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Investments in nature conservation help to save tiger and leopard

08 september 2015
Panel discussion «Business and biodiversity conservation» at the Eastern Economic Forum held in Vladivostok on 3-5 September, was devoted to environmental investments in preserving the unique nature of the Far East.

The meeting was chaired by Sergei Ivanov, the head of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation.

WWF Russia has best practices of cooperation with business in Primorsky Province. For example, JSC “Terneyles”, one of the largest logging enterprises operating in the Russian Far East, became the first company to be certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. The international audit confirmed the legality of “Terneyles”’s wood origin and provided the access to foreign markets and low-interest credits. The new joint project allows international community to participate in the compensation of costs, that the enterprise spends for environment protection measures, through the mechanism of sale the Emission Reduction Units resulting from the conservation of large territories of Korean pine-broadleaf forests. This helps to preserve key habitats for 30-40 tigers! Such compensation - 17 million rubles - had been already received in 2013 for the preservation of Bikinskaya nut harvesting zone.

Comments Yury Darman, PhD, distinguished ecologist of the Russian Federation, director of WWF Russia Amur branch: «It should be noted that grants attracted from foreign funds and sponsors are, in fact, the environmental investments in the Far East. Over the past 20 years we have managed to allocate about 2,5 billion rubles for nature protection activities. Two nature reserves and four national parks were developed and established with this money, as well as dozens of wildlife refuges and nature monuments. Due to joint efforts, the total area of ​​protected territories in the Southern Far East was doubled to 13,8 million hectares (11% of the territory). About a hundred units of off-terrane vehicles various types of field equipment were provided to support successful functioning of PAs, as well as regional wildlife and hunting management departments and forestry management agency. Moreover, we are working on the basis of annual work plans agreed and signed with the official authorities. The research grants are received only by Russian specialists. We annually pay about 30 million rubles of rates and taxes to the different level budgets.»

Foreign companies - WWF partners, such as IKEA, Tetra Pak, Coca-Cola, Yves Rocher are already investing in environmentally sustainable business in Russia and are interested in getting legal products from the Far East. WWF collaborates with financial institutions such as Alpha Bank, Citibank, Vneshtorgbank, the HSBC Bank, EXNESS, which are ready to invest in nature conservation as well.

Another important event of the Eastern Economic Forum was a round table devoted to the results of implementation of the Amur Tiger Conservation Strategy in Russia. The meeting was chaired by Sergei Donskoy, the Minister of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation.

“Russia can be proud - the number of tigers has been steadily increasing, however, a couple of “hungry” years may destroy all the conservation efforts, - said Yury Darman. Short crop of pine nuts and acorns may cause mass death of wild boars, increasing the number of conflicts between local people and large predators. Therefore, despite the economic difficulties, the federal and regional authorities should increase funding for the Hunting Department divisions in tiger range, and help to mobilize resources for the supplementary feeding for wild ungulates.”

WWF Russia and ANO “Amur Tiger Center” suggested to consolidate efforts in the implementation of these measures, and to hold a meeting in December in order to adjust the ten-year Amur Tiger Conservation Action Plan basing on the recent tiger census data.

Sergei Ivanov, the head of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, Yury Darman, director of WWF Russia Amur branch and Tatiana Baranovskaya, director of the “Land of the Leopard” National Park, discuss the issues of the Amur leopard con
Meetings at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok: Steven Seagal, American actor, film director and producer, and Yury Darman, director of WWF Russia Amur branch. Steven Seagal declared about his willingness to help the Amur leopards and became an ad