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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION


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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In order to strengthen State monitoring of the quality of agricultural products, raw materials and food, and to provide high-quality food products to the population and raw materials for production to enterprises in the processing industry, there are plans to strengthen the lines of State management by means of services to ensure the quality of agricultural products, raw materials and food of subjects of the Russian Federation and administrative districts; and to enhance the role of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture as the main federal executive body for the management of the agro-industrial complex and the food supply. 

Proposals have been drawn up for the inclusion within the functions of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of monitoring and inspection functions, the licensing of specific types of activity, the formulation and approval of regulations on questions of production, accounting, processing technologies and the rational use of agricultural products, raw materials and food, ensuring their safekeeping, and the accreditation of research laboratories which carry out quality control of food.

In order to ensure the stability of food markets, a legislative basis and a State programme for the development of these markets are needed. By decree No. 689 of the Government of the Russian Federation of 9 June 1997, an interdepartmental commission was established for the purpose of reviewing and submitting in the prescribed manner to the Government of the Russian Federation the standard-setting documents regulating the activities of wholesale food markets; the commission considered and adopted a framework for the development of wholesale food markets and the draft federal law "On wholesale food markets".

The Ministry of Nature is responsible for the utilization and conservation of water and mineral resources. In 1997, after the merger of the committee on fisheries and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the latter took over the functions of monitoring the rational use of biological water resources. The basic document determining policy in this sphere is the water code (1995).

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Law on Conservation of the Natural Environment and the Water Code of the Russian Federation establish the requirements with respect to conservation of soil and sources of water from pollution by manure, fertilizers and pesticides.

In the context of the implementation of Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 1300 of 17 December 1997 confirming the national security concept, the proposed food security doctrine of the Russian Federation was prepared and approved by the Interdepartmental Commission of the Security Council of the Russian Federation and by the Government of the Russian Federation. The confirmed doctrine may become the basis for formulating and implementing the State food policy, and will enable federal and regional executive government agencies to make use of the provisions of the doctrine in preparing documents on ensuring the country's food supply and on developing agro-industrial complex.

In order to fulfill the conditions needed to ensure the food security in the country, the Government of the Russian Federation promulgated a number of laws and normative instruments, as follows:

In view of the situation which developed in the national food market as a result of the breakdown of the economic ties between food producers and individual food consumers following the elimination of the centralized system of planning and distribution of material and technical resources, and also in order to protect national commodity producers, by decree No. 1767 of the President of the Russian Federation of 27 October 1993 entitled "On the regulation of land relations and the development of agrarian reform in the Russian Federation" and decision No. 1121 of the Government of the Russian Federation of 3 December 1994 entitled "On the establishment of a federal food corporation and a system of wholesale food markets", a decision was taken to establish a system of wholesale food markets and for them to be regulated by the State.

In order to upgrade measures for the safe use of pesticides in the territory of the Russian Federation, federal act No. 109-FZ of 19 July 1997 entitled "The safe use of pesticides and agro-chemicals" was adopted, providing for a range of legislative measures designed to protect man and the environment; in particular, registration tests of pesticides and agro-chemicals (toxic-hygienic, environmental assessments), and subsequent State registration in the case of positive results.

In development of that act, the State chemical commission, along with the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, has drawn up rules for the transportation, storage and use of pesticides and agro-chemicals (currently in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation for registration).

The import of pesticides into the territory of the Russian Federation is effected under licensing. The decision on import is taken by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. A license is issued by the Ministry of Trade. In the territory of the Russian Federation, the circulation of pesticides which have not been registered by the State is prohibited.

In accordance with the federal act on agricultural cooperation, measures are being taken to broaden and strengthen the cooperative sector by organizing agricultural production cooperatives and providing them with State support.

The priorities in this area are to establish farmers’ cooperatives for the joint use of equipment and joint land cultivation; set up cooperative machine and equipment support stations and centres for the rental of complex and specialized equipment; and establish cooperatives for the provision of materials, machinery and agricultural services and for the processing of agricultural produce.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture of the Russian Federation prepared a federal act on rural credit cooperatives, which was adopted on 8 December 1995 under number 193-FZ.

By 2001, a credit system should be established for rural cooperatives, intended, first and foremost, for agricultural producers and citizens living in rural areas.

Despite the fact that as early as 1991 and 1992, legislative acts were adopted providing for the transfer to local government authorities of responsibility for social and communal institutions, agricultural enterprises are still responsible for providing social services. That draws their financial and managerial resources away from commercial tasks, hinders their restructuring and keeps villagers dependent on services provided by them, which also lessens the incentives of rural people to transfer their land and property shares to other, perhaps more effective, enterprises and/or to farms.

In the Russian Federation, the breeding of pedigree animals, and the production and use of pedigree products are governed by Federal Act No. 123-FZ of 3 August 1995 on pedigree breeding, Federal Act No. 5605-1 of 6 August 1993 on achievements in selective animal breeding, and the legal and standard-setting enactments related to them. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Key areas for improvement in Russian agriculture include:

The strategy for developing land relations is being carried out in the context of the implementation of the federal target-oriented programme on the development of the land reform in the Russian Federation for the period 1999-2002, as confirmed by resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 694 of 26 June 1999.

The goal of the programme is the formulation and implementation of a package of interrelated legal and other measures making it possible on the whole to complete the implementation of the land reform in the Russian Federation by the beginning of 2002, and, in the post-reform stage, to begin creating an effective mechanism for regulating land relations and State management of land resources. 

The programme is funded through the financial resources of the federal budget, the budget resources of the subjects of the Russian Federation, and other sources.

The national environmental action plan of the Russian Federation for 1999-2001 was considered at a meeting of the Government of the Russian Federation (report No. 41 of 12 November 1998) and recommended to the executive bodies for use in practical environmental protection activities. 

The national action plan provides an integral assessment of environmental problems by milieux and regions, defines the environmental aspects of the development of the agro-industrial complex, and summarizes the priority directions for the solution of environmental problems in 1999-2001 and urgent measures to improve the existing system of environmental protection and use of the natural environment, including measures to help alleviate environmental problems in the agro-industrial complex of the Russian Federation.

Support for the rural population is provided almost exclusively through the agricultural policy. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

The Programme of Stabilization and Development of Agro-Industrial Production for 1996-2000 envisages the creation of the economic preconditions and economic infrastructure for increased production and market activity on the part of agricultural producers.

The national priority for the Russian Federation is the increase of agricultural production and improvement of consumer supplies of environmentally sound food products. Generally speaking, the situation of Russia's agriculture and food supply market must be described as problematic. A whole range of measures is required, together with a consistent macroeconomic, agrarian and foreign trade policy for the development of domestic production as a key factor in the sustainable development of agriculture. This was the reason for the drafting the Programme of Stabilization and Development of Agro-Industrial Production for 1996-2000, which has been confirmed by the President of the Russian Federation. This programme gives priority to the creation of the economic preconditions and infrastructure for increased production and market activity on the part of agricultural producers.

What is envisaged is a system of measures of State regulation and solid support for the country's agro-industrial complex. The implementation of this programme is designed to ensure the sustainable development of Russia's agriculture and secure a substantial improvement in the supply of consumer foodstuffs.

Taking into account the framework for the development of wholesale food markets, a draft federal programme entitled "The development of wholesale food markets up to 2005" is being finalized.

The main objective of the system of wholesale food markets is to connect the territory of the Russian Federation into a single food area with optimal routes for the movement of nationally produced goods in order to reduce their cost and increase their competitiveness.

The solution of environmental problems in the agro-industrial complex is envisaged in programmes for the stabilization and reform of the agro-industrial complex approved by the Government of the Russian Federation which provide for a transition to a new generation of agricultural systems (typographical and so forth); technologies for growing agricultural crops which ensure the prevention of soil compaction, degradation and erosion, environmental balance, and the safe use of mineral fertilizers and chemical methods of plant protection; and other measures.

The integral federal programme for increasing the fertility of soils in the Russian Federation ("Fertility") was drawn up by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture along with the ministries and departments concerned in accordance with decree No. 879 of the Government of the Russian Federation of 17 November 1992 and Government instruction No. AZ-P1 of 28 December 1994. The second stage of the programme (1996-2000) envisages the further implementation of environmentally targeted measures, including, in the first place, the protection of soils from erosion, the re-cultivation of degraded lands, and the restoration of land contaminated by petroleum and petroleum products, heavy metals, radioactive substances and other contaminants, and so forth.

A range of measures aimed at increasing soil fertility and land protection is also envisaged in the special purpose federal programme entitled "Development of land reform in the Russian Federation for 1999-2002" which develops the provisions of the special purpose federal programme for the stabilization and development of agro-industrial production in the Russian Federation for 1996-2000, approved by decree No. 933, of 18 June 1996, of the President of the Russian Federation.

In order to prevent damage to the agro-industrial complex, special purpose federal programmes have been drawn up for the period 1998-2000 entitled: "Prevention of epizootics and elimination of their consequences" and "Prevention of epizootics and massive attacks on plants by pests and elimination of their consequences" and also programmes to protect the agricultural producers of a number of territories of the Russian Federation.

In order to ensure sustainable development, enhance the effectiveness of the farming and cooperative sectors as an integral part of the mixed agrarian economy and improve the social protection of farmers in a market economy, the Government of the Russian Federation on 18 December 1996 adopted, through decision No. 1499, a federal target-oriented programme for the development of farms and cooperatives for the period from 1996 to 2000.

The programme makes provision for a strategy to establish the organizational, economic, financial, legal and social conditions for developing farms and cooperatives, improving State support mechanisms for the farming sector, moving ahead with land reform and the reform of land ownership, ensuring the right of citizens to land and setting up a market and social infrastructure based on cooperation and integration. Its implementation will make it possible to develop the farming, cooperative and small-scale commodity sectors and to increase their contribution to the agrarian economy of the Russian Federation.

Towards these ends, the chambers of the Federal Assembly have drawn up and are currently considering draft federal acts on farming (in a new version); on private subsidiary plots; and on non-commercial market-garden, kitchen-garden and cottage-garden citizens’ associations.

Status 

The years of reform in Russia have seen radical changes in the structure of agriculture. Virtually all agricultural enterprises have been reformed, about 300,000 peasant farms have been established, and the processing and marketing of agricultural products have undergone significant changes as a result of widespread privatization.

However, unfavourable developments in general economic conditions at certain stages and the serious financial difficulties, together with the problems of the transitional period in agriculture itself, could not fail to have an impact on the sector. This impact has manifested itself in particular in a decline in State allocations, the emergence of price disparities for the means of production and for farm output, and a significant decrease in the supply of the means of production. In addition to all this there is the openness of the external market, which has created serious competition for the Russian producer. Today Russia imports more than a quarter of its consumer meat products and a seventh of its dairy products. At the same time, Russia generally manages to avoid importing grain and a number of other basic agricultural products.

The food security of the Russian Federation should be ensured through:

A federal bill on the quality and safety of foodstuffs was drafted. Proposals for finalizing the text have been sent by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and by the State Committee on Standardization, Mensuration and Certification (Gosstandart) to the Government of the Russian Federation.

State monitoring of measures to ensure food safety and security is carried out with a view to implementing the legislation in force, giving effect to State guarantees in the field of food safety and security and carrying out programmes and measures to ensure food safety and security, including actions to protect the population in food emergency situations.

State monitoring of food security is carried out by the Government of the Russian Federation, the executive government agencies of subjects of the Russian Federation, and also State services and inspectorates which, within the limits of their jurisdiction, monitor individual aspects of food security. Other federal executive bodies may perform State monitoring functions only on the instructions of the Government of the Russian Federation.

All organizations involved in the production, storage and marketing of food products, regardless of type of ownership and production capacity, are subject to State monitoring.

In implementation of the various government decisions, work is under way in many areas of the Russian Federation to establish wholesale food markets. For example, basic models of markets: provider (in Volgograd) and consumer (in Tula), have been established and approved. At the wholesale food market base in Volgograd, a training centre has been established for refresher courses and training of specialists from other areas of the Russian Federation.

