Russia's Rosneft continues to study & conserve Arctic ecosystems

February 19, 2024
The Russian oil company Rosneft has been implementing a comprehensive scientific research programme in the Arctic region

New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) The Russian oil company Rosneft has been implementing a comprehensive scientific research programme in the Arctic region for more than ten years, and is advancing the programme to coming years.

During the last 10 years, the company has conducted dozens of large-scale expeditions and collected unique information about the region.

In particular, since 2020, Rosneft has been implementing a corporate programme focusing on studies of the region’s key species that are indicative of the resilience and sustainability of the Arctic’s ecosystems.

The list of species includes the red-listed polar bear, Atlantic walrus, ivory gull, and wild reindeer.

The range of work already undertaken includes nine expeditions to hard-to-reach and understudied areas of the Russian Arctic region, various field and laboratory research.

Animals have been surveyed with camera traps and from the air, and more than 70 animals have been tagged using satellite transmitters.

Geological, oceanological, hydrometeorological and environmental studies are carried out in cooperation with key Russia’s scientific research centres.

On February 16, representatives of Rosneft, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation and the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution presented a new large-scale programme to study the biodiversity of Arctic ecosystems and talked about the planned research.

Rosneft’s plan of activities for 2024-2027 includes carrying out studies of polar bear and wild reindeer populations in the north of Krasnoyarsk Krai, drawing up maps of environmentally sensitive areas along the shores of the Yenisei Gulf and the adjacent coastal waters of the Kara Sea, as well as making an assessment of the state of habitats of valuable fish species in the estuary of the Yenisei River, one of the longest and fullest-flowing rivers in Russia and the world.

This will help researchers to bring the available data on local bioindicator species up to date to help plan further conservation activities.

“The programme will continue the company’s multi-year research. It is aimed at studying key bioindicator species and preserving the biodiversity of the Russian Arctic region. The new four-year cycle of work offers new research methods and objectives, and promises unique results,” said Alexander Pashali, Director of the Department of Scientific and Technical Development and Innovations at Rosneft, in a statement.

As part of the expeditions organised by Rosneft, researchers of Russia’s leading scientific centres will carry out the first-ever aerial count of polar bears to measure the state of the polar bear’s Kara Sea subpopulation, gathering the kind of data that has not yet been made available to the scientific community.

According to Sergei Naidenko, Director of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, with global warming and climate change observed in the Arctic, animal behaviour is constantly changing.

Scientists monitor these changes to better understand the processes taking place in the region.

Rosneft’s new programme also includes first-ever monitoring of wild reindeer population in the Western part of the Taymyr Peninsula. Wild reindeer are known to be an indicator of the resilience and stability of North Siberia’s ecosystem.

Researchers will be able to draw conclusions regarding the environmental processes underway in the area and assess their impact on the local environment.

The currently available information about reindeer populations in the Western part of the Taymyr Peninsula is extremely fragmented and often inconsistent, and so Rosneft’s research will help to update it and fill in the blanks.

Rosneft’s new programme is being implemented as part of the Business and Biodiversity initiative of the Ecology national project of the Russian Federation.

“The initiative has brought together various partners to preserve unique endangered animals,” said Olga Krever, Deputy Director of the Federal State Budgetary Institution Roszapovedcentre of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

Rosneft gives special attention to environmental issues and nature conservation.

The results of environmental studies are the basis for planning the сompany’s production activities and organising environmental monitoring.

The results of research under the new programme will also contribute to the conservation of rare species, improve monitoring techniques, and fill in the gaps in scientific knowledge of the region’s ecology.

–IANS

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