Institute for Sustainable Innovation
Economic Transition and Environmental Conservation:
Sociocultural Aspects

Georgy Fomenko and Marina Fomenko

Economic Transition and Environmental Conservation: Socio-Cultural Aspects. Costa Rica: Institute for Sustainable Innovation, 2018.

This book summarizes the experience of applying a socio-cultural methodology of environmental management at various levels of territorial organization (local, regional, Russian administrative regions, federal and national) in Russia. The materials presented offer insight into the institutional aspects of environmental work, expand the tool kit of environmental regulation and demonstrate approaches to a gradual eco-balancing of the economy, curtailing conflicts and discrepancies between the global goals of sustainable development and the interests of local communities and businesses.

The book is designed for a wide audience of experts who have a professional interest in issues of environmental management and conservation.

© Georgy Fomenko, Marina Fomenko, 2016, 2018.

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any written, electronic, recording, or photocopying without written permission of the publisher or author. The exception would be in the case of brief quotations embodied in the critical articles or reviews and pages where permission is specifically granted by the publisher or author.

Although every precaution has been taken to verify the accuracy of the information contained herein, the author and publisher assume no responsibility for any errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for damages that may result from the use of information contained within.

Interior & Cover Design: Susana Cardona <­>

Cover photography: «RoseStudio/Shutterstock»

Publisher: Institute for Sustainable Innovation, Costa Rica

ISBN: 978-0-9985796-2-7


BAT – Best Available Technology

EIP – Eco-Industrial Park

ERS – Earth remote sensing

EU – European Union

EMGM – Environmental management goal matrix

FFI – Federal State Budget Institution

GATT – General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

GDP – Gross Domestic Product

GIS – Geographic Information System

NDP –Net Domestic Product

OECD – Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

SD – Sustainable Development

SDG – Sustainable Development Goals

SEIS – Shared Environmental Information System

SEA – Strategic Environmental Assessment

SEEA – System of Environmental-Economic Accounting

SNA – System of National Accounts

SPNA – Specially Protected Natural Area

SPZ – Sanitary Protection Zone

TCSEP – Territorial Comprehensive Scheme of Environment Protection

TIC – Territorial-Industrial Complex

UN / UNO – United Nations Organization

UNECE – United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

WTO – World Trade Organization


This book covers a 25-year period of research, during which numerous organizations and individuals have rendered valuable assistance and greatly contributed to generating the ideas, which are expounded here.

The materials of the book could not have been prepared and published without the extensive support of the staff of Cadaster Institute: Konstantin Loshadkin, Anastasiya Mikhailova, Yelena Arabova, Alexander Borodkin, Olga Ladygina, Elena Osipova, Anna Luzanova, Svetlana Smirnova, Eduard Goge, Vladimir Petrov, and Lubov Zemskova. Our development of a socio-cultural methodology of environmental management owes much to the work of Lev Kniazkov who masterminded specific surveys and projects. Invaluable advice was provided by Vladimir Shadrin, Timofey Kolpakov, Mikhail Borovitsky, Anatoly Parfenov, and many others.

Major methodological contributions to the organization of practical research were provided by Henrietta Privalovskaya, Nikolay Lukianchikov, Budimir Poyarkov, Alexander Luty, Yuliy Lipets, and Renat Perelet. We extend special gratitude to Professor Anil Markandia whose insights and ideas have been of great value for the work and development of Cadaster Institute, providing foundations for applying the methods of environmental-economic accounting beyond the organization itself and in Russia as a whole. Jans-Juergen Taurit made an invaluable contribution to the humanistic approach, which is at the heart of our school of thought. His views on urban development oriented to the needs of ordinary people in their everyday life have given us a better understanding of the enduring significance of the person and the fundamental importance of a humane approach when creating a value system for sustainable development.

Our research received substantial support from the ideas and suggestions of our colleagues, offered at various stages of the work, namely, Sergey Bobilev, Vladimir Zakharov, Arkadiy Tishkov, Tatiana Runova, Luisa Nochevkina, Valeriy Pularkin, Enrid Alayev, Mikhail Kozeltsev, Elena Nikitina, and Andrey Terentiev.

Several of the projects, the results of which are presented here, were commissioned and sponsored by the Russian Federal Government (Ministry of Natural Resources, Federal Statistics Service, Federal Service for Environmental Control, Ministry of Agriculture) and their territorial departments, and by regional and municipal administrative bodies in Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kemerovo, Kostroma, Nizhny Novgorod, Ryazan, Saratov, Tomsk, Yaroslavl Regions, Kamchatka Region, Krasnoyarsk Region, and the Republics of Buryatia, Karelia and North Ossetia-Alania.

Valuable expert advice was also provided at various stages by Alexander Averchenkov, Anatoliy Shevchuk, Alexander Adam, Rustem Mamin, Andrey Treivish, Nikolay Koronkevich, Olga Medvedeva, Alexander Golub, Dmitriy Zimin, Vladimir Revezensky, Mikhail Buyanov, Elena Bondarchuk, Margarita Tsibulnikova, Vladimir Morozov, Valeriy Panov, Elena Anashkina, Alla Shvets, and many others.

We are much indebted to everyone who encouraged us to reflect, ask questions and search for answers. First and foremost, these are our parents and teachers, the people who helped us to become what we are. Special thanks are due to Valentina Lisenkova who laid the foundations of our commitment to this country and its people, taught us to quest continuously and to enjoy creative work. And, finally, we are grateful to our daughter, Valentina Fomenko, who, has always supported and inspired us with her energy and love.


The unprecedented scale of industrial and technological impact on the environment and on humanity has created a threat to their further existence. Never before have people borne such great responsibility, because never before have they possessed such power – leveraged by the effect of machinery – over other people, the environment and every living being on the Planet (Lenk, 1982).

Our lifetimes coincide with the mass application of technologies with global impact, and the impossibility of predicting their combined effect makes a period of instability or bifurcation appear inevitable. Prices for natural resources are increasingly volatile, the economies of many countries are in recession, stock markets are moving from stability to turbulence, and serious geopolitical shifts are underway. Social conflicts are growing more acute and the mosaic nature of the economic landscape is more pronounced as new growth areas emerge while many previously well-to-do regions are plunged into poverty. It is no coincidence that the concept of sustainable development is increasingly supplemented and even substituted by the concept of resilience, the opposite of vulnerability. When the period of instability comes to an end, the global picture will have changed significantly and it is important to ensure that the new development scenario is favorable for the survival of humankind.

For the purposes of protecting the environment, it is vital to understand that new technologies presuppose changes in the institutional framework; moreover, many of these changes are not compatible with the existence of industrial institutions, which are rapidly becoming obsolete. Delays in transformation tend to polarize nations by the level of their social and economic development. The simultaneous dissemination of several breakthrough technologies entails unpredictable changes in the social and economic fabric of any society. The transition to a new technology paradigm is deepening social and cultural contradictions, leading in some countries to social conflicts, which are sometimes related to environmental management.

The transition to a new economy entails fundamental changes, as long-established management structures and practices, conventional evolutionary ideas have to be revised and even, to a considerable extent, replaced. Standards of behavior are being adjusted and the role of behaviorism, including its aspect related to the economy, is on the increase. Experts are increasingly of the opinion that transition to the new economic model requires a radical redefinition of the established view of the role of the individual in economic development: from, being a factor of economic growth, individuals are becoming the real goal of every human endeavor.

