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History

WWF RUSSIA STEP BY STEP

The first WWF projects in Russia started in 1989, and in 1994 Russian WWF representative office was opened. In 2004, WWF Russia became a Russian national organization. For more than 20 years, the Foundation has successfully implemented more than 1,000 field projects in 47 regions of Russia and has invested over 137 million euro in the effort to preserve and increase the country's natural wealth. Here are just some of our successes, year by year.
2016

Three Caucasian leopards were released in the Caucasian Nature Reserve. Shortly before the memorable event, the leopards were equipped with satellite collars, which provide information about their whereabouts. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Murad Kerimov, Head of Rosprirodnadzor Artem Sidorov and WWF Russia Director Igor Chestin participated in the release of the first animals. Six cubs were born in the Center for the restoration of the leopard, which will also be released into nature in the future.

Bison census that was carried out with the assistance of WWF in the Caucasus in winter 2015-2016, confirmed that the work of the Foundation for the restoration of the species in this region is proceeding successfully. Experts report about 105 animals living in two specially protected natural areas in North Ossetia and Karachay-Cherkessia. In 2009-2013, WWF released 36 bison into the wild, and they began to successfully reproduce.

More than 1 million hectares of specially protected natural areas have been created in Russia and Kyrgyzstan with the participation of WWF. In Russia, new reserves, sanctuaries and nature parks and other protected areas have appeared in the Amur Region, Zabaykalsky Krai, and the Republic of Tyva.

The volume of cod and haddock extracted by Russian fishermen in the Barents Sea in accordance with the principles of sustainable fisheries and the standards of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) reached 90%.

For the first time in history the Russian government introduced a temporary moratorium on issuing new licenses to companies to develop oil and gas fields on the Arctic shelf. Within the framework of the “Arctic Oil Can Wait” campaign in 2015, which became the main theme of the Earth Hour, more than 80,000 adherents of WWF signed an appeal with a demand for a 10 years freeze of the development of new deposits in the Polar Regions.

2015

A large-scale Census of the Amur tiger took place in the Russian Far East in winter 2014-2015. It has shown that the number of predators has stabilized, and it has even grown in those areas where WWF operates. Simultaneously with the Amur tiger, specialists conducted a census of Far Eastern leopards. In two years the number of this rare species has grown more than a half and amounted to about 70 individuals.

A national park "Bikin" was created in the Far East, thanks to which untouched cedar-broad-leaved forests will be protected. An area of 1.16 million hectares is inhabited by a significant part of the Amur tiger population.

The ban on catching salmon by drift-nets (floating) in the exclusive economic zone of Russia has been introduced. This is a great victory for all those who support the conservation and sustainable use of the aquatic biological resources of the Far East.

In December 2015, a new UN climate agreement was adopted in Paris. The agreement will allow Russia to implement projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve forests, adaptation of the most vulnerable regions, ecosystems and population groups to negative climatic events.

2014

In 2014, three more cubs were born in the Center for breeding and rehabilitation of the Asiatic leopard in Sochi National Park, and now there are 13 animals, including eight kittens. It is the kittens that will start the wild population of the leopard in the Russian Caucasus.

In two years, the population of the Altai mountain sheep inhabiting the border regions of Russia and Mongolia increased by 82%. This is the conclusion of census of this rare species conducted with the support of WWF Russia.

Mongolian oak and Manchurian Ash are included in Annex III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Now these valuable tree species can be exported only after confirming the legality of their cutting down.

The Government of the Russian Federation has adopted a national plan to combat illegal («illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU)») fishing. Work on this document has been going on for many years, and WWF specialists took an active part in it.

WWF together with the Global Ecological Footprint Network for the first time measured the «ecological footprint» and the natural potential of the Russian regions. The partner in this research was the holding company «Teplocom». It turned out that Russia is one of the few countries that, with a reasonable use of natural resources, will be able to secure their stable reserves for decades to come.

The changes introduced into the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and toughening penalties for illegal extraction, trafficking and smuggling of especially valuable animals have come into effect. In 2014, for the first time a poacher was condemned to a real jail time of 2 years and 5 months with serving a sentence in a strict regime correctional colony and a fine of 726.5 thousand rubles for an illegal hunt of the Amur tiger in Primorsky Krai. WWF specialists acted as forensic experts during the investigation of this and other similar crimes.

2013

Important changes in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation have been made, toughening penalties for illegal hunting, trafficking and smuggling of particularly valuable animals.

Four kittens of the Asiatic leopard were born in the Center for breeding and rehabilitation of the Sochi National Park. Three of them will become the ancestors of the wild leopard population in the North Caucasus.

WWF brought to Karachaevo-Cherkessia 10 bison: they gave the first offspring and joined their wild relatives in the Teberda Reserve.

According to the data of the traces of the Far Eastern leopard, conducted in the winter of 2013, the number of this rare species increased one and a half times and amounted to no less than 50 individuals.

A national park «Shantarsky Islands» with an area of 515.5 thousand hectares was created in the Khabarovsk Krai. It will become one of the pearls of the «Pacific necklace» of Russia.

2012

First photo evidence of snow leopard habitat was obtained in the valley of the Argut River in the Altai Republic. Photo traps that were purchased with funds from supporters of WWF and partner organizations «caught» two predators and now experts have the opportunity to observe their lives and movements.

For the first time in five years, the Amur tiger population in the Primorsky Krai has stabilized: about 500 animals there live today.

A national park «Land of the Leopard» and a state reserve «Sredneussouri» in Primorsky Krai, a national park «Beringia» in Chukotka, and a natural park «Itzari» in Dagestan were created.