The experience of basic, legally established food markets has shown the need to establish a single information field, linking the system of wholesale food markets.

The Government of the Russian Federation guarantees the equal rights of citizens in respect of ensuring the economic and physical accessibility of food to meet the physiological nutrition requirements of each citizen, regardless of age, social and official status, or place of stay or residence.

The services and inspectorates within the jurisdiction of the Ministry carry out continuous State monitoring of the production, storage and marketing of food products in all organizations regardless of type of ownership. The balance of food consumption and food production in the Russian Federation is the basis of the system of economic accounting involving an assessment of the standard of living of the population and an assessment of actual nutrition, and is also the basis for planning the production of essential food products.

The Government of the Russian Federation establishes the balance of food consumption and food production by calculating the average per capita requirements of the population of the Russian Federation for basic food items and energy, taking into account the structure of population distribution by age, sex, working conditions, climate, and also ethnic and other local characteristics of the food ration of the population.

The legislation of the Russian Federation allows the transfer of arable land to other uses. In 1990, the total area of farmland was 222,128,000 hectares, of which 132,308,500 was pastureland. As of 1 January 1998 the area had decreased slightly and amounted to 221,462,000 and 127,822,000 hectares respectively. An analysis of changes in the area of farmland and pastureland in the Russian Federation in 1990-1998 showed that there were three main reasons for the decrease in the area of farmland and pastureland used by agricultural enterprises and organizations and by individuals, which together accounted for 84.15 and 85.86 per cent of the losses respectively:

Conversion to non-agricultural land as a result of surveys and adjustments (8.6 per cent and 6 per cent) also had a perceptible impact on the decrease of the area of agricultural land.

In 1997 the rural population (40 million people) constituted 27 per cent of the total population of the Russian Federation. This proportion had increased slightly compared with 1990 (by 1 per cent), since during the period 1990-1996 the rural population increased by 3 per cent, while the total population of the Russian Federation fell by 1 per cent. The rural economy still depends to a significant extent on agriculture, since nearly 50 per cent of the economically active population of rural areas is engaged in agriculture. In the 1990s the proportion of the economically active population to the total population in rural areas remained stable at a level of 52 per cent, which is considerably lower that the comparable figure for the urban population (59 per cent).

Social programmes for the support of the low-income population have aimed to provide assistance in obtaining food products, taking into account the fact that the proportion of expenditure on food in low-income families amounts to 70 to 80 per cent (in 1996 this indicator was 43 per cent). A reduced rate of the value added tax, introduced in 1993, has been established for food items (with the exception of goods subject to excise duties), but this benefit is available to the entire population, and therefore is not specifically targeted.

The situation as regards the wages of agricultural workers remains very fraught. In 38 regions the wages of rural inhabitants are below the subsistence level. Despite being the lowest wages of any sector of the economy of the Russian Federation, these wages are not even paid all the time because of the extremely difficult financial situation of enterprises. At the end of 1997 wage arrears in agriculture amounted to 7.96 trillion roubles.

Between 1986 and 1996, through the implementation of the general framework for combating the desertification of black earth and Kizlyarsk pastureland, a radical change was achieved in the situation in the region. Processes of degradation were halted, and the first man-made desert in Europe was reduced from 600,000 hectares to 235,000 hectares. In the improved areas the topography was substantially restructured, and convenient, multi-tiered, high-yield pastureland and other farmland was formed.

In this region, however, the area of land requiring improvement remains large: in Kalmykia, 2.5 million hectares; in the Astrakhan region, 1.3 million hectares; in Dagestan, 800,000 hectares; and in the Stavropol district, 700,000 hectares.

System of sustainable plant nutrition in order to increase food production

In the Russian Federation, biologically based (environmental) systems of agriculture are being put into effect. In these systems, along with the introduction of a biogeocenotic basis for crop growing using chemical methods, strict, environmentally based standardized requirements are being introduced for the application rate, forms, duration and methods of the application of nutritive elements, which will lead to the integration of the agricultural crop nutrition and environmental protection system.

The correctness and validity of the regulations for fertilizers is verified on the basis of a balance of the basic nutritive substances in the system: soil-fertilizer-plant, which makes it possible to monitor and specifically regulate the content of nutritional elements in the soil.

In recent years, no more than one-third of the funds required for the operation and renewal of irrigation and water-supply equipment has been appropriated. Even in drought years, only half the area served by the irrigation network has been watered. The total area of irrigated land declined from 6.2 million hectares on 1 January 1991 to 4.7 million hectares on 1 January 1998, a drop of 1.5 million hectares, or 24 per cent.

Some 3.2 million hectares of forest have been planted on agricultural land. On parcels of land cultivated by more than 2,000 users, complete agro-forest tracts have been created, where field and forest reclamation has been most effective. Of the 640,000 hectares of shifting sands in the western Caspian region, over 400,000 hectares were made into agricultural land over a three-year period through agrosilviculture techniques.

Sizeable tracts of land (139.4 million hectares, or 8.2 per cent) are waterlogged or marshland. Most of the swamps are concentrated in forests. Their area amounts to 100.2 million hectares (out of 898.3 million hectares of forest), and they occupy 15.1 million hectares of reserve land. The presence of swamps on land designated for agricultural use and the constant growth of such swamps testify to the low level of agriculture and the gradual winding down of amelioration work. Since 1990, the area of marshes in this category has increased by 4 million hectares, to reach 20.6 million hectares by 1 January 1999.

Energy sources

In most of the rural regions there is significant potential for conserving energy or replacing energy sources which are in short supply through the use of local fuels, biomass, recoverable plant and wood waste or alternative and small-scale energy sources. However, this potential has not been put to use or is being used very inefficiently. Because of the sparse distribution and low power consumption of consumers in rural areas, it is not worthwhile to supply energy from a central power source because of transmission losses in the distribution grid. In addition, in rural areas there is considerable potential for the use of small, autonomous generators using renewable energy sources (such as solar, wind and small-scale hydroelectric power).

By 2005, the energy requirements of the Russian agro-industrial complex will rise by some 15 to 25 per cent. At the same time, the production of virtually all types of agricultural produce in Russia consumes a great deal of fuel and energy. Russian agricultural production consumes between two and five times more energy than agricultural production in the advanced countries.

The transfer of land from agricultural enterprises to rural villages means that the agricultural land which in general had previously belonged to agricultural enterprises is now beginning to be used in garden plots, for individual and collective animal husbandry and for private subsidiary plots.

The majority of workers in rural areas have a low level of qualification, which hinders their mobility. Since non-farm employment is slow to develop in rural areas, reorganized agricultural enterprises see the need to maintain their workforces despite the fact that there has been a sharp drop in production. In the short term, this policy has helped to reduce social tensions in rural areas, but it has also delayed the effective reorganization of enterprises and increased the amount of hidden unemployment. With a few regional variations, the official level of registered unemployment in rural areas is generally low, but that does not include uncounted unemployment in such areas.

With regard to hunting game, the State policy for the preservation of the genetic diversity of hunted animals involves licensing. The monitoring component is one of the most important parts of the licensing system. The main steps in developing a scientific and methodological system of game monitoring are designed to bring about a transition from species monitoring to population monitoring. Russian game birds such as geese and ducks migrate outside the limits of the Russian Federation, and the problem of the use of such game resources outside of the borders of the Russian Federation can only be resolved through the gradual adoption of a full-scale licensing scheme covering both population and species for these resources. That would make it possible at the State level to tackle the question of establishing between both States quotas for migrating game and of conserving of such game.

Support for the rural population is provided through the agrarian policy. However, the services provided cannot be supported at the required levels because of limited State resources. In 1995 approximately one-quarter of the population had monetary income less than the official minimum living standard. In 1996, the proportion dropped to 21.6 per cent, but the percentage of poor people varied from one region to another, ranging from 13.3 per cent to 74.6 per cent. Of all the regions, Moscow has the highest per capita income level, the lowest unemployment and the lowest poverty level in the country. Household surveys confirm that those families which have private plots and/or are engaged in black-market activities suffer less from poverty.

The reforms of the social insurance system in the Russian Federation are taking place rather slowly, and often amount to emergency responses. There is a wide variety of monetary and in-kind assistance, but the latter is not systematically organized, is not properly administered and is often poorly targeted. What is more, there is a gap between the benefits which are theoretically received and those actually distributed, owing to the state of federal and local budgets. Apart from the fact that the payment of pensions and unemployment benefits is constantly delayed, some individuals who are entitled to assistance do not receive it. In the 1996 budget there were only two items which could be considered as assistance to the rural economy: subsidies for housing construction in rural areas, and funding for personnel-training programmes. Those two programmes accounted for just six per cent of the overall budget appropriations for agriculture. The Government has recognized this difficult situation, and some of the measures proposed in 1997 (for example, the gradual elimination of subsidies for communal services) are aimed at ensuring that social assistance is better targeted.

Challenges

The social and economic situation within the agro-industrial complex of the Russian Federation remains extremely complicated and is worsening in many respects.

The beginning of 1998, following the relatively favourable natural conditions of 1997, created a certain basis for the possible stabilization of production and for gradually emerging from the difficult financial situation; subsequently, however, the severe drought which affected a significant portion of the country's agricultural regions, followed by the consequences of the August economic crisis, led to an even greater slump in agro-industrial production.

The unfavourable social and economic situation in agro-industrial production and in the rural social sphere in turn is hampering the rational transformation of institutions and the formation of effective interregional systems. Further stagnation is occurring in the branches of industry which provide material and technical resources and services to the agro-industrial complex.

All of this makes it necessary to elaborate additional measures to overcome the slump, strengthen the financial situation of agricultural and other commodity producers within the agro-industrial complex, and make use of existing opportunities to improve the organization and technology of production. At the same time there is a need to enhance market mechanisms and establish a more favourable macroeconomic situation within the agro-industrial complex.

Because of the lack of cash, rural inhabitants cannot pay for the most basic consumer goods and services. With the development of paid medical, educational and cultural services and a substantial increase in the cost of communal services and of consumer and transport services, a further downturn is occurring in the social sphere of rural areas, which involves a decline of not only the level, but also the quality of life in rural areas.

The gap between the cost of labour and its real value is having an adverse effect on the state of the domestic market. Since wages equal income, they are determining the aggregate demand of the population and, consequently, the structure and dynamics of production. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

In the context of the implementation of the agriculture reform implementation support project (ARIS) of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, an information and advisory service is being established in 26 subjects of the Russian Federation and is intended to play an important role in the establishment of stable agricultural systems ensuring food security.

In the K. A. Timiryazev Moscow Academy of Agriculture, a federal centre is in operation for training specialists of the information and advisory service of the agro-industrial complex of the Russian Federation; in 1997, over 400 specialists received training, and 150 specialists took courses abroad in various agricultural research centres.

Information 

A federal farmer information and advisory service, which includes providers of information for the agro-industrial complex, is now being set up. It involves computerized data collection, processing, storage and follow-up until the information reaches producers through regional and district structures. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture of the Russian Federation has Internet access, and on its Web page the Ministry publishes information concerning agricultural produce markets, statistical information on the Russian Federation’s regions, agricultural press reviews and other information which is available to anyone interested. The URL address is http://www.aris.ru .

As at 1 July 1999, farmer information and advisory services were being established or were in operation in 51 regions of the Russian Federation. Such services have been established in 29 regions as structural subdivisions in administrative bodies of the agro-industrial complex; in 10 as State enterprise units; in eight as part of further training and skill enhancement institutions for agro-industrial high-level supervisory staff and specialists; in three within institutions of higher education; and in one as part of a scientific research institute.

Under the World Bank’s ARIS Project, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is setting up a Market Information System (MIS), including a system of price monitoring and a data-analysis service.

The aim of the MIS is to collect, process, prepare and make available to all market players real-time, authoritative information on pricing trends and the current market status of, and forecasts for, the major types of agricultural production and foods. The MIS operates at three levels. Its central division was set up on the basis of the Department of Economics of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and regional and district subdivisions services were established on the basis of the corresponding administrative bodies of the agro-industrial complex. MIS subdivisions have now been established in 36 subjects of the Russian Federation, and work is continuing on involving more regions in the project. Price monitoring information and analytical and forecasting material are exchanged between the Russian MIS and similar services in the United States of America, Poland, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova.

