Anastasia Philippova, NeoEcoProject, Russia
*-Organization name: Regional non-government nature protection organization “NeoEcoProject”
*-Organization street address: 199178 Saint—Petersburg,11 linija VO, 66
*-Country: Russian Federation
*-Work phone: 8(812)3317181
*-Work fax: 8(812)3317181
*-Main email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*-Scholar Email: email@example.com
*-Organization Web site: http://eco-geek.ru/
*-ORGANIZATION’S WORK: My organization “NeoEcoProject” (former Greenwave ) is based in Saint-Petersburg and the geography of our activity is Saint-Petersburg, Leningradsky district and South Karelia – North West District of Russian Federation. The organization is 9 years old and now our main spheres of work are:
1. Promotion of the regional protected areas network development. In practice that means monitoring of the existing protected area, including documentary monitoring (as a member of local commission on NPa’s forest exploitation I have access to the planning papers (1). Work on new PAs establishment (2). We organize expeditions, involve scientists to collect data, negotiate with forest companies and other stakeholders, prepare documentation that is needed to officially establish protected area. In this work we cooperate with Greenpeace, SPOK, Finnish association for nature conservation, Protect the forest (Sweden), foreign scientists and other partners.
2. Analytic and law enforcements practice work. That means preparation of analytic reports and remarks on regional environmental legislation (I am a member of Saint-Petersburg Assambley commission), monitoring forest plans and territorial plans, initiating court cases concerning sustainable development, preparation reports and recommendation for the relevant government committees on how to solve conflict situations concerning nature conservation, working in commissions on forest usage in protected area.
3. Consulting and teaching. We collaborate with local initiative groups that try to protect friendly environment in their municipalities and consult them on forest valuables, environmental legislation, etc. We as well initiate court cases concerning sustainable development and organize different courses and field schools. For this year they are: “Mapping for the beginners” (field work with GPS and the basis of QGIS) and high conservation values forests spotting
*-ROLE IN THE ORGANIZATION: I am a program manager. That means I initiate conservation projects, form organization priorities, cooperate with partners, administrate activities, represent my organization at official events. As well I organize and participate in expeditions and field studies, analyze data, negotiate with different stakeholders etc.
History of your personal work in conservation and GIS: I started as a volunteer of the regional NGO Greenwave (now it is NeoEcoProject) in 2007 knowing nothing about nature conservation. Then I took part in different forest expeditions and events organized by Greenpeace and our Karelian partner organization SPOK. During 2009-2011 I participated in many expeditions and events including Northern Europe learning conservation, forest values and species, nature-protected legislation. I got second education in law (specialization environmental law). At that period I assisted with forest mapping and verification of satellite observation (forest types specification). Then I became a member of different land-use commissions in Leningrad areas working as a conservation and law expert and at the same time we work hard not to allow destroy several nature protected areas in our region. We also formed initiative group “Ladoga” (http://www.ladoga-park.ru/) that dealt with territorial usage of the proposed national park “Ladoga skerries”. For a year or two I managed “Eco-volunteer school” in Saint-Petersburg – trainings for forest fire-fighter volunteers, together with “Society of the forest fire-fighters” (NGO) and Greenpeace. And took part in practical nature protection activities at Ladoga Lake in volunteer fire-fighters camp that was organized to protect the unique island ecosystem of the largest European lake. In 2012-2014 I worked on “Ladoga Skerries” national park project and organized inspections, inventories, public discussions – to verify the park borders and regulate conflicts of interests. I also was one of the organizers of the International NGO’s forum “Protection of World Heritage properties” that took place in Saint-Petersburg in 2012.
In 2014 I got an idea of mapping the forest areas that are leased (forest in Russia are governmental) for the purpose of recreation (that means they still have strong restrictions on usage) and to inspect how these forests are used in reality. In fact nobody controls it, and land holders cut the forest and build up instead. I started with crowd map platform: https://lenobl.crowdmap.com / But then I got an agreement with “Novaya Gazeta” in Saint-Petersburg (well-known local and federal newspaper) to publish the map on their site: http://novayagazeta.spb.ru/articles/investigation/map/ And we involved volunteers to inspect the forests and journalists to make investigations. We make a report on forest law violation at the end of the project. It helped to make the problem public and stop some of the cuttings. In 2016 I suggested a project to analyze conflicts in land-use and prepare a road map for government on how to manage conflicts in nature protection field. I didn’t participate in map creation though I was an author of the concept and author of the technical task: http://eco-dispute.ru/map.php
*-ROLE IN THE LOCAL SCGIS CHAPTER: I am not a member of SCGIS local chapter. But this year I took part in GIS courses that were organized in Moscow by the local SCGIS chapter. In March in partnership with “Society of the forest fire-fighters” and Greenpeace volunteers we are starting our own GIS training for volunteers involved in nature protection and biology students from the Saint-Petersburg University (the course is mainly about the basis of using GPS and QGIS to deal with practical tasks). We also hope to participate in our local SCGIS chapter Conference in 2017 as a local organizer in case there will be a decision to hold the event in Saint-Petersburg not in Moscow (the decision about the place is not made yet).
What is most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do: At present we are probably one of the most active regional NGOs involved in nature protection in Leningradsky district and South Karelia district: initiating field data collection, analyzing land-use planning documents, working in public commissions on forest management at the existing nature protected areas and planned nature protected areas. And we work much both in two spheres: public campaigns (1) and expert work in cooperation with different groups of scientists (2). That allows to put into life conservation ideas and give input into sustainable development of my region. The most challenging for me is probably to find the balance and solutions for the situations when many parties (stakeholders) are involved and each one has its own interest:
Finally, this year (March 2017) we organize courses for volunteers involved in nature protection and invite experts to teach the basis of GIS from Moscow, I hope one day I could teach it myself.
*-Title of the paper you will present: GIS for nature protection in Russia: the short survey of the major NGO’s projects in 2015-2017.
*-Abstract/summary of the paper you will present: It’s a brief reference of the Russian NGO’s main GIS-projects and analysis of what NGOs considered to be the main ecological problems of the recent years and how they are dealing with situation using GIS.