The critical nature of the current situation has been acknowledged internationally. The largest-ever United Nations (UN) summit, Rio+20 in 2012, unanimously confirmed the significance of “green” modernization in accordance with principles of sustainable development aimed at the eradication of poverty. In this context we are seeing a reinterpretation of innovation policy by leading international economic organizations. The position ofthe Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in respect of “green” growth has become more systematic: that organization has decisively acknowledged that the “green” economy is not only a matter of nurturing “green” industries, but involves a commitment to sustainable economic growth, which can “make mobility smarter, make buildings and installations more resource-intensive and pollute the environment to a lesser extent.” A more integrated approach to the formulation of sustainability priorities is the key to resolving many of the complex issues, which we face today. Leading experts point out that systematic institutional changes are needed, since methods of government regulation in many countries are failing to keep up with the development of technologies. This is impeding innovation, particularly by reducing the efficiency of natural resource utilization and hindering waste recycling. Our estimates show that some current environmental mechanisms can even slow down the process of eco-modernization and hamper innovative growth. There is a threat that society may become unmanageable in the transition period, since uncertainty and the imbalance of socio-economic systems cannot be eliminated in the short run, but decision-making cannot be postponed until new knowledge is obtained.

The human response to real or imaginary environmental hazards depends both on objective factors (the source of the hazard, its character, geographical conditions, etc.) and on factors that are subjective, related to the perception of risk, the range of acceptable solutions, etc. Subjective factors are particularly important because, whatever actually motivates human behavior (unconsciously or manifestly), all reasons and motives are fixed in culture. Environmental institutions are inseparable from territorial institutional systems, which have uniform institutional matrixes, in which culture determines the system of interrelated norms and rules that underlie professional and day-to-day practice (Fomenko G., 2004). History shows that cultural traditions can have both positive and negative elements. They can entail the oppression of people and degradation of the environment, and the rise of new technologies and ideas can stimulate the destruction or the revival of cultures.

The efficiency of environmental regulation depends on:А) the degree of success and flexibility of ethical beliefs regarding the interrelation between society and nature; and B) a choice of environmental institutions that suits the conditions of each culture.

А.The development and dissemination of environmental ethics is of primary importance because the moral imperative has priority in the solution of development issues. Management or chaos, disaster or its prevention, conflict or its civilized resolution, optimal or flawed decisions – all of these are not merely technical issues, but are based on the ethical position of whoever exercises management. For protection of the environment, nothing represents a greater threat than “anomie” (lawlessness, disorder), i.e., the lack of value orientation, a value vacuum, which tends to appear in a period of transition and crisis, when the old standards and values cease to act, and new ones are absent or have not been fully constituted. In these conditions the motivation to resolve environmental issues of crucial importance for society may be lost. There is strong pressure to focus on immediate gain, deviant behavior becomes prevalent and the idea takes root that any expenditure for the well-being of future generations is irrelevant.

Ontological and socio-cultural dependence is a major feature of environmental values (Fomenko G., 2004) and such values need to be distinguished, depending on whether they are ethical goals or means to achieve such goals. As ontologically and socio-culturally determined, environmental values act together in concert, influencing human motivation. Despite their relative stability, they tend to change as ethical norms and rules change and as new knowledge is generated. The extent of their influence differs depending on the worldview that is dominant in a particular socio-cultural community. Thus, in the late 20th century in a number of European countries it became unacceptable to decorate one’s home with animal skins and cruelty to animals became a punishable offence. Environmental ethical motivation for human behavior is institutionalized through moral codes.

Recognition of the global nature of environmental problems increases the importance of a universal ethical code that can be used as a benchmark for behavior (Laszlo, 1997). The creation of such a code depends on the ability of various cultures to accept and share at least some uniform environmental standards. Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, the need for an ethic, which could be a basis for moral behavior, is understood and the Earth Charter may well be the best candidate to play the role of such an ethic. Its preamble states, “We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, the time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.”

According to Hans Jonas (2004), the notion of homo sapiens ought to be substituted by that of homo responsabilis, and traditional ethical systems should be substituted by an ethic of responsibility. This position is consistent with the opinion of Albert Schweitzer that the achievement of a harmony between Society and Nature depends on human’s assumption of responsibility for nature and on the love of nature, the development of a truly humane world outlook in the human-nature system.

The summary document adopted after the Earth Summit by the UN General Assembly (September 2015), Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Sustainable Development Goals set the task of harmonizing the national development priorities of countries with a global agenda for humanity’s survival. The Summit established 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets for the achievement of those goals. The UN Secretary-General hailed the event as historic and stressed that the new sustainable development agenda requires global solidarity. The adoption of the Development Goals entails new efforts to disseminate uniform approaches and opens new horizons in education.

В.It has been recognized since time immemorial that different countries have different cultural stereotypes, and these stereotypes determine ethical standards of human behavior. Cultural codes change very slowly, so reliance on culturally determined basic institutional matrixes is highly important in any critical period of transition to a new development model. The Rio+20 Summit of 2012 acknowledged the inevitability of multiple approaches to the self-development of territorial institutional systems within the framework of a single sustainable development mainstream for the entire planet. The challenge in environmental protection is to “fine tune” the adaptation of universal environmental institutions to the socio-cultural conditions of specific territories. Such fine tuning is always individual. The aim is to achieve an optimal correlation of universal and socio-culturally determined environmental institutions based on ethical constraints and priorities associated with cultural traditions. The present book proposes an approach to the gradual eco-balancing of existing territorial institutional systems, based on the hypothesis that different cultures have their own value constraints for rational choice in the Society-Nature relationship. Post-neoclassical rationality greatly expands the perception of the world and the concept of “sustainable development”. It not only generates a need for in-depth systematic research, but also poses new practical tasks in order to clarify the socio-cultural factors, which determine the efficacy of specific environmental institutions in particular communities and define the range of available solutions in environmental management.

The socio-cultural foundations of environmental management are often undervalued, despite the obvious fact that any human activity is directly dependent on people’s beliefs and that their beliefs are, in turn, dependent on their culturally-tinted self perception in the surrounding world. In other words, environmental activities depend on a vision of the future and on the historically shaped range of decisions by those responsible for management. Those decisions depend not only on the information, which is available, but also on certain cultural constraints. This issue is still underexplored because environmental ethics, behavioral geography and economics are evolving independently of each other, despite current changes in the approach to the study of human behavior in the environment.

The present book acquaints the reader with socio-cultural approaches to environmental management developed by the authors over a period of 20 years at the specially established Cadaster Institute, and offers particularly interesting examples of the practical application of these approaches. The book should be of use both to practitioners of environmental management and protection and to anyone who is interested in the environment and sustainable development problems as such.

We hope that the book will help the reader gain a better insight into the institutional peculiarities of environmental activities, expand the set of tools for environmental regulation and provide better understanding of how a gradual eco-balancing of the economy and further progress towards sustainable development can be achieved, easing conflicts and contradictions between the global goals of sustainable development and the interests of local communities and business.



Our socio-cultural approach to environmental management is born of an aspiration to ensure the preservation of life on Earth and avoid a global environmental crisis by appealing to environmental ethics and the cultural traditions of different peoples in choosing their own paths to sustainable development and regulation of the environment (Fomenko G., 2004). This approach expands the concept of “sustainability,” treating it as thesurvivability of individuals, communities and geo-systems,1their ability to adapt in a context of stress and shocks.

