Bellona-Murmansk: General information and concept of the organisation’s activities

Publish date: July 2, 2003

The Murmansk-based regional non-governmental organisation Bellona-Murmansk was officially founded in March 1998 and reregistered in 2002, although it has been working in Russia’s Northwest as a representative office for the Norwegian Bellona Foundation since as early as 1994.

Bellona-Murmansk was created as a non-profit public organisation. The founders of Bellona-Murmansk are private persons.

Along with the Environmental Rights Centre Bellona in St. Petersburg, or ERC Bellona, Bellona-Murmansk represents the Bellona Foundation in Russia. Bellona-Murmansk carries out its projects both independently and in partnership with environmental, educational and business organisations. Being a partner of the Bellona Foundation and ERC Bellona, Bellona-Murmansk participates in the realisation of international programmes and projects.

Bellona-Murmansk employs nuclear ecology experts, as well as journalists and interpreters. Its activities are managed by the board of the Bellona-Russia Alliance, its council and director. The chairman of the board is Alexander Nikitin, the chairman of the council is Andrei Zolotkov, and the director is Sergei Zhavoronkin.

During 2002, Bellona-Murmansk was aggressively involved in the public activity on the Kola Peninsula. Representatives of Bellona’s Murmansk office regularly participated in socially significant events, such as conferences and seminars.

They distributed environmental information though the help of regional, national and international mass media, took an active part in international ecological projects, and lobbied the interests of the organisation as well as of the region’s public with the assistance of members of the Russian parliament, or State Duma.

Bellona-Murmansk also made business contacts with regional and district administration representatives, emphasising the prospective points of cooperation between the organisation and the specific departments of the Murmansk regional administration.

Concept of activities
Bellona-Murmansk’s goal is to ensure that Russian citizens can avail themselves fully of their right to obtain reliable information on the environment they live in.

Basic principles:
The bulk of Bellona-Murmansk’s work is made by professional analysis of various environmental problems in need of research, as well as development of constructive and efficient solutions to tackle them.

In accordance with the main objectives of its activity—and with the aim to achieve the best possible results for its work—Bellona-Murmansk calls on positive cooperation with governmental bodies, public and business institutions, as well as other entities involved in the process of addressing the region’s environmental issues.

Bellona-Murmansk also aims at enforcing effective distribution of independent and professional information on issues related to ecological safety in Russia’s Northwest.

Basic activities and goals:
Because of the experience and professional skills arrayed among Bellona’s Murmansk office, ERC Bellona in St. Petersburg and the Bellona Foundation in Oslo, Norway, the organisation is able to carry out activities in these three areas:
—environmental defence and development of alternative energy sources and technologies
—environmental and scientific research
—ecological education activities

Forms and methods of activity:
Environmental defence and development of alternative energy sources and technologies are implemented through the analysis of various nuclear issues as represented by the region’s nuclear operators and civil nuclear sites characterised by increased risks to the local environment and the local population’s health. This department also deals with operation of the civil and military nuclear-powered fleets, as well as alternative sources of energy.

The latter is most notably represented by Bellona-Murmansk’s recent pilot project—implemented through close cooperation with ERC Bellona—which encompasses research into, and development of, wind power as a means to address the severe energy access problem in the remote areas of the Kola Peninsula without resorting to the dangerous and expensive option of upgrading or amassing the local nuclear power infrastructure.

Environmental and scientific research is aimed at providing the Russian public with professional, reliable and uncensored information on particular issues related to nuclear ecology, as well as regular updates on local nuclear sites and installations.

Ecological education activities by Bellona-Murmansk are regular educational projects carried out both in the Murmansk region and as part of various international or bilateral initiatives implemented by environmental organisations worldwide.