Idols and rabbits in the Urals – designing Arctic ecotourism

Researchers from Ural State University of Architecture and Art proposed an innovative approach for developing tourism in Russian Arctic destinations where holidaymakers commonly avoid travelling. Tough climate, remoteness and non-existing hospitality services make it a challenge to tempt any tourist. Attracted by wilderness, endangered fauna, melting icebergs and glaciers, vanishing indigenous cultures, endangered mega-fauna has…

Nothing goes to waste: sustainable practices of re-use among indigenous groups in the Russian North

Do the main inventions in current environmental sustainability practices always come from the metropolitan research centres? Could they also be of ‘non-Western’ origin? To answer and challenge these questions, Siragusa and Arzyutov explored waste practices among two indigenous communities in the Russian North – Nenets and Veps as part of ethnographic fieldwork since 2009. They highlight…

Human fatprints in the Arctic snow

Anthropogenic pollution of the Arctic atmosphere is of great interest due to the vulnerability of the Arctic ecosystems, as well as the processes of global transport and industries under cold climate conditions. Researchers from Lomonosov State University (Moscow) and Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University brought the first results on snow pollution in the least explored…

Distilling hard and soft water strategies in climate adaption policies

Despite Russia’s rich freshwater resources, it faces significant water problems, which arise from the country’s adaptation policy with low priority to climate action and less advanced risk management. Safonov from NRU HSE, Moscow outlines the key characteristic of water-related problems in the world’s biggest country. Firstly, Russia is one of the world’s leaders in its…

Shades of green or black for Russia’s energy prospecting?

In recent years, the Russian state and businesses have been supportive for the national renewable energy development, however, the future of the industry is not yet clear as indicated in Proskuryakova and Ermolenko’s paper. The goal was to foresee the future for the renewable energy sector in Russia, and to provide a scientific ground for…

Linking science and action – how to resolve water challenges in Central Asia

With its mixed continental climate, Central Asia faces unstable periods of draughts and rains. This has led to serious water shortages across the regions (Fig. 1) followed by escalating water-based conflicts between countries, increased hunger and threatened economics. However, despite the scientific progress and the continuous international effort, Central Asian water management institutes still rely on…

Detecting a methane rush over the Arctic seas

The Arctic is warming twice as fast compared to the rest of the World. The Arctic ocean contains gigatons of organic carbon and methane hydrates. Warming may induce liberation of this methane into the atmosphere. This greenhouse gas would start a positive feed-back: the warmer water – the faster methane emission, the higher concentration the…

Bring me sunshine – solar energy pioneering clean energy transition in Russia

Boute and Zhikharev analysed clean energy transition in Russia. They argue that the recent development of the solar energy industry in the country dependent on traditional energy sources is caused by the vested interests of the producers. They looked at the competition between renewable energy sources under the Russian subsidyscheme and found that the manufacturing…