After meeting with IFAW, Russian Minister advocates for greater animal protection

After meeting with IFAW, Russian Minister advocates for greater animal protectio
Wednesday, 28 December, 2016

(Moscow, Russia) - On December 27, at the Vladimir Putin-chaired State Council meeting on environmental development in the Russian Federation, several high ranking officials supported International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) positions on the issue of greater animal protection.

President Putin opened the meeting by stating that “Our agenda today includes the challenge of Russia’s gradual transition to a sustainable development model, not simply sustainable development, but environmentally sustainable development. I want to stress that we are discussing economic development, but with a focus on environmental issues (…) I will remind you that 2017 has been declared the Year of the Environment, and environmental protection has been included in the recently approved National Science and Technology Development Strategy as a priority.”

Sergey Ivanov, the Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport, recommended developing a unified legislation regarding responsible treatment of animals, which would take into consideration interests both of wild and domestic animals. Mr. Ivanov also advocated for more stringent regulation of travelling circuses, dolphinaria and zoos, where animals are often kept in unbearable conditions, as well as the need to regulate use of animals for making money.

IFAW had discussed these animal issues with Mr. Ivanov at a meeting on December 16, which included Azzedine Downes, IFAW President and CEO; Maria Vorontsova, Regional Director in Russia and CIS; and Pamela Anderson, member of the IFAW Russia Council.

Others at the State Council meeting emphasized the importance of business partnerships and environmentally sustainable economic development to the success of conservation efforts.  Sergey Donskoy, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, noted that one of the state goals is the development of a network of specially protected territories and conservation of biodiversity, and as a consequence, development of environmental tourism and a threefold increase in visits to National Parks by 2025. Private business investment will be necessary to achieve these goals, Mr. Donskoy asserted.

“Concerning all species of endangered animals: Amur tiger, Persian and Amur leopards, polar bear, European bison, Przewalski’s horse; targeted programs aimed at stabilizing and increasing their populations are underway. We are planning to launch new projects aimed at other rare species, in particular, argali, snow leopard and saiga antelope. Next year, definitively, we will continue to work on increasing the number of such programs, including programs with participation of business entities,” said Mr. Donskoy.

During the State Council meeting, President Putin also highlighted the importance of citizen involvement in various environmental initiatives as well as partnerships with public organizations for resolution of environmental issues and development of environmental culture in the country.

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit  www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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