An agreement has been concluded between the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the State Standards Office on the principles for cooperation between the Main Standards Information Centre and the Standards Information Centre of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, as part of federal standard-setting activities. An automated system for processing and providing information within the framework of the World Trade Organization is being set up under contracts through the "Agroservis" Automated Management System's Central Scientific Research Institute.

Research and Technologies 

Russian agrarian science and production use advanced methodology and modern technologies which ensure the effectiveness of work to eliminate harmful processes and restore the economic potential of degraded land. An example is the large-scale land improvement work in south-west Prikaspiya, which is one of several southern areas of the Russian Federation in which livestock can be kept on pastures all year round and warm-weather crops can be grown.

Protective tree plantings are the most effective, environmentally clean and capital-intensive means of protecting soils from erosion. It should be stressed that protective forest development is a technique which provides protection against natural disasters (dust storms, hot dry winds, desertification and so forth) which are capable of giving rise to emergency situations, with all their adverse consequences, including environmental disasters in certain areas of the Russian Federation. Over 2,000 farms have fully completed systems of protective tree plantings, which have created a pleasant and stable agro-environmental setting and helped increase the productivity of agricultural land.

Every year 20-40,000 hectares of protective tree plantings are established in the Russian Federation. The scale of agro-forestry improvement activities needs to be gradually increased and it must be ensured that the "Fertility" programme is implemented in respect of establishing protective tree plantings in farmland and protecting fertility.

The scientifically based requirement for all types of protective plantings has been determined to be an area of 14 million hectares.

Comprehensive protection is ensured through a range of agro-technical, chemical and biological methods, taking into account the economic thresholds of pest harmfulness.

An integrated system of nutrition of agricultural crops is achieved, above all, through:

The introduction of a comprehensive, integrated system of plant nutrition is making it possible to achieve an almost twofold increase in agricultural productivity compared with traditional methods of growing agricultural crops. At present scientific research institutions and the agro-chemical service of the Russian Federation are carrying out a huge operation of adapting and adjusting this system of nutrition of agricultural crops to local and regional conditions.

Watering equipment and irrigation techniques are being developed as scientific and technical progress is made in the following areas: resource conservation (reducing irrigation systems' use and consumption of metals, energy, water and capital, and lowering irrigation operating costs), increasing the capacity of irrigation canals; reducing water output flow intensity; improving watering quality by ensuring more uniform moisture levels; targeting irrigation for plant environment formation; combining various types of irrigation depending on the characteristics of the plants; and making multi-purpose use of watering facilities for the water-borne delivery of fertilizer, chemical soil ameliorants, pesticides and growth-promoting substances. Carrying out such measures helps to increase yield, protect the environment, raise labor productivity and reduce material and energy consumption in the watering process.

Scientific and planning organizations have drawn up a concept for making scientific and technical progress in mechanizing watering activities. It sets out the basic types of watering equipment during the transition to a market economy and during production in a mixed economy, and establishes technical requirements for machinery produced in series and for new equipment. For the first time, the line of machinery includes a set of energy-efficient machines and watering equipment for private plots.

The Government undertakes analysis of the overall effects of technological innovations and incentives on farm household income.

Financing

The federal budget, budgets of members of the Russian Federation, resources of enterprises and extra-budgetary sources support agricultural activities.

Every year the Government earmarks budgetary funds for the payment of subsidies and compensation to support pedigree production in animal breeding.

Cooperation

There are bilateral and multilateral agricultural agreements (in the Commonwealth of Independent States - CIS framework).

In the context of international trade agreements, particularly the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (art. 20), a great deal of work was done on the estimates of domestic agricultural support measures, the rates of import customs duties, and export subsidies for agricultural and food products. Agreement was reached with the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Economy of the Russian Federation on the estimates concerning the level of domestic support and export subsidies.

In 1998 revised estimates were sent to the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Economy of the Russian Federation, taking into account the content of article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture and the results of the seventh working meeting on accession by the Russian Federation to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Work is being done on justifying the proposals concerning the level of domestic support and export subsidies for agricultural raw materials and food.

* * * 

This information is based on Russia's submission to the  8th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: November 2000.

For country reports on Plant Genetic Resources, click here.
To access the FAOSTAT Data Base for information by country, item, element and year, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to link to Country and Sub-regional Information on Plant Genetic Resources of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The State Environmental Protection Committee is the lead agency in the Russian Federation for matters connected with the Montreal Protocol. The main centres dealing with questions of the gradual reduction of the production and use of ozone depleting substances (ODS) within the organizational structure were the special unit on the ODS problem, established in 1993, the inter-departmental commission on protection of the ozone layer, established in 1992, and its subcommissions, set up in 1993.

In the Russian Federation the coordination of activities connected with UNFCCC is entrusted to the Inter-Departmental Commission on Problems of Climate Change, established by Governmental Decree No. 34 of 22 January 1994. The provisions concerning the inter-departmental commission and its membership were confirmed by Governmental Order No. 346 of 19 April 1994. These are the commission's basic functions:

In 1994, with a view to coordinating the activities of ministries, offices and organizations of the Russian Federation designed to prevent dangerous climate changes and ensure the timely adaptation of the economy and the environment to such changes, the Government established an Inter-Departmental Commission on Problems of Climate Change. Its membership includes senior officials of 24 ministries and offices and distinguished Russian scientists.

Among the most important results of the work of the inter-departmental commission over the recent period in accordance with the obligations of the Russian Federation under the Convention attention must be drawn to the preparation of the first National Statement of the Russian Federation on activities under the Convention, submitted to the Convention Secretariat in November 1995, with the agreement of the Government, as well as to activities under the special-purpose federal programme on prevention of dangerous climate changes and their harmful consequences, confirmed by a Governmental Order of 19 October 1996.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

For the purposes of fulfilment of the Russian Federation's obligations with respect to implementation of UNFCCC and with a view to prevention of the harmful consequences of climate change for human health and the national economy, the special-purpose Federal Programme on Prevention of Dangerous Climate Changes and Their Harmful Consequences for the Period 1997-2000 was confirmed by Governmental Decree No. 1242 of 19 October 1996; this programme provides for:

Activities under the special-purpose federal programme will be coordinated with the activities of other current federal, regional and branch programmes for prevention of dangerous climate changes.

Status 

The evaluations contained in the first National Statement on activities under the Convention justify a confident assertion that by 2000 the Russian Federation will no longer be exceeding the level of anthropogenic emissionsgreenhouse gases established on base 1990. This will make it possible to carry out, within the framework of the special-purpose federal programme, measures for the limitation of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases which take into account the levels of economic growth expected in our country. The Russian Federation takes an active part in the work of the Convention's highest organ - the Conference of the Parties - and its subsidiary bodies.

Challenges

In the Russian Federation agriculture, forestry and water resources are extremely vulnerable to climate change. This is due mainly to shifts in the distribution of precipitation and an increase in the frequency and severity of droughts. In the zone of permanent frost, covering some 10 million km (about 58 per cent of the country's total area), thawing caused by warming of the climate will destroy the economic infrastructure, owing largely to the vulnerability of mining installations, energy and transport systems and the communal economy. A rise in the level of the world's oceans will lead to flooding and destruction of coastal areas and low-lying land in river deltas together with the towns and other settlements located there. Climate change may have a harmful effect on human health both through intensification of heat stress in southern regions and through the spread of many kinds of disease. The Russian Federation therefore has an interest in conducting national activities in various economic spheres and in broad international cooperation on problems of climate change with the States parties to the Convention.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available

Information 

Rosgidromet has a network of stations for measuring the total ozone content at 30 points in the territory of the Russian Federation. The incoming operational information is processed at a single centre (Rosgidromet's Central Aerological Observatory) and is presented in the form of daily maps showing deviations of the volumes of total ozone content from norms established over many years, together with block bulletins. Analyses are also made of monthly and seasonal anomalies in the fields of total ozone content above the territories of the Russian Federation in the Antarctic.

Research and Technologies 

Questions of ozone layer research and monitoring are the responsibility of the Federal Hydrometeorological and Environmental Monitoring Service (Rosgidromet). The programme of work includes the basic areas of research envisaged in the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. Special attention is given to the development and support of a system for monitoring the condition of the ozone layer and a system for monitoring ultraviolet radiation over the Russian Federation and adjoining territories. In the monitoring of the ozone layer use is made of both land-based and satellite observation facilities. The work which is being done represents a significant contribution by the Russian Federation to the development and support of the Global Atmosphere Watch of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and to the fulfilment of commitments under the Vienna Convention.

Financing 

For the period 1997-2000 the special-purpose federal programme envisages funding from the federal budget totalling 171.4 billion roubles and mobilization of extra-budgetary sources totalling 68 billion roubles.

Cooperation

The Montreal Protocol (1987) was signed in 1987, the London Amendment (1990) was signed in 1991 and the latest reports to the Montreal Protocol Secretariat were prepared in 1994. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed in 1994, and the latest report to the UNFCCC Secretariat was submitted in 1995.

In order to finance special purpose projects in accordance with the priorities of the Global Environment Facility, agreements have been signed with the World Bank concerning grants to Russia for:

On three occasions in the period 1995-1996 Russian experts were invited to be members of international expert groups on the in-depth review and study of the national statements of other countries parties to the Convention (United States, Netherlands, Finland).

Considerable attention has been given to the development of bilateral scientific and technological links with other countries on problems of climate change. These matters are reflected in the topics of common interest in the draft agreements with France, Australia and South Korea.

Particular attention must be drawn to the development of bilateral cooperation on problems of climate change between the Russian Federation and the United States within the framework of the Gore-Chernomyrdin commission. Since 1994 work has been carried out under a Russian-American project as part of the United States programme for the support of national research in the field of climate change; in addition to Russia, 53 other countries are participating in this programme.

The problems of climate change occupy an important place on the agenda of the Inter-State Hydrometeorology Council, which coordinates the activities of the hydrometeorological services of the States members of CIS. Under the auspices of this Council work has been done on the preparation of the national statements on activities under the Convention of the States members of CIS, and coordinated proposals have been worked out for the establishment of a greenhouse gases monitoring network in the territory of the CIS countries.

* * *

This information is based on Russia's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

Click here for national information from the Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For the access to the Web Site of the Ozone Secretariat, click here:

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Fundamental decisions are taken by the Government of the Russian Federation. On the basis of such decisions, sectoral decisions are taken by the relevant federal executive organs: Ministry of Agricultural Production, State Fisheries Commission, Rosleskhoz, Ministry of Science, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Economy, Ministry of Health, etc. An inter-departmental commission on problems of biodiversity has been created in order to coordinate activities and prepare governmental decisions on biodiversity. The coordinator is the Ministry of the Environment (now the State Environmental Protection Committee). Groups are established, as required, by the inter-departmental commission. At its meetings this commission has considered a number of questions connected with the drafting of a national strategy on biodiversity, the inclusion of specific measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in sectoral plans, and the establishment of a data base.

In 1994 the Government of the Russian Federation adopted a special Order stating that the functions of administrative organ for CITES would be performed by the former Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, now the State Environmental Protection Committee, and specifying the priority measures for fulfilment of obligations under the Convention, taking into account the new situation resulting from the break-up of the USSR.

Issues related to biodiversity will now be considered by the inter-departmental commission on problems of biodiversity. A biodiversity scientific-coordination centre is being established under the auspices of the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Environmental Protection in accordance with a decision of the inter-departmental commission.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The national legislation is being improved. In recent years bills have been submitted on The Animal World, Regulation of Genetic Engineering, and The Continental Shelf of the Russian Federation.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

With a view to the introduction of measures to strengthen control of the procurement, trading and passage across customs frontiers of CITES specimens, a plan has been approved for collaboration between the federal executive organs (environmental protection, law enforcement, quarantine and postal communications).

