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The Arctic

The Arctic

The Arctic is one of a few corners of the Earth where nature has been preserved almost in its original form. Here polar bears, reindeers, seals and whales live. Of the 238 major ecological regions in the world, seven are in the Arctic.

At the same time, the Arctic belongs to the most vulnerable regions of the world. When we talk about an increase in the average global temperature by 2 degrees, it means 5 degrees for the Arctic, and in some places up to 10. Raid melting of ice can lead to a situation where by the end of the century polar bears will be in a very difficult situation and major portion of animals will die.

The polar bears are threatened not only by global climate change… According to the «Wrangel Island» Reserve specialists, in the Russian Arctic, poachers kill 200–300 animals each year.

In order to preserve the unique ecosystems of the Arctic, WWF does work in several directions:

The first direction is concerned with information work, publication of literature, work with the media and the public. Our goal is to show that the Arctic needs help, for which both adaptation to new conditions and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on the whole planet are needed. Without a sharp reduction in emissions the Arctic will have very hard time by the middle of the century.

The second direction focuses on the minimization of negative impact of shipping in the Arctic. It is expected that the intensity of navigation in the Russian Arctic seas will increase due to the melting of ice, and it is necessary to take legal measures to be able to anticipate and prevent the negative impacts of these processes. The main activities will be: the development and adoption of a federal law on the prevention of oil pollution of the seas of the Russian Federation, as well as the adoption of special measures for navigation in the Arctic by the International Maritime Organization. In addition, it is important that the requirements of the Russian legislation are consistent with these measures.

The third direction is aimed at the elimination of threats caused by oil and gas production, both present time and future, which can threaten the Arctic if it is «used» thoughtlessly.

The fourth direction focuses on the fishing industry in the Arctic seas. These are particularly fragile ecosystems and there must be special approach to them. The Russian Arctic, including the Barents and the Bering Seas is an important area for domestic and world fisheries. It is inhabited by one of the last still preserved large herds of the Barents Sea cod and Alaska pollock, which is one of the most numerous species of cod. In addition to Alaska pollock other species of cod fish that are well known to buyers are present here: haddock, saithe, saffron cod, halibut and polar cod.

The main activity is the introduction of principles of responsible fisheries aimed at long-term conservation of healthy and productive marine ecosystems.

And the fifth, the major direction of our work is concerned with specially protected natural territories:

  • Creation and support of a system of specially protected natural areas.
  • Conservation of rare and endangered species.
  • Environmental education and public information.
  • WWF is the only non-governmental organization in the world that has joined efforts of the eight Arctic countries to protect the nature through the national organizations of the fund in the USA, Canada, Norway, Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Sweden, Russia and the Icelandic Association for Nature Conservation.