Address to participants and guests of RGO award ceremony 2021-10-19 17:15:00 The President sent a video address to the participants and guests of the award ceremony at the Russian Geographical Society. The names of the winners were announced and the award ceremony was held in Moscow. The Russian Geographical Society (RGO) confers its awards on the initiators of implemented projects in national geography, environmental protection, as well as the preservation and promotion of natural, historical and cultural heritage. * * * President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, I would like to welcome all the participants and guests of the Russian Geographical Society’s award ceremony. Unfortunately, my work schedule did not allow me to be there with you and to personally congratulate the winners – those who initiated unique, meaningful projects devoted to Russia and the rich natural, historical and cultural heritage of our Fatherland. The restrictions have certainly made your work more difficult, primarily expeditions and field studies. However, judging by the interesting and eventful life of the RGO, there are no barriers for real enthusiasts, travellers and researchers. I would like to thank the supervisory board and the and media council of the RGO for their invariable vigorous support of its initiatives. This support allows professionals and volunteers to systematically engage in research, education and environmental protection and to achieve results worthy of the broadest public recognition and high awards. I know that our researchers are honestly and selflessly serving their chosen cause and are not looking for titles or incentives, not to mention personal popularity. An RGO prize is particularly valuable because it makes it possible to reward people whose work is not so striking but is of great national importance and in demand in most diverse areas of life of Russian society. Owing to the current ceremony, our country will learn the names of courageous, talented and smart enthusiasts. Their example is used to bring up new generations of scientists, experts on regional studies, geographers, scouts, biologists, geologists and archaeologists. This is very important. Russia, the world’s largest and most versatile country, has an enormous potential for scientific discovery. Take the world oceans, for example. Scientists maintain that they have been studied by no more than 7 percent. Russia is surrounded by 13 seas, including cold seas, and their depths, flora and fauna have just started revealing their secrets. Or look at caves. As of now, our speleologists have found almost 5,000 caves, but in expert estimate this is just one tenth of all natural caves on Russian territory. It is very important to preserve wild animal populations. I hope that support by the RGO of the projects on conserving polar bears, leopards, white whales and snow leopards, to name a few, will gain momentum and that different countries will take part in these efforts. We will talk about this in more detail at the International Tiger Forum in Vladivostok in 2022. I am confident that Russia will always have many people who are able to boldly expand the borders of scientific knowledge, persistently follow their dream and make outstanding discoveries. All nominees for the RGO awards are such active, passionate and highly educated people. I am sincerely grateful to you for your brilliant results. I would like to congratulate all prize winners and wish you further success.