Similar plans have been drawn up in 28 member states of the Russian Federation. In 1995 Russia reviewed the reservations concerning the CITES annexes, which had been entered earlier by the USSR. Action is being taken to improve the effectiveness of the standard-setting legal framework with respect to species of animals and plants registered in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. With the financial support of Switzerland, Germany, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and a number of other organizations, two teaching seminars have been held for the CIS countries, a handbook on the animals included in the CITES annex has been published in Russian, and a popular coloured booklet entitled "Import and export of endangered species of fauna and flora" has been produced and published. Effective cooperation is being established with the customs authorities. Between November 1994 and March 1995, 300 parrots and 28 monkeys were confiscated at Sheremetev-2 international airport alone.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

In 1995 the President confirmed a Special-purpose Federal Programme of Support for State Nature Reserves and National Parks for the Period up to 2000. This programme provides for the creation of 36 new reserves and 28 national parks. In 1995-1996 the Government strengthened the measures for conservation and sustainable use of sites where especially rare and threatened animals are found. Russia is carrying out a special State programme on biological diversity. A project on the conservation of biological diversity is being carried out with the support of the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility.

Status 

Russia's protected areas are divided into four categories: reserves, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and natural monuments. The reserves are of greatest importance for protection of the biodiversity of the forest landscape. By 1994 Russia had 85 reserves, some of them established 75 years earlier. The number and huge extent of the reserves testify to an understanding of their significance for the conservation of nature in the wild. The national nature parks which are being created have many different functions, one of which is the conservation of the biodiversity of the forest, including the diversity of ecosystems and species and genetic diversity.

Under the amended project to establish a coherent network of national parks by 2005, the plan is to create an additional 46 parks with a total area of 11 million hectares. Under the existing legislation national parks are foundations for the conservation of nature, including natural systems and sites of special ecological, historical and aesthetic value designated for use for nature-conservation, recreational, educational, scientific and cultural purposes.

Russia's national parks and reserves have a great diversity of animals and plants. They contain about 1.5 thousand species of taller plants, of which 120 are classified as rare and endangered plants, while 47 a large number of exotics (more than 70 species) and 103 species of relict.

Conservation of biological diversity is one of the fundamental functions of the reserves and national parks. There are many species of rare fauna: animals (64 species), birds (210), fish (28), and amphibians and reptiles (20). Seven species of bird are registered in Russia's Red Book

As well as plants and animals the national parks also contain many valuable historical and cultural sites.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing

The State budget is the main source of financing. Some expenditure is also covered by overseas investors, including the Global Environment Facility which has signed an agreement for a grant of US$ 20.1 million for preserving biodiversity.

Cooperation

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed in 1992 and ratified in 1995. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was signed in 1974 and the latest report was submitted in 1995.

Many different activities are being carried out under bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements.

* * *

This information is based on Russia's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997


For information on national parks in Russia, click here:
For information on flora in Russia, click here:
For information on fauna, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In accordance with an instruction of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 17 October 1995, the Russian Federation is participating in preparatory meetings for the International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, and after its entry into force, it will participate in conferences of the parties as an observer. At the same time the relevant ministries and offices and members of the Federation experiencing serious problems of drought and desertification are proceeding with their detailed study of the possibility of Russia's becoming a fully fledged party to the Convention.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A UNEP project on the drafting of a national plan of action to combat desertification in the Kalmyk Republic is being implemented.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

* * *

This information is based on Russia's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997


For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The decisions concerning energy issues in general are in the competence of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation.  Nuclear energy is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Atomic Energy (Minatom).  Decisions pertaining to energy utilization are in the competence of the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technologies of the Russian Federation and the State Construction Committee of the Russian Federation.  Energy-related aspects of atmosphere are in the competence of the Ministry of Natural Resources and in part of climate change in “Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring State committee” ( Goscomgidromet). Ministry of transport is responsible for making decisions concerning  transportation (except railways).

The national government as the major executive body in the Russian Federation is responsible for the most important decisions concerning energy-related issues. The Ministry of Energy is obliged to implement governmental decisions. The coordination between different bodies of the government concerning energy is under the supervision of Vice-prime minister. In case of making decision on energy aspect of special importance, (as for global climate change) creation of Inte-rministerial commission is practised.

Regional governments and local administrations have a broad range of authorities. For example, most of them have already introduced their own legislative acts, in energy sector in particular.   In some cases regional legislation is more progressive than federal legislative acts.  Regional bodies regulate the maximum permissible level of various pollutant emissions into atmosphere and storm water discharges, as well as environmental taxes and penalties.  

The Regional energy commissions regulate tariffs for those end-use energy carriers, for which markets are not yet liberalized (electricity, district heat, network gas).

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Energy related issues of atmosphere and transportation are the main topics of the following documents:

Regulations, incentives, subsides directed at consumers

Regulations, incentives, subsidies directed at industries.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

According to the Energy Strategy of Russia the main elements of Russia’s long-term sustainable energy strategy are as follows:

The main indicators of the  energy development in Russia are given in a table below.

Indicators of the energy development in Russia

Indicators

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2015

2020

Electricity consumption, bln. KW.h,

 

1073

 

841

 

849

895

948

975

1079

1062

1253

1156

1509

Electricity consumption  index, % compared to a 1990 level, kW.h/$

 

100

 

78.4

 

79.1

83.4

88,3

90.9

100.6

98.9

117

108

141

Electricity intensity of GDP, kWh/ $

1.08

1.29

1.37

1.32

1,21

1.22

1.10

1,12

0.99

1.04

0.91

District heat production,

Million Gcal

2076

1634

1470

1530

1600

1680

1770

Heat intensity of GDP, Gcal/$

2,1

2,5

2,37

2.2

1.95

1.9

1.63

1.7

1.33

1.5

1.07

Motor fuel consumption, Mt

114

68

61

64

68

66

75

69

85

71

99

Total primary energy consumption, Mtoe.

879

650

628

636

668

647

699

657

738

678

811

Total primary energy consumption index,  % compared to a 1990 level

 

100,0

 

74,0

 

71,4

 

72,4

76

 

74

80

 

75

84

 

77

92

Primary energy intensity of GDP, Mtoe/1000 US$

0.89

1.0

1.01

0.94

0.85

0.825

0.72

1.02

0.713

0.615

0.51

* Nominator – low scenario, denominator – favourable economic scenario.

The main problem in energy supply, access and distribution is to ensure reliable and economically acceptable energy supply in remote areas (for example in the Far East). It can be achieved first of all by means of gas networking, small-scale nuclear power and renewables  development. The problem of primary importance is also to develop energy transportation facilities.

The main goal in energy conservation is to undertake no-cost and low-cost measures as well as create effective mechanisms and schemes for energy efficiency policy financing.

The main objectives of R&D are:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

It depends on a level of decision. Each group can make a decision concerning needed type of energy consuming equipment and devices, i.e. make a decision concerning energy at a local level.    Local authorities have a decisive opinion in implementation of  energy saving and pollutant emissions and discharges abatement programmes and projects at the local level.

The oil sector in Russia is already privatised. The national gas industry and electricity sector are partly privatized. Минэкономразвития and the Ministry of Energy are playing a coordinating and supervising role in identifying priorities and implementing strategic goals.

Scientists develop energy efficient equipment and recommend on  how to improve efficiency of energy production, transportation and consumption. The activity of consumers in this direction (first of all industrial consumers) depends on the state policy in energy prices and taxes as well as their financial state.

Programmes and Projects 

Major programmes undertaken to provide alternatives to unsustainable energy sources to urban and rural households for their consumption include:

The main measure to ensure energy supply to households in Russia is provision  of  subsidies for electricity, district heat and  gas for all population. 

The main national programme oriented at reducing GHG concentration in the atmosphere is the Federal Programme “Prevention of Dangerous Climate Changes and Their Negative Consequences”. It was developed according to the Government Decree (18.05.94). The main developers were:

The main objectives:

Terms of implementation: 1997-2000.

The most important among programmes and measures aimed at energy/fuel saving may be considered the following target programmes of the Ministry of Transport.  Reduction of Emissions of Climatic Gases in the Transport-Road Complex (1994).  The programme includes a basic concept of GHG mitigation in the transportation sector of national economy and list of planned measures. Programme comprehends two sets of measures to be assumed: measures of administrative regulation and measures of economical regulation and stimulation.

Administrative measures include:

Economical measures projected include working-out:

Implementation measures included in the programme were delayed on the early stage because of financial problems and can be continued in future.

The target programme “Saving of Fuel-Energy Resources on Transport” (1995).

The programme is aimed at:

The main results to be obtained from this programme are: increasing the share of diesel trucks and buses in the total automobile park; modernization of airplane and helicopter fleet; removing from service obsolete and low-effective marine and river water-craft. New types of diesel oil, motor oil and additives would be introduced at the road transportation sub-sector to reduce fuel consumption. Measures to improve fuel quality and fuel supply network should be introduced to the air transport. New additives to fuels and lubricants (including friction-reducing ones) must be introduced at river and marine transportation sub-sectors. Total cost of the programme was estimated at 45 million rubbles. The expected total fuel savings are shown in the Table below.

Total saving of liquid fuels from implementation of the Target programme “Saving of Fuel and Energy Resources on Transport. 

  Saving, thousand t/year
Transport mode Transportation* Fuels**
Road 237 93
Air 175 160
Marine 220 50
River 231 20
Total 861 323

* optimization of transportation park by bearing and passenger capacity, optimization of specialization, engine type and exploitation life of transportation park

** progressive energy-saving fuels and lubricants, minimization fuel and lubricants' losses

Federal Target Programme of improvement and development automobile roads of the Russian Federation “Roads of Russia” (1993) is aimed at development and effective management of road network. The main result expected must be the decrease of aged pavements by 4% of total. Consequent saving of liquid fuels is estimated at 700 kt/year.

Progress in implementation measures of the above programmes in the past years was insufficient because of financial problems and can be continued in future.

Federal Target Programme “Improvement of Road Traffic Safety” includes measures to better vehicle technical exploitation and organization of transportation process, and stimulation energy saving. Among the expected results of this programme is the more intensive usage of trailers (increase by 100 Mt/yr of loads transported), computer-based optimizing of transportation management, adding more systems of vehicles instrumental control and introducing obligatory instrumental control of older vehicles.

Other currently acting  programmes of federal or sectoral levels also may have some emission-reduction potential that could not be satisfactory estimated at the moment. These programmes are:

The main programme aimed at promoting energy conservation in Russia is the President’s Programme “Energy Conservation in Russia”.  This programme consists of a number of organizational, legislative, economic and financial measures stimulating efficient utilization of fuel and energy.  The main directions of activities in the field of Russia’s energy conservation policy are as follows:

The amount of energy to be saved in 2005 (in comparison with 2000) is 20-38 M toe; in 2010 – 73-100 M toe; in 2015 – 129-M toe; in 2020 – 210-294 M toe

Status 

The Russian Federation is traditionally one of the main energy exporters in the world. The country owns a large resource base of energy.

Table

Proven recoverable reserves of fossil fuels

Energy resource

Amount

Resources/production, years

Coal

157 bln. t

Over 1000

Oil

6,7 bln. t

22

Natural gas

47,7trln. m3

About 80

Economically exploitable hydropower capability 

850 TWh/year

160*TWh/year

*  hydropower capability currently in use  

There are some problems in ensuring stable, reliable and economically acceptable energy supplies in some regions (Far East, Northern regions) . They are mostly connected with inefficient planning of energy supply and demand in these regions, lack  of needed energy transport facilities, not sufficient  amounts of stored fuel required for winter period, non-payments, and are not connected with energy resources availability in the country.  In some cases there is shortage of automotive fuel  supply due to lower internal prices compared with export prices.

Fossil fuels play a basic role in the  energy balance of the Russian Federation. A share of fossil fuels in the total amount of primary energy consumption in 1998 was about 91%. About half of the total primary energy was consumed in Russia in the form of natural gas. A share of non-fossil energy sources in the primary energy balance of Russia is not very high: nuclear power – 4,7%, hydro – 2,3%. Utilization of advanced renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal and wave energy in Russia is very limited.

