Projects to conserve Red Data Book animals discussed at the Eastern Economic Forum

Projects to conserve Red Data Book animals discussed at the Eastern Economic Forum

4 September 2016

Participants in the 3 September key session, Preserving Biodiversity and Maintaining Ecological Balance in the Asia-Pacific Region, at the Eastern Economic Forum discussed investment in projects to preserve rare animals and the fight against poaching. The session involved Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport and Chair of the Supervisory Board of the Far Eastern Leopards Sergei Ivanov; Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi; and Aide to the President, Chief of the Presidential Control Directorate and Chair of the Supervisory Board of the Amur Tiger Centre Konstantin Chuychenko.


Sergei Ivanov, who is also chair of the organising committee for the Year of the Environment in Russia, said that 194 billion roubles would be allocated for 234 events scheduled for 2017, of which 163 billion (84%) had been contributed by commercial companies. Sergei Donskoi reminded his audience that three priority projects had been selected as part of the Year of the Environment, urging business people to invest in one of these called Wildlife. “We are planning to run seven projects to restore the population of Red Data Book animals as part of the priority Wildlife project, and we invite business people to join these projects. Two have been promoted successfully with business participation. Clearly, I am speaking about leopards; but there are also bisons, saiga antelopes and tigers,” he said.


The participants focused on poaching. “The government has tightened the legislation considerably in recent years. Article 258.1 related to Red Data Book animals is now working. Transporting even derivatives is now a crime,” Sergei Ivanov said. Konstantin Chuychenko reported that nearly 10 prison sentences had been handed down, adding that trophy hunting had been curbed. “Having an Amur tiger’s or a Far Eastern leopard’s skin as a souvenir is regarded as bad form,” he said.


At the end, Sergei Ivanov thanked sponsors involved in projects to preserve Far Eastern leopards and Amur tigers, saying that their investment helped to establish warden lodges in Primorye national parks, which significantly facilitated the patrol duty. “There was nothing of the kind previously, and it was impossible to perform the patrol duty. It’s taiga, huge territories. Now that this has been arranged, poaching rates declined and animal populations started growing,” he said, adding that national parks abound in deer and wild boars hunted by the rare cats. Footage from trail cameras and video cameras shows that tigers and leopards are nourished above the average level.


Preserving biodiversity is an important topic for discussion at the EEF because major investment projects planned in the region are likely to emerge as a major environmental threat. As usual, ecological issues were discussed at a separate session attended by leading Russian and foreign experts.