How We Work
Years of experience have taught us that local people know best how to protect their own environment. This is why partnership is a guiding principle of Pacific Environment's work in Eastern Russia and Siberia. We do not tell our partners what to do or how to do it, but offer the support, tools, and international assistance needed to succeed. We prioritize local needs and build relationships over time.
Pacific Environment has grown the environmental movement in Russia by providing:
- Direct support - we work closely with partners to develop projects, provide technical trainings to grantees, and improve partners' grant-writing and reporting skills
- Joint advocacy - we come alongside our partners and work with them to identify campaigns and develop joint campaign strategies; through this process, our partners gain access to international leverage points and have opportunities to develop high-level professional advocacy and community outreach skills
- Coalition-building assistance - we build the capacity of our partners by engaging them in local, national, and international coalitions
Originally convened as a way to facilitate collaboration among a few environmental organizations, the Sosnovka Coalition has grown to involve over a hundred indigenous and environmental leaders from throughout Russia, addressing issues ranging from forestry and mining to fisheries management and social justice.
Since its inception Sosnovka members have met with tremendous success. Сonstant support and active collaboration inside of the coalition are the factors that insure multiply victories of Sosnovka members.
Thanks to the Sosnoka Coalition, Royal Dutch Shell had to reroute an offshore oil pipeline to
avoid the endangered Western Pacific Gray Whale's habitat off of
Sakhalin Island. The Siberia-Pacific Pipeline was moved
away from Lake Baikal, saving the watershed from potential oil spills,
and an alternate terminal location avoids critical Amur leopard habitat.
Civil society in eastern Russia is strong and growing through the leadership of the environmental movement, however the process is different from what we have seen in Europe and in the United States. Russian groups will have to continue to adapt to a harsh political infrastructure and to influence a top-down governance structure from the grassroots.