CROC, a leading Russian IT company, and its partners are working together to support the WWF-Russia Forest Guards project dedicated to the conservation of intact Russian forests. To celebrate International Forest Day, CROC and WWF-Russia funded the protection and reforestation of 250 ha of Siberian wilderness in the Irkutsk region.
“For more than 27 years, CROC has been creating and expanding Russia’s digital ecosystem, paying particular attention to environmental issues and responsible resource consumption. Ecological initiatives have always been a strategic priority for CROC, serving as a social platform that connects the company with business partners that share our values. In 2020, we will continue supporting ecology projects and initiatives, with our cooperation with WWF-Russia thus being particularly important to our efforts in this area. The Forest Guards project has helped CROC bring together more than 200 partners to preserve intact Siberian forests suffering from annual fires and logging. We are working hard to expand our pool of like-minded partners and hope that CROC's environmental initiatives will draw attention to the necessity of preserving and being responsible for nature for the sake of future generations,” Elena Volkovskaya, Chief of Strategy Marketing at CROC, commented.
Intact virgin forests are among the last remaining areas on earth that have not yet been significantly impacted by human activity. They are thus crucial for the conservation of our planet’s biological diversity, climate and waterways, as well as protection of the soil from degradation. In addition, they are also home to many rare species of plants and animals that have not yet been disturbed by industrialization.
Russia is one of the most forest-rich countries in the world, accounting for more than 20% of global coverage. However, most of the country’s remaining forests have been plundered for generations, with only one-fifth (247 million hectares) remaining in their original state. Due to fires, deforestation and mining, Russia loses more than 1.5 million ha of intact forests annually. The rate of destruction is growing rapidly, with experts estimating that Russia will lose all of its intaсt forests within 80 years. Such a loss would be catastrophic for the planet, with further unchecked cutting and burning of such fragile ecosystems resulting in irretrievable destruction.
“We are happy to develop our partnership with CROC and find new areas to join efforts. February 23 and March 8 in Russia traditionally cause a wave of giveaways overconsumption. This year, the company decided to combine the celebration of holidays and the protection of nature. CROC partners have received souvenirs that meet criteria of responsible consumption, and 'Forest Guards' certificates. The project aims at preserving intact Russian forests. We hope that this initiative has motivated not only CROC employees and partners but also other market players,” Irina Vorobieva, Head of Membership Programme at WWF-Russia, added.
One of the key goals of the WWF-Russia Forest Guards project is to prevent catastrophe by encouraging people to fight to protect intact forests from destruction caused by anthropogenic fires. Anyone can easily donate via the forest.wwf.ru online platform. Funds will be used to collect and analyze satellite imagery data and prevent the further destruction of our remaining virgin forests. To meet this goal, they will continue to work together with environmental organizations and eco-activists in order to promote conservation and secure legal protective status for all endangered areas.