Living Planet forum held in the Arctic
A high-latitude expedition to Svalbard as part of the Arctic-2015 project, sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, has ended, the ministry said on its website. The expedition included State Duma deputies, members of the Russian Civic Chamber and representatives from over 30 Russian regions.
The Arctic-2015 project included the first Living Planet Arctic forum. Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi said in a video address to the forum participants that ensuring environmental safety was one of the priorities in the Arctic.
"Harmonious development of the Artic is a major challenge and a goal which we can only meet through the concerted efforts of the state, business and public environmental organizations," Sergei Donskoi said, adding that any economic activity in the region must comply with the best environmental standards.
Gleb Vatletsov, head of the Natural Resources Ministry's Department of Government Policy and Regulation in Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, delivered a report and presented the project, pointing to the importance of Artic research.
"The Artic is a region on which the health of the entire planet depends," Mr Vatletsov said. "The weather processes that originate here ultimately influence climate around the world."
The participants in the expedition, which was held as part of celebrations of the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, brought a lantern lighted from the Eternal Flame in Victory Park on Poklonnaya Gora in Moscow and also organized a parade of the state flags of Norway, Russia and all Russian regions in the main square of Barentsburg.