The main trend in the consumption patterns of energy in Russia for the period of 1992-1998 is a dramatic decrease of energy demand. The main indicators are given in the table below:

Energy consumption in Russia in 1992-1998, Mtoe

Energy Resource

1992

1998

Coal

126.9

95.34

Crude oil and petroleum products

238

124

Natural gas

368.5

310.9

Nuclear energy

31.18

27.36

Hydro energy

14.84

13.63

Others

15.6

10.54

Total energy consumption

795.02

581.77

Others: combustible and non-combustible renewables

17

12

  Trade liberalization and privatization will contribute to increasing efficiency of the fuel and energy complex functioning and hopefully declining the energy services cost for consumers.

As far as globalization is concerned there are points of view for and against this process. However, integration of the Russian energy sector in the world energy system is inevitable. The future will show all advantages and disadvantages of globalization. 

Challenges  

The environmental situation in Russia in the whole is very tense. 48% of releases contaminating the air medium, 36% of sewage effluents and 30% of the total amount of solid wastes generated in the country fall on fuel and energy complex. The environmental situation is especially dangerous in Ural region, Komi Republic, Central part of Russia, Moscow City etc.

The main barriers against development and usage of renewable energy sources and cleaner fossil fuel technologies are mostly financial, organizational and legislative. There is no law in force “On Renewable Energy Sources” in Russia. The problem of market deployment of developed renewable and cleaner fossil fuel technologies can not be solved because of lack of financing, due to low internal prices of fossil fuel which makes renewables  not competitive with traditional energy sources, lack of incentives to promote costly equipment for cleaner technologies.

Lack of required capital, unfavourable financial climate for attracting investments, political instability, high risks, low cost of energy, low energy demand, lack of any kind of guaranties to ensure return of investments, lack of environmental legislation, weakness of legislative base.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

NGOs are highly engaged in information dissemination, consumers training, organization of public campaigns, energy efficient equipment exhibitions etc.

Over 100 popular scientific and specialized journals dwelling on energy-environment-related issues are published on the federal and regional levels.  The “Energy Saving of the Russian Federation Ministry of Education for 1999-2005" Programme.  The International SPARE Programme has been launched in the Russian primary and secondary schools

The most part of training programmes is organized and sponsored by international and Russian organizations and programmes (UN ECE, GEF, EU-TACIS, EU-SYNERGY, EBRD, Nordic Council of Ministers, RUSDEM, Gosenrgonadzor, Minobrazovaniya) and in a frame of bilateral cooperation (USA, Norway, Finland, GB, Canada, Sweden, Denmark).

In Russia regular training programmes are carried out by RUSDEM (Financial Engineering, Business Planning, Energy Audits, Implementation of the Kyoto Protocol Mechanisms, Long Distance Training), VTI (energy audits), Centre for Energy Policy (energy audits and energy management), Centre for Energy Efficiency (CENEF).

Information   

The major supplier of energy statistics in Russia is Goscomstat, Ministry of Environment (Now Ministry of Nature), Ministry of Energy, Central Dispatching Board. System of Russian Demonstration Zones of High Energy Efficiency (UN ECE Project).

Any consumer can make a special order for needed energy statistics to “Goscomstat” as well as for data of other governmental bodies which are compiling energy use related statistics.

Information is disseminated throughout the country and abroad via the information exchange system  of Russian energy efficiency demonstration zones

This information is not available to the public.  Available websites:         

Research and Technologies   

In spite of the existing national programme for environmentally clean energy technology there was a little  progress during the latest years.   Available  examples of renewable energy technology development include:

The above technology can and must contribute to sustainable and environmentally sound development both the national fuel and energy complex and Russia’s economy. The main problems are:

New technologies being developed in Russia for the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions and cleaner production (e.g. clean coal technology) include:

To improving fuel efficiency and promoting cleaner environment, Russia has implementing a new mode for transportation which include:

Financing   

Public financing now is very limited, a little federal budget financing as well as financing from regional budgets take place in energy conservation, environmental protection measures.

Early implementation of production sharing agreement (e.g. Sakhalin oil projects);

Favourable tax regime for foreign investments exceeding 100 million US$;

State guarantee for long term loans for energy efficiency projects.

Cooperation

A series of energy projects are financed through loans from multilateral banks (WB, EBRD).  The oil and gas production projects and in small scale power generation  projects are financed by private capital (domestic and foreign).   Some projects are financed through international assistance programmes (USAID, UN ECE, UNDP, GEF, TAGOS, TACIS, US DOE, THERMIE, Barents Region Energy Programme).

Among ongoing  cooperation the following are worth to be mentioned:

Russia is the only Annex I country which  meets the Kyoto Protocol targets. A whole number of projects based on joint implementation mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol are under implementation. Financing is effected through national programmes for implementation of the Kyoto Protocol Mechanisms.  By the year 2000 Russia has saved about of 1 billion tonne of carbon dioxide emissions into atmosphere over 1990 level. But having such large amounts of surplus GHG emission quota to sell Russia has no incentives for further reduction of GHG emission since there is a delay in ratification and implementation of the Protocol. 

Energy Charter and Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution.

 

* * * 

This information is based on Russia's submission to the 9th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 2000. Last update:  April 2001

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The new Russian Federation Forest Code (1997) establishes the sustainable management of Russian forests as the ultimate goal and provides the necessary legislative basis for regulating forest relations in a market economy. The Russian Federation's sustainable forest management concept, adopted in 1998, is based on the principles of the ecological, economic and social sustainability of forests as components of the State's overall national sustainable development strategy.

Thus, the Russian Federation has created an initial set of national instruments for ensuring the sustainable development of Russian forests and the more effective functioning of the existing forest management system.

The legal framework for regulating forest relations in the Russian Federation has been established through forest legislation, including the above-mentioned Russian Federation Forest Code, other laws relating to forests and an entire set of provisions, rules, instructions and other normative legal instruments for ensuring sustainable forest management in practice. In order to strengthen intersectoral links and intrasectoral coordination, forestry activities in various areas are conducted within the framework of national programmes that have been adopted with account taken of the Russian Federation's sustainable development strategy.

The Russian Federation Forest Code established federal ownership of forest lands, except for municipal forests. Accordingly, the State as the proprietor of forests is interested in the conservation and rational use of its own forest resources, thereby providing society with market and non-market goods.

The federal law on guaranteeing the rights of the indigenous small national groups of the Russian Federation, which is designed to ensure the unique nature of the social, economic and cultural development of these peoples and protect their habitat and traditional ways of life, economic management and trades was adopted in 1999. In accordance with this law, State agencies have the right to establish the boundaries of lands where small national groups make traditional use of natural resources and determine the procedure for providing them with federally-owned lands for these purposes. The federal law on lands where the indigenous small national groups of the North, Siberia and the Far East of the Russian Federation make traditional use of natural resources is being considered in Parliament.

The Russian Federation has consistently participated in the intergovernmental consultations on the advisability of drawing up an international legally binding instrument on all types of forests and is in favour of the speedy drafting of a convention on forests. At the current time, there are several sources of international law relating to questions concerning environmental protection. It is obvious that fulfilment of most of the obligations assumed under them is linked to the condition of the States parties' forests. The Russian Federation favours the drafting of a convention on forests for a number of reasons, of which the main ones are the following:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The results of the international negotiation process on forests, which has been actively developing since the Rio Conference, have been exerting a very important influence on the formation of the national forest policy. In recent years, a large number of new-generation documents for ensuring the sustainable development of Russian forests have been adopted.

Most of the IPF proposals for action can be applied in the Russian Federation in resolving forest issues. The significant areas of forest land and the diversity of the geographic, climatic, ecological, economic and social conditions in which forests are managed make it possible to take many IPF recommendations into consideration in drawing up the national forest policy.

In accordance with the provisions of the Russian Federation Forest Code and corresponding governmental decisions, work had been carried out since 1997 on drafting a schematic plan for the mandatory certification of standing timber and secondary forest resources. The work of approving the plan drawn up was begun in four subjects of the Russian Federation in 1999. At the current time, it is difficult to determine the extent to which market access for certified wood products has been facilitated since the implementation of the plan is still in the initial stage. Nevertheless, it can now be assumed that confidence in the plan and recognition of it by purchasers will be a key factor in marketing certified products.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

Within the framework of a number of federal target-oriented programmes, a set of forestry, organizational and economic measures is being carried out with the aim of promoting the sustainable management of national forests and fulfilling the Russian Federation's international obligations with regard to environmental protection and the maintenance of biological diversity.

At the current time, the following national programmes are in effect in the Russian Federation:

  1. The federal target-oriented programme "Russia's Forests" for the period 1997-2000 is designed to reduce the land surface not covered by forest, improve and maintain high-productivity forests and comply with international obligations concerning forests. The programme also includes such sections as forest management, forest monitoring, reforestation and forest cultivation, the cutting and care of forests, protecting forests from pests and diseases, water and forest reclamation, road building, organization of State monitoring of forest utilization and the use of scientific and technical methods in forestry.
  2. The federal target-oriented programme "Protection of forests from fires for the period 1999-2005" provides for the implementation of a package of measures for preventing the outbreak and spread of forest fires, early detection and suppression of fires at the initial stage, as well as the development and introduction of new technology and equipment for detecting and extinguishing forest fires.
  3. A federal target-oriented programme to provide State support for national nature reserves and parks for the period up to the year 2000. The programme's ultimate goal is to be the establishment of a national network of specially protected natural areas.
  4. The subprogramme "Russian Forests" of the federal target-oriented scientific and technological programme "Research and development in priority areas of the development of science and technology up to the year 2000" is collating and coordinating research by scientific institutions in studying forest ecosystems and formulating recommendations for organizing sustainable forest management.

As each national programme is drawn up, the degree to which it corresponds to other programmes that are in effect or being developed is determined and possible areas of cross cutting and mechanisms for coordinating action in various sectors are identified. For example, the indicators for the federal target-oriented programme "Russia's Forests" for the period 1997-2000 were linked to the federal comprehensive programme for improving soil fertility in the Russian Federation for the period 1996-2000 and the federal target-oriented programme for developing the Russian Federation's wood industry system for the period 1996-2005 and other programmes.

The policies of the various sectors that relate to forests (environmental protection, agriculture, land use, industry and others) are harmonized as each national programme is drawn up and agreed upon. Internal monitoring of the necessary implementation of programme measures is ensured by including personnel from the corresponding government agencies in the teams of programme developers and executors. For example, the developers and executors of the federal target-oriented programme "Russia's Forests" for the period 1997-2000 include personnel from the Ministry of the Economy, the Federal Forestry Service, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Science and Technology, as well as government agencies of subjects of the Russian Federation.

Status 

The Russian Federation has already begun the third century of its State management of forests. The year 1998 marked the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the Forestry Department in Russia. The political and economic conditions for forest management changed frequently over the two centuries. Nevertheless, the classical school of forestry and the ongoing work conducted by Russian forestry experts in the rational use and reproduction of forest resources made it possible to conserve the forests of the Russian Federation, which currently represent 22 per cent of the world's forests.

According to data collected through the State audit of forest reserves, as at 1 January 1998 the overall area of woodlands in the Russian Federation amounted to 1,172.9 million hectares or 69 per cent of the country's territory. The area covered by forest growth is 770.7 million hectares, and the overall timber reserves in forests are 81.5 billion cubic metres.

The logging industry has continued to decline in recent years owing to the systemic crisis affecting the Russian timber sector. Compared to 1988, the volume of logging from principal-use cutting in 1998 declined by more than three times, amounting to 87 million cubic metres. The cutting area used for calculation (the scientifically-based utilization norm) was set at 18 per cent. The resulting situation shows that the weakest link in ensuring the sustainable development of the forest sector of the Russian economy is not the ecological component, but rather the socio-economic one.

Some paper products in the Russian Federation have traditionally been manufactured by using elements derived from the recycling of paper refuse (waste paper). However, the successful development of these technologies is being impeded by serious investment problems.

Since timber has traditionally been widely used in the Russian Federation to manufacture a very broad range of products, discussions or initiatives aimed at promoting the transition to the use of wood products instead of those made from non-renewable materials are not being conducted at the present time.

