FAO and Russian Geographical Society step up efforts to facilitate technical expertise and knowledge exchange

Priority areas for cooperation include forestry, natural resources, biodiversity and climate change

12 November 2019, Rome - FAO and Russia's non-governmental organization "Russian Geographical Society" (RGS) are stepping up efforts to facilitate technical expertise and knowledge exchange in the field of forestry, conservation of biodiversity and natural resources, climate change and other areas of mutual interest.

Agreements covering the use of volunteers and fellows for a three-year period were signed today by FAO Deputy Director-General for Programmes Daniel Gustafson and RGS's First Deputy Executive Director Ilya Gurov at the FAO headquarters in Rome.

The agreements aim to facilitate the exchange of technical expertise and research in preserving wildlife, natural resources and biodiversity as well as to promote environmental awareness. In particular, the partnership is expected to focus on the FAO's Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Sites Programme.

"We hope that this project will attract talented Russian scientists, researchers and youth who are strongly motivated to share their perspectives, innovative ideas and research experience in the FAO's priority areas of work to accelerate the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals," said Gustafson. "It will also provide volunteers and fellows with real-world learning opportunities and practical experience through short-term exposure to the work at FAO."

"Today's agreements provide additional impetus to the collaboration between the Russian Geographical Society and FAO," said Gurov. "Deploying volunteers and young scientists from Russia to work with FAO will provide them with new opportunities to unleash their full potential in the field of environmental conservation and sustainable development which is the most important objective not only of the geographical society, but of the entire UN system. I am confident that we have very talented youth in our country who can help us open new horizons."

About the RGS

The RGS was founded in 1845 and is among ten oldest geographical societies in the world. The active members of the RGS have included distinguished Russian scientists and researchers. Regional branches of the RGS operate in all 85 regions of Russia, with foreign centres  also being set up.

The RGS is one of the pioneers of environmental protection in Russia and is a member of the FAO Mountain Partnership. Permanent Environmental Protection Commission of the Society was established in 1912 and is now playing a key role in this field of work. Today the Society implements programs to study and conserve rare species of animals in Russia, such as the snow leopard, the Amur tiger, the polar bear, the manul, the beluga whale, the Przewalski horse and many others.

Every year, the RGS implements hundreds of diverse projects to raise awareness of environmental protection among the general public, including the RGS festival, the photo contest, the geographic dictation as well as expeditions across Russia and other countries, including the internationally renowned educational expedition "Arctic Floating University." 

Photo: ©FAO/Vasily Maksimov / FAO
Aerial view of forests, Tatarstan Republic, Russia.