population. The Laptev Sea walruses were found to be part of the Pacific population.
  • With the support of WWF, the Concept for the functioning and development of the Pas’ network until 2038 has been approved. The area of PAs in the Murmansk region will amount to 17% of the region’s territory.
  • Unique project: for the first time in the world, WWF and ITTs ScanEx jointly conducted satellite monitoring of Atlantic walruses’ rookeries in the Barents Sea. Using satellite imagery it was possible to calculate the number of pinnipeds on the Pechora Sea coast. The project has expanded to other countries for different species of animals.
  • With the support of WWF, a regional wildlife sanctuary «Lapland Forest» has been established in the Murmansk region. This is the second largest forest protected area (172 thousand hectares) in the north-west of Russia established over the past 10 years.
  • The first agreement in the region between WWF and the timber industry company has been signed within FSC certification, as a result of which 25 thousand hectares (or 250 km²) of intact forests have been saved from logging.

Sixteen vessels of six fishing companies engaged in cod and haddock fisheries in the Barents Sea have been certified according to the standards of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The certification process took two years and was conducted with the support and direct participation of WWF.

  • A national park «Russian Arctic» has been established on Novaya Zemlya with the participation of WWF. This is the first Arctic national park in Russia that has take under protection walruses, polar bears, bird colonies, glaciers and unique hydrological sites.
  • WWF has conducted first exercises for volunteers to rescue birds. Young people mastered methods of catching, cleaning and rehabilitation of birds exposed to oil pollution in St. Petersburg, and then in Murmansk.
  • A process of implementation of marine fisheries certification according to the standards of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has begun in the north-west Russia.
  • The Directorate for Specially Protected Natural Territories was re-established in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO), which began operating in December 2007.
  • The experience of the Barents Sea Volunteer Office has been used to clean up the coast of the Sea of Azov after an oil spill accident.
  • Developed and implemented in the Murmansk Region Volunteer Training Program for the Elimination of Oil Spills was passed over to be implemented in the Kamchatka / Bering Ecoregion.
  • An electronic database of rare and endangered species of plants and animals listed in the Red Book of the NAO has been developed.

With the support of WWF, a reserve has been established on the Vaygach Island in 2007, which is inhabited by a unique assemblage of rare and red-listed species, including polar bears, Atlantic walruses and Yellow-billed loon.


With the support of WWF, the Northern Coalition (an association of the largest environmental societies in the Barents Sea region) has strengthened its influence. Today it includes: the Barents Branch of WWF Russia, the Kola Wildlife Conservation Center, the Kola Ecological Center, the All-Russian Public Organization «Social Ecological Union» and the Murmansk Regional Youth Public Environmental Organization «Nature and Youth».


The program for the training of volunteers «Clean Coast!» has been launched. More than 500 volunteers trained to clean the shoreline from oil pollution have been trained during its work.


WWF opened an office in Murmansk to coordinate work in the Barents Sea region. The main tasks of the new office are: the support of PAs, and making fishing and oil and gas industry ecologically friendly.