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Russia

The Last Great Wild: Growing Environmental Stewardship in Siberia and the Russian Far East

Siberia and the Russian Far East are home to some of the most profoundly beautiful wilderness areas left on earth. Russia's diverse landscapes support incredible biodiversity, including one-fifth of the world's forests, and endangered species such as the Amur leopard, Siberian tiger, and Western Pacific Gray Whale. Lake Baikal alone holds 20 percent of the world's unfrozen fresh water, and it is the oldest and deepest lake in the world. In the East, the Kamchatka Peninsula supports the world's densest population of brown bears and its rivers teem with spawning wild Pacific salmon.

 

The immense social and political upheaval Russia has experienced in the 1990s put a tremendous strain on the economy, and in response the Russian government approved large-scale natural resource extraction projects across previously untouched areas of the Russian Far East and Siberia. Today, Russian and international companies continue to exploit the country's oil, gas, mineral, timber, and marine resources at an alarming pace to capitalize on the high international market value of these goods.

 

The people of Siberia and the Russian Far East and their hundreds of indigenous communities have a deep love and respect for their land and beautiful environments, with many relying on local natural resources and biodiversity. That is why strong local organizations and communities comprised of proactive and committed citizens are the best stewards of their environment. Pacific Environment partners with local groups throughout Siberia and the Russian Far East to create sustainable environments in our shared northern Pacific home.