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25 September 2017
Home PROPOSAL TO REFORM THE SIBERIAN OVER-FLIGHT PAYMENT SYSTEM TO CREATE TRANSPARENCY AND PROTECT THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT

PROPOSAL TO REFORM THE SIBERIAN OVER-FLIGHT PAYMENT SYSTEM TO CREATE TRANSPARENCY AND PROTECT THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT

Independent Non-Commercial Organisation ‘Environmental Innovations Center’ suggests reforming the Siberian over-flight payment system. On November 21, 2011, Environmental Innovations Center sent its proposal to Russian ministries and institutions.

Major international airlines are currently part of a system that obliges them to make payments to Aeroflot for the right to fly over the territory of Siberia. Discussion about reforming this system has continued for several years and the Russian Government signed an Agreement on Principles of Modernisation for Trans-Siberian Routes in Helsinki in November 2006, committing it to reform this system of airline payments by 2013. In March 2007 the EU Council of Ministers ratified this Agreement.

 It is clear that any moderrnisation should ensure that both the collection and use of these payments should be transparent not only to international organisations and institutions but also to the general public in Russia. Furthermore, as the existing system permits one airline to collect all payments without specifying how they are then used, it is essential that the reform of the system clarifies the ultimate use of the sums received. 

 The Environmental Innovations Center calls for these payments to be used for ecological programmes, in particular the renewal and preservation of Russian forests, which play a vital role in maintaining our planet’s environmental balance.

 We suggest the creation of a specialised environmental fund with transparent accounting that would finance constant development of forestry and agriculture. The financial means should be invested in forest development, preservation and fire protection, as well as in the creation of forest belt areas. Planting of forests will help to establish a secure shield that will provide for the environmental safety of our planet. Forest belts will prevent soil erosion and contribute to raising crop yields, as well as to ensuring security of food supply. 

 Russia plays a key international role in terms of preserving global social values and provides important ‘environmental services’ to the whole planet. Russia has the world’s largest forestland, making up 22 per cent of all forest territories on Earth. This forestland has a fundamental impact on continental water circulation in Eurasia, carbon dioxide and methane sources and outflows, surface radiation and species diversity. 

 Russian forests play an exceptional role in carbon deposits on a global scale. Boreal forest belts have more carbon than both the tropical and temperate zones. In total, Russian forests absorb 332 million tons of carbon every year. Russian forests store 97.1 billion tons of carbon, more than one third greater than the world’s total annual carbon increase (60.2 billion tons). Research carried out by the Russian Academy of Science demonstrates that the total carbon outflow in all Russia’s environmental systems is 4.5 – 5 bln tons or nearly 10 per cent of the global outflow in ground environmental systems. 

 It is necessary to stress that during the last 20 years forest regeneration has significantly slowed down, and means for forest renovation and cultivation are required. Forest renovation is also essential for agriculture, which requires protective forest belts.

 Nearly all Russian regions suffer from soil degeneration and fertility decrease. Today only 2 per cent of agricultural lands have forest belts, while some 15-20 per cent of them need to have forest belts for steady agronomy.

 Transport is one of the most significant sources of air pollution. While air transport produces only 2.5 per cent of all CO2 emissions in the world, since 1990, their amount has increased by 87 per cent! Air transport becomes more and more popular, people prefer to save time when traveling, and the volumes transported increase consistently each year. According to forecasts, by 2050 the amount of air transport emissions will increase to 9 per cent of all transport emissions.

 Still, with the existing system of trans-Siberian route payments, Russia cannot implement environmental taxes or payments for airlines using trans-Siberian routes. The new system should correspond to the modern (primarily European) trends in international law, and correspond to the growing need for environmental protection. The new system should be beneficial for its users and should not be considered as temporary or intermediate.

 In line with development of the modernised payment system for the use of the trans-Siberian route, we call on all respective ministries and institutions to thoroughly develop a detailed project of creating a targeted environmental fund to finance renovation and preservation of one of the most valuable of Russia’s assets – Russia’s forests.

 More details are available in the analytical memo at the Center’s web-site: http://www.ngo-cei.ru

 For more information, please contact:

 

Andrey STETSENKO

PhD, President of Environmental Innovations Center

 Tel. +7 (495) 431-4757

e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

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