The meeting addressed plans for setting up the Society’s exhibition at the All-Russia Exhibition Centre and an initiative for creating a Russian Geographical Society youth movement.
RGS grants for eight new projects have been presented in the President’s presence.
The Russian Naval Glory project contemplates a series of expeditions aimed at finding and studying sunken ships.
The Rusanov’s Expedition documentary will show the life of the great Russian polar explorer Vladimir Rusanov, who headed scientific expeditions to Novaya Zemlya.
The Ecological Map of Russia project will allow any user to leave a message about environmental pollution or ecological disruption witnessed. The RGS’s regional branches will respond to complaints posted on this project’s webpage.
The AirPano online project is a non-profit undertaking specialising in high-definition aerial panoramic 3-D images.
The Elbrus: Expedition of Memory project is a documentary about the soldiers killed in battles for the Caucasus during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945. The Defence Ministry will work with NGOs to organise a search expedition within the framework of this project.
The Adopt a Wildlife Reserve project aims to engage school-based environmental organisations in practical scientific and research work and in preserving rare types of flora and fauna, valuable ecosystems and sites in the Altai Territory.
“The task of the RGS in our time also consists in supporting civic engagement. Supporting those who seek to serve their country and their nation. Helping to realise creative, positive initiatives, including through grant funding that should be aimed at real, much-needed projects.”
The Gogland 2013 expedition is intended to create a geographic description of this Russian island – the gate to the Baltics – and conduct an archaeological and geographical study of its cultural and natural monuments. A student field camp will be set up on the island.
The People Who Made the Earth Round project is a four-part film about the transpolar flights by Valery Chkalov, Mikhail Gromov and Sigismund Levanevsky’s crews. In their research, the filmmakers will rely on never-before-published materials and documents from the pilots’ personal archives.
The meeting summarised the results of the contest for the most outstanding projects of 2012. Five winners were selected.
The Alsib: A Secret Route documentary covers the history of the trans-Siberian air route between Alaska (Fairbanks) and Siberia (Krasnoyarsk) – one of the most important routes for the Allied Lend-Lease programme during World War II.
Within the framework of the children’s education project Under the Sedov’s Sails, five young members of the Nizhny Novgorod naval club Russia: A Naval Power set off on a journey aboard the famous ship. The children sailed through the Baltic and North seas into the Atlantic Ocean.
For the first time in the history of Russian cartography, the Special Protected Natural Territories of the Siberian Federal District atlas brings together cartographic and illustrated material showing the area’s natural heritage: nature reserves, national and cultural parks, and wildlife sanctuaries of federal and regional significance.
The Arctic Clean-Up environmental project is the first expedition to clean and restore the environmental balance of the Franz Josef Land archipelago, which began on July 31, 2012. Work to clean the territory was conducted on Hooker and Alexandra Land islands. Alexandra Land Island was fully cleaned. Plans for 2013 include cleaning Graham Bell Island.
The weekly Russian Geographical Society Hour programme on Mayak radio station discusses the Society’s projects, events and grant-based activities.
During the meeting, letters of appreciation were given to the heads of the most outstanding projects implemented with RGS grants last year. Particular attention was given to the Society’s most active regional branches.
Vladimir Putin presented a certificate of election to the RGS Board of Trustees to Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Ivanov.
Speech at the meeting of the Russian Geographical Society’s Board of Trustees
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
I am very pleased to welcome you all to the meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society (RGS).
It is an RGS tradition to have its Board of Trustees engaged in active work. I am sure that long ago, when the idea became reality, the founders of the Russian Geographical Society were counting on reliable followers to be sure that the Society’s educational ideas and patriotic spirit would be passed on from generation to generation, and that they would be close to and understood by people who chose their walk of life. And of course it is important to us that we continue this tradition and honour this heritage.
