WWF announced the results of work done in the Kerch’ Strait
Almost a year passed since the black oil spill accident in the Kerch’ Strait. All this time WWF worked enthusiastically in the area of ecological disaster cooperating with many state agencies, NGOs and individual activists.
On 26 September results of this work were reported and thank-you letters awarded to those who helped WWF all this time. Meeting was attended by representatives of different environmental and nature conservation organizations, press and media, as well as by volunteers who took part in bird rescue operations. The Project “Wildlife rescue operation in the area of oil spill in Black and Azov Seas” was supported by WWF Netherlands and WWF Sweden, as well as by many Russian WWF supporters.
Opening the meeting Oleg Tsaruk, the Head of “Russian Caucasus” Regional WWF Branch, said:
“Some people can say the successful rescue results we report are rather insignificant compared to the numbers of wildlife that died from this accident. Yes, in pure math’s figures this might be indeed so. However from the human morale point of view I think the situation is totally opposite. Nobody ever before us even tried to clean-up and provide rescue to wildlife that suffered from oil spills”.
It was also highlighted that during this work in the ecological disaster area all possible methods for cleaning and rehabilitating of oil-affected birds were collated and applied/tried in practice, and over hundred volunteers from all over Russia and CIS were trained.
Alexei Knizhnikov, Coordinator of WWF Russia Programme on the Policy in Oil and Gas Sector also took part in the meeting; after making a review of overall oil and gas sector development in Russia he drew special attention to the issues of oil spill clean-ups.
“Currently emergency plans for cleaning operations after the oil spills do not include any measures for rescue of affected wildlife, - says Alexei Knizhnikov. – WWF is currently working with key organizations relevant to emergency oil spills in order to include provisions for wildlife rescue methods in cases of oil spills”.