The logging industry has continued to decline in recent years owing to the systemic crisis affecting the Russian timber sector. Compared to 1988, the volume of logging from principal-use cutting in 1998 declined by more than three times, amounting to 87 million cubic metres. The cutting area used for calculation (the scientifically-based utilization norm) was set at 18 per cent. The resulting situation shows that the weakest link in ensuring the sustainable development of the forest sector of the Russian economy is not the ecological component, but rather the socio-economic one.

Some paper products in the Russian Federation have traditionally been manufactured by using elements derived from the recycling of paper refuse (waste paper). However, the successful development of these technologies is being impeded by serious investment problems.

Since timber has traditionally been widely used in the Russian Federation to manufacture a very broad range of products, discussions or initiatives aimed at promoting the transition to the use of wood products instead of those made from non-renewable materials are not being conducted at the present time.

The logging industry has continued to decline in recent years owing to the systemic crisis affecting the Russian timber sector. Compared to 1988, the volume of logging from principal-use cutting in 1998 declined by more than three times, amounting to 87 million cubic metres. The cutting area used for calculation (the scientifically-based utilization norm) was set at 18 per cent. The resulting situation shows that the weakest link in ensuring the sustainable development of the forest sector of the Russian economy is not the ecological component, but rather the socio-economic one.

Some paper products in the Russian Federation have traditionally been manufactured by using elements derived from the recycling of paper refuse (waste paper). However, the successful development of these technologies is being impeded by serious investment problems.

Since timber has traditionally been widely used in the Russian Federation to manufacture a very broad range of products, discussions or initiatives aimed at promoting the transition to the use of wood products instead of those made from non-renewable materials are not being conducted at the present time.

The logging industry has continued to decline in recent years owing to the systemic crisis affecting the Russian timber sector. Compared to 1988, the volume of logging from principal-use cutting in 1998 declined by more than three times, amounting to 87 million cubic metres. The cutting area used for calculation (the scientifically-based utilization norm) was set at 18 per cent. The resulting situation shows that the weakest link in ensuring the sustainable development of the forest sector of the Russian economy is not the ecological component, but rather the socio-economic one.

Some paper products in the Russian Federation have traditionally been manufactured by using elements derived from the recycling of paper refuse (waste paper). However, the successful development of these technologies is being impeded by serious investment problems.

Since timber has traditionally been widely used in the Russian Federation to manufacture a very broad range of products, discussions or initiatives aimed at promoting the transition to the use of wood products instead of those made from non-renewable materials are not being conducted at the present time.

Challenges

The Russian Federation is making a major effort to solve problems relating to forest fires, which were indicated in the IPF proposals for action as one of the main causes of deforestation. On average, from 10,000 to 30,000 forest fires occur annually in the territory of the Russian Federation. In 1998, 27,970 forest fires were registered in Russian forests, and 4.3 million hectares of forest land were burned. Forest fires inflict direct economic damage, and significant financial means are expended in fighting them.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information 

The Russian Federation's criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management constitute a contemporary normative instrument, in accordance with which the national system for certifying forest production is currently being set up.

A similar picture with regard to forest fires can be seen in a number of States on different continents. It therefore seems advisable to combine the efforts of countries in creating a single forest-fire monitoring network for forecasting the outbreak of fires early and compiling long-term global forecasts of extreme weather conditions conducive to the outbreak and spread of forest fires in order to ensure timely prevention and take appropriate measures.

Taking into account the considerable importance of and need for the speediest possible formulation of agreed approaches to the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the sustainable development of all types of forests, the Russian Federation has, from the very start, supported the international dialogue on the criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management.

In view of its geographic location, the Russian Federation has actively participated in two international initiatives on the criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, namely, in the European (Helsinki) and Montreal processes. For example, in 1998 it signed resolution L.2 of the European Conference of Ministers on Forest Conservation (Lisbon) and organized in Moscow the tenth meeting of the Working Group of the Montreal process. The above-mentioned criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management of the Russian Federation were also adopted in 1998.

The national criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management are being used in the Russian Federation as a tool for monitoring the implementation of its forest policy. The national criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management to a considerable extent correspond to the international lists. Accordingly, defining any specific Russian criterion or indicator or recommending them for use at the international level does not seem to be appropriate.

The results of the inventory of the country's forests are published every five years in the Russian Federation. Pressing issues are given broad media coverage (in newspapers, magazines and radio and television programmes). A special Internet home page is currently being set up.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available

Financing 

No information is available

Cooperation

IPF process

The Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) was the first post-Rio forum where discussions on the whole range of forest issues were continued at the intergovernmental level, and the bases for a forest policy for the twenty-first century were laid.

The Russian Federation welcomed the Panel's establishment and participated actively in the work conducted at its sessions and in the IPF Bureau (where the representative of the Russian Federation, the academician A. Pisarenko, was a Vice-Chairman of the Panel. The Russian Federation is deeply interested in the IPF process because of the following considerations:

The most serious steps taken in implementing the IPF proposals for action were in the following areas:

 * * * 

This information is based on Russia's submission to the 8th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 2000. Last update: November 2000.


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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The State management of water resources and the water industry is the responsibility of the Ministry of Natural Resources. The water resources management system is organized according to basins and administrative subdivisions.

The Ministry of Natural Resources carries out the functions of State client for the conduct of project and construction work in the area of water management; organizes the use of large water reservoirs, integrated-use water-management systems, and and protective hydraulic engineering; and disseminates information on water management and the use, protection and restoration of water resources and water bodies. The Ministry also cooperates on these issues with public organizations and the mass media. Cooperation at the regional level is the responsibility of the territorial bodies of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation and the State Committee of the Russian Federation for Environmental Protection, at the state or district level -commites and at the river basin level-basin inspections.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The legal and regulatory framework for water resource management and development includes the following:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Russia's fundamental Water Management Policy consists of the rehabilitation and maintenance of natural water sources in a stable state in order to guarantee a sustainable supply. The basis of the Russian Federation's water-management policy is the restoration and maintenance in stable condition of natural water bodies, with a view to ensuring the sustainable development of water supply for the population and the industrial and agricultural sectors. The following decisions have been taken:

The Plan of Action of the Government of the Russian Federation for Environmental Protection and Resource Management for 1996-1997 has been approved, and interested ministries and agencies and local government bodies are taking part in its implementation.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

The Government of the Russian Federation has taken a number of decisions and adopted the federal target-oriented Programme, Drinking water for the population of the Russian Federation. In addition, special-purpose federal programmes are: Rebirth of the Volga, The Caspian, Drinking Water Supply for Russia's People, Flood-prevention Measures, Fundamental Improvement of Water Management and the Environmental Situation in the River Tom Basin, and Improvement of the Quality of Moscow's Drinking Water Supply, among others.

At the federal level, every year measures are developed and taken to overcome the consequences of floods and droughts; in particular, the decision of the Government of the Russian Federation on urgent measures to overcome the consequences of drought in the Trans-Volga districts of Saratov region was adopted in 1996, and the federal target-oriented Programme, Protection of cities, populated areas, national economic installations and valuable lands in the territory of the Russian Federation from flooding and water logging was adopted in 1997.

Status 

Water resources are administered and water management is carried out in the following areas:

In the agricultural sector, measures are being taken to improve and monitor agrotechnical methods of crop cultivation with a view to preventing the introduction of pesticides and herbicides into water bodies.

In the industrial sector, local waste treatment is being intensified and closed systems of water use are being introduced to reduce the volume of pollutants, particularly heavy metals, entering water bodies, and ensuring the sound use of water resources.

In the household sector, a series of measures is being taken to achieve the operation of each treatment plant in a project mode, construct facilities for add-on waste treatment, and limit the intake of water-borne wastes from industrial enterprises.

Challenges

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available

Information 

Information on water management is collected mainly from State monitoring of water bodies and the State water inventory. The monitoring system provides for such functions as: monitoring of the condition of water bodies; collection, storage and processing of data from such monitoring; creation and maintenance of data banks; assessing the current condition of water bodies and predicting changes in them; provision of information to users; and preparation of recommendations on water management.

In 1996, the Government of the Russian Federation adopted a decision on the conduct of the State inventory of the Russian Federation, which provides for the continued conduct of the State water inventory, including data on water bodies, their resources and use, and water users. Data are collected by the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation and the Russian Federal Hydrometeorological and Environmental Monitoring Service.

The Ministry of Natural Resources, in collaboration with the executive organs of members of the Russian Federation, is preparing draft special-purpose State programmes on the supply of water to household and business consumers and on the rational use, protection and rehabilitation of water resources and natural sources; it is also supervising the design and implementation of measures to prevent and eliminate the consequences of water damage and accidental water pollution.

Research and Technologies 

According to State water inventory data, the total water intake from natural bodies of water throughout the Russian Federation was 92.28 cubic kilometres in 1996 as compared to 96.2 cubic kilometres in 1995, reflecting a decrease of 3.92 cubic kilometres. On the whole, water consumption for industrial needs totalled 53.1 per cent, for household and drinking purposes - 19.1 per cent, irrigation - 14.3 per cent, agricultural water supply - 4.3 per cent, and other - 9 per cent.

Owing to the poor quality of water from these sources and a number of other reasons, the country's existing system of drinking water supply is in a critical situation. More than 40 per cent of the pipelines carrying water from surface sources and supplying 68 per cent of urban and about 10 percent of rural consumers do not have the necessary purification equipment and cannot guarantee totally decontaminated and purified water; many withdrawal facilities (one in four) are not surrounded by protection zones, and where such zones do exist, they mostly violate the existing regulations.

The pollution of natural sources and the drinking water supply owing to inadequate filtration and purification equipment means that the drinking water delivered to the consumer is of poor quality and constitutes a serious threat to human health in many regions of Russia, contributing to a high level of intestinal infections and hepatitis and to an increased risk of carcinogenic and mutagenic factors affecting the human organism. According to official figures, half the inhabitants of the Russian Federation have to use drinking water which does not meet a number of hygiene standards, almost a third of the country's population uses local sources of supply without appropriate treatment, and a number of regions suffer from a shortage of drinking water and from associated hygiene and sanitation problems.

Water quality, including contamination of water by Persistent Organic Pollutants, is measured according the systematic instructions, "Monitoring methods. Methods for the sanitary microbiological analysis of drinking water," and govered by the following standards: (1) ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 7875-1:1996 Water quality - Determination of surfactants - Part 1: Determination of anionic surfactants by measurement of the methylene blue index (MBAS); (2) ISO 11885:1996 Water quality - Determination of 33 elements by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy; and (3) Sanitary Regulations and Standards 2.1.559-96 Drinking water; (4) hygienic requirements for centralized drinking-water supply systems; and (5) Quality control (State Committee for Sanitary and Epidemiological Inspection of the Russian Federation).

The volume of waste water treated according to norms in 1996 as compared with 1995, and for the first time in the past few years, rose by 0.3 cubic kilometres and totalled 2.6 cubic kilometres. Owing to the overloading and low efficiency of existing waste-treatment facilities, only 10 per cent of all sewerage requiring treatment (24.5 cubic kilometres) is treated.

In order to improve the technical and technological levels of water management, work is being conducted in such areas as:

Financing 

In 1995, the financing of major activities in the area of freshwater use and conservation at the rate of 1 cubic kilometre of freshwater collected amounted to US$ 7.8 million. Expenditure on the maintenance, repair and use of networks and facilities for freshwater use and conservation at the rate of 1 cubic kilometre of water collected totalled $19.5 million in 1995.

Financing of measures concerning the use and protection of fresh water sources is provided by: the federal budget (18 per cent), the budgets of members of the Federation (16 per cent), local budgets (18 per cent), resources of enterprises (60 per cent), environmental funds and other sources (5 per cent).

Cooperation

The Russian Federation borders on 14 States, and it uses transboundary water bodies jointly with all those States. Water relations with neighbouring States are regulated on the basis of agreements between States on cooperation in the field of management and conservation of transboundary waters, as well as on the basis of international conventions, as follows:

This information is based on the Russian Federation's submission to the 5th and 6th Sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 31 July 1998.