For that reason I propose that today we discuss a very interesting idea – that of creating a Russian Geographical Society youth movement. Such a movement could receive support from and draw on Russian organisations for children and adolescents whose work is related to the topics the RGS engages in. For example, clubs dealing with local history, history, tourism and ethnography. I am sure that our regional branches will readily take up this work.
“Russian Geographical Society youth movement should bring together engaged, active young people first and foremost around truly useful and meaningful initiatives, as well as provide them with a forum for self-realisation.”
I believe that a youth movement should bring together engaged, active young people first and foremost around truly useful and meaningful initiatives, as well as provide them with a forum for self-realisation.
Moreover – and this is a fundamental question – the RGS will thus be able to ensure its succession with dignity. And that means that the situation of the 1990s, when the Society almost fell into oblivion, will, I hope, never happen again.
However, in order for an RGS youth movement to really take off a great deal of work must be done. And we need to make its action programme sparkle with the spirit and language of today. Here we need meaningful, creative initiatives and solid support. For that reason I would ask the Board of Trustees and our Media Council to pay special attention to youth projects.
I also want to point out that there is another interesting possibility for the Russian Geographical Society.
In essence, we are looking at the possibility of establishing an exhibition and information space for the Russian Geographical Society in Moscow. The plan is to put it in one of the pavilions of the All-Russia Exhibition Centre (former Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy [VDNKh]), which is currently being developed and returned to the social and cultural life of Moscow and Russia generally, and seeing its educational and pedagogic traditions revive. And I believe that the activities of the Russian Geographical Society fully correspond to this objective.
An RGS pavilion in Moscow that is open to the public would allow residents and visitors to learn about the history and present incarnation of our organisation; to see a continuously updated display of regional organisations that reflect the distinctive nature of their territories and the work they are doing; to visit an interactive cinema, lecture hall, and public library. In general, to discover the fascinating world of the Russian Geographical Society, and to participate in our common work in the future.
Let me emphasise once again that the Russian Geographical Society is a big and necessary endeavour. And its projects must constantly evolve, move forward, and come alive in order to find ever more participants and supporters.
I would like to note that 50 years ago, it was indeed the activities of the Russian Geographical Society that acted as the impetus for the establishment in Russia of a whole range of non-governmental organisations primarily focused on studying our history, economy, nature and ethnography.
Thousands of prominent scholars, cultural figures, entrepreneurs, politicians, and simply enthusiasts have joined this organisation. All people who are genuinely worried about the fate and future of our Motherland.
The task of the RGS in our time also consists in supporting civic engagement. Supporting those who seek to serve their country and their nation. Helping to realise creative, positive initiatives, including through grant funding that should be aimed at real, much-needed projects.
Dear friends and colleagues, let me point out that over the past three years, largely thanks to the participation of members of the Board of Trustees and the Media Council, 122 grant projects have been implemented. Today the best projects of 2012 will receive diplomas from the Society.
“An RGS pavilion in Moscow that is open to the public would allow residents and visitors to learn about the history of our organisation; to see a continuously updated display of regional organisations; to visit an interactive cinema, lecture hall, and public library.”
In addition, we will consider a number of new initiatives as you already know.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, colleagues,
In conclusion, I would like to once again thank the Board of Trustees members and the project participants whom we recognised today for their work.
I think it would be interesting if we could somehow summarise the results of this work, and not just summarise but create some sort of materials, video and print materials based on the results of this work.
Naturally, I would like to congratulate our new researchers who received new grants, to wish them success in their work. We, as members of the Board of Trustees, promise you that we will get involved in your work one way or another; we will try to provide you with all possible support so that you can reach the interesting results that our nation needs.
I think that based on how we expand the work of the Russian Geographical Society, everyone participating in it feels that we are doing appropriate, very good, useful work for our nation, for all the people who love it, who perceive it as their Fatherland, who want to support it, who want to remember its outstanding history and want to pass this knowledge on to future generations.
Thank you all very much for this positive, modern work. Thank you.