by the Governing Council
of the All-Russian non-governmental organization
«the Russian Geographical Society»
Session protocol №5
«06» July 2012
Strategy of the Russian Geographical Society
Russian Geographical Society’s Strategy is an overall action plan designed to achieve the Society’s long-term goals and objectives.
Initiatives described in the Strategy build on the Russian Geographical Society’s long history and experience.
The basic concept of the new Strategy is Russian national geography – comprehensive exploration of the country in all its diversity, to contribute to a fuller implementation of Russia’s and its people’s potential.
Social initiative can and must be directed towards deep and comprehensive reasearch and popularization of geographical, ecological, ethno-cultural and historical uniqueness of Russia. The Society should encourage scentific activity and education, geography development and allied sciences, and play active role in conservation activity.
The Russian Geographical Society’s objective is to bring together people who care about their country.
I. Goals and objectives of the Society
Russian Geographical Society’s key goal is to consolidate the Russian public’s abilities and aspirations to study and promote national geography – to fully implement the country’s and its people’s potential.
To achieve this goal, the Society pursues the following objectives:
- Promote and organise active public involvement in environment protection activities; create the culture of responsible attitude to environment.
- Promote Russia’s historical, cultural and geographical heritage, as something to be proud of.
- Gather, process and disseminate reliable geographical, ecological, ethnographical and statistical data about Russia and the world, nationally and internationally.
- Promote creative research, development of geography and related natural and social sciences, contribute to wide dissemination and practical application of Russian scientists’ most valuable achievements.
- Large-scale promotion of Russia’s unique historical, cultural and geographical sites in Russia and abroad, to facilitate development of tourism.
II. Strategic fields of activity
In order to fulfill its long-term objectives, the Society singles out the following fields of activity.
The research initiatives of the Russian Geographical Society will embrace purposeful theoretical and applied research projects, aimed at acquisition, systematisation and interpretation of geographic information, and its use for tackling current challenges facing the Russian society.
Priority areas for research include:
- Russia’s geographical, ethnical and cultural heritage, unique natural complexes, monuments of history and culture, which constitute the foundation of national identity of Russian peoples in all their diversity.
- Environmental protection and sustainable development, to contribute to conservation of Russian regions’ natural riches and development of a network of specially protected natural areas.
- Legacy of the Russian Geographical Society.
- Regular publication and distribution of specialised and popular reports and cartographic materials.
- Enabling an expert community within the Society's sphere.
Since the foundation of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in 1845, collecting, processing and disseminating reliable geographic information about Russia has been an important goal for the Society’s members.
To achieve this, the Russian Geographical Society will:
- Continue its work on collecting geoinformation in order to increase people’s knowledge about Russia, enlarge archival and library collections, in particular digital cartographic ones.
- Disseminate and promote the collected and processed geoinformation, using all available media (both the existing ones, and ones created by the Russian Geographical Society), such as printed publications, radio and TV programmes, exhibitions, lectures, the Internet, etc. The Society will rely on the principle of responsible attitude to information and will distribute data received from all available reliable sources.
3. Education and outreach
The education and outreach activity of the Russian Geographical Society will be developed within following directions:
- Encourage development of new textbooks and other teaching and learning aids for elementary, secondary and higher schools;
- Provide access to educational resources in geography, including resources on sustainable development.
- Encourage development and use of electronic, audio- and video- educational materials and visual aids.
- Support the mass media in development of children- and youth-oriented educational materials in the field of geography and sustainable development.
- Take part in public discussions of school and university textbooks and curriculums in geography, environmental sciences and sustainable development.
- Support informal education and outreach activities, undertaken as extracurricular activities.
4. Environment and conservation
The Russian Geographical Society seeks to balance nature conservation with boosting national economy and enabling the Russian society to fulfill its potential.
Fostering an attitude of care towards nature will play a key role in the Russian Geographical Society’s environmental vision.
To achieve this, the Russian Geographical Society will:
- Promote, with the assistance of the mass media, examples of careful attitude to Russia’s nature on the part of citizens, government and public bodies.
