Socio-ecological Union

The Newsletter of
the Socio-Ecological Union
A Center for Coordination
and Information

Moscow, Russia -- Issue 8(17) - special, April, 2001


Russian public environemnt attempts to prevent greenwash at RIO+10 Summit

Dear colleagues!

   The text you will see on below 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.



Russian Ecological Doctrine

  Russian Ecological Doctrine represents official attitude to the principles, main priorities, ways and means to provide for the sustainable development of Russian Federation and for the environment protection in mid term (up to year 2010) prospective. Doctrine provides basis for the Russian State ecological policy.

  1. Constitutional basis and strategic goals of the Russian state ecological policy.
  Constitutional bases for the Russian ecological policy is:
- non exhaustive, rational use and protection of all nature resources, careful attitude to all nature as a basis for Russian people life and welfare (art.9, art 58 of the Russian Constitution) ;
- exercise of the citizen rights for the favorable environment, (art.42), promotion of the activities, aimed on ecological and health welfare (art.41);
- dissemination of the authentic information on environment condition, preventing officials from hiding facts and circumstances threatening life and health of the people (art.29, art.41, art.42) ;
- preventing and suppressing activities of the land and other nature resources owners activities that a harmful for environment and interfering with the peoples rights for healthy, favorable environment (art.36, art.42) ;
- state guarantees for áompensation of the damage done to peoples' health and property by ecological regulation violators (art.42, art.53) ;
- differentiation of the authority in the field of ecological development, nature use, environment protection and ecological safety, protection of the genuine habitats and traditional lifestyle of the indigenous communities, legislation on environment protection between Russian Federation and Russian Federation subjects (art.71, art.72) .
  Strategic goals of the state ecological policy are the following: -
exercise of the present and future people generations for the favorable and healthy environment,
- providing for non-exhaustive, rational use and protection of all nature resources
- providing for sustainable development and ecological safety of the Russian Federation.

  2. Main principles of the Russian ecological policy
  Main principles of the Russian Federation ecological policy are:
- setting long term priorities for planning,
- state regulation of the environment protection and use,
- health protection of the present and future generation of people from harmful consequences of the antropogenic effects on environment,
- environmental priorities while making all political and economical decisions,
- restoration of environmental functions of the territories disturbed by human activities,
- state ecological control and monitoring, environmental assessment and liscencing, needed for timely and reasonable decision making,
- participation in the international negotiation processes to prevent unfavorable influences on Russian population and environment from the outside,
- public participation in development and enforcement of the state ecological policy, including the public environmental control,

