WWF is working across Russia's vast marine and terrestrial Arctic territory.
Toxic pollution is likely the source of a massive die-off of marine life along Russia’s Kamchatka coast
WWF experts in Kamchatka, Russia suspect a highly toxic substance has leaked into the ocean along the coastline causing an extremely high number of mussels and sea urchins to wash up on shore, along with other species of crab, clams and fish. Kamchatka lies just across the Bering Sea from Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The region is considered a globally significant marine hotspot with a rich web of life that supports both nature and people.Read more
How we work
As the Arctic sea ice diminishes, shipping through the Bering Strait region will increase. WWF is working with partners to protect marine resources from the threat of shipwrecks and related oil spills, invasive species, ship strikes, and pollution.
WWF cooperates with Indigenous Peoples associations and communities to protect the Russian Arctic. In all of our Arctic work, WWF incorporates Indigenous knowledge and expertise.
WWF-Russia supports anti-poaching raids and improved population monitoring to map reindeer migration routes and likely poaching hotspots
Since 2006, polar bear patrols have been operating with the support of WWF-Russia. The patrols conduct polar bear monitoring and research; and protect villages from polar bears and prevent human - wildlife conflict.
WWF promotes marine governance in the Arctic that includes cooperation and biodiversity protection within the Arctic Council. WWF-Russia previously participated in negotiations on legally binding agreement on Oil Spill Response, and following its approval, promotes its implementation in Russia.
Since 1993 WWF has helped to establish almost 44 million hectares of protected areas in the Russian Arctic including the Russian Arctic, Beringia and Onegskoe Pomorye national parks, New Siberian Island state nature reserve (the biggest nature reserve in Russia), a buffer zone around Wrangel Strict Nature Reserve, and a number of regional protected areas. More than 10 million hectares of new protected areas are planned to be established by 2020.
WWF addresses conservation of polar bears at the local, national, and international levels. We support community initiatives such as polar bear patrols and contribute to planning and implementing range-wide conservation plans.
WWF works to prevent and reduce the negative impact of oil, gas and mining on the Arctic environment by pushing companies to strengthen environmental responsibility and by improving the regulatory framework.
WWF has mapped the enormous potential reach of an oil spill in the Barents Sea.
A WWF expedition in 2013 collected DNA samples from the walruses of the Laptev Sea to determine their relationship to other subspecies.
WWF works with Arctic fisheries and fishery management units in the Barents, Bering and Okhotsk seas to promote and support their MSC certification, encourage policy and innovation to introduce ecosystem based management, reduce IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing practices, and to reduce the collateral damage of fisheries bycatch and protect vulnerable bottom habitats.
Meet the team
Wildlife doesn't recognize borders, and these seas shared by Canada, Russia and the United States are a perfect opportunity for Arctic collaboration.
With its relatively warm ocean currents and high biodiversity, the Barents is one of Europe’s last large, clean and relatively undisturbed marine ecosystems.