Mr. Igor I. Maydanov, Deputy Minister Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive secretary, CBD
Tiger poaching Action:
Modify federal legislation to restrict poaching of endangered species like tigers
Russia holds the world’s largest population of tigers – the Amur subspecies,Panthera tigris altaica. Like all tiger subspecies it is subject to poaching for use in traditionalChinese medicine. A 2009 government ruling on hunting prevents authorities effectively fightingpoaching because in the new definition of the offence poachers with unloaded firearms so notface sanctions. Even when a person is caught red-handed with a dead tiger or tiger parts butnot witnessed pulling the trigger, then this person is not considered a poacher.To effectively prevent poaching, hunting and contraband laws must be amended to criminalisethe hunting of rare and endangered species. Other amendments should increase maximumfines for possession and transport of tigers or their parts, as well as allow for the confiscation ofvehicles used to transport them, and make exporting wildlife derivatives (in this case body parts)illegal.
A study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology recommends that:“Reduction of human-caused mortality, especially of resident breeding females, appears to bethe most essential short-term conservation effort that must be made.” The proposedadministrative changes are widely supported by Russian and international experts and wereapproved during the International Amur Tiger Conference in Vladivostok, Russia in March thisyear.
Lake Baikal Action:
Stop a major industrial site from polluting the globally important Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest lake in the world, containing one fifth ofthe world’s freshwater, and it is recognized as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. It is also arich habitat containing 1,085 species of plants and 1,550 species of animals, including theBaikal seal (Pusa sibirica), one of only three types of freshwater seal. The Baikalsk Pulp Mill – theonly industry in the area – discharges carcinogenic waste waters into the lake, and emits harmfulsubstances into the atmosphere that can be found up to 70km away. This violates Lake Baikal’sUNESCO status and goes against Russian federal law. Scientists recommend that the mill beconverted so that it ceases to impact humans and wildlife or closed down.
In an open letter to President Putin, Russian scientists from the Russian Academyof Sciences
the detrimental effects of the mill. They recommend that subsidies setaside for the mill be spent on retraining the factory workers. The letter states that: “Dioxins [oneof the pulp plant waste products] have also been found in a number of Baikal fauna. Whenthese are a regular part of people’s diet, the risk of cancer amongst the local population,