The 16th Congress of the Russian Geographical Society took place from December 1 to December 4, 2020. This year, due to the difficult epidemiological situation, it was for the first time held in absentia. The main goal of the event was to elect the governing bodies of the Society.
During the preparation of the Congress, the Scientific Council of the Society nominated Sergey Shoigu for the post of the President of the Russian Geographical Society. For re-election, he had to gain at least 2/3 of the votes of the delegates. 211 out of 217 delegates to the Congress took part in the voting. All 211 votes were cast for Sergey Shoigu.
After the Counting Commission approved the voting results, Sergey Shoigu thanked the delegates for such unanimous support of his candidacy and addressed the members of the Russian Geographical Society, all those who are devoted to the Society's activities.
"Everything that the Society has done over the past decade is primarily thanks to you. Thousands of expeditions, large-scale projects in which millions of people take part are the result of the work of enthusiasts; people who are passionate about their work, geographical science, creativity, the idea of studying their country. In the Russian Geographical Society we are only trying to give such people the opportunity to realize their plans and dreams. I am sure that in the coming years we together with you will be able to achieve more. We can once again demonstrate that the Geographical Society, the people it unites, have huge talents and creative, organizational, scientific potential, which we can use for the good of Russia," said Sergey Shoigu.
Since the formation of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society under the chairmanship of Vladimir Putin in 2009 and the election of the President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergey Shoigu, the work of the Society has reached a new level. The Russian Geographical Society resumed active expeditionary activities. Over the past 11 years, more than 2700 expeditions have been carried out. The number of the Society members has increased almost fivefold.
In 2010, the Society's grant program was launched. Since then, more than 2 billion rubles have been allocated to support scientific, research programs and media projects in the field of popularizing geography.
One of the main activities of the Society has become environmental protection - now under the protection of the RGS there are about 200 rare and endangered species of animals.
Such large-scale and successful projects are being implemented as the Geographical Dictation, "The Most Beautiful Country" photo competition, the RGS Festival and Award, and the “Best Guide of Russia” competition. Hundreds of exhibitions, lectures, master classes are held annually. The unique collections of the Scientific Archive and the Scientific Library of the Russian Geographical Society are digitized and made publicly available.
Detailed information on the results of the Society's activities in 2010-2020 can be found in the report published on the RGS website.
During the 16th Congress of the Russian Geographical Society, the Governing Council, the Academic Council and the Audit Commission of the Society were elected.
The Governing Council of the Society includes 12 people. Including, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Yuri Vorobiev; Honorary President of the Russian Geographical Society, Scientific Director of the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Kotlyakov; Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation, Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov; and others.
The Academic Council includes 49 people. Including, the First Vice-President of the Russian Geographical Society, Academician of the Russian Geographical Society Nikolai Kasimov; the First Vice-President of the Russian Geographical Society, Corresponding Member of the Russian Geographical Society Arthur Chilingarov; heads of the leading institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and universities of the country.
Initially, the Congress was planned to be held in-person. But the Governing Council of the Russian Geographical Society decided to change the format of the Congress and the voting procedure from in-person to absentee voting.
217 people were elected as delegates to the Congress - two delegates from regional branches of the Society, members of the Governing Council and the Academic Council of the Society, as well as five delegates from the Council of Elders and the Council of Regions of the Society.
The work of the 16th Congress was organized as follows: all reports of the bodies of the Society, work and other materials of the Congress were posted in a special section on the official website of the Russian Geographical Society (rgo.ru). There, a personal account was created for each delegate, where they could familiarize themselves with the agenda, information about each candidate to the elected bodies of the Society. From December 1 to December 4, each delegate had the opportunity to vote in their personal account on all issues on the agenda. This was done by 211 out of 217 delegates. The voting results were checked by the Counting Commission.
The Congress is the supreme governing body of the Russian Geographical Society, which convenes by the decision of the Governing Council of the Society once every six years (until 2014 - once every five years). The exclusive competences of the Congress are to determine the priority areas of the Society's activities, approve and amend the Society's charter, elect the President, the Governing Council, the Academic Council and other governing bodies of the Society.