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WWF and Citi

The successful cooperation of the Citi Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has already continued for about five years. A distinctive feature of the projects implemented within the framework of this cooperation is their active social orientation: people living in harmony with nature begin to receive a stable profit from their activities based on an environmentally oriented approach. Their welfare and legal income directly depend on the preservation of the environment in its natural, primordial form. It is necessary to understand that it primarily concerns remote areas where there are not many honest means of earning, where poaching and predatory attitude to natural resources have become a harsh norm of life, and sometimes the only source of livelihood.

© WWF Russia
© WWF Russia
© WWF Russia
© WWF Russia
© WWF Russia
© WWF Russia
© WWF Russia

In particular, we can note a project of 2012, successfully implemented by WWF and Citi Foundation in Altai and in Tuva. Its goal was to preserve natural habitats of snow leopards and help entrepreneurs to develop their small, environmentally oriented tourism business. About 4.5 million rubles have been allocated to accomplish the set tasks in 2012. Priority was given to the development of ecological tourism in villages: construction and arrangement of «green» houses and tourist camps, and production of souvenirs.

In 2013, the Citi Foundation and WWF Russia have launched a project in Kamchatka to support entrepreneurs involved in the extraction and sale of non-timber forest products. Distribution of funds in the form of micro-grants is based on business plans submitted by entrepreneurs. The basic directions of financing are: purchase of the necessary equipment, rent of industrial premises.

In addition to material support, seminars for entrepreneurs are held every year in the framework of the project in Kamchatka with the participation of officials and experienced businessmen. Such meetings are a source of valuable information. They are especially relevant in remote settlements, where information on the specifics of legislation in the collection and sale of wild plants and pitfalls in the work is much in demand.

Within the framework of the project, an Association of Environmentally Responsible Producers and Processors of Kamchatka Food Forest Resources has been established in 2015.

Thanks to the efforts of the two foundations, in 2016 some 40 new jobs will be created in Kamchatka. Perhaps, the creation of jobs is the main marker of project success. Jobs attracting local residents to work, although seasonal in nature, provide a source of legal income for whole families. The project is implemented in traditionally salmon rich areas, where illegal fishing was the only means of income for the majority of the local population for many years. Therefore, the joint project of two funds aimed at supporting the collection of wild-growing plants also solves the problem of preserving Kamchatka salmon and combating poaching.