  3. State ecological policy main directions
  The main directions for the state ecological policy are:
  3.1. Providing for ecologically safe energy production development State ecological policy in the field of energy includes:
- priority for the state support and subsidies of the energy saving technologies;
- reduction of the energy consumption level by the producing industry to the level of the EU countries
- energy loss reduction during production and transport
- priority of the state support and subsidies for the energy production using renewable sources
- development of the new ecologically sound ways to produce energy
- raising the safety level of the NPPs (nuclear power plants) already in use; refuse the construction of the new NPPs using current technologies; closing of the existing NPPs.
  3.2. Providing for the ecological safety of the industry development.
  Among main state policy directions in this field:
- support of the development and introduction of the energy and resource-saving technologies
- priority for the industry branches with high raw material processing level and involving intellectual work;
- support for the low level waste producing technologies, forming industrial groups providing for closed cycle production;
- development of the industry for previously produced waste processing;
- priority for the long term service and in-service modified goods, suitable for reprocessing;
- refuse to place "dirty technologies" threatening country health and environment within the country;
- introduction of the producers responsibility for the product during all its cycle of life;
- application of the principle of the waste storage and processing in the place of origin relating to the dangerous wastes and products (like nuclear or chemical industry waste) ;
- introduction of the ecological certification system of the producers, their produce and waste.
  3.3. Organization of the nature resources sustainable use:
- to provide for the equality of the nature resource use for the present and future generations
- state support for the waste reprocessing and useful compound use of the wastes produced in previous years;
- providing for reproduction of the renewable resources;
- support for environment friendly (organic) forms of agriculture;
- support of the natural soil richness, development of the field and soil- protective forestry;
- preservation and development of the new, (acquired through natural selection process, free of genetic engineering) breeds of plants and animals;
- state support for the transition from monocultures to multicultures;
- support for the traditional environmentally sound nature use forms
- transition to environmentally sound management in game, fish and forestry (enforcing the principle - grow first, then harvest) , development of the aquaculture
- creation and reconstruction of the conditions for trade animal and fish species reproduction, especially those shrinking in numbers because of over use or environment changes.
  3.4. Providing for ecologically safe transport development
  The main directions in this field are:
- development of in-city public transportation as basic, having advantage before private, means of transportation;
- support for production of the resource saving, environment-friendly cars;
- providing for energy saving, environmentally clean air transport;
- providing for environmental safety of the pipelines
- providing for environmental safety and gradual stop of the use of the ship nuclear reactors.
  3.5. Territorial environmental policy
  The main directions of the regional environmental policy are:
- concentration of the present and emerging industries at the territories already transformed by the industrial activities and within the territories with good infrastructure;
- the environmental limits of territory are to be observed while new industrial or other objects are constructed;
- priority should be given to the development, serving needs of the local population;
- reservation and conservation of the territories little disturbed or undisturbed by the development;
- prevention of the fragmentation of the natural or close to natural territories while infrastructure development (railroads, highways, pipelines etc) .
  3.6. Protection of the human health related to environmental conditions
  The main activities in population health protection are:
- providing for the safety of food, water and air;
- providing for the safety of goods, household appliances and housing itself;
- preventing and suppressing activities leading to dangerous environmental pollution;
- defining and rehabilitating environmentally damaged territories and territories of ecological disasters;
- providing for rehabilitation of the persons suffered as the result of environmental violation, including breakdowns and disasters, or as the result of work in dangerous industry.
  3.7. Civic society as ecological policy instrument
   Main directions for civic society development are:
- support for public participation in discussion and making of decisions that affect theor rights and freedoms, their interests, health, life and environment
- providing for the priority of public environmental interests before interest of business or authorities;
- establishing favorable conditions for the charity activities
- establishing favorable conditions for tradiotional indigenous natural nature use;
- providing for alternative service (instead of army) at the environment-related entities for the ecological policy implementation
  3.8. Natural and cultural heritage conservation
  The main directions for natural and cultural heritage conservation are:
- providing for preservation of all natural variety of the country;
- preservation and development of specially protected territory system;
- preservation and broadening of the history and culture reserves system, historical zones within cities and towns, historical and cultural monuments of the peoples living in Russia
- development and realization of the activity system aimed on conservation of rear and endangered species, conservation of the diversity of landscapes and ecosystems;
- preventing from penetrating into country's ecosystem organisms that may damage natural and agricultural systems, genetically modified organisms to be named among the most dangerous ones;
- development and implementation of the systemic measures on conservation and creating conditions for survival of wild animals and plants within developed and urban areas.
  3.9. Ecological safety of military armed forces and space activities
  To provide for the ecological safety of military armed forces and space activities the following is to be done:
- state and public control over the ecological safety of military forces and space activities should be ensured;
- within the entities responsible for safety establishing of special environment units aimed on prevention of activities endangering environment and health;
- providing for population interest and safety priority while decision making about armaments' and other dangerous objects demolishment sites; à §®àă¦¥­¨¥, ®¤­ ª® - disarmament ...
- providing for the rehabilitation and restoration of the territories polluted as the result of nuclear testing, military activities, spaces activities etc.
  3.10. Participation in transnational problem solutions In this area the following is necessary:
- providing for Russia's active participation in fulfilling international agreements on environment protection;
- providing for ecological safety, environment and resources protection while common waters use that are under several countries authority;
- active participation in processes and negotiations, aimed on reduction of spending on armaments, on non-proliferation, refuse from development and use of arms dangerous for environment;
- understanding of Russia's global environmental functions while participating in international economical relations;
- involvement of international forces and means in demolishing or reconstruction of radioactive and other pollution sources of seas, oceans, air, trnasboundary land;
- involvement of international community for conservation and restoration of Russian natural un- or little disturbed territories having global significance;
- ensuring Russia's interests and ecological safety in connection to participation in international agreements and organizations;
- active participation in international negotiations and processes, aimed on prevention of transaboundary movement of products and organisms that may harm population and environment.

