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ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ECOLOGICAL NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS IN RUSSIA: THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION SIBERIAN ACCORD

M.N.Korotkevich

International Association Siberian Accord

“The Russian power will increase with the help of Siberia…” These prophetic words of the great scientist M.V.Lomonosov have become historical reality. Siberia makes a large contribution to ensure Russia a significant place among the great world powers (see Table 1).

TABLE 1 Material Resources of Some Leading States

State

Area, Million Square Kilometers

Population, Million

Population Density Per Square Kilometer

Hectares, Per Person

Oil Resources, Tons Per Person

Gas Resources, Million Cubic Meters Per Person

Russia

17.0

148.1

8.8

0.89

132.0

275.0

USA

9.2

250.0

28.0

0.75

14.0

19.0

Canada

9.2

26.6

3.0

1.73

27.0

117.0

Germany

0.35

79.5

231.0

0.15

0.8

4.4

France

0.55

56.7

104.0

0.34

0.3

0.5

England

0.24

57.4

239.0

0.12

9.3

9.5

Japan

0.38

123.5

332.0

0.04

0.06

0.3



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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ECOLOGICAL NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS IN RUSSIA: THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION SIBERIAN ACCORD M.N.Korotkevich International Association Siberian Accord “The Russian power will increase with the help of Siberia…” These prophetic words of the great scientist M.V.Lomonosov have become historical reality. Siberia makes a large contribution to ensure Russia a significant place among the great world powers (see Table 1). TABLE 1 Material Resources of Some Leading States State Area, Million Square Kilometers Population, Million Population Density Per Square Kilometer Hectares, Per Person Oil Resources, Tons Per Person Gas Resources, Million Cubic Meters Per Person Russia 17.0 148.1 8.8 0.89 132.0 275.0 USA 9.2 250.0 28.0 0.75 14.0 19.0 Canada 9.2 26.6 3.0 1.73 27.0 117.0 Germany 0.35 79.5 231.0 0.15 0.8 4.4 France 0.55 56.7 104.0 0.34 0.3 0.5 England 0.24 57.4 239.0 0.12 9.3 9.5 Japan 0.38 123.5 332.0 0.04 0.06 0.3

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop About 90 percent of Russia’s natural resources are within Siberia. They make up 45 percent of the world’s gas resources, 13 percent of oil, 23 percent of coal, and 20 percent of fresh water. In recent decades, powerful intellectual and industrial potentials have been created in Siberia, including branches of three Russian academies and dozens of scientific research institutes and educational institutions. An interregional association of economic interaction among the administrative units of the Russian Federation—Siberian Accord (hereinafter IASA)—has been created. IASA is a public non-commercial organization, uniting on a voluntary basis 19 subdivisions of the Russian Federation. IASA helps ensure the most effective use of unique Siberian resources, improving new methods of management in the conditions of economic decentralization and market relations on the regional and interregional levels, as well as achievement of sustainable development under new conditions. More than 24 million people live in an area of 10 million square kilometers (38 percent of Russian territory). In October 2000, IASA celebrated its tenth anniversary. Priority directions of IASA activities are: maintenance of power, food, and ecological security of Siberia, health protection of its multinational population, and unification of its socio-cultural and educational activities. The highest body of IASA is the Association Council, uniting the chiefs of the executive and legislative branches of the 19 territorial authorities. Twenty-five coordinating councils work in various directions: legislation and law-making, scientific and technological policy, conversion and industrial policy, power, transport and communications, waste disposal, agricultural processing, engineering industry, ecology, investment and foreign trade, and social and cultural programs. The Executive Committee directs the operations of IASA. During the current decade, the Association has demonstrated an open policy, various forms of constructive partnership, and efficient interactions with organizations on the international, federal, and interregional levels. It has cooperation agreements with the Federal Council and with the government of Russia, Ministry of Fuel and Energy, Ministry of Science and Technology Policy, Ministry of Transport, and Ministry of General and Professional Education; Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS); Russian Aerospace Agency; Trade-Industrial Chamber; and a number of foreign organizations. The ecological strategy of Siberia, developed in IASA together with the RAS, provides for the rational use of nature and maintenance of environmental quality. This development should ensure renewal of natural resources, a favorable quality of the environment, and the health of the people; protection of the genetic potential and landscape variety; and the opportunity of further sustainable development of the Siberian region. The main evaluation criteria of

