BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2019
The Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society gathered at the Headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society in St. Petersburg on April 23. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergey Shoigu, members of the Board of Trustees of the Society and honored guests took part in its work.
"An approach based on personal involvement and the serious practical help of the trustees and members of the RGS’s media council makes it possible to implement truly useful initiatives, involve people of all ages in exciting and constructive work that makes it possible to learn more about the nature, history and culture of Russia", - noted Vladimir Putin. – "There are many areas where the RGS’s abilities can be applied. Apart from purely geographical, educational, and research programmes, the Society is engaged in the preservation and study of cultural heritage, in environmental protection and research work. Every year, dozens of films and books are released thanks to RGS grants, and various exhibitions and educational events are held.”
The Board of Trustees of the RGS was established in 2009. It revived the traditions of patronage of arts, fully ensuring the activities of the Society at the expense of extrabudgetary funds. Today, the Board of Trustees of the RGS is headed by President of Russia Vladimir Putin. The Board includes prominent public and political figures, business representatives. The Board members support important expeditionary, educational, environmental and research projects.
Consideration of the Society’s annual and long-term plans, its budget, discussion of significant initiatives in the field of popularization of geographical knowledge of Russia, development of geographical education, Russian science, raising funds for the implementation of the Society's projects are in the competence of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the RGS noted that today one of the priorities in the activities of the Society is the development of ecological, cultural and educational tourism. "In autumn, Russia will host the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organisation. As the host country, it is important that we not only properly host visitors from more than 150 countries, but also make every effort to ensure that the leading representatives of the global tourism industry realise how great Russia’s tourism potential is, that we have every reason to be among the leaders in international rankings of the most popular travel destinations in the world”, - said Vladimir Putin.
He highlighted the system of voluntary certification of tourist routes developed by the Russian Geographical Society. Tours that pass it will receive a certificate of conformity and the sign "Recommended by the RGS". “Of course, having appropriate infrastructure plays an important role in attracting tourists; this much is clear to everyone. But good hotels and transport accessibility cannot compensate for the lack of clear and well-arranged travel routes. I am confident that not only professionals, but all people who know and love our country should be engaged in developing this content, to use a modern term, for a national tourist product, and here the Russian Geographical Society certainly has something to offer. No other organisation or agency can boast such an extensive database of Russia’s natural wealth, folk traditions and landmarks", - noted Vladimir Putin.
The section “Traveling with the RGS” is on the site of the Russian Geographical Society since 2018. It contains offers of exciting tours in our country, made together with the Society's partners. Tours vary in duration, complexity of passing routes, types of accommodation.
The importance of the development of domestic tourism, voluntary certification of tourist routes was noted in the speech by President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergey Shoigu: "Each expedition, each tourist route has its own individual character. The films, that are made at the end of these expeditions, are of great interest to many not only in our country, but also far away abroad. Of course, there are expeditions to Kamchatka and Chukotka, the Shantar Islands, the Kuril Ridge, Matua, Shumshu Islands, also this is what concerns our Arctic and the polar region. Some enthusiasts have created a route passing to the North of our country in jeeps and invite everyone to participate in these expeditions".
Sergey Shoigu drew particular attention to the underwater expeditions of the Society, to "work on finding, studying and presenting to the public those artifacts that represent the history of our country, the history of discoverer, pioneers, and also the history of the military glory of our fleet and our country".
The development of domestic tourism should also be promoted by the RGS Festival. It takes place every two years and this time it will take place in September in the Zaryadye park. "There will be presented almost all corners of our country, all ethnic groups and nationalities. The widest exposition in today's exhibition activities of various tour operators will be presented there. One can hardly find larger tourism event than this one", - the President of the Russian Geographical Society noted.
The results of the work of the RGS in 2018 were described and the main projects of 2019 were presented at the meeting of the Board of Trustees.
