Russian state oil giant Rosneft and Russia’s Natural Resources and Environment Ministry signed on 14 January a Cooperation Agreement as part of the national Environment project activities that strives to protect biodiversity and protect the sustainability of the Arctic ecosystems.

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and the Russia’s Natural Resources Minister Dmitriy Kobylkin signed the agreement, which will ensure further cooperation in preserving the biological diversity of species in the regions of Rosneft’s operation.

As part of the Agreement, Rosneft said the company will launch a 4-year corporate programme of studying, preserving and monitoring the key species seen as the bioindicators of the sustainability of the Arctic ecosystems, such as: polar bear, Atlantic walrus, reindeer, and ivory gull, an endangered seagull subspecies on the RF Red List. In turn, the RF Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will provide research, methodological and analytical support of these activities.

The Programme’s scope will include comprehensive field and table-top studies of key species in order to obtain up-to-date information on the condition of the species of the Russian Arctic and their migration routes, Rosneft said, adding that the objective of the studies is to develop practical solutions for protection and monitoring of the key species to be used for planning of the Russian company’s business activities in the Arctic.

Rosneft said the company takes a multi-disciplinary approach to its environmental protection activities, involving oceanology, geology, marine biology, and animal study experts.

According to Rosneft, the Russian oil company has been driving forward a number of programmes and projects since 2014 to preserve biological diversity in the regions of its operations: the Evenk Reindeer and the Evenk Geese projects in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Siberian Sable project, the programs for studying and preserving the populations of polar bears, walruses, and the Amur tigers. In 2018, the Company initiated a comprehensive research project to study Black Sea dolphins.