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En+ Group and WWF Launch Joint Research Project in Russia Far East

12 november 2012
The research will study the potential impact of hydro power facilities on the ecosystemand socio-economic development of the Amur River Basin

Moscow, Russia– Russian diversified industrial leader En+ Group and leading conservation organization WWF launch a comprehensive joint environmental and socio-economic research project to look into the potential for hydropower development in the Amur River basin.

 “The main objective of our joint project is to identify key environmental, social and economic factors that need to be considered when tapping the Amur basin’s hydro power generation potential,” says head of WWF-Russia Igor Chestin

The project is expected to determine a list of possible hydroelectric power plant (HPP) dam locations in the Amur basin, and analyze potential environmental and socio-economic impact of the development on the region. The project will serve as a basis for a comprehensive approach to building hydropower plants on the Amur River, in order to create growth opportunities while minimizing the impact on the environment.

En+ and WWF have established a workgroup that includes the organizations’ representatives and experts, including an environmentalist, a hydrology and geomorphology expert, a GIS specialist, an ichthyology and hydrobiology expert, a hydropower engineer, specialists in economics, transport, territorial productive forces development, and a history and archaeology expert.

The workgroup will identify the potential HPP development locations and determine what environmental and socio-economic research methods should be used. The experts will then conduct the study and present the results to a broader reference group, which will include a wide range of subject-matter specialists who are primarily residents of the regions that could possibly be affected by proposed HPPs. The reference group will provide feedback that will be used to finalize the study, which will then be made available to the public for further discussion.

En+ and WWF agreed to publish the terms of reference for the research, and its interim and final results on both parties’ websites for public viewing. The organizations wish to invite all interested parties to review the research and are committed to considering all the comments and feedback.

 “We are pleased to launch our joint effort with world-renowned environmental protection organization WWF. En+, being one of the largest investors in the economy of the Russia’s East, is committed to complying our new projects with the highest environmental protection standards,” says En+ CEO Artem Volynets. “We also aim to drive the region’s economic development with sustainable growth principles. I am confident that the partnership between En+ and WWF will allow us to achieve our sustainable development goals.”

Sunrise on the Amur River
© WWF-Russia / Yury Darman