The Moscow-based International Investment Bank (IIB), a multinational development bank, has granted the Wetlands International NGO €40,000 for a project to restore peatlands and prevent fires in Russia.
The grant is part of the IIB’s policies to support the environment and its green agenda in member countries. The fire risk from peatlands is a serious one and regularly afflicts Russia in the summer.
In 2002 peatlands caught fire in Moscow Oblast and raged for well over a month, cloaking the capital in acrid smoke that got so bad it became a serious health hazard. That summer Russia’s airports recorded all time highs of passenger traffic as Muscovites fled the capital to get away from the smog.
The project Restoring peatlands in Russia: for Fire Prevention and Climate Change Mitigation is being implemented by Wetlands International, an international organisation for restoring wetlands, in partnership with the Institute of Forest Science of the Russian Academy of Science and with support from Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the governments of the Russian Federation’s constituent entities.
In October 2017, the project was one of the winners of the 2017 Momentum for Change award granted by the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), IIB said in a press release.
“Provision of environmental grants fully complies with the mission and the goals of the IIB as a diversified development bank that aims to achieve a harmonious balance between nature conservation and development of its member countries’ economies, first of all with a view to improve the living standards of their citizens. All-round support of “green” projects and consistent environmental protection activities are the Bank’s strategic priority to which we will continue to adhere,” said the chairman of the IIB’s board, Nikolay Kosov, said at a ceremony to hand over the cheque.
The IIB was founded in 1970 to foster economic cooperation between the COMECOM countries. Today it is a multinational development bank that includes Bulgaria, Cuba, Czech Republic, Hungary, Mongolia, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Vietnam amongst its members. The bank has undergone major modernisation since late 2012.
Wetlands International is an international non-profit organisation whose activities are aimed at conservation and restoration of wetlands, their biodiversity, and natural resources. The organisation has 20 regional, national and project offices on all continents with a central office in the Netherlands. The NGO is working on projects in more than 100 countries in a wide range of areas — from scientific research and private field projects to consulting and cooperation with governments and participation in international strategic forums and conventions.