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