- Organise environmental events, both scientific (workshops, forums), educational (lectures, trainings) and practical (ecological expeditions, volunteer cleanup days), and others.
- Develop networks of public geo-ecological monitoring.
- Provide informational support for sustainable, environmentally-friendly industrial practices (green economy).
5. Expeditions and travels
Expeditions and travels undertaken or supported by the Russian Geographical Society involve multi-purpose activities, aiming at exploration of Russia’s natural and cultural heritage.
The Russian Geographical Society intends to develop and support:
- Scientific and practical expeditions to support geographical research projects in Russia and abroad.
- Educational expeditions, designed to train young geographers and specialists in related sciences.
- Outreach and awareness-raising expeditions and travels with the aim of promoting Russia’s unique historic, cultural and natural monuments.
- Youth volunteer expeditions, including hikes, campfire gatherings, sporting events, etc. A set of expeditions, designed to introduce young generations of Russian citizens to country’s natural riches and culture.
- Regional studies expeditions, aimed at studying natural and cultural heritage of Russian regions.
- Tourism, by helping develop tourism infrastructure and new tourist routes in Russia, including ecological paths, tours around unique natural monuments, etc.
Upholding its long-lasting publishing traditions, the Russian Geographical Society will:
- Publish a wide range of materials, including scientific treatises, periodicals, popular science books, materials from expeditions and field research.
- Publish cartographic materials and atlases, including electronic ones, using data collected on a voluntary basis.
- Reprint major works in geography and related sciences, as well as works by distinguished members of the Society.
- Issue reference books, albums, calendars and other printed materials.
- Consider a possibility of carring out publishing activity of the Russian Geographical Society within the frameworks of a single publisher of geography-oriented literature of the Russian Geographical Society.
The Russian Geographical Society will give priority to projects in the following fields: map research, eco-geographical education, theoretical and applied research, expeditions and travels, nature conservation, preservation of Russia’s historical and cultural heritage, youth-oriented geographical projects, publishing and renovation works.
The Russian Geographical Society intends to award grants annually on a competitive basis with maximum engagement of regional projects.
Grant projects must be of high social significance with the anticipated results easily applicable for the benefit of Russia and its regions.
In its granting policy, the Russian Geographical Society will abide by the principles of openness, fairness and transparency.
8. Public events
The Russian Geographical Society is intending to organise and hold various scientific, outreach, environmental, awareness raising, charitable and recreational events and put more attention on tourism, sports and healthy lifestyle propaganda.
The Russian Geographical Society’s public events are to become a platform for constructive dialogue between government authorities, business leaders, academia and the general public, willing to promote Russia’s interests.
The Russian Geographical Society will also focus on mainstreaming tourism, sport and healthy lifestyle.
9. International cooperation
International projects of the Russian Geographical Society are to play a significant role in accomplishment of Society’s aims and objectives.
- Participation in international events. The Russian Geographical Society will take part in organization and carrying out international events that matches the development strategy of the Society.
- Partnership and joint projects with geographical societies of other countries, international bodies, scientific centres, universities and NGOs. This will contribute to the advance of geography and related sciences, alongside with large-scale dissemination and practical application of most important scientific achievements.
- Revival and extension of the network of like-minded persons abroad. The Society intends to increase the number of its members abroad. Such cooperation will facilitate exchange of experience and geoinformation.
III. Regional development
The system of regional offices is the backbone of the Society.
Uniform regional management standards ensure the organisation’s integrity, efficiency and commitment.
Each regional office of the Society strives to become the national geography centre of their respective regions. This means that regional offices’ priority is careful, in-depth and comprehensive studies of their regions.
To implement projects, all of the Society’s regional offices have equal rights to apply for its grants; they are also authorised to raise funds from alternative sources for research projects, expeditions and travels, publishing activity, social and environmental events.