The macro-task of ensuring our Planet’s sustainable development requires a rethinking of what underpins relationships in the Society-Nature system, specifically: the concept of rational resource use, the role of innovation, reassessment of forecasting potential, and viability of partnership between corporations, governments, territorial communities and other stakeholders. The ethics of preserving life thereby acquire the essential meaning given to them by Kant, Fichte, Hegel and, in particular, Schelling; a meaning that involves the rejection of any strict opposition between subject and object.2Human beings are a product of nature and, therefore, a part of nature. On the other hand, humans are the only living beings capable of understanding the principles of their own existence and development and those of the natural world. As Schelling pointed out, this duality is the most challenging mystery for any theory of the human-nature relationship. Sergei Bulgakov (2009) described Schelling as “the philosopher of nature and objective reality”. Two of Schelling’s ideas are particularly profound, relevant to real life and of utmost importance today: 1) the identity of subject and object in their dynamic development; and 2)the understanding of nature as a living, dynamic organism.

What is important for issues of sustainable development is that the subject-object logic of Schelling’s natural philosophy endows nature with its own dignity, irrespective of the process of human’s self-development. So nature appears as something imbued with meaning, combining truth, goodness and beauty, and human is bound to esteem and love nature as an image of the absolute, and not as his own construction. Such a philosophical and methodological approach enables a better understanding of the legacy of Le Roy, Teihard de Chardin, Vernadsky, Bauer, Moiseyev, Kuznetsov, and others. We make use of Petr Kozlovsky’s concept of ethical economy to assist our study of the interaction between ethics and economics in the context of environment regulation. For our philosophical and methodological conceptualization of sustainable development and of its humanist essence we have learnt much from Sergei Bulgakov’s views, and our treatment of issues of environmental crisis draws on the works of Hans Jonas and Vittorio Hösle, especially when substantiating the imperative of “responsible behavior”.

By the late 20th century, the concept of nature as an “integral whole” had been substantially reconsidered in phenomenological philosophy and the sociology of rational resource use. A new understanding of the basic difference between nature as the constitutive element of the “living world” and nature as the entirety of natural resources enabled a broader methodological use of behavioral geography as applied by John Gold and Gilbert White and supplemented by the ideas of Fernand Braudel, Andre Gunder Frank and the French school of human geography, mainly expounded by Paul Claval.

Modern philosophical thought is increasingly willing to accept the idea of multiple forms of rationality. The concept of the unity of rationalities supposes that scientific, religious and other forms of rationality are not alternatives, but are different aspects of a single, multi-faceted whole. Such a philosophical and methodological approach does not allow us to view human as a being who has somehow “fallen out” of the natural environment or even become its natural enemy (as, for example, the theory of biocentric isolationism would suggest). We proceed from the assumption that the urge to survive is inherent in most human beings and that they are capable of making their own environmentally grounded decisions if they have access to information, although behavioral stereotypes may substantially restrict the range of choices. The key task of environment protection and strategic territorial planning for sustainability is to understand the genesis and dynamics of decision making in this sphere, and to take account of the socio-cultural determination of environmental restrictions and regulations.

We find the behavioral model of homo responsabilis expedient for our research because it provides reasonable motivation for environmental action to address the threat of ecological crisis (Fomenko G., 2004). As Vittorio Hösle (1993) writes: “The philosophy of ecological crisis should determine the place of this [ecological (G.F.)] threat within the philosophy of the history of human culture”.

Any discussion of the philosophy of ecological crisis should distinguish a practical aspect, which is of most importance for environment management. A special role is played here by the works ofHans Jonas (a pupil of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger). Jonas emphasizes the idea of knowledge as power and authority, which has exercised tremendous impact on the social, political and technological activities of human since the 18th century. It is important that Jonas examines not only ethical but also political and philosophical issues, since environmental problems cannot be solved by the adages of individual ethics alone. There are inevitable consequences forenvironmental policy and environmental management and administration. What is of crucial importance is that the issue of human responsibility takes center stage in the investigation. Jonas makes the issue of human responsibility a focus of research, asserting that the notion of homo sapiens (“reasonable human being”) should be substituted by that of homo responsabilis (“responsible human being”), and that traditional ethical systems should be substituted by an ethics of responsibility. The imperative addressed to the new type of agent must, according to Jonas (1984), be “Act so that the effects of your action are compatible with the permanence of human life”. These ideas are in tune with the views of the American philosopher, John Ladd (1975), who suggested that responsibility should be regarded as an essential feature of human beings: “People are beings who are cognizant of what they do and are responsible for the consequences of their actions”.

The choice of this behavioral model entails a respective change of the conceptual framework, a shift of the emphasis in the treatment of basic concepts (work, stimulus, appraisal) towards value-oriented aspects. Highlighting the concept of responsibility involves a recognition of the partial rationality of individual behavior. We see a great danger in excessive belief in the absolute truth of scientific knowledge and the technological capabilities of humankind, and in any exclusive orientation to the notion of human “happiness”, the latter being mostly individual and subjective. The dualism that exists between responsible behavior as an impetus of environmental activity and recognition of the partial rationality of individual behavior calls for the development of special management mechanisms, and this is a challenge, which has not been fully addressed anywhere in the world and which is apparently incapable of complete resolution.

Behavior that assumes responsibility for the survival of the present and future generations must be directed to combating the global environmental threat, and involves mitigation of environmental risks and prevention of conflicts at minimum cost. Moreover, the very process of designing and implementing sustainability measures depends on finding possibilities and limitations for setting restrictions and regulations on the development of socio-natural and technological systems, as well as focused impact on these systems in response to the growing developmental risks inherent to a technology-based society. Numerous studies (Beck, 1992; Beck, Giddens & Scott, 1994; Giddens, 1992; Husted, 1994; Yanitsky, 1997a; Yanitsky, 1997b) show a marked increase in the emergence of risks, including environmental risks, in recent decades.3Growing risks entail a change in the general trend of national and regional development and in approaches to environmental management, which is viewed in the context of the reflex and response of society as a whole or its individual institutions to the production, spread and “consumption” of environmental risks.

Since spatiality is one of the fundamental dimensions of human existence, structuring worldviews and human activity, it makes sense to speak of a space of risks (either explicit or implicit), including environmental risks, at all levels of territorial organization. This space is essentially a geographical category, to be considered in terms of riskology and differentiated by territorial characteristics, being a sum total of relationships between geographical objects located in a specific territory and evolving in time (Fomenko G., 2010a). Individuals live in an institutional environment – in the real world, full of risks and uncertainties. The institutional, nature-conservation environment can be thought of as an aggregate of worldviews, social norms and legal rules forming the basis of territorial systems of environmental restrictions and regulations, subject to individual choice.

Response to environmental risks is manifested in conservation regulations and restrictions. Environmental institutions constrain or regulate environmental activities; their implementation reduces uncertainty as to the environmental consequences of economic activities. The nature of these institutions does not only depend on the character of the hazard as such but is also determined by how decision-makers, i.e., actual resource managers, perceive such risks.

Following the accepted theoretical approach, we have found it expedient to base our research into environmental institutions and organizations on the methodology of neo-institutional analysis practised by Ronald Coase and Douglas North, with special emphasis on the identification and study of the socio-culturally determined range of choices of acceptable decisions by actual resource and eco-system managers. Neo-institutional analysis in the environmental sphere was given an impetus by the appearance of new conceptual approaches, such as Path Dependency theory and QWERTY effect. Theoretical work on “institutional traps” has also proved useful. According to these authors, institutional studies help to determine the range of possible changes in the environmental sphere, explain differences in environmental management and define limitations on importing foreign experience into concrete territories.

The dynamics of changes in environmental institutions can be better understood by considering the geographical features of specific territories. Therefore, rather than focusing on the institutional environment that restricts and regulates negative ecological impacts, our institutional analysis tends to focus on the state, dynamics, structure and peculiarities of the institutional environmental space as the major component of the geographical space (Fomenko G., 2004). It should be noted that institutional space is a major object of study for sociology, which views it as a form of existence of the social space. The category of social space was originally conceptualized by Pitirim Sorokin, and a further major contribution was made by Pierre Bourdieu.

