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Премия рунета 2017

VTB contributed another USD 1 million to WWF to preserve rare cats

06 september 2017
VTB Bank and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) continue a joint project to protect populations of big cats in Russia's regions. As part of its implementation, VTB contributed to the fund a second tranche of financial support in the amount of USD 1 million. The funds will be used to restore the population of the Persian leopard and preserve the Amur tiger, Far Eastern leopard, and snow leopard.
Significant results have been achieved after the first year of joint work of the bank and the fund. Equipment to carry out anti-poaching activities and monitor animals has been purchased. In particular, off-road vehicles Mitsubishi Mitsubishi L-200 have been purchased for technical support of the Department of Hunting Supervision of Primorsky Krai. Snowmobiles, cars, boats, binoculars, GPS-navigators, photo-traps, satellite phones, radio stations and much more hae been provided for: reserves “Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina” (Tuva), “Katunsky”, “Altai”, “Caucasian”, “Dagestan”, “North Ossetian"; national parks "Sailyugemsky", "Tunkinsky" and "Bikin"; the natural park "Tyva". In addition to this, tracking programs for the snow leopard and the Persian leopard were developed and surveillance has been provided of the three Persian leopards that have been released into the wild in 2016

Thanks to the financial support of VTB Bank, the territories of the “Dagestan” and “Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina” reserves will be expanded next year, anti-poaching groups are equipped, radio collars are purchased and monitoring of the wild leopards released into the wild is organized. In the republics of Altai, Tuva and Buryatia the snow leopard will be counted and informational/educational work will be organized among tourists and mountaineers.

Vasily Titov, first deputy president and chairman of the board of VTB Bank pointed out that: "The mission of VTB Group is, among other things, to improve the quality of life of the society as a whole and a healthy environment and ecology play a significant role in this. I am glad that we can practically help in such an important and necessary task as saving and increasing numbers of rare feline species in Russia. VTB intends to continue to actively participate in environmental initiatives to preserve the unique nature of our country".

Victoria Elias, director of conservation programs at WWF Russia has said: "The funds allocated by VTB were used to preserve rare species of big cats such as tigers, leopards, snow leopards, as well as obtaining new valuable data on their populations, providing technical support to specially protected natural areas, which are inhabited by animals, and equipping anti-poaching brigades. Cooperation between WWF and VTB is a vivid example of how Russian business can help preserve the nature of our country. It is symbolic that the first year of implementation of such a large-scale project coincided with the Year of Ecology and the 100th anniversary of the Russian reserve system".

Additional information:

The project is being implemented by WWF Russia with the financial support of VTB Bank, which will grant to WWF 5 million USD within five years. The first tranche of $ 1 million was transferred by the bank to the fund in September 2016. The total cost of the project is estimated at $ 15 million.

The conservation of rare large feline species project was developed by WWF Russia in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia. The project will be implemented in full accordance with the program originally approved. Activities are planned to preserve the Amur tiger and leopard in the Far East (Primorsky and Khabarovsk Krai), the snow leopard in the Altai (republics Altai, Buryatia, Tuva, Krasnoyarsk Krai), as well as the restoration of the Persian leopard in the Caucasus (republics Adygea, Dagestan, Kabardino- Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, North Ossetia – Alania and the Krasnodar Krai).

Within the framework of the project it is necessary to create new and to support the work of existing specially protected natural territories, to optimize territorial planning and programs of social and economic development of these regions. Much attention will be devoted to combating poaching, resolving conflict situations with predators and improving the living standards of people in these areas. In addition, the project will ensure an active participation of the Russian Federation in the implementation of international agreements and cross-border programs in the field of conservation of big cats.
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