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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Joint Report: 2009-2010 Results of the U.S.-Russia Presidential Commission: Environment

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs

[Click for Full Report: HTML Version | PDF Version | Russian Text]

Environment Working Group:
Russian Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Igor Maydanov and
U.S. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Maria Otero

Inter-Agency Participants:



Department of State

Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Agency for International Development

Department of Interior

National Park Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration (NOAA)

Department of Energy

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Federal Water Resources Agency

Federal Hydrometeorological Service(Roshydromet)

Federal Service for Oversight of Utilization of Natural Resources

Dates Group Convened:

March 18, 2010:

Deputy Assistant Secretary Reifsnyder met with MNRE counterparts in Moscow.

June 11, 2010:

Deputy Minister Maydanov and Under Secretary Otero held Working Group meeting in Washington, D.C.


  • Protected Areas: Working with regional and national park service authorities, U.S. and Russian officials have advanced efforts to protect our shared heritage and environment in the Bering Strait region. The National Park Service’s Shared Beringian Heritage Program is increasing cross-border understanding and cooperative scientific research, including in the area of environmental protection.

  • Hazardous Materials and Ozone-Safe Inhalers: U.S. and Russian environment officials planned two exchange visits in September 2010: a Russian delegation to the United States to exchange best practices on hazardous site cleanup issues, based on the U.S. experience with the Superfund program, and a U.S. delegation to Russia to share experience on the transition to ozone-safe metered-dose inhalers in United States.

  • Climate Change/Arctic Research: The United States and Russia are working together in the Arctic Council on issues related to black carbon. NOAA continues to collaborate with Roshydromet on the Tiksi climate observatory on the Arctic coast to develop joint monitoring of radiation fluctuations impinging on the earth's surface, as well as levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

  • Wildlife Protection: In September 2009, Russia hosted the first meeting of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Polar Bear Commission. In March 2010, the Commission's Scientific Working Group met for the first time in Anchorage, Alaska, and proposed two alternative short-term management options for sustaining the Alaska-Chukotka polar bear population. In June 2010, the commission met again in Anchorage and adopted an annual harvest limits to be shared between Alaskan and Chukotkan indigenous peoples.

Agenda for the Future:

  • Protected Areas, including the establishment of a Shared Heritage Area in Beringia

  • Sharing experience on Superfund.

  • Black Carbon

  • GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) Program

  • Ozone Depleting Substances

  • Wildlife Protection/biodiversity

  • Water resource use and protection

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