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CLOSING REMARKS

N.P.Tarasova

Russian Academy of Science

This workshop was characterized by active participation of the attendees and proved of importance in further improving cooperation between ecological scientists and nongovernmental organizations. Reports of the Russian side showed that nongovernmental organizations have become real participants in dialogues during the decision-making process at local and regional levels all over the country from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic and Barents Seas. The experience of the “Siberian Agreement” demonstrates the possibility of involving significant scientific centers for realization of large international projects. The Kemerovo and Khabarovsk research centers of the Russian Academy of Sciences strongly contribute to establishing problem priorities, and they actively collaborate with social organizations in educational endeavors. The workshop agenda coincides with a priority set by Agenda 21, by other UN documents concerning sustainable development, and by instruction documents of UNESCO. All speakers and discussants especially stressed the importance of scientific education and help in interpretation of complex new interdisciplinary problems. We are very interested in the experience of the Hampshire Institute, a nongovernmental organization developing software for assessment of hazards due to different chemical pollutants in food and environment. Joint projects adapting this software for Russia can meet with support in our regions. Without doubt the experience of our American colleagues in database technologies would be very useful for us in making information available to everyone.

Reports devoted to interaction with the mass media, social organizations, and decision-makers were of significant mutual interest. Undoubtedly, the reports by Professors Kraft and Kokhanova and by Ms. O’Connell gave food for thought.



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OCR for page 195
The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop CLOSING REMARKS N.P.Tarasova Russian Academy of Science This workshop was characterized by active participation of the attendees and proved of importance in further improving cooperation between ecological scientists and nongovernmental organizations. Reports of the Russian side showed that nongovernmental organizations have become real participants in dialogues during the decision-making process at local and regional levels all over the country from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic and Barents Seas. The experience of the “Siberian Agreement” demonstrates the possibility of involving significant scientific centers for realization of large international projects. The Kemerovo and Khabarovsk research centers of the Russian Academy of Sciences strongly contribute to establishing problem priorities, and they actively collaborate with social organizations in educational endeavors. The workshop agenda coincides with a priority set by Agenda 21, by other UN documents concerning sustainable development, and by instruction documents of UNESCO. All speakers and discussants especially stressed the importance of scientific education and help in interpretation of complex new interdisciplinary problems. We are very interested in the experience of the Hampshire Institute, a nongovernmental organization developing software for assessment of hazards due to different chemical pollutants in food and environment. Joint projects adapting this software for Russia can meet with support in our regions. Without doubt the experience of our American colleagues in database technologies would be very useful for us in making information available to everyone. Reports devoted to interaction with the mass media, social organizations, and decision-makers were of significant mutual interest. Undoubtedly, the reports by Professors Kraft and Kokhanova and by Ms. O’Connell gave food for thought.

OCR for page 195
The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop These themes can serve also as research areas for joint projects. All the participants came out in favor of continuation of such workshops. I expect the Cooperation Section of the Russian Academy of Sciences Scientific Council on Ecological Problems and Emergency Events will take into account these wishes in their planning for 2001. In conclusion, I would like to turn to comments by Dr. Gibbons. He expressed his thought that the scientist’s duty is to explain to the society outward phenomena, being based on the most advanced scientific concepts. It is a challenging task to help people make proper decisions in a condition of global indeterminacy and continuously changing environments. The coming millennium will be characterized by the increasing importance of quality of life, human health, and education. Natural resources are finite, but knowledge and development of human intelligence are infinite. Let me wish all colleagues every success in this important field.