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Премия рунета 2017

WWF: the future of the Arctic is impossible without nature conservation and adaptation to climate change

13 december 2019
Creation of new nature protected areas in the Arctic, conservation of the biodiversity of the North, international cooperation in the field of adaptation to climate change. These issues have become key in the speeches of WWF-Russia experts on the IX International Forum “The Arctic: Present and Future”.

The discussion in St. Petersburg brought together more than 2500 participants from 22 countries: representatives of government at all levels, businessmen, industrialists and social activists.

The environmental agenda has become one of the key trends of the forum. According to Vladimir Burmatov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Ecology and Environmental Protection: “Every effort must be made to preserve the unique nature of the Arctic.”

Perhaps the most talked about “green” topic was global climate change. It is no secret that the Arctic is "warming" twice as fast as the planet. And in this sense, Russia's recent entry into the Paris climate agreement is an absolute advantage for the country.

“It is important to understand that the Paris Agreement does not introduce and cannot introduce any payments for emissions, no restrictions on the development of the countries, on the use of certain energy sources. Rather, it sets the format and structure of action on climate issues. Certainty is always a plus, both for business and for politicians, ”said Alexei Kokorin, director of the Climate and Energy program, WWF-Russia. “In addition, participation in the Agreement is a kind of “certificate of trust ”, which allows more efficient dialogue between the Arctic countries at all levels.”
Dr. Alexey Kokorin commenting on climate change issues

One of the key tools of adaptation to climate change is nature protected areas. According to Vladimir Krever, scientific director of WWF-Russia biodiversity program, over 25 years, 40 new nature reserves and national parks have been created in the Arctic with the support of WWF-Russia, and the total area of ​​northern protected areas has increased by 47 million hectares.

The priority area for the ecologists for the next year or two will be the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago. WWF Russia is taking the initiative to expand the existing reserve and create the largest nature protected area in Russia.

“The islands of Severnaya Zemlya have retained their pristine nature like no other archipelago of the Russian Arctic. Many rare and threatened species live here: narwhal, bowhead whale, beluga whales, polar bear. In favorable years, up to 80% of the world population of white gull nests on the islands,” says Vladimir Krever “We can say that this area is a priority across the entire Arctic.”

The photo exhibition “Severnaya Zemlya: Present and Future”, which has become a real decoration of the forum, tells about this unique territory. It was presented by WWF Russia and the Marine Heritage Association. The unique photo project was the result of the expedition “Open Ocean: Arctic Archipelagos - 2019”.

“During the expedition, we were able to conduct comprehensive studies of the marine and coastal ecosystem of Severnaya Zemlya and collect unique data on coastal landscapes and biological diversity, bottom and plankton communities, the population of rivers and lakes, seabirds and mammals. Received materials will serve as the scientific basis for expanding the area of protected territories in the region of Severnaya Zemlya, ”says Maria Gavrilo, member of the board of the Marine Heritage: Explore and Preserve Association. - Expeditionary photographers Vladimir Melnik and Andrey Kamenev talk not only about the beauty, but also the fragility and vulnerability of the pristine nature of Severnaya Zemlya. Our common task is to save it for future generations.”
For additional information please contact
Biodiversity Programme Leader
Press officer of the Barents projectBarents sea ecoregional programme