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The administration of Nenets Autonomous District and WWF Russia signed a contract for cooperation

24 january 2012
Their joint plans are to make an Environmental Council of the Barents Sea region and improvement in the ecological standards of the oil and gas industry

This agreement also covers work in the field of creation, support of the networks in protected areas and promoting ecologically oriented businesses.

WWF has been working on the NAD territory since 1996. During this time with the support of the Fund there were established five nature reserves: «Shoinin» (1997), «Nijne Pechora» (1998), the «Yu Sea» (1999), «Piem-Va-Shor» (2000), «Vaigach» (2007) and a natural monument the “Kamenny gorod” / “Stone town' (2011). The WWF Russia published a guide on the protected areas of the district and has developed a program for monitoring one of its most vulnerable inhabitants the Atlantic walrus.

Recently, one of the more potential environmental threats is the oil and gas expansion:

There are especially serious environmental concerns in the district’s Administration which brought from the implementation of projects for the extraction of hydrocarbons on the arctic shelf,” stated Igor Fedorov, the Governor of the Nenets Autonomous District in March of last year, speaking at the “Euro-Arctic-2011” conference. “The Barents Sea is part of the migration routes for the Pechora salmon, eel, cod and other costly commercial fish species. The sub-arctic and arctic tundra Nenets autonomous district has natural untouched landscape complexes, large deltas of the rivers, vast areas of wetlands all of which have ideal conditions for breeding and molting areas for many species of birds, including those that are in the «Red Data Book» of endangered species. These territories are absolutely without protection from the threat of offshore oil industries.'

«Today there is no technology that would comprehend or prevent oil spills. To ensure the ecological security of this unique arctic ecosystem we need clear decisions and specific measures», said Igor Chestin WWF-Russia CEO agreeing with the governor of the NAD.

Experts are sure that the signed five-year agreement for cooperation will be one of these specific measures, which will appear in subsequence to the consent work plan and will have a beneficial impact on the environment and the animals that inhabit the arctic region.

© Marine Mammal Council