Institutional space regulates the environmental stability and consistency of territorial development as well as the environmental activities of resource users. According to Karl Polanyi and Douglass North, institutional territorial matrixes take shape and develop as an effect of social, cultural, economic and other factors.4Environmental institutions continually change and interact with each other in the framework of territorial matrixes.

Environmental work based on the principles of sustainable development requires a new sociality, which, without infringing on personal and group autonomy, would combine it with social duty and the notion of the public good5. This is linked to the theoretical grounds for greater attention to various types of communities in solving complicated environmental problems of territorial development and devising methods of environmental territorial regulation through effective horizontal coordination of individuals and organizations.

The ideas of social economy prove useful in this regard, especially ideas from the theory of responsive communitarianism developed by Amitai Etzioni. He criticizes certain premises of liberal social thought which are inadequate to the current stage of social development, namely, the ideas of market self-sufficiency and unlimited individual freedom. Etzioni proceeds from the idea that the community of people, if properly organized, is of great importance for society’s sustainable development and for nature conservation, since it links the rights of individuals and entrepreneurs with social responsibility and admits the restriction of such rights when sanctioned by society and implemented at the expense of the state.

Environmental management, which strives to enhance the sustainability and reduce the vulnerability of man-made geo-systems, is inseparable from conflict regulation and prevention. In this respect, our research owes much to the conflict sociology of Andrei Zdravomyslov who developed in Russia the approaches of Lewis Coser, Ralf Dahrendorf and other proponents of this trend. In their view, a conflict is a form of social interaction, a process which, under certain conditions, can have an effect on the “social organism,” which is not merely destructive, but has some constructive (integrative) impacts. Coser (2000), unlike other sociologists, attempted to define the conditions, which decide whether the consequences of a conflict will be negative or positive.

In human communities, social inequality entails different access of individuals or social groups to development resources. The most common conflicts in the environmental sphere are those, which result from the misalignment of environmental goals at different levels of territorial organization; ethnic conflicts related to access to resources and eco-system services; and micro-level conflicts caused by differences in the motivation of individuals, local communities and the main resource users.

We believe that specific, socio-culturally determined mechanisms of instrumental regulation are the best way to prevent and alleviate conflicts and to reach positive outcomes. Such mechanisms make it possible to:

  • identify and formalize the socio-cultural pivot of territorial development;
  • define and institutionalize environmental priorities (based on the consensus of stakeholders);
  • strike a balance between the powers of resource managers and major stakeholders in the course of changes to environmental institutions;
  • align the goals of environmental activities at different levels of territorial organization;
  • share power in territories populated by multi-national groups;
  • harmonize the interests of individuals and local communities by promoting territorial social self-governance.

The socio-cultural methodology of environmental management requires adequate information support. The accepted philosophical and methodological approach to the humanizing of environmental work lends much importance to specifying the content and expanding the list of sustainable development indicators, environmental indicators and indicators of the green economy. What is required in the first place is a system of environmental-economic accounting, revolving around the system of national accounts. Their use in geographical studies will help to identify development processes that previously went undetected, including the perilous depletion of natural resources and eco-system services.

Socio-cultural measurements of institutional environmental space have become an important part of our research in recent years. This is related to the rise of ethnometrics with its new set of tools, which enable measurement, at least on a large-scale, of the impact of socio-cultural factors on institutional systems using a single set of indices. These indices enable a priori assessment of a given culture as a factor that sets a development trend and limits the choice of acceptable options for institutional or organizational changes in the environmental sphere. The most methodologically elaborate group of indices to date has been offered by Geert Hofstede and can be used to assess the activities of social groups according to a number of dimensions, namely: distance from government, avoidance of uncertainty, individualism vs. collectivism in motivation, masculinity vs. femininity in decision making, long-term orientation, and indulgence vs. restraint. Another index, characterizing stability of natural resource ownership rights, is added for the environmental sphere (Fomenko G., 2014).

The use of socio-cultural indices helps to:

  • define socio-cultural factors that bear on the effectiveness of particular environmental institutions in specific communities;
  • determine the impact of cultures on environmental sustainability in a comparative manner with the help of numerical methods of factor analysis;
  • determine the range of choice of acceptable decisions in the environmental sphere as well as the limits of environmental restrictions and regulation of the development of socio-natural systems, as stipulated by the value-based guidelines that are dominant in a specific community.

It should be remembered, however, that socio-cultural indexes are not everlasting, although change occurs slowly. We believe that econometric studies using regular measurement (effectively monitoring) of socio-cultural dimensions, should be included in the methodology of environmental management by objectives at all levels of territorial organization.

The socio-cultural approach to environmental management thus ensures compliance with respective restrictions and regulations through territorial optimization of the institutional space from the positions of sustainable development. This methodology aims to promote innovations in the environmental sphere and reduce economic and social costs in solving emergent problems. Special emphasis is placed on motivating people and communities to conservation efforts by all available means in order to align social and private interests. It is particularly important that the methodology offers new opportunities for investigating various aspects of nature conservation and rational environmental management.

The socio-cultural context of environmental management and neo-institutional theory

Making management more efficacious in any culture depends on finding the answer to the question: what outlooks need be understood before trying to succeed? Any human activity, including environmental work, depends directly on people’s motivation, on their beliefs, and people’s convictions depend, in turn, on their culturally determined perception of themselves and the surrounding world. Distinctions between the cultural stereotypes of different nations, which affect the formation and evolution of institutional systems, have been recognized since time immemorial. But the role and significance of socio-cultural fundamentals of environmental management are often underestimated in the current context of economic globalization.

Most countries focus primarily on dissemination of the unified environmental institutions that are characteristic of the developed economies, which dominate the world today. As A. Toynbee (1995) aptly noted, professional western advisers – economists, financiers, business leaders, politicians – operating in economies in transition from Communism were, unfortunately, instrumental in promoting false expectations. They overlooked the fact that the intricate patterns of laws, institutions and customs, which had been formed in the capitalist countries over many centuries, are crucial pillars of a modern market system (Fomenko G., 2010b). This is of great importance because, instrumentally, environmental management in each country does not only depend on proper understanding of the significance of establishing environmental constraints and regulations for the development of institutional territorial systems but also on cultural codes that limit the choices of acceptable decisions. It is no accident that cultural determination of development issues is of most interest in the context of the theory of sustainability. The UN’s Rio+20 Summit in 2012 recognized the inevitability of diverse (primarily cultural) approaches in the framework of the global development mainstream6and updated the development of global principles and goals of sustainable development accordingly.7

Environmental institutions in a specific culture have prescriptive, value-based foundations, which are determined by the inherent system of values and convictions. Therefore, all environmental management models take shape in the course of social and cultural development. Such an approach to the study of development trends and restrictions in the humanity-society-nature nexus calls for special attention to the socio-cultural peculiarities of specific territories and value-based perceptions of individuals. It gained ground in a general form in the works of Thorstein Veblen, John Commons, Walt Rostow and others. From this standpoint, relationships between society and the economy depend on a set of institutional restrictions, which determine the way territorial economic systems function, enabling ever wider use of the theory of neo-institutionalism in geographic research (Bochsma & Freken, 2007).