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop the work in these directions are the environmental conditions and the population’s health. The development of resources and the manufacturing and processing branches in Siberia have caused pollution and degradation of the environment. This in turn has resulted in negative tendencies in the demographic situation, quality of life, and health of the present and future populations of Siberia. A decrease in the population and its reproduction potential has caused a decrease of the able-bodied population. This threatens ecological and economic security and also has geopolitical aspects. The chiefs of all departments are responsible for radical measures to reverse this developing situation. A Coordinating Ecological Council (hereinafter-CCE) plays a key role in decisions on ecological problems and solutions of such problems as ecological health, ecological reconstruction of food production processes, drinking water supply, and waste treatment; environmental monitoring and managing the population’s health and natural resources; formation of the ecological way of thinking and solving the problems of rational use of nature; and ecological education. CCE uses the report “UN Conference on Environment and Development,” prepared by Academician V. A. Koptyug, who participated in the work of the conference as a representative of Russia. CCE joins forces with other coordinating councils to solve ecological problems, taking into account their interrelations with all spheres of life in the region. THE PROBLEM OF WATER SUPPLY AND USE While water is one of the main life-forming natural factors, the problems of the drinking water supply of the Siberian population and Russia as a whole have become very sharp. According to data of the State Sanitary-Epidemiological Inspection, 30 percent of the urban and 70 percent of the rural population of Russia use substandard drinking water. Because of the unsatisfactory condition of the drinking water supply in the region, CCE recommends priority in the territorial budgets to water treatment. According to a decision of the IASA Council (June 1995, Tyumen, with participation of Prime Minister V.S.Chernomyrdin), an Instruction of the Russian Government about the development of the Federal Special Purpose Program “Use, Restoration, and Protection of Water Resources of the Ob River Basin” was adopted in 1996. The regional experts developed the program concept. As a result of a Federal Law “On Taxes for the Use of Bodies of Water,” the regions received financing in 1998. Also CCE has paid attention to problems of water resources of world importance. The problems of land protection in the case of the Bolshoye Vasyuganskoye Swamp, the largest swamp in the world, were considered. The

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop international scientific community discussed its inclusion on the list of water-swamp lands of world importance (the Ramsar List) and the formation of an inter-regional preserve of federal importance on its territory. The richest natural resources of drinking water are concentrated in several territories (Altai Region, Khakass Republic, and Altai Republic). The International Conferences “Pure Water of Altai” (August 1998 and August 2000, Lake Teletskoye) were devoted to ecological problems of the Altai Republic water fund. This republic has a special role with significant resources of fresh ground water that supply the surface runoff of the upper Ob River basin. Taking into account the role of the territory, the development of ecological control and water resources monitoring is recommended as a strategic direction. Glaciers and snow packs of the Altai are considered. The Executive Committee of IASA included the problem of Altai water monitoring into the CCE schedule on space monitoring. But, the support of international organizations and funds is also necessary. Significant methodological and scientific organizational work on the solution of urgent problems of water use in the Siberian region has been performed by the international faculty of UNESCO’s “Ecological Education in Siberia” (Altai, 1996). International schools on water management are carried out every year. Under the aegis of UNESCO, the world community carries out complex work on the protection of the “pearl” of world importance—Lake Baikal. PROBLEMS OF TREATMENT AND UTILIZATION OF MANUFACTURING AND CONSUMER WASTES According to the data of the State Sanitary-Epidemiological Inspection, 80 billion tons of waste have been accumulated in Russia. In this context, the sanitary-epidemiological situation in some territorial units has a crisis character, including on the IASA territory. The Federal Special Purpose Program “Wastes” is not functioning, and therefore CCE’s recommendations for the priority solution of the problems were accepted at the regional level. Following on to the discussion “About the Sanitary-Epidemiological Conditions in Siberia” at a meeting of the IASA Council (Kemerovo, January 15, 1999, with the participation of Prime Minister Ye. M. Primakov), it was decided to develop a special purpose program “The Management System for Dangerous Wastes.” It takes into account the problems of ecological safety and economic expediency both for destruction and for treatment and utilization of manufacturing and consumer wastes. The Coordinating Councils of Ecology, Energy Saving, and Housing and Communal services joined efforts to solve the problem “On Use of Combustible Wastes of Manufacturing and Consumers as a Source of Heat.” The plasma

