Socio-ecological Union
International  Socio-ecological  Union Center  for Ecological Policy  of Russia WWF Russian Program Office Union for Chemical Safety Biodiversity Conservation Center Ecological Center Dront Greenpeace Russia

Dear colleagues!

The text you will see on next page is a draft for Russian state ecological doctrine written by Russian public movement.

We are presenting it to international community for several reasons:

  • we want to hear you ideas and recommendations about it, as in some of your countries you have already experiences with things proposed in the text
  • we want international community to be aware that Russian public movement is large, diverse and works actively
  • we need help of international community to promote public participation in decision making processes in Russia.

For years after Rio we as public environemntal movement were trying to persuade our governemnt in necessity of state environmental policy. However, authorities always found something more important than the environment and public interests.

While participating in international proceses officials would always prefer to say that there was no strong and organized public environemntal movement in Russia, Russian NGO were working on different issues, including sustainble developemnt on the level of their cities and regions.

Indeed, from the official point of view there was not much of the public movement - because there were not much of the pocket groups - groups controlled and manipulated by the government.

Through the las t years Russian public movement was efficient in preventing different dangerous projects, including the last one (we start winning) - shipping nuclear waste of different countries for storage and reprocessing. Environmental movement was also very active in human rights protection. This, clearly, was very irritating for the Government - because couple of "loyal" organization could not be much of help for anti-environmental image of official Russia.

The upcoming Rio+10 summit in Johannesburg was a kind of an alarm call for Russian officials - reminding that there was nothing done to be proud of or to report about. For week-long Rio +5 summit, Russian premier Chernomyrdine came - his visit was most memorable for his surprise "Are they going to talk about the environemnt ALL WEEK LONG?". This time President Putin himself will have to present country progress and answer difficult questions.

Instead of setting peace and cooperation with the public of their own country, Russian authorities (or their advisors) decided to go old bad greenwash way - that is, to do another attempt to create phony public movement, to declare it one and only sane and cooperative one - and thus to both ensure good image within international community and to get "public environmental" approval for any projects (like the nuclear waste imports, GE development etc).

The President Admisitration gathering which called itself "First All-Russia Ecoforum" happened on January 31, 2001. 40 people, mostly academics were selected, public was also symbolized by ill-reputated Russian Ecological Congress (practically another name for Green Cross Russia) and KEDR - former political party. Fortunately, due to our informational efforts it had to admit the existance of "greens", and could never be proclamed the one and only public movement. However, it was officially named as the only sane and cooperative - and received a "state order" for Russian Environmental Doctrine elaboration - something to be presented at Rio +10.

Thus, the majority of environmental movement for decades working on sustainability issues was excluded from the process. The "official" version is supposed to be produced by the end of year 2001, if at all. The doctrine you see is a vision and work of the leaders of real environmental movement of Russia.

We are going to present it to Russian Government and we hope that it will be accepted. But to "help" our Government to make this decision we need you support and awareness. Otherwise, Russia will happily report on Rio+10, but there will be no real work, no real progress and no real public involvement behind that.


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