Monday, February 1, 2016

Environmental Issues in Russia, and What Isn't Happening

Taken from Blackboard (Thanks Dr. Fowler!)
One thing that interests me about modern Russian policy is their reaction to the environmental crisis. Above is a map which describes the current environmental state of Russia, and if you can pull up the image properly... Well, Russia is basically a mess environmentally.

Issues such as deforestation (and illegal logging), illegal poaching,  water and air pollution, and energy problems all contribute to this atmosphere. Also, when it comes to nuclear testing, oftentimes the waste was just dumped in the ocean (like in the Sea of Japan until 1993), causing many of the rivers and lakes to be contaminated. Also, these issues obviously have an impact on the people. There was an outbreak of cholera in 1995 off of the Мосва-река, and air pollution causes 41% of respiratory diseases in Russia today.

However, Putin's government is not taking measures to combat these issues; instead, they are making it more difficult for nongovernmental organizations (NGO's) to take strides. One group especially, Даурия, has worked to help the environment for over 20 years, and is now being labeled a foreign agent by the government -- a title synonymous to 'spy'. This is happening to many other groups and environmental centers as well under the reasoning that they are promoting 'political activity'. This reasoning makes a person wonder whether the impediments to environmental groups are being made to specifically block environmental strides.

Either way, the amount of environmental problems Russia is currently facing require attention, and with Putin's government restricting action, there does not seem to be a solution in sight.

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