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop combustion method of destruction of domestic, medical, and other harmful wastes was accepted as a method of world importance. The experimental installation in Siberia (Novosibirsk) for the combustion of used syringes and other medical wastes uses this technology. The Siberian project “CRTS” (complex regional thermal stations) was developed by the Institute of Thermal Physics and is supported by IASA. It uses domestic wastes as additional sources of thermal energy. Within the framework of a decision of the IASA Council (December 1999, Omsk), the CCE held a meeting on “Treatment of Toxic Wastes: Business Conditions, Problems, and Ways of their Solution.” This meeting analyzed the experience in Omsk and Sverdlovsk Oblasts and in foreign states (Denmark, Germany, and Austria). The participants visited the open waste dumping ground, which is unique in Siberia and up to world standards. The meeting recommended that administrative heads provide financing for realization of a program for this special purpose. It was also recommended that normative materials, prepared with financial support of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, be applied in different territories of the Siberian region. The “Regional Monitoring System of the Environment and the Population’s Health” should play a leading role in the development of the program. Space monitoring (the only possible way of monitoring for certain territories) became an important tool for the protection of the environmental conditions and the population’s health in the Siberian region. In order to supply organizations with satellite data, the Natural Resources and Ecological Monitoring Center of Siberia was organized in Novosibirsk (The Siberian Center of Space Monitoring, SCSM) in May 1997. Remote sensing data help address the following problems: inventory of natural resources, yield forecasts, forest fires, floods, burning of industrial dumps, oil overflow, gas pipeline leaks, power lines, and artificial reservoirs. With the participation of interested federal territorial bodies (Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Emergency Situations, State Ecological Committee) SCSM generated “The Siberian Block” and submitted it in December 1998 to the Ministry of Natural Resources and the State Ecological Committee as the subprogram “Space Monitoring of Siberia.” This formed the basis for the Federal Special Purpose Program of the General State System of Ecological Monitoring. An important tool for realization of “The Siberian Block” is the Agreement on Technological Cooperation between the Russian Aerospace Agency and IASA signed in December 1998. Its goal is use of the newest informational space technologies for socio-economic development of the Siberian region. The IASA Council (January 1999, Kemerovo) created the Coordinating Council of Space Monitoring of Siberia (CC SMS). A working expert group of CC SMS

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop prepared program measures for realization of the “The Siberian Block” of the Russian General State System of Ecological Monitoring in 2000–2001. A large role in the ideological and practical development of the Space Monitoring of Siberia was played by IASA together with interested departments, RAS, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Emergency, Ministry of Science and Technology, State Ecological Committee, Russian Aerospace Agency, Russian Hydrometeorological Committee, and the Siberian Branch of the RAS. A wide discussion of this problem was held on the regional, federal and international levels. For example: A system for monitoring from space was discussed at the international seminar “Space Monitoring of Siberia” (February 1998, Novosibirsk). More than 30 organizations took part in the seminar, including the firm SPOT Image (France), the European Space Agency, federal ministries and departments, and representatives of the territories of IASA. The discussion resulted in a Program of Activities for Space Monitoring of Siberia. This program provides an inter-regional center in Novosibirsk for the reception of remote sensing data from foreign satellites (SPOT, ERS, IRS) and distribution of the data within the Siberian territory. Also, there is now an array of informational-space services based on remote sensing and thematic processing. A working meeting of representatives of the territorial centers (Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Tomsk, Barnaul, Khanty-Mansiysk) on space monitoring (April 1998, Tomsk) developed the Federal Special Purpose Program of the General State System of Ecological Monitoring for the Siberian region. The integration of the “Space Monitoring of Siberia” system into the All-Russian and international systems of space monitoring was supported. The proposed Subprogram of Space Monitoring of Siberian resources will promote solution of problems of the region. Representatives of 48 Russian and foreign organizations (France, Norway) participated in an international meeting on application of satellite data to the solution of problems of remote sensing (December 1998, Novosibirsk). The meeting participants learned about modern technologies of radar tracking and discussed scientific research and practical applications in the field of space monitoring of the Siberian territories. They decided: On the basis of Article 3 of the Agreement between the Russian Aerospace Agency and IASA, to ask the Aerospace Agency to support efforts of SCSM and the Siberian region in the organization of data reception and processing using Russian and foreign all-weather satellites. To propose to the European Space Agency an agreement on cooperation in the field of remote sensing of Siberia.

