As part of the Eastern Economic Forum, a panel discussion “Towards Sustainable Development: Business and Biodiversity Conservation” took place.
The meeting was attended by Sergey Ivanov, the head of the Presidential Administration, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Amur Leopards autonomous non-profit organization, Konstantin Chuichenko, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Amur Tiger Center autonomous non-profit organization; Sergey Donskoy, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation, as well as top managers of the largest Russian enterprises.
The panelists discussed state and business programs and projects for the protection of rare species of animals, experience and prospects for socially responsible business, ensuring the preservation of biological and landscape diversity in the Far East and in Russia in general. We publish the text of the speech by Konstantin Chuichenko, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Amur Tiger Center.
Dear Colleagues! Dear friends!
I consider it extremely important to discuss environmental issues at the economic forum for the Far East. First of all, this is because it is important that the Far East has innumerable and beautiful riches, and I advise those who have not yet been in the taiga to do this in the near future. I am sure that a person who has ever been either on the seaside or in the taiga will be infected for many years with love for the Far East.
Secondly, I believe that fate gives us a unique chance. Now, before the start of the largest economic and huge economic projects, we are discussing environmental issues, which our ancestors were deprived of. Because basically, to take at least a period of industrialization and the subsequent economic development of our territory, we first caused damage, and then thought how to compensate for it, without thinking about how it could be prevented.
Now, being at the beginning of the journey, we all have the opportunity to think about it very seriously and spend money not on eliminating the consequences of human economic activity, but on preventing damage to the nature of the damage. In this regard, I consider it important to look again at those requirements, at the standards that we set for economic projects, which, among other things, will be developed in the territories of priority development from the point of view of safety for nature. Banks, deciding on the feasibility of financing a project, should consider how painless or beneficial it is for nature.
Sergey Ivanov very clearly explained why we are primarily concerned with the protection of the Red Book species. Because it is mainly the most sensitive indicator of biological well-being in a particular territory. Because while dealing with a tiger, we simultaneously deal with its food supply, that is, with other animals, we deal with the habitat and our foundation, the Amur Tiger, was established in the summer of 2013, its main areas (activities): fighting poaching, maintaining the habitat, environmental education, education, promotion of science.
It is very important to make any definite changes in the human mind in general. For example, I personally was raised in such a way that for me the image of a tiger was, I would say, negative. To a large extent, this was probably formed by the children's cartoon that was created on the basis of Kipling's great work Mowgli. The tiger is shown quite such an unpleasant, vile animal. This is not true. And for our part, we tried to do something in this direction. First of all, we created certain children's works. With the help of our partners, the television character “Amurchik” was introduced into the favorite children's program “Good night, kids!” As a matter of fact, we are now working very closely on ensuring that people perceive the killing of a tiger as a murder of a man. It really should be perceived as a very shameful and very indecent act.
Sergey Borisovich (Ivanov) also said that we have to spend money efficiently and we are trying to do it. We have seen how the world's leading environmental organizations are working in this direction. So, there is such an indicator of the efficiency of spending money as the ratio of money that is collected as a whole and which goes into business, directly into projects, towards expenses for administrative and managerial purposes. The global figure, considered good, is about 20%. Here we are, since we are at the beginning of the path, to be honest, we have not yet reached this indicator, because now we are working on arranging our office, there are a lot of other expenses, but we have already reached the figure of 25%. Plus - we have now started working very closely on the commercial component of our activity. That is, we understand that it is necessary to reduce, or rather not reduce, and diminish the share, the specific indicator of donations and increase the indicator of earnings.
For example, Sergey Borisovich gave an example of a bank card. We launched a similar project with the Agricultural Bank a year ago. A little more than a year ago, and 2 advertising cycles with us through federal channels passed the result such that, today, there are about even more than 200,000 credit and debit cards. We, in turn, also have a percentage, although I learned that it is somewhat less than that of Sergey Borisovich. But, nevertheless, I can say that today it cannot be said that there are large deductions, but these are deductions, the size of which, let's say, does not impair our professional dignity. And they already make up a large part of our budget. Therefore, we will continue to develop projects of this kind.
Now we are closely involved in copyright in respect of those works that are created with our money and, accordingly, further commercial use of these works. Soon you will all hear a new song, which, I hope, maybe will be a hit - “True Tiger Hearts” and in the near future the premiere of this song will be held, which we will also use to earn money and to strive, so that all our administrative expenses would be covered not from charitable donations, but from what we will earn with our sponsors.
Indeed, beauty attracts people, and it’s not for me to teach businessmen that where there are people, there is always money there and you can earn money. Therefore, for our part, we would also like to express our sincere and deep gratitude to our sponsors. These are companies: Gazprom, Rosneft, Rosatom, Transneft, VTB, Tekhmashimport and a number of other companies. I apologize if, to be exact, for what I did not call everyone, but all these companies are presented in sufficient detail on our website. And for our part, we also promise to be transparent for our sponsors, we promise to create comfort with regard to the fact that the money went not for the maintenance of the apparatus, but for good purposes. Therefore, thank you very much and from the bottom of our hearts, we, our foundation, invite everyone to the Tiger Day holiday, which will take place on the last Sunday of September here in Vladivostok. It will be a great, beautiful and very good event.