#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Five Questions from the Polar Bear on Ecology Day initiative, organized by the Project Office for the Development of the Arctic (PORA), took place on June 4-5 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as in ten Arctic cities: Norilsk, Dudinka, Murmansk, Petrozavodsk, Naryan-Mar, Arhangelsk, Salehard, Vorkuta, Yakutsk and Anadyr.
About 500 people took part in the two-day survey.
The northerners were interviewed by the polar bear named Plombir, the mascot of the PORA Let’s Save the Polar Bear project and the White Bear educational center.
In Yakutsk, a brown bear took part in the action as well as its brother, because not the whole Sakha Republic is located in the Arctic zone, and the brown bear is one of the owners of its forests.
“What do you think needs to be done to get rid of the problem of plastic, which is found both in the Arctic seas and in the diet of polar bears?” the representatives of PORA asked the northerners.
61 percent of respondents answered that the main thing is to sort household waste. Almost the same number of votes received the option “Introduce modern methods of non-degradable waste disposal in the country”.
Fifty-four percent of those polled believe that it is necessary to introduce fines for illegal landfills, and 40 percent spoke in favor of stopping the use of plastic bags in everyday life. Finally, 36 percent said they needed to start using reusable dishes, containers for chemicals and food.
Reducing plastic consumption and sorting waste are also leading the way people are personally willing to do every day to improve the ecology of the Arctic. This was stated by 62 percent of the respondents.
In addition, 25 percent participate in environmental campaigns – most often, these are garbage collection events. 24 percent of northerners support various online petitions related to the environment. Another ten percent are themselves related to nature conservation structures.
At the same time, according to the survey, only a third (33 percent) of those surveyed know that Russia has become the chairman of the Arctic Council for the next two years. Among those who are aware of this, 76 percent believe that the environmental agenda of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council is very important, another 12 percent chose the option “rather important”. Less than three percent of the inhabitants of the Arctic consider it completely unimportant.
“The purpose of the survey was to remind the residents of the Far North about how much the personal contribution of each of us to the environment means. The polar bear’s diet contains a large amount of plastic, which is a product of human life. Therefore, we must remember how important it is to sort garbage, to give up disposable bags in order to reduce the amount of microplastics that eventually ends up in the Arctic seas”, said Nikolay Doronin, Chairman of the PORA Board.
The survey participants received stickers with a polar bear dedicated to the Day of the Ecologist, discs with children’s songs about Arctic animals and other souvenirs with the image of the Red Book animal.
The poll was broadcast live on the Odnoklassniki social network with links from all Arctic cities. In total, more than 800 thousand people watched the broadcasts.
Text: Elena Popova, Photo: Arctic Development Project Office, Jenny E. Ross and open sources