nuclear power plant in the region, yet today they support such a project in view of the power crisis. Those who continue to join NGOs rely on the NGOs primarily as a channel for obtaining grants and fluids from other sources.
The second group of NGOs, the “prisoners of conscience,” represent organizations that unite people who are concerned over a safe environment and work for its improvement. The public Committee on the Protection of the Amur in Khabarovsk is such an NGO. However, despite their noble objectives and motivations, they lack the persistence and assertiveness characteristic of the first group. Often their activities are simply complaints in the press or emotional statements to limited audiences. These organizations need assistance from the local authorities and from the community.
The third group includes organizations oriented to educational activities and advocacy of environmental protection and preservation, particularly among high school students and other young people. This is the most important trend, since it involves the education of a new generation of people and the future communities. The activities of these NGOs should be linked to work in youth and children’s organizations including both the universities and the schools. But they also need the support of the authorities at all levels.
The fourth group of NGOs unites efforts of workers involved in production activities who try to promote the integration of “soft” or environmentally friendly technologies into existing production processes. Though the first three groups actually exist, the fourth group is still largely a dream that is urgently needed in reality.
The solution of environmental problems should be considered within the framework of sustainable development of entire communities and the whole nation. Sustainable development implies the integration of social and environmental problems. Indeed, over the past ten years social conditions of the population, particularly indigenous populations, have become worse. It is difficult to convince people not to set fires in the taiga area or to stop poaching rare fish. In a society there should be moral and psychological relationships between individuals and the environment. Unfortunately in Russia, during the period of economic reform—a period of wild capitalism—different approaches were in vogue aimed at generating material goods for individuals. Those shifty and energetic people who made a great deal of money felt indifferent to the needs of society and the environment. A substantial disparity in property status has made Russian society very unstable. Over the past decade, a young generation has grown up focused on solving their own financial problems with no glances at the surrounding world. To improve the situation the scientific community, first of all the Academy of Sciences and environmental NGOs, should be actively involved.