The purpose of investigating environmental institutions is adequately met by the neo-institutional theory which is most sensitive to the socio-cultural context of developmental processes (Fomenko G., 2004). In his Nobel Prize lecture Economic Performance through Time (December 1993) Douglass North, the founder of the current neo-institutional trend in economics, defined institutions as constraints that structure interaction between people and that are created by people. They include formal constraints (rules, laws, constitutions) and informal constraints (norms of behavior, conventions and self-imposed codes of conduct) as well as mechanisms to ensure their enforcement. Institutions define the incentive structure of societies, so political and economic institutions determine how economies function. Time, as it relates to changes in the economy and society, is the dimension in which the learning process of human beings shapes the way institutions evolve. Theworldviews of individuals, groups and societies determine the choices they make and are the outcome of such learning through time. We are not talking here of the lifespan of an individual, but of a long-term cumulative process, by which experience is passed from generation to generation through culture, embodied in individuals, groups and societies (North, 2004).

In Russia, systematic use of the neo-institutional approach in the analysis of environment and resource use as well as the ensuing development of efficacious tools of environmental management were initiated by the works of G.A. Fomenko (2002). Work in this direction was then continued by a number of research projects (Fomenko G., 2002; Fomenko M., 1996; Cadaster Institute, 2004; Cadaster Institute, 2010d; Loshadkin, 2001a; Mikhailova, 2007a).

Environmental institutions emerge through behavioral response (risk reflex) to actual or imaginary security threats and they depend both on the nature of the threat and on the geographical conditions of specific territories. Most and foremost, they depend on social and cultural peculiarities: access of resource users to the information required for decision making and the range of possible decisions available to them in the environmental sphere (Fomenko G., 2004). Therefore, the researchers of our Institute are much influenced by the legacy of Petr Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky, Rafail Kabo, etc. Our work on comprehensive resource use develops the ideas of Alexei Mints, Henrietta Privalovskaya, Valery Pulyarkin, Yuly Lipets, Arakady Tishkov, the members of the Siberian school, including Viktor Sochava (theory of geo-systems), Kirill Kosmachev and B.V Poyarkov, institutional economists Alexander Auzan, Alexei Shastitko, and others. Our research into the socio-cultural fundamentals of present-day environmental management in Russia draws on the works of Alexander Akhiezer, Dmitry Furman, Igor Yakovenko, and others.

Application of the neo-institutional approach makes it possible to formulate a number of conceptual premises of the socio-cultural methodology of environmental management. Firstly, environmental institutions do not constitute an isolated management system, but are a part of territorial and organizational systems with uniform institutional matrixes. The rate of change in those systems is increasing due particularly to widening of the institutional track (despite the inertia inherent to the process) (Toffler, 1980). Secondly, today’s environmental management must be more flexible and sensitive to regional and local conditions. This calls for an optimum balance between universal and socio-culturally determined institutions, with careful respect for moral restrictions and priorities conditioned by cultural traditions and social specifics.

Furthermore, the adoption of the global sustainable development goals (at the UN’s Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development) and the increasing trend towards economic globalization are imposing ever wider implementation of universal environmental institutions, standardized at national level.

Increasingly rapid adoption of the principles of the new economy in developed nations gives a special urgency to regional differentiation of environmental management. The geographical conditions of specific territories, broadly understood, are the basis for the application of both formal and informal environmental institutions.

Socio-cultural features, in turn, affect environmental institutions through environmental ethics, which determine moral regulations and restrictions and the reflexion of individuals and local communities to environmental risks. Such features also have impact on institutions through pricing of environmental management. Attention to socio-cultural peculiarities is particularly important for preventing and resolving environmental conflicts. A special set of regulatory tools is required for this purpose.

In this respect, a number of issues remain to be explored in depth: the place and role of environmental institutions in territorial institutional systems; identification and formalization of socio-cultural restrictions that affect institutional environmental changes; and detailed examination of the state and dynamics of the environmental institutional space. The fact that such issues have not yet been fully explored can be explained by their novelty and cross-disciplinary character and also by anticipated changes in the sphere of environmental management. As Henrietta Privalovskaya (2003) has justly remarked, it is increasingly acknowledged in society that the resource-commodity paradigm of environmental management needs to be replaced by an eco-system model, which gives priority to biosphere sustainability in any economic activities that use bio-resources. Russia’s commodity-oriented economy badly needs a paradigm change, and we find that the highly popular life-cycle concept, supported by the majority of countries in the Rio+20 Declaration (section 218), is, to a large extent, an extension of the theory of resource cycles developed by the Russian theorist, Igor Komar (1975), while the theory of territorial combinations of natural resources developed by Alexei Mints can facilitate the use of environmental accounting as a satellite function to the system of national accounts.

An important step towards further development of this line of research has been taken by supplementing the neo-institutional approach by an evolutionary approach. This has offered new approaches to study of the evolution of territorial environmental systems in a historical context, enabling new opportunities and limitations for institutional borrowing to be defined. The main stages in the history of environmental management in Russia were studied (Fomenko G., 2011) and it was discovered that many environmental institutions, inherited by our country from its own history, are interlinked with the mechanisms imported at various times from foreign experience (Fomenko G., 2013b; Fomenko G. & Fomenko V., 2013).

Findings related to the possibilities and ways of classifying territories by institutional restrictions, determined by socio-cultural factors, on the range of decision-making choices in the environmental sphere are of special interest. Applying the views of Hernando de Soto to the situation in Russia (Fomenko G. & Fomenko M., 2014), the country has a few comparatively prosperous centers where financial resources are concentrated. In these places the first green shoots of a post-industrial world are emerging (companies operating in strict compliance with formal rules and standards, etc.). These are the territories of “accelerated modernization” where the supporters of modernization are numerous, where uniform environmental institutions can be implanted in existing institutional systems at minimal cost and can interact effectively with the socio-culturally determined institutions, while the role of specific, primarily informal, rules has been reduced to a minimum. The majority of local people in these places expect a quality of life much higher than in other regions and this is expressed as a demand for environmental well-being, promoting stricter environmental regulations and stimulating compliance with established standards. This explains, for example, the removal of “dirty” industries from the perimeter Russia’s megacities, primarily Moscow and St. Petersburg.

However, the rest of the country remains in a “transition” space, where the role of informal rules is still large. The institutional systems in these territories use real conventions that are characteristic of informal societies. In such a context the scope of application of unified environmental institutions is necessarily limited. Importation of universal institutions to these regions without adequate support usually entails growth of transaction costs and can aggravate tensions between different social groups. Such regions need special measures (on the one hand, measures that ensure direct enforcement of federal laws, standards and rules; and, on the other hand, support for adaptation, particularly education and awareness raising).

Territories and settlements, which practise traditional natural resource use, have very specific environmental institutions and imported institutions cannot be applied here without the destruction of communities. Here, as nowhere else, it is of critical importance to identify, support and (if necessary) modernize the existing traditional formal and informal institutions.

Sustainable development in Russia depends on the careful study of institutional environmental changes at the level of towns and settlements, since the role of localities in achieving environmental well-being is crucial during transition to the green economy (Fomenko M., 2001; Fomenko G., Fomenko M., Mikhailova, Zharinova & Kovalev, 2003; Loshadkin, 2001b; Mikhailova, 2007a). This is because people need to find effective ways of adapting to the rapid changes in the spatial organization of their lives. It is particularly important to identify the relevant socio-cultural specifics of each place, to formalize its genius loci. This is done by raising the awareness of local people as to the real characteristics of the place where they live, and by fostering the creation of its “ideal” image.

Environmental management in towns can be best improved by greater use of unified institutions. This requires the involvement of local people in environmental work, reaching consensus on issues, goals and priorities, and efficacious coordination of environmental strategy with social and economic development objectives. Special emphasis on the city’s innovative image is highly valuable, and its environmental and socio-cultural features become an integral part of innovation policy. In most rural territories environmental work involves improvements to the use of natural capital and ensuring that people obtain the necessities of life.