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop To consider an International Space Monitoring Center of Siberia. Its main task would be the coordination of cooperation among regional and foreign space monitoring centers and GIS-centers for reception, storage, processing, and distribution of satellite data. To draw attention of the Russian Aerospace Agency, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Russian Hydrometeorological Committee to the main characteristics of space vehicles and to parameters for receiving signals. Since 1998, SCSM has carried out monitoring on the base of contract relations with the territories. Considering the key role of space monitoring in the rational use of resources, CCE for the first time put before the departments of Russia the problem, “Regional ecological problems resulting from separated parts of rockets.” A working meeting (Abakan, March 1999), with participation of representatives from the Russian Ecological Committee, Russian Aerospace Agency, and Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Defense Ministry, identified 10 territories as the regions where separated parts of rockets and missiles fall with a complex of legal, ecological, economic, and social problems for the inhabitants and administrations. A solution was worked out: free insurance for persons and their property as well as social responsibilities of the government for protection of human health. The solution accepted at this meeting and the subprogram “Space Monitoring of Siberia” developed by the Siberian Space Monitoring Center were handed to the Temporary Commission of the Russian Federation Council on the Protection of Administrative Units Interests, Legal Persons, and Citizens from Unfavorable Consequences of Space-Rocket Activity. The Commission was created according to a Decree of the Federal Assembly (485-RF, November 12, 1998, Moscow). It includes 11 governors and chairmen of legislative assemblies. The purpose of regional measures to protect the environment is to protect the population’s health and longevity. A major role in life-support in the Siberian region is played by ecologically balanced food as an element of survival. For the first time in Siberia, the exhibitions of the international trade organization Siberian Fair were devoted to food problems. The definition “ecological pure production” sounded as a refrain during all exhibitions. Now there is not a uniform system for monitoring food products in the region, but monitoring is a tool in the solution of ecological and demographic problems. Adequate food is not mentioned in presenting environmental conditions and their influence on the population. The International Siberian Fair became a powerful means of information exchange among food institutions. The conference recommended an increase in multi-science knowledge of manufacture and consumption of food products, including special-purpose food.

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop Ecological problems are caused of course by socio-economic factors. Consequently, it is impossible to solve them only with technical means. Modern approaches to life-support and radical changes of value scales are necessary. The formation of a new social consciousness that defines a favorable environment as a whole is a priority. It is high time to do away with the arrogance of “creators and nature conquerors” and to transform consciousness to rational use of nature based on personal harmony with the environment and knowledge of the laws of nature. As continuous ecological education, training, and population knowledge increase, the development of environmental sciences, including ecology, must play a key role. Mankind’s future depends on general ecological education. Ecological education and training has been raised to the level of State policy (Governmental Decree “On the Improvement of Ecological Education,” 1994). The Program “Ecological Education of the Russian Population” was accepted in 1996. An Interdepartmental Commission on Ecological Education was formed. The development of a continuous ecological education and training system at the regional level is based on general principles and approaches (“the biosphere is uniform and indivisible,” “knowledge is international and has no boundaries”). They take into account the specific character of the Siberian region: its geopolitical situation; natural resource richness; recognition of some regional territories as the preserves of the planet’s natural ecosystems; high scientific and industrial potential; and vulnerability of Siberian nature. The formation of a regional system of continuous ecological education started in 1995 under the aegis of ECC. Scientific-methodological management was provided by the Department for the Problems of Sustainable Development of Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology (headed by N. P. Tarasova). Today we can say with satisfaction that IASA is an experimental platform for Mendeleev University and the UNESCO Center of Chemical Science and Education. This experimental platform deals with the continuous ecological education and training for sustainable development of the Siberian region. Dozens of regional schools with special courses on ecology and environmental protection use the books and training material received from Mendeleev University free of charge—for example: Chemistry and Society from the American Chemical Society, Chemistry and Life (Salters Chemistry) by a collective of British scientists and teachers, and From Competition to Cooperation, a practical handbook on active methods for ecological education prepared by a group of authors headed by the American scientist D. L. Meadows. Pedagogical collectives that use these books highly evaluate the efficiency of such training and its role in the development of contemporary ecological education. It was the beginning of 1990s when a series of regional training seminars was led by Professor Tarasova in Krasnoyarsk Territory with regional teachers and experts and with the support of the regional

