Bellona Web launches interactive environmental map of Russia

Publish date: May 13, 2004

ST. PETERSBURG—An English-language web page for the Environment and Rights Russian-language magazine published by the Bellona Foundation’s St. Petersburg branch has been opened on the foundation’s web site, Bellona Web.

in cooperation with ‘Environment & Rights’ magazine

The new page features English translations of the magazine’s articles in summarized form, while the magazine’s editorials are available in full translation. The page also features an interactive map of Russia, called Russia Environmentally which offers readers point and click environmental information and articles about each featured site on the comprehensive, region by region diagram of the country’s ecological hot spots.

“Until now the magazine’s site was only for those, who speak Russian. Today we’ve corrected this pitiful mistake,” said the magazine’s Deputy Editor, Victor Tereshkin.

“Environmentally unfortunate regions of Russia are well seen on the map: you can just click on Chelyabinsk or Murmansk,” said Managing Editor Rashid Alimov, who designed and engineered the new interactive map and English page.

All the articles concerning the situation in the country as a whole are published in the Politics, society and legislation section.

The magazine’s board comprises a range of renowned Russian environmentalists and human rights activists, including the chair of Bellona-St.Petersburg, Alexander Nikitin and Academician Alexei Yablokov from Center for Ecological Policy of Russia.

The magazine’s editor, the well-known environmental journalist and whistle-blower Grigory Pasko was in prison when the magazine put out its first issues in 2002. The first six issues of the magazine were prepared by editors Tereshkin and Alimov, who could communicate with Pasko only through his lawyers—who themselves were not permitted to hand over any written material without permission from prison officials—or by mail, all of which was opened and inspected.

Now the magazine—officially registered by Russia’s Ministry of Communications — is active not only in providing first class investigative reports on the state of Russia’s environment, but also compelling government agencies to address environmental problems by lodging official inquiries.

This practice stems from the fact that that legal experts work together with the journalists at the magazine to not only write about the environment, but to spread the word about how to solve ecological problems and seek legal redress for activities effecting the well being of the environment and the people who live in it. Readers are thus not only informed about the myriad environmental dangers encroaching on Russia, but are given a legal guide on how to stop their progress.