Requirements for environmental management at the regional level are also changing, as the leading role shifts towards coordination. Primary importance accrues to coordinating the development and implementation of local environmental strategies and action plans. This depends on the alignment of priority goals at different levels of territorial organization, and on interaction, monitoring and assessment of the efficiency of local environmental plans and programs. Practices of water use in rural areas in the context of transformation of the geo-ecological space play a particularly important role (Loshadkin, 2001b).

In practical terms, a package approach to institutional change is the best way to achieve systematic objectives. The Cadaster Institute is therefore engaged in research work and applied solutions for improving the methodology of territorial planning in rational environmental management and conservation. Emphasis is placed on adapting various types of planning (strategic, incremental, protectionist, systemic, technocratic, or their combinations) to present-day conditions (Fomenko M., 2001). Supplemented by efficacious territorial environmental marketing, such management by objectives boosts the innovation appeal of the environmental sphere, making the territory more interesting and valuable for its own people and for others. The study of specially protected areas represents a distinct line of research. In neo-institutionalist terms, such areas are both wildlife preservation and biodiversity institutions, and, at the same time, they are organizations with specific legal powers and their own interests in self-development.

Goal setting and teleological conflicts in environmental work

Any practical activity is aimed at a transition from past to future, which appears rational to the people who define the activity. Environmental goals are landmarks towards which environmental work is (or will be) oriented, and their identification in a single hierarchical system of goals is an essential element in the planning of institutional changes8. Environmental goals may be openly proclaimed or may remain implicit, manifesting themselves in a standard of behavior. If goals do not coincide, teleological conflicts arise, reconciliation of which will incur additional transaction costs, ultimately hampering environmental efforts.

The relevance of teleology to the task of harmonizing relationships in thehumanity-society-naturesystem is beyond argument today. However, it has not yet been developed into a self-sufficient branch of study, but is mainly treated as a part of other approaches (strategic management, system theory, public management theory, public economic policy and strategic territorial planning).

However, the teleological approach has a long history9. Without denying other methods of cognition, Immanuel Kant (1994) wrote in his Critique of Judgment that teleology is not theology, but nor is it natural history. Without treating this method of cognition as absolute and while critically defining limits to the use of teleological thinking in metaphysical interpretation of the world as a whole, Kant stresses that the “the notion of teleological connections and forms in nature is, at least, one more principle making it possible to bring all of its phenomena under rules, where the laws of mechanical causality are insufficient”. This discovery of Kant’s is important when we seek how to define the limits and the possibilities of purposeful action on socio-natural systems, which is an issue of key importance for the theory of sustainable development.

The theoretical foundations for goal setting in contemporary strategic management were laid by the works of I. Ansoff, T. Kono, M. Porter, A.J. Strickland, A. Thomson, A.N. Petrov, and others, which focus on the place of goal setting in management processes, issues of goal structuring and ranking, and implementation mechanisms, with due account for changes of internal and external factors. The essence and classification of goals, principles and specifics of goal setting in public governance are investigated by G.V. Atamanchuk, N.I. Glazunova, V.G. Ignatov, B.A.Kozbanenko, etc. The features of regional systems as objects of goalsetting are treated by A.G. Granberg, S.S. Artobolevsky, I.I. Sigov, M.Yu. Makhotaeva, and others.

Critical review of the concepts of these authors has led us to the conclusion that, to date, Russian science still lacks a proper theoretical basis for a comprehensive teleological approach to the management of environmental, social and economic territorial systems. In-depth work on the theory and methodology of goal setting in environmental management and scientific explanation of how to prevent emergent teleological conflicts remains a task for the future.

On a philosophical level, one should remember that ideas about environmental goals and acceptable ways of attaining them are not generated in their own right but are a part of people’s vision of the future. Goals are shaped by those who dispose of key resources10in accordance with their value systems. But, at the same time, such goals must be based on the findings of scientific research, and in order to succeed in the long run, resource users must integrate their individual goals with the moral values of society. So the resulting system of goals is not merely hierarchical, but multi-polar, which makes it relatively unstable and contradictory.

In developing the theory and methodology of goal setting, we proceed from its dual character, as pointed out by Paul Ricœur, who stressed that human exists within a continuum that extends from “causality without motivation” to “motivation without causality”. As Ricoeur writes: “Human is a being who belongs at once to the order of causality and the order of motivation, the order of explanation and that of understanding” (Ricoer, 1980). This emphasizes the importance of orientation to knowledge that understands (rather than knowledge that explains), characterized by the combination of two epistemological intuitions: the everlasting significance of the phenomenon of nature and culture and, at the same time, the realization of its unique and fragile character, its uniqueness. Knowledge that understands is preceded by value-based intuition and can be assigned to “rationality by value” in the spirit of M. Weber.

Based on the above, our prime orientation in choosing methodological premises for the investigation of goal setting and environmental management priorities for each specific place and for human communities is the works of culture experts, such as J. Habermas (1989a; 1989b), H.-G. Gadamer (1988) and M. Heidegger (1993; 1997). At the same time, we believe that cultural-geographical research is no less important, because it provides a deeper insight into people’s motivation in choosing specific environmental management priorities.

Such an approach from the position of the geography of perception, the geography of the world as reflected in human consciousness, must inevitably presuppose an interactive knowledge of the world and self-knowledge, project-orientation of investigations, a refusal to be limited to an objectivist viewpoint (particularly when setting the objectives of study), and a declaration of one’s own spiritual position and involvement. One cannot but agree with A.Ye.Levintov (1994) that the new paradigm requires new methods and tools, primarily those of hermeneutics, including techniques of social and organizational design (simulation, business, role and situational games).

Our consideration of goal setting issues in environmental management focuses particularly on the prevention and mitigation of teleological conflicts and development of the relevant algorithms. This is a critical issue, since the choice of goals in environmental work (due to its value-based and, at the same time, prescriptive, character) is inevitably accompanied by conflicts between goals. The collision between different (and sometimes incompatible) interpretations of social development goals is most clearly manifested here, reflecting the variety of worldviews inherent in different socio-cultural communities. So an essential role in environmental work is played by teleological conflicts, caused mainly by the socio-cultural context. Moreover, teleological conflicts act as a medium, through which socio-cultural foundations impact on changes in environmental institutions.

Conflict can be defined in many different ways11; in general terms, a conflict may be said to arise when parties pursue incompatible courses of actions. But, despite the large number of conflict typologies (Antsupov & Shipilov, 1999; Chase-Dum & Hall, 1997; Sorokin, 1992; Zdravomyslov, 1996), there is no single commonly accepted classification. Many works differentiate conflicts by the number of participating parties, by a distinction between direct and indirect participants, by the intensity and character of the interaction, the grounds for controversy (ethnic, religious, ideological, etc.) and the subject at issue (territory, resources, sphere of influence).

Environmental conflicts have a specific peculiarity: they are mostly value-oriented or goal-oriented. Value-oriented conflicts, being rooted in cultural, religious or ideological traditions and norms, are extremely difficult to resolve. Some writers even doubt if such conflicts can be prevented in principle (Huntington, 2003; Toynbee, 1996). However, the fact that rules of environmental ethics are common to the majority of religions offers some hope for success. Conflicts between environmental goals (teleological conflicts) are more diverse and may be based on mental divergences between the parties as well as on intrinsic values. Such divergences can arise within the context of a single civilization and culture and can usually be controlled and even prevented by various instrumental measures. A detailed analysis helps to determine possible ways of acting upon the conflict and to obtain useful information for its instrumental regulation. Studies that explore and anticipate spatial and temporal motivations of environmental activity and predict areas of dissension are of particular importance. Teleological studies by the Cadaster Institute in the environmental sphere have shown that impacts increase as the ideas of sustainability are disseminated more broadly, since sustainable development assumes the achievement of a certain future, a specific state of society.

