The award has found its heroes
They were awarded for “an active work in preparation for and carrying out the G20 Summits” in 2010.
Arkadiy Dvorkovich, Assistant of the President, has presented the gratitude letters to the WWF experts. This event has marked the great contribution of WWF Russia and its staff into creation and promotion of the Global Marine Conservation Initiative.
The establishing of international fund for liquidation of consequences of oil spills in marine environment was proposed to include in agenda of the G20 Summit by President Dmitriy Medvedev soon after the disaster in Gulf of Mexico. In addition to this initiative WWF Russia also proposed to create the international legal regulation preventing realization of projects not supported by technological base for oil spill response.
Russian Initiative was welcomed in Toronto (Canada) in June 2010. Its theses were developed further in the Declaration of the heads of state and government accepted in Seoul (South Korea) in November 2010. WWF Russia actively participated in preparation for Seoul Summit. In particular it wrote a review of international regulations in offshore oil exploration and extraction.
“The fact this global initiative has significantly stimulated negotiations on the regional level is very important for us”, Igor Chestin, Director of WWF Russia also awarded with gratitude letter, speaks, “This year the foreign ministers of the arctic states have accepted that legally binding agreement on prevention and liquidation of oil spills in Arctic is necessary. Just four years before, though, they claimed that there had been no need in any additional agreements on Arctic. We expect our propositions would be also taken into account during the development of this new agreement. In particular we urge that oil extraction in icy conditions was impermissible unless proper methods of spill response in such conditions would be implemented”.
Besides the international initiative President Dmitriy Medvedev also commended to improve Russian legislation in protection of marine environment from oil pollution, partially in response to WWF’s proposition. President took the decision to set a special routine of natural resource usage in Russian sector of Arctic. This routine should prevent oil extraction by the companies which don’t have approved methods of liquidation of oil spills under ice.
The implementation of the legal protection of seas from oil pollution isn’t as successful on the national level as on the global one. The draft bill submitted by the Russian Government and approved by the State Duma during the first reading doesn’t include many important WWF’s theses. “We expect this bill would be improved by the second reading in the State Duma. The establishing of the national fund to compensate damage from sea oil pollutions, the provision of the participation of civil society in decision-making about oil exploration, extraction and transportation in Russian seas, other significant problems of marine conservation should be taken into account”, Ekaterina Khmeleva notes.