International Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection
The first international contacts of the Administration for Environmental Protection (now the Committee for Nature Use, Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety) were established upon its foundation in 1992. Since then, cooperation has continued to develop intensely, since the issues of environmental protection, environmental safety and environmental management, exchange of experience in solving environmental problems will never lose relevance.
The practice of long-term cooperation shows that joint implementation of projects and participation in international events contributes to the introduction of new ideas, approaches, technologies which are then successfully applied in partner cities.
The Committee has established stable business contacts with ministries, city administrations, enterprises and organizations of foreign countries. Despite the fact that, for various reasons, international cooperation has not been developing as actively in the recent years as before, we continue to exchange information and experience with colleagues, organize international forums, seminars, meetings, and maintain working contacts.
The Committee annually participates in the preparation and holding of several significant international events.
The largest Congress and Exhibition event in the field of environmental protection, environmental management and environmental safety in the North-West of Russia, the International Forum Ecology of Big City.
The main organizer of the Forum of OOO ExpoForum International. The government of Saint Petersburg, represented by the Committee for Nature Use, Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety, supports the Forum by representing the environmental sector of Saint Petersburg: in the exhibition of the Forum, the joint stand of the Committee and its subordinate organizations were presented, in the congress and business part, the Committee for Nature Use organizes and hosts themed events on environmental issues which are important for the city.
The main goals and objectives of the Forum: to provide a platform for the discussion of environmental policy implementation and the management of urban environment in major cities and regions of Russia and abroad; to introduce Saint Petersburg residents and the guests of the Forum to the main environmental issues of cities and to present the best examples of their solutions, to share best practices with cities and regions of Russia and foreign countries; to introduce the participants and visitors to innovative environmental protection technologies and equipment, to facilitate their promotion and introduction in order to preserve natural resources, promote ecological safety, improve the quality of life of the population.
With the support of the Committee, a number of environmental events were held within the business program of the International Forum Ecology of Big City: round table discussions, seminars, etc.
A number of working meetings within the framework of the Forum (with representatives of Germany, Austria, Finland and the Kyrgyz Republic) contributed to the strengthening of international cooperation on issues of environmental protection and environmental safety in cities.
In 2019, the number of participants and visitors of the 3-day Forum reached 3,690 people, including experts from 21 foreign countries: Austria, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Poland, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Finland, Switzerland, Norway, Belarus, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Estonia.
In recent years, the International Environmental Forum "Baltic Sea Day" has been held at the same time as the International Forum Ecology of Big City.
The annual Forum is held under the auspices of HELCOM, with the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia and the Government of Saint Petersburg.
In 2019, within the framework of the 20th Anniversary International Environmental Forum "Baltic Sea Day", 14 seminars were held in the format of practical and panel discussions, round tables and meetings on various topics, including the issues of improving the efficiency of biogen recycling in the wastewater management sector; panel discussion on biodiversity conservation in the Baltic Sea region; environmental consequences of physical impact on the bottom of water bodies, shore protection and shore reinforcement, and many others. The participants were very interested in the round table discussion devoted to the reduction of marine debris, which also discussed the issues of microplastics, the use of lost fishing gear and the regional campaigns that contribute to the implementation of the HELCOM Plan to reduce marine debris.
The Clean Beach environmental campaign is held in the cities of the Baltic region in order to develop youth cooperation in the field of environmental protection, improve the environmental culture of citizens, and develop the environmental volunteer movement. The initiators of the action within the framework of cooperation between the cities of the region were Saint Petersburg, Tallinn, Helsinki and Turku. During the campaign, the cleaning of the coastal zone is accompanied by environmental and educational activities (quests, competitions, and performances).
In 2019, the 6th Clean Shore international youth environmental campaign was held in Morskiye Dubki in the Primorsky district of Saint Petersburg. More than 500 people, including students of universities and colleges, representatives of the city's enterprises and organizations, including non-commercial organisations, environmentally responsible residents, participated in the campaign, and a total of 27 teams were formed.
In 2019, in November, the Green Vision 22nd International Environmental Film Festival will be held, another traditional international ecological and educational event in Saint Petersburg. The main venue of the Festival has traditionally been the City Children's Cinema Center Rodina (ul. Karavannaya, 12). The organizer of the Festival is the Committee for Nature Use, Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety of the Government of Saint Petersburg.
The festival contributes to
- public awareness of environmental issues,
- the awareness of the general audience (public organizations, television studios, educational organizations, cinemas, administration) about the available films devoted to urgent environmental issues,
- Russian distributors of information on the most urgent environmental problems and approaches to achieving sustainable development for the Baltic States gain useful experience,
- increase of the demand and stimulation of the creation of Russian environmental films of high quality,
- more intensive international cooperation in the field of environmental protection and raising public awareness of environmental issues.
The Committee has been organizing events with international participation within the framework of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum for several years. In 2019, the round table discussion "Environmental education and the formation of environmental culture of the population" was held. The round table discussion was attended by representatives of environmental ministries and departments of Russia, Finland, Estonia, Germany, Austria, Union of the Baltic Cities, as well as representatives of the scientific community and public environmental organizations. The result of the round table was a resolution, which included the proposals of the participants.