Each regional office of the Russian Geographical Society, as well as the Society as a whole, will regard working with young people as a major priority; to this end, regional offices will implement training and educational projects, support initiatives to extend and develop curricula for secondary schools and universities.
Activities of the Russian Geographical Society’s regional offices should have the following results: increased public awareness and better knowledge about the region where they live; increased number of the Society’s active supporters; more active participation in environment protection events and expeditions.
IV. Youth initiative
The youth policy of the Russian Geographical Society will build on the following activities:
- Organising and supporting youth research projects, including innovation initiatives, as well as geography enthusiasts in their efforts at collecting and disseminating reliable geographic information about Russia.
- Encouraging youth to fulfill their creative potential by organising various contests, competitions and other events.
- Fostering among youth an attitude of care and a sense of responsibility towards nature.
- Involving youth into the Russian Geographical Society’s activities.
- Reactivation children and youth movement under the aegis of the Russian Geographical Society
The Russian Geographical Society is open to long-term cooperation and partnership with both nonprofit and profit making organisations, government authorities, and individuals, who share the Society’s values and objectives.
The Russian Geographical Society attaches great importance to communication and collaboration with environmental and charitable organisations, educational institutions, research centres, and NGOs, working in the fields of education, green economy and tourism.
Cooperating with partner organisations, the Russian Geographical Society seeks long-term relationships and joint projects that will ensure the success of the common cause.
Special attention is given to the partnership with mass-media and education institutions (including federal universities) to realize joint projects corresponding with Statutory goals and tasks of the Russian Geographical Society.
The Society will continue to develop and update its website – an important vehicle through which it will inform the public about its activities, attract partners and supporters, and maintain contact with citizens of Russian regions. The Society will also develop the English version of its website in order to establish and maintain contact with overseas audience.
The Russian Geographical Society’s information hub is also a means of communication between members of the Society and a tool for coordination of their activities. Each regional division of the Society has its own website within the domain rgo.ru, which will contain information about their activities.
The Society’s information hub will provide to members of the Russian Geographical Society – scientists, experts, students and public activists – a practical and reliable platform for exchange of information and opinions. The information hub will enable them to unite in communities according to their region, interests and field of specialisation, in the framework of various programmes and projects designed to achieve the Society’s objectives.
The Russian Geographical Society will pay special attention to renovation of its archives, digitalization of the books collection and maps.
This activity will be directed on preservation of historical heritage of the Russian Geographical Society, its updating, thus the collections still represent scientific and practical value.
It is planned to reactivate the Russian Geographical Societies comissions: Environmental, Ethnographical, Phenological etc.
Adopting the Development Strategy, the Russian Geographical Society announces the following commitments:
- to become an organisation whose activities cover the whole Russian territory;
- to recruit new members, especially young people;
- to establish close partnerships with organisations sharing the Society’s goals and objectives;
- to base its activities on comprehensive approaches and innovative technologies.
We’ll create a unified network to gather, process and disseminate geographical information, accessible to all interested parties. The Society will establish a major regional network to put together a comprehensive representation of Russian national geography.
We’d like the Russian Geographical Society to become a source of public initiatives to preserve Russia’s natural heritage; to bring together and coordinate the work of various organisations and enthusiastic individuals engaged in environment protection; and to involve more people in this work, especially members of the younger generations.
We’ll do everything we can to ensure that expeditions sponsored by the Russian Geographical Society would generate more useful knowledge about Russia and its territorial development, and promote Russian natural and cultural sites.
Our publishing activities will be aimed at putting together an advanced library comprising detailed and relevant data about Russian national geography, major research results in geography and related sciences, and achievements of Russian Geographical Society members.
We’ll develop the Society’s grant policy, to support scientists, students and schoolchildren – gifted enthusiasts proposing Russian studies projects.
We’ll be presenting our results at leading international forums on the most relevant aspects of exploring the planet, protecting its environment and advancing international cooperation.
We’ll do our best to put the Russian Geographical Society into a leading position among other geographical societies of the world, and among internationally recognised civil, research and environmental organisations.