Project Office for Arctic Development Discussion Club Holds Meeting on Conservation of Biodiversity in Far North

The Project Office for Arctic Development’s discussion club held a meeting to consider the conservation of biodiversity in the Arctic. The online conference was attended by representatives of research centres that study Russia’s northern regions, specially protected natural areas, and private biodiversity conservation projects.

More than 21,000 biological species live in the Arctic. Climate change and human activity can lead to serious consequences for the biodiversity of the Far North. For this reason, programmes, projects, and strategies to conserve the Arctic ecosystem and its biological species have taken on increasing importance. The discussion club reviewed existing biodiversity conservation projects in Russia’s Arctic zone, their results and prospects, as well as partnership opportunities for their implementation.

“The theme of biodiversity is important for the Arctic Council, which Russia is chairing in 2021–2023. During the period when interaction with other member countries within the Council format is frozen, Russia intends to work on implementing the chairmanship programme based on its own national interests in the region. In these conditions, the role of contacts between our country’s Arctic regions is growing and there is a growing need to strengthen cooperation between them on priority items of the Arctic agenda, including the conservation of biodiversity. In this regard, I would like to point out the role played by research centres, universities, competence centres, and public organizations. In this context, there is also increased demand for contributions from interregional formats of collaboration, among which we can highlight the activities of the Northern Forum, an organization that is an observer in the Arctic Council whose secretariat is located in Yakutsk,” Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Arctic Senior Officials Nikolay Korchunov said.

In particular, the discussion club noted projects that have been approved by the Northern Forum to develop cooperation in environmental protection and biodiversity conservation. These include: ‘Environmental Monitoring’, ‘Wildlife Management’, and ‘State of the Environment and Emergency Response’. As part of the ‘Environment’ programme, cooperation is taking place on such projects as ‘Development of Specially Protected Natural Areas’, ‘Management of Brown Bear Populations’, and ‘Youth Eco-Forum’.

The Northern Forum on Sustainable Development, which is held each year in late September, holds regular discussions on such issues as environmental protection, the development of specially protected natural areas, and the conservation and enrichment of biodiversity. An annual campaign for the conservation of rare and endangered species has taken on increasing popularity and become a traditional event of the forum.

The Project Office for Arctic Development’s discussion club will be the first step towards creating a report that will present the best biodiversity conservation practices in the regions of Russia’s Arctic zone.

The Roscongress Foundation manages the events held during Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council.