April 27, a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society took place at the HQ in St. Petersburg.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergei Shoigu, members of the Board and special guests took part in it.
The Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society was found in 2010. The Board has revived a longstanding tradition of patronage and established grants of the Society that support many research and conservation programs and expeditions. The Board consists of well-known public figures and business representatives. Meetings of the Trustees Board reviews the progress achieved by the Russian Geographical Society and discusses prospects for the future.
Members of the meeting were welcomed by Vladimir Putin:
“We have again gathered in the historical headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society. This magnificent building is 110 years old. For all these years, it has faithfully served us to educate people, to preserve and develop culture, science and local history. It is encouraging that these traditions continue today. Here, as before, enthusiastic people gather, set up for special actions, as well as interesting, in-demand projects are developed. I would like to thank everyone who helps support diverse initiatives of the Russian Geographical Society.””
Vladimir Putin announced the start of the Russian Geographical Society Premium 2018 competition.
The event was held as a round-table discussion. President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergei Shoigu reviewed the results of 2017 and spoke about the current activities and prospects for 2018. Heads of projects made brief reports. Members of the Board of Trustees discussed the plans and projects already implemented in geography and ecology.
"Today, tens of millions of people in Russia and abroad are participants in projects supported by the Society. Independent sociological studies show that the RGS awareness among the population has almost tripled since 2013, but the important thing is that the number of those wishing to join the Society is growing even more rapidly", said the Society President.
Sergei Shoigu spoke about new atlases published by the Russian Geographical Society. In 2018, in accordance with the Instruction of the Russian President the following atlases were published: the National Atlas of the Arctic, a unique publication of global significance with no analogues, the Ecological Atlas of Russia and the Atlas of Reserves, a gift to the 100th anniversary of the system of protected arears of Russia.
One of the important results of 2017 was the creation of the first register of all rivers and river basins of the Arctic area of the Asian part of Russia. Professor of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management of Kazan Federal University Oleg Ermolaev touched this issue. He noted that 12 million square kilometers, almost three quarters of the territory of this country, were mapped.
Executive Director of the Russian Geographical Society branch in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Dmitry Solovyov presented the project "Floating University on the Lena River"; last summer, students of this university had a chance to study the natural and socio-cultural environment of the Lena river basin. The data they received signaled serious pollution of the river waters. Also, experts of the Yakut branch made an expedition to the Novosibirsk Islands, where they studied permafrost processes, and flora and fauna of the islands, as well as remains of mammoths and other ancient animals. In Yakutia, it is planned to create a world center for study of the mammoth fauna.
Anastasia Chernobrovina, Advisor to the President of the Russian Geographical Society on Information Policy spoke about the all-Russian competition "Best guide of Russia". In 2017, it was held for the first time and was very successful. Members of the jury reviewed about seven hundred author's video tours and chose five winners who participated in the show "The Best guide of Russia" on "My planet" TV channel. The event will be held this year again. It is open for foreign citizens as well – anyone from any country may enter the competition but with a story about Russia.
Secretary General of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO Grigory Ordzhonikidze noted that since 2017 the Russian Geographical Society had been developing a new format of international cooperation. The Society has begun active cooperation with organizations working under the auspices of the UN. A number of events have been organized together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Now, projects with UNESCO are planned. Thus, this year the Society will present valuable archival materials to be included in the UNESCO Memory of the World program, aimed at preserving the documentary heritage of mankind.
Members of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society also spoke during the meeting.
Dyukov Alexander, Chair of the Board, General Director of "Gazprom Neft, spoke about the joint project of the Russian Geographical Society and "Gazprom Neft" for the protection of the environment, and in particular, rare mammals narwhals.
Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Center for the Study and Conservation of Amur Tigers Konstantin Chuichenko spoke about progress achieved by the center. He stressed that in the middle of the 20th century the Amur tiger population was only 50 individuals. At 2010 summit, Russia made a commitment to increase the number of these animals to 700 individuals. For this purpose, the "Amur Tiger Center” was created.
At the meeting awards were given.
A Miklukho-Maklay gold medal was given to professor, doctor of ethnology Ulla Johansen for her great contribution to the study of history and culture of the Turkic peoples of Siberia.
A Senkevich gold medal was given to General Director of VGTRK Oleg Dobrodeyev for his great contribution to the implementation of media projects of the Society.
Television show "In the world of animals" was awarded a Senkevich Gold medal. The medal was given to TV presenter Nikolai Drozdov amd team of the show.
Chairman of the Ulyanovsk regional branch of the society Tamara Devyatkina and Chairman of the Department of Society in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Alexander Gorokhov were awarded small silver medal of the Russian Geographical Society..
The Belozerova Podgorensky Lyceum Youth Club was awarded a diploma.
It should be noted that the participants were able to get acquainted with the collection of the "Golden Fund of the Russian Geographical Society": the oldest maps and books, unique manuscripts and diaries of famous travelers. Almost all these things have never been shown to the public. Now the exhibitions of the "Golden Fund" will be held throughout the country.
Sergei Shoigu stressed that the funds of the Russian geographical society have recently been replenished thanks to member of the Board of Trustees Andrey Bokarev. Now in the collection of the Society there is a picture of Peter Vereshchagin depicting a view of Sevastopol, including the Konstantinovskaya battery that the Society has restored and opened to the public. In addition, the library has received 120 rare books, including works by Gustav Radde, a rich selection of maps, atlases and guides.
In conclusion, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Vladimir Putin proposed to hold new meetings to solve the issues that were on the agenda of the Russian Geographical Society.