The project of creating the "Vostok" station wintering complex in Antarctica was presented by Chairman of the Board of PJSC Novatek Leonid Michelson at the meeting of the Board of Trustees. The infrastructure of the station has not been cardinally updated since the opening in 1957. Private investors, including the trustees of the Russian Geographical Society, are implementing a project to create a complex of 2.5 thousand square meters. The complex will provide all the conditions for life and research even in extreme weather conditions. At the same time, up to 35 scientists can work at the station. The building of the complex in Antarctica is planned to be completed by 2022.
RGS President Sergey Shoigu paid particular attention to the Transpolar expedition of the RGS on the route of the historical "building № 503". “There was such a project, started in 1949, it was called the “building № 503 ”- the building of a railway from Norilsk to Urengoy. We would like to study the project in more detail, perhaps, there is the prospect of reviving this project for our country, for the development of Siberia. We conducted the first reconnaissance stage in March-April, so that we will conduct a large expedition to study the route along which the construction took place more consciously in the fall", said Sergey Shoigu.
TV journalist Elizaveta Listova presented her documentary film "The Northern Sea Route", which was also shot with the help of the RGS media grant. The premiere of the film took place on April 8, 2019 on NTV. The painting is dedicated to the history of the development of the Russian Arctic. Filming took place in the Barents Sea, on Franz Josef Land, in Chukotka, on the Yamal Peninsula, in Norilsk and other places. The script was written on the basis of documents from the State Archives of the Russian Federation, the Russian State Archives of Economics, and the Russian Archives of Social and Political History. The main part of these documents has never been published. The Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society told about the problems of teaching geography in secondary school, as well as innovative methods that teachers develop to encourage children with the subject.
"The leaders of our Society have repeatedly said that literature, Russian language, history and geography are the basis of our national identity. But if the philologists and historians are doing well, then, I should say, that the geographers are now standing at the point of no return and degradation, because we are “not taken” to universities. This is a very big problem: in order to enroll at the vast majority of universities, you don’t need to take the Unified State Exam in geography. As a result, 400 thousand people passed the Unified State Exam in social studies last year, and just 16 thousand people passed it in geography. How should we discuss the preservation of human resources? How in the situation can we implement the strategy of scientific and technological development, approved by the President of Russia? Five big challenges of seven, indicated within the framework of the strategy, are in the main field of work of the geographers".
First Vice-president of the RGS Nikolay Kasimov
The Center for Underwater Research of the RGS plans the deepest archaeological excavations in history in 2019. The Center for Underwater Research divers will work near the island of Gogland, at a depth of 60 meters - in the place of the flooding of an English merchant ship of the XIX century. Center for Underwater Research Executive director Sergey Fokin told about this project at the meeting.
"Transneft" PAO President Nikolai Tokarev and "Ferring Pharmaceuticals" Chairman of the Board of Directors Frederick Paulsen told about the assistance they provide in the development of Fort Ross National Historical Park, the largest Russian cultural heritage site in the United States.
Frederic Paulsen also presented the GLACE International Expedition around Greenland and the International Arctic Circumpolar Expedition (ACE-2), which, he said, is possible only with the support of the RGS.
Dmitry Peskov, the Chairman of the Media Council of the Russian Geographical Society, the member of the Board of Trustees of the Society, raised the topic of studying and preserving rare species of animals: belugas, snow leopards, Amur tigers, Far Eastern and Persian leopards, and polar bears. He noted that the RGS annually allocates grants to support projects to restore the populations of the Red Book animals. Dmitry Peskov stressed that it is necessary to continue the research of belugas and killer whales - it is currently not known exactly how many animals live in nature. It is very important to understand, because decisions on whether to issue quotas for their catch or not should be made in accordance with scientific evidence.
Awards of the Russian Geographical Society were presented, and the signing ceremony of the Globe of the Russian Championship took place during the meeting. People, who have achieved outstanding achievements in science, politics, sports, signed themselves on the Globe.
This time, the Globe was signed by Vladimir Putin - as the first Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society in its new history. Captain-pilot of the "Mir-1" deep-water apparatus Anatoly Sagalevich and the flight engineer of the deep-sea apparatus "Mir-2", who for the first time in the history of mankind reached the bottom of the World Ocean at the North Pole, Frederick Paulsen, also signed the Globe.