BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2018
A meeting of the Society's Board of Trustees was held at the Headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society in St. Petersburg on April 27.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergey Shoigu, members of the Society’s Board of Trustees and honored guests took part in its work.
The Board of Trustees of the RGS was established in 2010. It revived the longstanding traditions of patronage of arts and established grants of the Society, under which many significant research, environmental and expeditionary projects are carried out. The Board includes prominent public figures and business representatives. At the meeting of the Board of Trustees, the work done by the Russian Geographical Society is summed up, plans for the future are discussed, and awards are presented.
Vladimir Putin addressed the meeting participants with a welcoming speech:
- We are meeting again at the historical RGS headquarters. This beautiful building is almost 110 years old and for all these years it has been faithfully serving the causes of raising awareness, nature preservation, development of education, culture and local studies. It is good to know that these traditions continue. This place brings together passionate people pursuing certain goals and creates brilliant and popular projects in various areas. I would like to thank everybody who helps to fulfil RGS’s initiatives.
During his speech, Vladimir Vladimirovich announced the start of the competition for the RGS Award 2018.
The event was held in a "round-table" format. President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergey Shoigu summed up the work done last year, spoke about current activities and plans for 2018. Scientists - project managers of the Russian Geographical Society presented with brief reports on the activities. Members of the Board of Trustees of the Society told about their plans and already implemented geographical and ecological projects.
- Today the audience of the projects of the Russian Geographical Society is tens of millions of people in Russia and abroad. According to independent sociological research, the awareness of the Russian Geographical Society among the population has increased almost three times over the past five years. But the most important thing is that the number of people, willing to join the Society and to take part in our activities, is growing rapidly, - the RGS President noted.
Sergey Shoigu told about the new atlases publication by the Russian Geographical Society. The National Atlas of the Arctic (a unique edition of global significance, which has no analogues today), the Environmental Atlas of Russia, and the Atlas of Reserves (a gift for the 100th anniversary of the protected system of our country) were published upon instruction of the President of Russia in 2018.
One of the important results of last year was the creation of the first register of all the rivers and river basins of the Arctic drainage basin of the Asian part of Russia. This was told by Oleg Ermolaev, a professor at the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management of Kazan (Privolzhsky) Federal University. According to him, the total volume of the mapped territory was 12 million square kilometers, which is almost three-quarters of the territory of our country.
Dmitry Soloviev, the executive director of the RGS branch in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), presented a Society’s grant project “Floating University on the Lena River”, during which students were able to study the natural, social and cultural environment and the ecological state of the Lena River basin during the summer months. Received data showed a serious pollution of river waters. Also, experts of the RGS branch in Yakutia conducted a comprehensive expedition to the Novosibirsk Islands, where they studied the dynamics of permafrost processes, island flora and fauna. The remains of mammoths and other ancient animals were studied. It is planned to create a world center for studying mammoth fauna in Yakutia.
Anastasia Chernobrovina, Adviser to the RGS President on Information Policy, spoke about the All-Russian video contest “Best Guide in Russia”. It successfully passed for the first time in 2017. The jury members viewed at about seven hundred authors video tours and selected the top five winners, who became the hosts of the “Best Guide in Russia” series, shown on “My Planet” channel. This year the action continues. Any resident of the planet can take part in it, but telling about Russia.
Executive Secretary of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO Georgy Ordzhonikidze noted that the RGS is developing a new format of international cooperation since 2017. The Society began active interaction with organizations working under the aegis of the UN. A number of events were held with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. There is also a plan to cooperate with UNESCO. So, this year, the Russian Geographical Society will present a number of valuable archival materials for inclusion in the UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme, aimed at preserving the documentary heritage of mankind.
Members of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society also spoke at the meeting.
Chairman of the Board, General Director of “Gazprom Neft” Alexander Dyukov told about the joint project of the RGS and “Gazprom Neft” on the protection of the environment, and in particular rare mammals - narwhal.
Aide to the President of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Center for the Study and Conservation of the Amur Tiger Population Konstantin Chuichenko spoke about the successes achieved by the “Amur Tiger Center”, founded by the RGS. He stressed that in the mid-twentieth century, the number of Amur tigers was only 50 individuals. Russia undertook a commitment to bring the number of the Red Book animal to 700 individuals at the tiger summit, which was held in Russia in 2010. For this purpose, the "Amur Tiger Center" was created.
During the meeting, the Russian Geographical Society Awards were presented.
Professor, Doctor of Ethnology Ulla Johansen was awarded the Gold Medal named after N.N. Miklouho-Maclay for a great contribution to the study of the history and culture of the Turkic peoples of Siberia.
General director of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company Oleg Dobrodeev was awarded the Gold Medal named after Yu.A.Senkevich for a great contribution to the implementation of the RGS media projects.
“In the World of Animals” TV program was awarded the Gold Medal named after Yu.A.Senkevich for a great contribution to the popularization of the natural heritage. The award was presented to TV presenter Nikolay Drozdov and the TV program team.
Chairman of the Ulyanovsk regional branch of the Society Tamara Devyatkina and chairman of the branch of the RGS in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Alexander Gorokhov were awarded the small silver medal of the RGS.
The Youth Club of the RGS on the basis of the Podgorensky Lyceum named after N.A.Belozyorov was awarded a diploma.
It should be noted that the participants of the event were able to familiarize themselves with the collection of the “Golden Fund of the Russian Geographical Society”: the oldest maps and books in Russia from the grand-ducal collections, unique manuscripts and diaries of famous travelers. Almost all of these has never been shown to the public. Now the "Golden Fund" exhibition will be held throughout the country.
During the event, Sergey Shoigu noted that the funds of the Russian Geographical Society had recently been enriched thanks to member of the Board of Trustees Andrey Bokarev. Now there is a picture of Peter Vereshchagin in the Society’s collection, that shows a view of Sevastopol, including the Konstantinovskaya battery, which the Society managed to restore and open to everyone. In addition, the library of RGS received 120 rare books, including works by Gustav Radde, “Description of Colchis” by Lamberti, a rich collection of maps, atlases and guidebooks.
In conclusion, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the RGS Vladimir Putin proposed to hold new meetings to solve the tasks that are on the agenda of the Russian Geographical Society.