At the sixth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, the Russian Federation gave a national presentation on Strategic Approaches to Freshwater Management

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

To carry out a policy of an integrated approach to land management, the Government of the Russian Federation established a special agency, which is currently known as the State Committee for Land Policy of the Russian Federation (Goskomzem). This agency is responsible for the coordination and regulation of land tenure in the Russian Federation.

Goskomzem has a vertical management structure that includes 89 regional and 2,300 local district offices throughout the Russian Federation. The Goskomzem system also includes 77 regional land-management research and development institutes, the Federal Cadastral Centre known as Zemlya (Land), with 13 regional offices, and the LARIS Project Implementation Centre, as well as seven aerial geodetic cadastral mapping enterprises and the Russian Institute of Land Monitoring and Environmental Systems.

The main responsibilities of Goskomzem are:

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The importance of land reform issues was demonstrated by the round-table discussion, held on 26 December 1997, which was chaired by the President of the Russian Federation and in which all political groups in the country had an opportunity to express their views. The discussion has identified laws in the area of land reform that should be adopted by the Russian Parliament as a matter of priority, as follows:

1. The law on State and municipal lands;

2. The law on the State land cadastral system;

3. The land administration law;

4. The land valuation law;

5. The law on State regulation of and limits on agricultural land turnover.

On 1 February 1998 the law on State registration of rights to real estate and related transactions became effective. The new law divided the responsibilities of land registration and land cadastral maintenance between the Ministry of Justice and the State Committee for Land Policy. This new development has highlighted the need to forge new links between the two government agencies.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In order to promote effective land management and sustainable use of land resources, in 1990 the Government of the Russian Federation started to implement a land reform policy.

Initially, the main objectives of the land reform were:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

In recent years the Government has adopted a number of programmes and resolutions to promote the effective use of land and sustainable management of land resources. The most important of these programmes are:

Federal Target-oriented Programme: Development of the automated land cadastral system (adopted 3 August 1996)

The objective of the programme is to develop and put into operation an automated system for maintaining the land cadastral system that would include modern means of cadastral data collection, storage and transfer.

The programme is scheduled to be implemented between 1996 and 2000. Within the framework of the programme there are plans to:

The expected results include:

Federal Target-oriented Programme: Development of the land reform in the Russian Federation in 1999-2000 (adopted 26 June 1999)

The objectives of the programme are:

Within the framework of the programme there are plans to:

The expected results include:

Status 

The Russian Federation has enormous land resources. The total land area of the country is 1.7 billion hectares. However, this national resource is not used effectively.

The 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation views land and other natural resources as the basis of the life of the people. The Government of the Russian Federation considers the issue of sustainable use of land resources as one of extreme importance.

Goskomzem is currently developing a new concept of land monitoring in the Russian Federation. This concept will reflect the changes in land tenure patterns that have occurred in the country in the past nine years.

Challenges

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available

Information 

The issue of an integrated approach to more effective land use and sustainable management of land resources is set out in the annual national report on the condition and use of land in the Russian Federation, which also includes data on land use patterns in the country as a whole.

The data contained in the annual report are based on statistical indicators collected annually by local offices of Goskomzem and on the regional annual reports on the condition and use of land prepared by regional offices of Goskomzem. These data are later combined, integrated and analysed at the federal level. The findings are reported to the Government of the Russian Federation and made available to the public in official statistical reports.

Goskomzem has a World Wide Web site at the following address: www.fccland.ru

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

No information is available

 

* * *

This information is based on Russia's submission to the 8th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 2000. Last update: November 2000.



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MOUNTAINS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

There is a plan to draw up a special-purpose federal programme on the sustainable development of Russia's mountain regions, with the following possible key components:

Status 

At no time in its history has Russia had a special State policy for the socio-economic development of its mountain regions. By virtue of the geographical location of 70 per cent of its territory, Russia is a northern country and it has such policies only for the northern indigenous peoples and territories. Some of the republics of the North Caucasus (Dagestan, North Osetiya-Alaniya) carry out their own programmes to support the development of mountain regions, which are generally poor and almost totally dependent on the federal and republic budgets.

In the European part of Russia the mountains occupy peripheral positions in relation to the Russian plain, which is the historical and economic centre of the country. The Caucasus mountains (to the south), the Urals (to the east), the Khibiny range (to the north-west), and the polar islands of Novaya Zemlya and Franz Joseph Land frame the plain with a huge semicircle.

With regard to the state of the environment and resources and the problems of socio-economic development Russia's mountain regions differ substantially from each other, depending on their geographical location and history of assimilation.

Challenges

The North Caucasus has a "fuller spectrum of problems", typical of many mountain regions in the world. The war in Chechnya and the territorial conflict between the Republics of North Osetiya-Alaniya and Ingushetiya are without doubt the dominating problem of the current socio-economic development of the North Caucasus. This is one of Russia's most acute and complex political problems, deeply rooted in history, and so far found no solution has been found for it. However, the Government of the Russian Federation and the authorities of the Chechen Republic are even now working on plans for the postwar development of Chechnya.

For the uninhabited mountains of the high plains (Khibiny range, Novaya Zemlya) and the thinly settled Urals social problems do not have any priority. The main priorities are the problems of environmental protection and rational use of natural resources:

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information 

The specific features of mountain territories are taken into account in some indicators in the State sectors of the economy.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Government of the Russian Federation and the regional governments and local government authorities in mountain areas are interested in studying the European experience of the development of mountain regions - the Alpine Convention, the Charter of the Mountain Regions of Europe, and mountain policy (Council of Europe).

 

* * *

This information is based on Russia's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The following are responsible for decision-making for oceans and coastal areas:

Relevant legislation for oceans and coastal areas include the following:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

A Federal special-purpose programme called World Ocean was approved in 1998 and is aimed at the comprehensive approach and co-ordination of the national ministries and agencies activities in respect of seas and oceans. It is supposed to be implemented in 3 stages:

  1. The settlement of disputes on marine state boundaries;

2. Extraction of mineral resources on industrial scale;

3. improvement of trade relations and equal opportunities at the international market;

The Integrated Programme on Coastal Zone Management and effective use of natural resources in the region of the Black and Azov Seas for the 1998-2010 was adopted in 1998. There is also an Integrated Programme on Coastal Zone Management in the Region of the Caspian Sea.

It is assumed that the resources of the World Ocean supersede that of the continents and represent the main source of the future and the main prerequisite of the sustainable development of coastal regions. The off-shore development also helms to avoid the destruction of landscapes and loss of agricultural lands as a result of mining.

The Federal Programme "World Ocean" 1998-2020 includes a Subprogram on Mineral Resources of the Ocean, Arctic and Antarctic prepared by the Ministry of Natural Resources of of the Russian Federation. The subprogram is aimed at the exploration and the subsequent exploitation of the natural resources base of the continental shelf and the Ocean. It promotes development of the legislative, informational and technological base of the Ocean exploration. By the end of the Programme term a large scale exploitation of oceanic mineral resources will be put into practice.

The total costs of the programme - 190 bln. rub.

The management, conservation and optimal use of basic resources has also become a new strategic principle of Russia's fisheries policy in order to ensure the sustainable development of its fishing industry and equal opportunities for use of these resources under all forms of ownership.

To this end, the Federal Programme for the Development of the Fishing Industry of the Russian Federation up to 2000 ("Ryba") sets out what are basically stabilization measures. This approach is essentially based on genuine State support (budget allocations, grants to meet additional expenditures connected with higher prices of energy, fishing equipment and feedstuffs; organization of preferential tax and credit terms; reduction of customs duties) and on expanded foreign investment to secure an increase in marine catches of 4-4.5 million tons by 2000.

Status 

Russia has been always known as a leading maritime nation. The marine boundary is equal to 38,8 thousand km, the shelf zone occupies 4,2 mln km2, 3,9 million km2 are rich of hydrocarbons (that means that 80% of potential oil and gas is accumulated in shelf zone).

Major current uses of the coastal areas in the Russian Federation are mining and oil exploitation.

Russia's fishing industry has been facing a period of acute crisis, with a decline in catches and output of food products and, most of important of all, a decrease in the availability of fish products in Russia, something which is unjustified given the shortage of foodstuffs in general and of animal protein in particular. Together with the domestic economic difficulties of Russia's fishing industry, serious new problems have arisen in the international situation. This is primarily a matter of water- resource and fisheries relations with the former republics of the Soviet Union which are now sovereign States - Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Khazakstan and Turkmenistan. Russia has to solve these extremely complicated and entirely new problems of an international legal and economic nature for the regions of the Caspian, Black and Baltic Seas.

Some of the difficulties which Russia's fishing industry is experiencing are specific to itself, but there are many global reasons for the worsening of the situation:

Challenges

Priority constraints include the following:

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The year 1998 was proclaimed as the International Ocean Year and was marked by a number of events in Russia. Some of these were as follows:

  1. Participation in the Meeting of the NGO Advisory Committee of Protection of Seas in Stockholm
  2. Distribution and signing of individual "My Ocean Charter (Khartya)" (initiated by UNESCO) by a large number of people. On behalf of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation this Khartya has been send to regional sea committees for signing.
  3. Russia has been participated in EXPO-98 devoted to seas and oceans with exposition on scientific research of the oceans and the history of their exploration in Russia.
  4. The International Conference "The International Law problems of the World Ocean" devoted to the International Ocean Year is going to take place in 2-6 November 1998 in Moscow.

The Russian Federation has concluded the latest cycle of research under the federal programme Comprehensive research in oceans and seas and in the Arctic and Antarctic, which included the following components:

Information 

At present the information is dispersed between agencies and ministries. (Rosgydromet of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Communication of the Russian Federation, State Committee on Fishery of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, State Committee on the Environment, etc) Within the framework of the Programme World Ocean , a unified informational system is to be arranged . The system will facilitate access to the specialised information of different ministries and submission of the generalised information for the problems of comprehensive character. It will include the establishment of the bank data on the regulative information

Under its marine research programme, new methods of marine forecasting have been devised and are being brought into operational use; the foundations have been laid for a modern national system for processing marine data, including the use of super-computers; and marine information systems are being developed in the Arctic and Antarctic. Regular Antarctic research activities are continuing, together with work at an extensive network of Antarctic stations located on the ice continent.

A water quality monitoring programme has been in operation for some time now in the territorial waters of the former USSR. In spite of the difficulties, this programme will be continued (at a level determined by available resources). A decision has been taken to establish a national reporting centre under the MARPOLMON programme.

Russia has a standing programme of data collection, analysis, evaluation and application with a view to rational resource use, including evaluation of the environmental impact of activities affecting coastal and marine regions. Data bases are being created for evaluation and rational use of coastal regions and all seas and their resources, and measures are being carried out to support the regular monitoring of the state of the environment of coastal and marine regions.

In developing the system of forecasting and other services considerable attention is given to improving the components on the forecasting and detection of dangerous natural phenomena, such as high water levels, storm waves and tidal waves, and to an early-warning and response system for such phenomena.

Efforts are being made to combat the effects of the rise in the level of the Caspian Sea. A system is being developed for forecasting the level of the Caspian over various time spans, and it will be capable of predicting erratic changes. For example, the latest forecast of a change in the average level of the Caspian Sea for one year ahead, produced at Russia's hydrometeorological centre in 1996, predicts a slight drop.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed in 1982. In July 1996 the Government of the Russian Federation approved the Convention and submitted it to the President for transmission to the State Duma for ratification.

In connection with its marine activities and use of marine resources Russia is extensively engaged in international work under the auspices of the United Nations and other international governmental and non-governmental organizations, and in bilateral and multilateral cooperation. In this connection the Russian Federation:

At present the Russian Federation has several data banks of direct relevance to the international programmes of WMO, including the World Weather Watch (WWW), and of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), as well as to other global observation systems, and takes an active part in international cooperation in the exchange of data and information and their storage and in the creation of archives through world and regional data centres.

In cooperation with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) and other international organizations, the Russian Federation is taking an active part in planning and preparing to implement the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS).