WWF and RIA Novosti published the first in Russia environmental and economic index of the regions. WWF expects that it will become the basis for assessing the quality and «ecological» development of our country.

Russia adopted a law on the protection of seas from oil pollution, which takes into account most of the key provisions on which WWF insisted.

2011

Provisions necessary for effective forest protection have been restored in the Russian legislation. The development of the National Forest Policy has begun.

576 thousand cedars were planted by volunteers in Primorsky Krai: the campaign of WWF Russia and Citibank became the largest event aimed to restore forests in the habitats of the Far Eastern leopard.

28 thousand people signed a WWF appeal to the Prime Minister v. V. Putin with an appeal to ban deforestation in the valley of the Bikin River in Primorsky Krai and defended the fate of the «Russian Amazon».

2010

At the initiative and with the active support and participation of WWF in St. Petersburg, the International Forum on Tiger Conservation took place. A species rescue program was adopted by 13 states. Chairman of the RF Government v. V. Putin supported all measures proposed by WWF to protect the Amur tiger.

A complete ban on cutting Korean cedar has been introduced.
Thanks to the long-term campaign of WWF and other public organizations, a dangerous for nature project of the Evenk hydro power station construction was stopped.

2009

A national park «Russian Arctic» was established with the participation of WWF. This is the first Arctic national park in Russia to take under protection walruses, polar bears, as well as bird colonies, glaciers, and unique hydrological objects.

Russian fishermen received the first international certificates of environmentally responsible fisheries (MSC).

WWF’s global campaign «Earth Hour» has become the most massive public event in the history of Russia and the world.

2008

A Center for the cultivation and rehabilitation of the Asiatic leopard has opened in Sochi National Park. Animals brought here from Turkmenistan, Iran and Lisbon Zoo in 2009–2012 will become the founders of future generations of leopards in Russian Caucasus.

2007

National parks have been created in the Far East:«Call of the Tiger», «Udege legend» and «Anyui». WWF, in cooperation with other environmental organizations has been trying to achieve this for several years.

The retail sale of sturgeon caviar is completely prohibited. This is the first and necessary step to stop the poaching and prevent sturgeon extermination.

First group of the WWF «Bear Patrol» was created to conserve polar bears and prevent conflict between humans and this rare predator in the Russian Arctic.

2006

The nationwide campaign to protect Lake Baikal and Perevoznaya Bay in the Far East from the construction of the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline concluded successfully. The threat to unique ecosystems has been avoided.

After Canada, Russia has become the second largest country in the world in terms of the area of forest areas certified by the international standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This guarantees the preservation of ecosystems, social and protective functions of forests in industrial logging.

2005

Russia presented the hundredth jubilee «Gift to the Earth» within the framework of the international campaign «Living Planet»: with the initiative of WWF the «Ergaki» nature park was created in Krasnoyarsk Krai.

A natural park «The Quiet Zone of Ukok» was established In the Republic of Altai.

2004

WWF Russia launched an educational campaign on the need to ratify the Kyoto Protocol — a global agreement on actions to prevent climate change. The State Duma of the Russian Federation ratified the Protocol.

2003

WWF launched a campaign to change the forest legislation and opposed the acceptance of amendments to the Forest Code, which do not take into account the opinion of ecologists and the public.

The WWF program for the conservation of freshwater ecosystems in the Amur River basin began in the Far East.

2002

Russia-wide WWF program to combat illegal logging has begun. The infringements discovered by WWF experts forced the authorities of the Federal Forestry Agency to take measures to combat forest poaching.

2001

WWF launched a campaign to protect the Sakhalin gray whale population that was threatened by oil industry. The subsea pipeline route of the Sakhalin-2 project was changed and avoided the feeding area of the whales.

WWF Russia has its first supporters — citizens who regularly provide financial support to the Fund’s projects.

2000

In response to the abolition of the State Committee on Ecology, WWF and other public organizations collected more than 3 million signatures to hold a Russia-wide referendum and restoring environmental control in the country.

First Russian companies that produce wood received international certificates of sustainable management (FSC).

1999

The «Pskov Model Forest» project has been launched, as a result of which a forest management model was developed, which allows to grow high-productive forest, to achieve bigger profit and at the same time to preserve the habitats of animals and plants.

1998

A project to save the Far Eastern leopard has begun: state strategy for the conservation of this species has been developed and approved with the initiative of WWF, existing protected areas received support and new ones have been created.

The «Altai-Sayan Initiative for the Next Millenium» was developed — a document on the interaction of countries for the conservation of nature, which was signed by the heads of all territorial entities of the region.

1997

WWF Russia joined the WWF international program «Living Planet». The head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) presented a «Gift to the Earth» — announced the creation of a system of protected natural areas in the republic. Its initiative was continued by the leaders of 10 other regions of Russia.

1996

A project to return bison into the wild has been launched. As of 2016, about 550 thoroughbred animals are grazing freely in the forests of the European part of Russia.

1995

Poaching of salmon and brown bear has been virtually eliminated in South Kamchatka Wildlife Refuge. A technique for counting brown bears in Kamchatka has been developed. To date, their number is about 18 thousand.

Work began in Central Asia. an effective, constantly developing network of specially protected natural territories and ecological corridors, ECONET, has been created in five countries within 20 years.

1994

WWF Russia began a project to support existing and create new protected areas. As of 2016, more than 130 specially protected natural areas with a total area of about 45 million hectares have been created with the participation of WWF.

Projects to protect the Amur tiger have begun in the Far East.