  4. State ecological policy implementation
  4.1. State management system development for ecological policy implementation
  For efficiency of the control over ecological safety of all activities, preservation and rational use of nature resources for the welfare of present and future generations, prevention and elimination of the threats for environment and health it is necessary:
- provide for independence of the state environmental assessment and control of any entities responsible for nature use;
- provide for clear differentiation of the authority and responsibility between federal and regional authorities, local governments in control over nature resources use, condition and quality of environment;
- introduction of licencing system, especially for potentially harmful activities;
- development and implementation of the federal, regional, local and other specific programs and action plans on environment protection.
  4.2. Economical mechanisms for ecological policy implementation
- provide for priority taxation of the amount of resources used instead of taxing labor;
- develop and apply taxation and tariff policies, stimulation export transition from raw material to processed goods;
- provide targeted support for clean-up from money gained from state property privatization;
- develop and apply taxation system, aimed on reduction of pollution coming from city transport;
- application of "polluter pays" principle - amount of payments for discharges should directly depend of the amount discharged and of substance danger;
- create legislative basis for real compensation for environment damage and to persons suffered as the result of pollution or ecological disasters;
- ensure public control over state ecological funds money use;
- develop different ecological ensurance forms;
- develop legislative and economical mechanisms for used product reprocessing;
- development of eco-audit of enterprises.
  4.3. Financial mechanisms for ecological policy implementation
  To ensure sustainable funding for activities aimed on environment protection and restoration, transition of industry and agriculture to environment-friendly model the following should be done:
- to implement the scheme of ecological debt and similar principles during the negotiations on debts;
- develop the system of redistribution of state budget to conserve undisturbed ecosystems and to support indigenous (environment -friendly) nature use;
- create legislative basis to promote charity activities and for targeting part of the taxes paid by persons for specific charity activities, including environment and nature protection.
  4.4. Ensuring protection of constitutional rights
  To protect civic constitutional rights and to provide for environmental responsibilities fulfillment it is necessary to:
- ensure legislative and organizational basis for direct public participation in environmental and other related to their health and life decision making
- pause or terminate projects that did not receive positive conclusion of state environmental assessment
- activate legislative mechanisms of solving conflicts in court between citizens, authorities, business, including those on environmental issues
- establish favorable conditions for public ecological control development, including public inspections, public environmental assessment etc.
  4.5. Information on ecological policy
  To provide Russian citizens with the level of information and education that allows active participation in sustainable development process and provides for environmental safety, besides many other activities, we consider necessary the following:
- free access to environemntal information or other that relates to environment and health safety;
- efficient monitoring and statistics system on environment condition and population health;
- work to indicate all territories that were polluted by dangerous substances in previous years, especially as the result of military activities.
  4.6. Ecological culture
  Main activities in this direction are:
- increase of the state support for the studies on environment protection and environmental safety;
- provide for non-stop environmental education;
- "ecologisation" of higher education with mandatory environmental part of all courses;
- activities on environemntal awareness raising among officials and Chief Execitive Officers


  For Russian State Ecological Doctrine implementation Government develops long term, midterm and logterm action plans on environment protection and non-exhaustive rational resource use, as well as national plans of environmental health protection, actively involving public in plan development and decision-making process.

  The following organizations are the authors of the text:
  International Socio - ecological Union,
  Center for Ecological Policy of Russia,
   WWF Russian Program Office,
  Greenpeace Russia,
  Union for Chemical Safety,
   Biodiversity Conservation Center,
  Ecological Center Dront.

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