Together with countries bordering on the Sea of Japan (China, Republic of Korea, Japan) Russia is participating in the NEARGOOS project under the GOOS programme. Similar activities are being developed with the Black Sea countries. Russia has in operation an extensive system for the training of experts in marine hydrometeorology and oceanography and it is working under the programme of training, education and mutual assistance (TEMA).

The Russian Federation is helping to strengthen international cooperation for the protection and rational use of seas and oceans. It is active in the following programmes:

Great importance is attached to expanding regional cooperation in the Black and Azov Seas and in the Caspian, Baltic, Japan and Bering Seas. Other matters of fundamental importance for the Russian Federation are the forthcoming use of the northern sea route by international shipping and international cooperation in the Russian sector of the Arctic.

Fisheries cooperation with neighbouring countries with which Russia is linked by long-term common interests, primarily the optimal use and conservation of common or interlinked fish stocks (Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, China, Japan, United States and the countries of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea basins), must of course be conducted under strict State control regardless of the form of ownership of the vessels authorized to fish or conduct research operations. This approach is consistent with the responsibility of a State for conservation of natural resources in the interests of present and future generations and its responsibility for the activities of vessels flying its flag.

Another State responsibility is the very important aspect of international activity represented by Russia's active participation in the work of existing and international fisheries organizations and others which are coming into being. Russia welcomes in particular the adoption of two new complementary instruments - the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, and the International Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing, in the drafting of which it took an active part. This represents a contribution by the world's fishing community to the implementation of Agenda 21.

The Russian Federation is a Party to the following related Conventions:

  1. Convention on the Protection of the Baltic Sea area,Helsinki,1992 In 1992 Convention was ratified by Russian Government
  2. Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, Bucharest, 1992 (ratified in1993)
  3. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Montego Bay,1982 (ratified in 1982)
  4. International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), London1973, as amended by Protocol, London 1978 (ratified in 1983
  5. Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in North-East Atlantic Fisheries, London,1980 ( Ratified in 1982)
  6. Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Canberra, 1980
  7. Convention for the Conservation of Salmon in the North Atlantic Ocean, Reykjavik, 1982.

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This information is based on Russia's submission to the 5th and 7th Sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: January 1999.

For information on the status of ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

Activities connected with the environmental monitoring of the handling of waste products encompass everything connected with the generation, collection, storage, processing, transport and disposal of industrial and consumer wastes.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

Inventories have been made or are being made of sites for the storage or disposal of industrial and consumer wastes in the Republic of Mordovia and in the Kaliningrad, Kostroma, Ivanovsk, Volgograd, Novosibirsk and Astrakhan regions and the Altai area, as well as in a number of other parts of Russia. These inventories will facilitate the systematic treatment of information on sites for storage or disposal of wastes, determination of the types of wastes accumulated at these sites, including by category of risk, and evaluation of the conditions and situation at the sites and the degree of their impact on the environment.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on Russia's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Russia's national priority is the development of the legal and regulatory framework, and investment measures for the treatment and use of wastes. Accordingly, the Government of the Russian Federation has confirmed a Special-purpose Federal Programme (Wastes) and produced a draft federal law on industrial and consumer wastes. A number of federal and regional programmes provide for the implementation of pilot projects to solve the problem of wastes in the Russian Federation.

One aim is to establish a standardized regional system for the management of the handling of industrial and consumer wastes and the improvement, development and application of regulatory and methodological instruments in this area in 1995-1996. The Ministry of the Environment is carrying out an experiment in the handling of hazardous industrial and consumer wastes. The Republics of Bashkortostan, Komi and North Osetiya are taking part in this experiment, together with the Bryansk, Vladimir, Volgograd, Ivanovsk, Kalush, Kirov, Moscow, Rostov, Smolensk, Tomsk, Chelyabinsk, Yaroslavl and Astrakhan regions. One aspect of the experiment is the development of a system of regulatory instruments on the handling of wastes.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

As well as creating a standardized system of waste management at the regional level, the intention is to prepare proposals for the establishment of the computerized information and data base necessary for the taking of decisions on improvement of the environmental situation with respect to the handling of wastes, develop a standardized organizational structure, and expand cooperation in waste management at the federal and regional levels.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

The Wastes programme provides for the funding of measures costing about 2,000 billion roubles for the disposal of solid wastes.

Cooperation

The CIS countries have signed an agreement on control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal.

* * *

This information is based on Russia's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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Hazardous Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies      

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Russia still needs to develop the legal and regulatory framework, and investment measures for treatment and use of wastes. The drafting of an effective State policy for waste management has not been completed. The transition to a market economy has not led to any increase in the reprocessing of wastes. Questions of the transboundary movement of wastes in the Russian Federation are regulated by the following legislation:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status 

The situation in Russia with regard to the generation, use, treatment, storage and disposal of wastes is leading to dangerous pollution of the environment, irrational use of natural resources and considerable economic damage, and represents a real threat to human health. The accumulation of toxic wastes at dumps and tips is causing particular alarm.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available


Financing 

The Wastes programme provides for the funding of measures costing a total of about 1,000 billion roubles for the disposal of hazardous wastes.

Cooperation

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed in 1989 and ratified in 1994. The latest information was provided to the Basel Convention Secretariat in 1996.

The CIS countries have signed an agreement on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal. Under this agreement the parties will implement agreed measures to regulate the import of wastes into each of their territories and the transit through their territories of hazardous or other wastes. A regional centre for study and transfer of technology has been established.

* * *

This information is based on Russia's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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Radioactive Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available

Status 

Over recent years the Ministry of the Environment and other relevant ministries and offices have been continuing their work on the amendment and completion of the State register of places and sites of generation, movement, reprocessing, use, storage and disposal of radioactive materials and wastes which are sources of ionizing radiation.

Lake Karachai, which until recently was a disposal site for medium-level wastes, has a radioactivity of about 120 million Ci, mainly from strontium-90 and cesium-137. Following the termination of the release into the lake of wastes from the radiochemical industry, the cascade of the industrial reservoirs created in the flood plains of the upper reaches of the River Techa had an accumulation of 350 million cubic metres of polluted water, mainly low-level wastes with a total activity of about 200,000 Ci.

The presence of surface storage reservoirs for liquid wastes results in the penetration of radioactive substances into the groundwater. A lens of polluted groundwater has formed under Lake Karachai with a volume of about four million cubic metres and an area of 10 square kilometres. The rate of movement of the polluted groundwater is up to 80 metres a year. It is possible that these waters will penetrate into other water-bearing structures and deliver radionuclides into the hydrographic system.

At present the country's 29 nuclear power stations are storing 140,000 cubic metres of liquid wastes with a total radioactivity of 29,000 Ci, eight thousand cubic metres of solidified wastes with an activity of 2,000 Ci, and 120,000 cubic metres of solid wastes (equipment, construction debris).

Radioactive wastes are also generated by the operation of nuclear research reactors and the use of radionuclides in medicine, industry, agriculture and scientific research. The producers of wastes in this category are Russia's numerous scientific research organizations, industrial enterprises, medical and teaching institutions, which operate more than 400,000 different sources of ionizing radiation and which are mostly located in regions of high population density. For the disposal of such wastes Russia has 16 radioactive waste disposal facilities (excluding the Grosny special combine, which is located in an area of military conflict). At present these sites are holding an accumulation of about 200,000 cubic metres of wastes with a total radioactivity of about two million Ci.

Since 1963 84 low-yield underground nuclear explosions have been carried out in various regions of the country at the request of the Ministry of Geology of the USSR, the Ministry of Petroleum of the USSR and the Ministry of Gas of the USSR in order to create underground storage capacity, extinguish fires at gas wells, increase oil production, and conduct soundings of the earth's crust for the purpose of large-scale mineral prospecting. The majority of these sites have fulfilled their purpose and can now be regarded as closed, but some sites are still being operated or are only temporarily closed. The radioactivity of the materials generated by the explosions has been estimated at several million Ci. Most of these materials are found in cooled molten rock at depths from 600 to 2,800 metres. The land in these areas requires careful investigation and, if necessary, rehabilitation. This work is not being carried out either, owing to the lack of financing.

The storage facilities for the spent fuel of the joint-stock company Murmansk Merchant Shipping (Lotta, Lepse and Imandra merchant shipping bases) are completely full. The same is true of the shore-based and floating storage facilities for the spent nuclear fuel of the Russian Navy (four shore-based and nine floating facilities). All but three of the floating facilities were built in the 1960s; they are in theory and in practice obsolete and owing to their poor operational order they are unable fully to perform the functions required of them.

Murmansk Merchant Shipping has experimental industrial plant for the treatment of liquid radioactive wastes (Filter-4, Filter-5), which can reprocess not only the liquid wastes generated by the ice-breaking fleet but also the wastes produced by the Navy. In 1994 840 cubic metres of such wastes were reprocessed.

Challenges

Enterprises of Minatom (the atomic energy ministry), where most of Russia's radiochemical production is concentrated (Mayak industrial combine, Siberian chemical combine, mining-chemical combine) remain potential sources of radioactive pollution of adjoining land. In the course of their activities they have accumulated a large volume of liquid and solid wastes, with a total radioactivity of 1.5 billion Ci. One source of particular concern is the concentration of medium- and low-level liquid wastes in open radioactive waste storage reservoirs at these enterprises.

At present none of Russia's nuclear power stations has a full complement of equipment for the preparation of solid and liquid radioactive wastes for disposal, and at some stations the liquid wastes are reprocessed at bitumenization plants (Leningrad and Kalinin stations) or evaporation plants (Balakov, Kalinin and Novoronezh stations).

Nuclear waste and the Russian fleet

One of the most serious shortcomings remains the failure to solve problems connected with the operation of nuclear submarines, the management of radioactive wastes and spent nuclear fuel at Russia's naval stations, and the operation of the nuclear ice-breaking fleet.

At present 121 nuclear submarines (70 from the Northern Fleet and 51 from the Pacific Fleet) have been decommissioned, and the nuclear cores have been unloaded from 42 vessels (Northern Fleet -18, Pacific Fleet - 24). Temporary mothballing stations are being built for the decommissioned submarines. Eight have been scrapped after removal of their nuclear compartments, nine have been prepared for long-term mothballing afloat, and 13 are at naval bases and shipyards being scrapped or prepared for mothballing afloat. Ninety-one decommissioned nuclear submarines are permanently moored in an unsatisfactory technical condition; with an overall service life of 32-35 years, up to 40 per cent of them have undergone no maintenance or repairs for more than 10 years, and it is extremely difficult to keep them afloat. In most cases the spent fuel remains in the reactors for 15 or more years. Four of the decommissioned vessels have damaged reactors, and means of disposing of them have not yet been devised.

The most serious radioactive waste situation is found in the Pacific Fleet. Following the banning of the dumping of radioactive wastes at sea in 1993, the volume of wastes has steadily increased. Owing to its unsatisfactory condition, TNT-5 (a storage vessel) was transferred from Kamen Bay to Pavlovsk Bay and grounded in the shallows in order to avoid its capsizing or sinking at the jetty. This cannot be regarded as a solution of the problem, for owing to the absorption of radionuclides from wastes into the metal of its tanks the hull of TNT-5 itself constitutes solid radioactive waste.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information 

No information is available


Research and Technologies 

With the exception of the Moscow facility, which has a developed infrastructure including a scientific research and experimental complex working on the development and introduction of new technologies for the reprocessing of radioactive wastes and on environmental techniques and systems, the equipment and technology in use at these sites is not up to modern standards, and their storage capacity is either exhausted or extremely limited. A number of the facilities require new sites for the disposal of wastes. Questions of the funding of these facilities and their activities have not yet been resolved.

The radioactive waste disposal facilities are also responsible for the reception and isolation of wastes resulting not from the nuclear fuel cycle but from accidents in operations involving sources of ionizing radiation or radioactive materials. Their technical management is the responsibility of the Moscow scientific production combine Radon. The system for control of the whole process of radio-isotope production in the country is not perfect, so that not all spent sources of ionizing radiation reach the disposal facilities, and instances of their uncontrolled release into the environment occur.

Financing 

No information is available

Cooperation

No information is available

* * *

This information is based on Russia's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:


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