© Elisabeth Kruger / WWF

WWF Arctic Council Scorecard


Perhaps more than any other Arctic country, Russia has much to gain from climate trends in the Arctic.

In particular, exploration and shipping expansion hold enormous economic and geopolitical promise. In view of this, Russia's Scorecard performance reflects a certain ambivalence about the high opportunity costs that are inherent in a robust Arctic protection regime. On a number of indicators, Russia received partial credit for initiating actions (as plans and strategies have been drafted, but not yet adopted); in other areas—such as identifying and filling conservation gaps—it has taken necessary steps, but often in a piecemeal rather than systematic way.




See full criteria.


  • There has been visible progress on biodiversity-related legislation, with policies appearing in draft form and biodiversity mentioned in plans and strategies (Crit. 1.1.1-2).
  • Fishing regulations specific to the Arctic region, with concrete, sustainable goals, are in place (Crit. 1.2.1 and 1.2.2).
  • Russia conducts comprehensive, advanced monitoring—bolstered by assessment mechanisms—for Arctic ecosystems, cryospheric changes and oil spills (Crit. 1.3.1, 4.2.2, 4.3.1 and 5.2.1).
  • Russia has done a notable job of expanding protected areas in its large territory. Examples include offshore expansions near Franz Josef Land National Park and in the territory of the Great Arctic State Nature Reserve as well as the creation of Khibiny National Park and the Novosibirsk Islands Federal Nature Sanctuary in 2018 (Crit. 2.2.2, 2.3.1-2).


  • Despite expansion in conservation areas, the absence of a systematic, state-led gap analysis means that efforts may fall short of what is necessary (Crit. 2.2.1). However, according to experts, there are indications that Russia is likely to expand its protected areas network after 2020.
  • Russia has been slow to promote Indigenous involvement in the management and use of protected areas. The difficulty with which (limited) progress outside the Arctic has been made indicates that this policy area requires greater state attention, particularly in the Arctic, where climate vulnerability is higher, and the Indigenous population is larger (Crit. 2.3.3).
  • Oil spill regulation—and corresponding work to identify and establish conservation areas sensitive to threats, including to migratory species—remains weak (Crit. 2.1.1-2). This lack of protection extends to the absence of state-led environmental impact and risk assessments for exploration and maritime activities in Russia's Arctic waters (Crit. 3.1.1).
  • Although Russia's land-based and remote monitoring regime is fairly robust, there are worrisome concerns about the implementation and effectiveness of its national oil spill preparedness and its ability to respond (Crit. 5.1.1).
  • While Russia has taken measures to introduce shipping routes to protect particular marine conversation areas, its actions to address the dangers posed by maritime activity have not extended to a ban on heavy fuel oil, of which Russian-flagged ships are the heaviest users in the Arctic (Crit. 6.2.4). This shortcoming can also be seen in the stagnation of the adoption of several other regulatory requirements for shipping (Crit. 6.2.1-3).

Detailed ratings

C Biodiversity

  • Mainstreaming Biodiversity and its Resilience
  • 2/6
  • Sustainable Management of Living Resources and Habitats
  • 4/4
  • Monitoring Biodiversity
  • 2/4
  • Overall Rating
  • 8/14

All ratings for Biodiversity

C Conservation areas

  • Identification of Conservation Areas
  • 2/6
  • Protecting Areas of Ecological Importance
  • 2/4
  • Mechanisms to Safeguard Connectivity
  • 4/6
  • Overall Rating
  • 8/14

All ratings for Conservation areas

C Ecosystem-based Management

  • Environmental Impact Assessments, Strategic Environmental Assessments and Risk Assessments
  • 3/8
  • Assessment of Combined Effects of Multiple Stressors
  • 0/2
  • Arctic State Cooperation in Advancing Implementation of EBM
  • 2/2
  • Overall Rating
  • 5/12

All ratings for Ecosystem-based Management

B Black Carbon and Methane

  • Short-lived Climate Forcers: Black Carbon and Methane Emissions
  • 5/10
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • 4/6
  • Climate Change Observation
  • 2/2
  • Overall Rating
  • 11/18

All ratings for Black Carbon and Methane

C Oil Spills

  • National Action for Preparedness and Response
  • 1/2
  • Oil Spill Monitoring
  • 4/4
  • Oil Spill Prevention
  • 3/8
  • Overall Rating
  • 8/14

All ratings for Oil Spills

D Shipping

  • Protection from various shipping risks
  • 3/6
  • Actions to reduce air emissions from shipping
  • 0/8
  • Arctic Marine Traffic System
  • 2/2
  • Overall Rating
  • 5/16

All ratings for Shipping