Enhancing the status of goal setting in sustainable development is now viewed as an important incentive for transition to the green economy12. The establishment of sustainability targets increase the costs of polluting businesses and, at the same time, creates economic value in the form of new environment-oriented goods and services, stimulating capital flows from “brown” to “green” businesses. For instance, it is hard imagine the development of the alternative power sector, manufacture of purification or recycling facilities, monitoring equipment, etc., without pollution restrictions and environmental standards.

The studies carried out by the Cadaster Institute in a number of Russian regions (Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow, etc.) demonstrated that setting of environmental goals and priorities, and the identification of possible areas of dissent should be pursued not only “top-down,” but also “bottom-up”. The “top-down” approach to inter-regional planning focuses on goals of global sustainability of the biosphere, federal objectives and the objectives of inter-regional programs, while the most appropriate measures for achieving the goals are left to be decided by specific regions and at local level. This approach seems justified as a way of achieving biosphere balance, but it tends to lose the personal perspective, the perception by people of their “home”. This predetermines the failure of many board-brush programs, the goals of which are correct from the standpoint of global sustainability, but appear alien or even hostile to the people living in a specific territory.

The “bottom-up” approach defines the goals of rational environmental management and conservation at regional level by summarizing goals which have been set in at local level. So goals for inclusion in regional and municipal action plans are decided through assessment of the following factors:

1) what are the real concerns of real people living in the territory;

2) which issues of rational environmental management and conservation are of most concern, based on people’s expressed value preferences;

3) what are the most efficacious ways of meeting priorities in the given situation.

This is not to deny that exclusive focus on a “bottom-up” approach can lead to the neglect of global trends and development laws, environmental restrictions and regulations and other important factors.13

Contradictions between the goals of rational environmental management of territorial organizations at different levels may develop into social conflicts. According to the findings of our regional studies, the greatest attention should be paid to conflicts resulting from mismatch between the environmental goals of main influential groups (teleological conflicts); from ethnic differences (ethnic conflicts); and from conflicts based on discordant motivations of individuals at the micro-level. Only when all stakeholders find consensus on the priorities of rational environmental management and the ways of achieving them should these goals be fixed in programs and action plans.

Our studies have shown that teleological (goal-based) conflicts can be regulated in two ways: A) by instrumental alignment of environmental goals within one territory and of goals formulated for territorial organizations at different levels; B) by formalizing the socio-cultural traditions, which determine environmental restrictions and regulations.

А.The instrumental alignment of environmental goals within one territory with goals formulated at other levels of territorial organization should be considered as the critical element of strategic territorial planning based on sustainability. The main goals may be global, continental, interregional, regional, local or may be the goals of a specific resource user. Such goals are, as a rule, contradictory. In order to identify the potential for compromise, an “integrative” approach can be used, focused on conflict prevention (Fomenko G., Fomenko M. & Loshadkin, 1999), where environmental priorities are established in parallel, both “top-down” and “bottom-up”.

We identify conflicts between goals using the comparative matrix proposed in 1996 by G.A. Fomenko, which helps to obtain an aggregate picture uniting the environmental and conservational priorities at different levels of territorial organization. The matrix clearly shows areas of agreement and conflict areas where compromise should be sought by determining the main goal and treating other goals as factors that either support or resist achievement of the main goal. In this approach, the higher management levels (international, national, inter-regional) form a general teleological vector, which determines the boundaries of the institutional space where compromise with lower-level goals needs to be found.

В.Formalization of socio-cultural traditions associated with certain spiritually relevant places or positive images (from the viewpoint of sustainable development) related to sites of natural or cultural heritage helps to consolidate people around a common goal and thus to initiate positive institutional changes. The ancient Romans understood this when they spoke of the genius loci (spirit of place) as the essence of a local territory or settlement. Such traditional belief gives each independent substance its own spirit, its guardian angel. The genius loci is most visibly formalized in symbols and myths14that project the images of territories and thereby become important environmental institution that can stimulate social interaction.

Mythologized images of territories raise their appeal to people and to business and enhance environmental innovation. So the identification of socio-cultural leitmotifs of territorial development, focusing attention on respective symbols and securing them as formal institutions, should be viewed as important factors in institutional environmental change. Poetic images associated with places raise the value of those places for their inhabitants, and formalization of this phenomenon is particularly significant for Russia where traditions of local self-governance are weak, private ownership has not taken root and the idea of compromise in the making of collective decisions remains foreign to the majority of people.

Humanizing the methodologies for economic evaluation of natural resources and eco-system services

Soil, water, air and mineral resources, plants and animals, insects and other genetic resources have always been the foundation of economic development. Their undervaluation leads to inaccurate estimates of the structure of the wealth of a country, region of local territory, which can entail to strategic and tactical mismanagement at all levels of territorial organization. This is highly relevant to Russia as a country where the wellbeing of its people depends to a great extent on its natural resource base.

From the economic standpoint, the question is this: how to use the resources of territories, including their natural resources, in the most beneficial way? In a perfectly competitive market prices ensure that resources are distributed so as to ensure their most beneficial use. Prices act as carriers of abstract information on the state of the market and form a “price space” (F. Hayek’s term). Changes of relative prices are filtered by mental structures, which interpret them and initiate institutional environmental changes. This is the case of formal and, to a lesser extent, informal institutions. In actual (as opposed to perfect) markets price changes can have different effects: sometimes they lead to institutional changes and sometimes to the revision of contracts in the framework of the existing rules (North, 1997). Relative price changes cause people to rationalize their standards of environmental behavior.

There are no perfectly competitive markets in real life, which means that only part of the potential value of natural resources is reflected in their market prices, whereas the remainder (both costs and benefits) is not made evident in market processes. As a result, their value is not adequately recognized (or even not accounted for) in development plans. That leads to a mistaken belief in the scarcity of natural goods, and to disregard for the traditional perceptions of local people about the value of certain resources and the feasibility of certain approaches to environmental management.

Such so-called “market failures” require special explanation.

Firstly, it is not possible to determine the price of many natural resources, as there are no markets for them (this is true of atmospheric air, waterways, large eco-systems, landscapes, audio and electromagnetic ranges, etc.). Some eco-resources, such as air or water, have never been priced or their price has been significantly understated, leading to their over-utilization. This is inevitable because such natural resources cannot be privately owned. They are in open access, but although not a commodity and existing outside the market system, they nevertheless become a factor of production, i.e., they enter the system and generate net profit.

Further, the assessment of projects and of decisions does not take account of so-called externalities (external effects), i.e., the consequences of the activity of one firm (or individual) for other firms, groups of people or individuals, who are not involved in that activity. For example, felling of trees on a hillside increases the amount of sediment in the streams running off the hill, and farmers working the land downstream incur costs for its removal.

Serious difficulties arise from inevitable transaction costs (the necessity to comply with agreements and terms in the course of joint exploitation of natural resources, i.e., time, efforts, negotiations and consultations, obtaining information, etc.), as well as vague definition of ownership rights for natural and environmental resources. Finally, there is uncertainty caused by lack of knowledge of the environmental effects of economic activities (many such effects being irreversible in nature). The situation is aggravated by shortsighted political decisions regarding environmental protection, where priority is often given to immediate results while ignoring long-term interests.

