Clean-up in the Russian Arctic

The clean-up will focus on Khatanga – a rural settlement in the north of the Krasnoyarsk region.

By Elizaveta Vereykina 

Participants are determined to get rid of the pollution that has been building up on the Taymyr peninsula for decades.

A new stage of the project to clean up the Arctic zone of Russia from man-made pollution called “Arctic. Spring-cleaning. Krasnoyarsk Territory” has begun, the Russian Geographical society (RGS) reports on its website.

The clean-up will focus on Khatanga – a rural settlement in the north of the Krasnoyarsk region. It is home to the Arctic port which accepts various Arctic cargo shipments.

“Khatanga… is a settlement with a unique history, nature, and cultural heritage…It is the Russian gateway to the North Pole. Our task is to… positively present the Krasnoyarsk region to the whole country. It is important that our expedition involves volunteers, scientists, bloggers, and historians from all over Russia. We intend to show that the Russian Arctic is worthy of new development,” Igor Spiridenko, chairman of the Krasnoyarsk regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society is quoted as saying

The project to clean the area around Khatanga started in 2023. The participants report that last year volunteers cleaned more than 200 tons of man-made waste along the 3 km of the coastline, the RGS website reports. The waste has been accumulating there since the Soviet times.

This is part of a bigger mission to clean the Arctic from massive industrial waste. An interactive map has even been created where activists can exchange the exact locations and the amount of work that needs to be done.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Cyanide detected in creek after Victoria Gold’s heap leach failure at Eagle gold mine, CBC News

Norway: 25th anniversary of Norway’s financing of nuclear-dump cleanup in Arctic Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Regional government to undertake big cleanup before gas drilling in Arctic Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Alaska marine debris experts call for tighter regulation and more cleanup funding, Alaska Public Media

The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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