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop administration. Hundreds of teachers and experts from IASA territories completed the course of training on innovative methods of teaching. Krasnoyarsk Territory plays the leading role among the IASA territories in the development of innovative methods of education to deal with the problems of ecological safety and sustainable development of Siberia, as well as in the interactions with international ecological organizations and funds. The head of the Ecological Laboratory of Krasnoyarsk State University, N. E. Gapanovich, was rewarded with national recognition for a contribution to the development of the regional system of continuous ecological education. PRINCIPLES OF THE REGIONAL SYSTEM OF CONTINUOUS ECOLOGICAL EDUCATION The purpose of an educational ecological program is the creation of the necessary conditions for organization, functioning, and development of a system of continuous general ecological education and training for the administrative units of IASA. Program Principles: Variety of forms and methods of ecological education and training Continuity of the programs at different levels (vertical integration) Integration with other educational programs Integration among programs at each level Capability of adaptation Recognition of local characteristics Unification of general, professional, and ecological education Connection with practical activity Problems: Coordination of activities in the field of ecological education and training Creation of a general methodological base Achievement of normative-legal standards Creation of a general informational base Creation of organizations for generalization of work experience and adaptation of educational methods to local conditions Realization Conditions: Coordination Annual financing

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop Creation of a general database Regular data exchange A system of regional ecological education has a multi-level structure: from kindergarten to school to college to retraining of personnel for the national economy. The study of ecology is organized both as an independent discipline and as ecological parts of special courses. Special attention is paid to the practical forms of education—expeditions, competitions, reviews, conferences, exhibitions, and working with the people. Ecological solutions are possible only with the participation of interested citizens. Let us consider some cases from continuous ecological education in the region. On the base of the State Ecological Committee of Tomsk Oblast, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection was founded. There students directly participate in the solution of nature protection problems. The Regional Youth Center works with a discussion club of pupils “Way To the Twenty-First Century,” with the motto “Who, if not We.” “Ecological Theatre Poez” has been formed within the regional public organization of the Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University, Ecoclub Avies. The club organizes ecological seminars for the teachers from Novosibirsk Oblast. The magazine Oikis is issued. The natural museum of the Berdsk Station of Young Naturalists is a methodological base for teachers and regional population. For children of different ages there is a “dialogue” with the world of plants and animals—Small Motherland. Here children learn to understand the necessity of careful attention to nature and readiness to save every species of life on Earth. Kindergarten children together with their parents plant their own trees. Thus, the museum makes a real contribution to ecological education. The development of a number of educational ecological structures became possible with the support of Russian and international non-budgetary funds (office equipment, computers, and expeditions). Several approaches for postgraduate education and retraining are used. For example, the Omsk Governor approved the decree “On Professional Ecological Education of Directors, Specialists, and Citizens.” The program involves three higher schools and the UNESCO section at the Altai State Technical University. In Novosibirsk, Siberian Ecofund promotes education, with participation of scientists and industrial specialists in training programs. According to the multilevel system of continuous ecological education in the region, conferences and seminars devoted to modern approaches to sustainable development are carried out (Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, Kemerovo, Tomsk, and Novosibirsk). The main purposes of the conferences and seminars are exchange of experience, unification of efforts, and further development of the regional system of continuous ecological education.

