Sergei Ivanov talks about Russia's Year of the Environment 2017
March 31, 2016 | Moscow, Russian Federation
Chief of the Presidential Administration of Russia, Sergei Ivanov, attends a photo exhibition on leopards and tigers in Sochi, Russian Federation
In one of the first executive orders of 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an Executive Order on Holding the Year of the Environment in the Russian Federation in 2017.
President Putin resolved to hold the Year of the Environment in order to attract public attention to Russia’s environmental issues, and to help preserve biodiversity and ensure environmental security for the nation. The Government of the Russian Federation has been instructed to develop a schedule of events to be held during the Year of the Environment.
To that end, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Ivanov has been appointed Chairman of the organising Committee for the Year of the Environment. Mr Ivanov recently outlined what will be some of the top priorities, such as finding solutions for the recycling of litter and domestic waste.
"Unfortunately, in Russia today there is no modern enterprise of household waste recycling for household rubbish. I think it is to time to begin work on the construction of such plants, including in the far East," said Mr Ivanov.
Air and water pollution are also two major issues which he said will be addressed, along with the all important issue of saving Lake Baikal.
With a maximum depth of 1,632m, UNESCO World Heritage site Lake Baikal is considered the deepest lake in the world, and having originated between 25 to 35 million years ago it is also known as the world's oldest. Hosting one fifth of the entire planet's freshwater (and also boasting its purest), and harbouring more species than any other lake in the world, Lake Baikal is under severe threat from climate change. The average temperature of the lake has increased by 1.2C between 1946 and 2004, and the warmer temperatures are increasing the numbers of species commonly found in warmer waters. Experts are concerned that Lake Baikal's unique cold-water species (approximately 1900 are endemic - unknown anywhere else) may not survive and may even be replaced by non-native species.
Renewable energy, the development of the ecotourism industry in Russia and the preservation of forests were all other issues raised by Mr Ivanov, who seemed adamant that he was not prepared to wait until the Year of the Environment to get the ball rolling:
"We are not going to wait for 2017, we want to start working beforehand. Let us be frank: all of the environmental issues in Russia cannot be solved in under a year, but it is important to start moving, including in large industrial enterprises."
"To summarise, in my opinion, the time has come to clean up Russia."
At Sustain Europe, we see no other action as being more virtuous than that.
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