INSOR Russia: Institute of Contemporary Development
Updated June 28, 2019

Roundtable on “Sustainable Development and Civil Society: Priorities of the Institute of Contemporary Development”

May 12, 2010

The Institute of Contemporary Development hosted a roundtable entitled “Sustainable Development and Civil Society: Priorities of the Institute of Contemporary Development”, which was a joint initiative of INSOR and the Institute of Sustainable Development.

The event was attended by economic experts, representatives of the Public Chamber, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the leading Russian scientists and experts.

In his opening remarks, Vladimir Zakharov, Head of the Institute of Sustainable Development of the RF Public Chamber, stressed the fact that his organization and he personally had been strongly impressed by INSOR’s report “Russia in the 21st Century: Vision for the Future”. Regardless of its being a fundamental work, ecology and environmental protection are hardly covered there. Vladimir Zakharov suggested that the discussion participants prepare a review on the issue in question, point out solutions for the existing problems and discuss this subject with the Institute’s experts.

Valorization of all natural resources was recommended as a priority for Russia’s national environmental policy. Natural resources are currently underestimated, which leads to their overexploitation and serves as a barrier for the sustainable development.

Professor of Lomonosov Moscow State University S. Bobylev focused on economic aspects of sustainable development and on the patterns of sustainability measurement. According to him, the country can cope with the crisis and ensure crisis-free development in future by following principles of sustainable development.

Protection and rational utilization of natural resources should lay a foundation for the long-term state policy. These issues were addressed in a number of reports presented by the roundtable participants: “Vital Problems of the National Forestry Policy” (A. Isaev, founder of the Center for Problems of Ecology and Productivity of Forests), “The World’s Water Resources and Problems of the Water Resources Utilization System” (V. Danilov-Danilyan, director of the Institute of Water Problems), “Problems of Sustainable Land Use in Russia” (O. Medvedeva, professor of the State University of Management) etc.

Valorization of natural resources and services should serve as a basis of the modern concept for payment for ecosystem services. Of note, the Kyoto Protocol and its present implementation can be regarded as the first global successful initiative in the area. This approach should be extended to all types of services and natural resources. Organization of payment for ecosystem services opens new development prospects for Russia, which boasts the richest natural resources in the world. Focusing on this priority will enable to position Russia not only as an energy power, but also as an ecology donor. The abovementioned ideas featured in the review “Vital Problems of the Climate Policy and Switching to Low-carbon Development” presented by A. Averchenkov, expert of the Institute of Sustainable Development.

The discussion participants suggested that the final document include such issues as protection of wildlife and the atmosphere. Apart from that, all discussed solutions are to be considered from the financial and the legislative point of view.