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop A regional seminar “The Development of Ecological Education” took place at the Tomsk Municipal Lyceum of Tomsk Polytechnic University (April 1997). Certificates were given to the seminar participants. The Scientific-Practical Conference “Ecological Education for Sustainable Development of Siberia” (November 1998, Krasnoyarsk) concluded that education based on scientific and engineering achievements plays a leading role in deep understanding of contemporary problems. It should promote positive steps in the people’s activities and development of critical thinking habits and solution of problems. Dozens of seminars under the Soros project “Environment and World Society, Ecology and Culture of Health” have been carried out in various territories of IASA. Representatives from 40 State and public organizations of Novosibirsk, Novosibirsk Oblast, and other territories of Siberia participated in the International Conference “The Role of Siberia in Global Climate Change” (November 15–16, 1997, Novosibirsk). “The Ecological Train from Europe to Kyoto” involved representatives from England, Germany, Herzegovina, Georgia, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Finland, and the United States with a total of about 150 persons. It involved 30 reports of leading Russian scientists. The guests learned about Siberia, its potential, and its activities in sustainable development. This conference produced a resolution devoted to stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions (December 1997, Japan). During the public forum, which was held in Japan at the same time as the UN conference in Kyoto, six representatives from Siberia participated. The International Seminar for State Committees of Environmental Protection of Russian Administrative Units considered foreign experience in environmental protection (Tomsk, December 1999). It was devoted to “The Development of the Monitoring System in Tomsk Oblast.” Experts from the Ecological Agency of Great Britain took part. The seminar included the following: introduction of new methods for use of natural resources, development of ecological management systems and ecological audits, and role of public organizations. The territorial representatives received useful information from a two-year team effort between the State Ecological Comittee of Tomsk Oblast and the British Agency. Participants of the Conference “The Siberian Standard of Life: Ecology, Education, and Health” (Novosibirsk, December 1997) developed a network of demonstration projects for multi-level ecological education in the region. Also they noted the contribution of CCE to special program courses (ecology of food, ecological medicine, culture of health). The ecological-economic forum “Extremes of Siberia-98” (October 1998) considered the problems of economic reform, the worsening of ecological conditions, and the unfavorable consequences for the population. The participants of a roundtable devoted to the system of continuous ecological

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop education noted the necessity of a complex program of the national survival. They recommended development of a complex program for fundamental understanding of person-environment interactions and multi-level continuous ecological education: pre-school-school-senior-higher-postgraduate. Due to its work on ecological education in 1998, IASA became an associate member of the UNESCO Center of Chemical Science and Education. Among the main directions of the Center’s work is education and retraining of teachers in the field of sustainable development. Some examples of IASA’s Work in the Center Program are: CCE of IASA together with the Problem Commission of Novosibirsk State Medical Academy addressed educational levels in food sciences, from pre-school education to staff education to retraining. Qualification courses in hygiene, sanitation, ecological safety, and health science were organized in the production and consumption areas. The innovation project “The Siberian Standard of Life” was prepared. The project is awaiting financial support from the British Council. Experts of the Center organized the conference “Ecological Education of Children of Pre-school and School Age in the Context of Ecological Safety and Sustainable Development in the Siberian Region” (April 1999, Novosibirsk). IASA experts helped revise educational programs in the technical high schools. The first group of engineers-ecologists graduated from Novosibirsk State Academy of Water Transport this year. Twenty-three students devoted their diploma work to water use and water transport problems in the context of ecological safety and sustainable development. IASA authors prepared the monograph “Basics of Ecological Medicine” (Novosibirsk, 1999), which can be used in educational programs for addressing problems of life-support in the Siberian region. The activities of CCE within the IASA territory are regularly reported in the regional press and mass media. This informs the population about IASA measures directed to ecological normalization of the environment and easing of social tension in the region. The Territorial State Committees of Environmental Protection are full partners in the formation of regional components of educational programs. They frequently render organizational and financial support for trainees. Databases established by the State Committees (using advanced GIS-technology) and processed data (airborne and space monitoring and computer modeling) in the form of different ecological atlases and maps are available to interested educational institutions in the framework of IASA. A number of higher schools of the region (Tomsk Polytechnical University, Novosibirsk State Technical University, Novosibirsk State Medical Academy) have displayed initiative in helping school pupils select their professional

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop careers. They created the opportunity for realization of innovative educational methods through special ecological courses. The professors from these higher schools—experts of high qualification in different spheres—are teachers. Effective training in ecology is possible only by recognizing the power and culture of the Motherland. We have reason to be proud: rich natural resources, educated and talented people, rich spiritual and cultural treasures. “How light-blue and small is our planet!” exclaimed Yury Gagarin, who opened the way to Space. But we should remember that only with full knowledge about the world and with the participation of the world’s society in sustainable development can we preserve our Earth with favorable living conditions.

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