In its studies of economic evaluation of natural resources and eco-system services the Cadaster Institute uses the methodological approaches of the theory of full economic value15based on the theory of utility16. This conceptual approach helps to mitigate the consequences of “market failures,” as it provides tools for evaluating (in economic terms) the maximum quantity of various benefits (utilities) arising from the use of natural resources and eco-system services. The estimates obtained, analyzed from the point of view of market preferences, can help in making management decisions (Pearce & Markandya, 1989; The economic appraisal, 1995; Turner, Bateman & Pearce, 1993). The tools of qualimetry, which have been fashioned in recent years, can be used to achieve more precise quantitative and qualitative estimates. In this respect we draw on the experience of Russian and foreign scholars, such as A. Markandya, S.N. Bobylev, J. Dickson, O.Ye. Medvdev, and others.

The regional studies carried out by the Cadaster Institute on valuation of various natural resources and eco-system services at the micro-level (water, forest in multi-purpose use, whether as a source of timber or place of recreation, wild game, fisheries, etc.) (Cadaster Institute,2005a; Cadaster Institute, 2005b; Cadaster Institute, 2006b; Fomenko, 2000d) show that such research is feasible and that its results have great practical significance. The estimates are geographically specific. In each case the choice of evaluation technique is determined by pragmatic considerations and the sequence of operations has a number of stages:

  1. the natural resources and eco-system services as well as the areas of their use are determined;
  2. environmental problems associated with such use are identified, negative effects that reduce the value of the natural resources and eco-system services (or deplete them) are determined and methods of evaluation are selected;
  3. the chosen methods are specified taking account of the geographical conditions of the territory.

Special attention must be paid to humanizing both the methodological principles for evaluating natural resources and eco-system services and the interpretation of the data obtained. This implies extension of the range of natural resources and eco-system services under evaluation and of the utilities (benefits) received by different groups of users, as well as the development of tools for interpreting the socio-cultural fundamentals of the indicators.

The potential range of evaluation of natural resources and eco-system services must be extended gradually and cautiously (to avoid distorting the market situation), bringing in non-economic indicators that are socio-culturally-determined, and are often related to notions of responsibility or duty (Fomenko G., 2004). The issue, we believe, is not the creation of absolutely novel approaches to evaluation, but rather a more consistent application of non-market (direct and indirect) approaches to assessment, which takes due account of specific (non-economic) values by adjusting actual market prices to reflect the preference of resource users for specific natural resources or eco-system services. Such evaluation is no less important as a feature of the geo-economic space than market prices: it helps us to understand the behavioral and socio-cultural motivation of resource-users, to measure the efficiency of environmental institutions, and to analyze the specifics and trends of environmental change.

Development and use of the obtained valuations, or rather, their institutional treatment on the basis of “knowledge that understands” is the second way of humanizing the methodology of economic assessment of natural resources and eco-system services. If we fail to understand the behavioral basis for economic valuations (reflecting human perceptions of environmental value and the social significance of certain natural resources, cultural and natural heritage sites), we cannot adequately interpret the findings and draw the conclusions that are necessary for environmental management.

What is most important in such analysis is study of the resource ownership institutions that have taken shape in a specific territory as well as the range of environmental decisions that can be accepted by resource users. This will enable deeper insight into and better account of the peculiarities of countries, regions and local territories, enabling design of the most efficacious methods of environmental regulation, preliminary identification of the countries most suited for borrowing of environmental institutions, and the planning of institutional changes.

The creation of a humanized methodology for the economic evaluation of natural resources and eco-system services depends on prioritizing the micro-level, using the tools of “knowledge that understands” at all stages, including aggregation of the data obtained. The potential for comparative geographical studies and for the compiling of behavioral maps is evident (Fomenko G., 1997).

The methodological approaches developed by the Cadaster Institute are highly relevant for improving territorial systems of environmental and economic accounting. The findings of our research projects confirm that a mere transplant to Russia of the System for Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA), however successful it has been in other countries, would be of little use without proper understanding of the socio-cultural meaning of each indicator that measures the attitude of local people to natural resources (water, forest goods, etc.). Our view is that every country or region should make research into the micro-level of environmental management its priority area and primary concern in the development of a comprehensive system for environmental and economic accounting. This is the only way of creating a real information base for effective decision making oriented to both present and future generations. It also helps to make environmental monitoring more efficacious, as it provides better understanding of the causes of natural resource depletion, particularly the depletion of natural resource in public use.

A humanized methodology for economic evaluation of natural resources and eco-system services offers a framework for solving applied problems of rational environmental management, enabling territorial planning and environmental infrastructure projects that will prove effective in current conditions (Cadaster Institute, 2012b; Cadaster Institute 2012c; Cadaster Institute, 2012d; Cadaster Institute 2013a), and supporting decision-making to provide the necessities of life for people in specific territories, e.g., proper water supply for towns and rural settlements (Loshadkin, 2001b). The indicators obtained in the course of the studies also provide for the creation and use of innovative environmental mechanisms, e.g., territorial and corporate environmental ratings, refined assessments of the efficiency of investment projects, etc.

Approaches to risk in environmental management and the socio-cultural context of risk perception

The production, distribution and consumption of risks are a part of the functioning of society, and social development leads to risk accumulation. U.Beck (2000) asserts that today’s risks, unlike those of past periods, are the consequence of modernization and the feelings of uncertainty and anxiety associated with it. Contemporary society has to grapple with a clear contradiction: on the one hand, technology has reduced the vulnerability of people to risks posed by the natural elements, but, on the other hand, environmental risk now endangers the very existence of our civilization and even life on our planet. The history of risk studies has been described by foreign and Russian experts (detailed reviews of the key ideas of the western scholars can be found in works by O. Yanitsky (1997; 2003), A. Mozgovaya (2001) and Ye. Shlikova (2001).

Drawing on theory, we need to find ways of integrating environmental risks and risks to human health into environmental management. It is valuable, for this purpose, to look into the heterogeneity of risks, already noted by A. Mol (1995) who distinguishes two main types of environmental risk and, respectively, two types of risk reflex. The first type consists of mega risks, which threaten the entire human habitat and have global consequences (natural disasters, major human-made accidents, etc.). The second type includes everyday risks (pollution of the local environment, poor quality of drinking water, smoke from factory chimneys, etc.). In the former case, risk reflex is based on the expert opinion of scientists, who therefore bear a huge burden of responsibility to society and the future. In the latter case, risk reflex is primarily based on the social experience and psychological sentiment of people. We believe that, in both cases, the risk reflex is characterized by the cultural basis of the information carriers, whether experts or resource users.

The recent upsurge in environmental risk has entailed institutional changes and ongoing adjustment of tools for addressing risk, specifically:

  • Improvement of the regulatory mechanisms themselves. This is seen in rapid development of environmental risk management, construed as the process of managerial decision making and implementation aimed at reducing the probability of negative impact and minimizing potential losses;
  • Health hazard assessment procedures. The socio-cultural aspect plays an important role here because human beings live “inside” culture and are inseparable from it. By developing A. Mol’s ideas and carrying out specific studies, we have identified and described two groups of environmental risk determinants:

А) factors related to actual threats to human survival and health and to environmental safety;

В) factors rooted in mentality, in culture-specific, non-reflexiveassessments, myths and phobias, in culturally-determined cognitive processes, axiological structures and patterns for resolving typical everyday problems in thehumanity-society-naturesystem. Those groups of factors are often conflicting, calling for the design of a system that can analyze environmental risks, identify and describe risk cycles, taking account of the socio-cultural specifics of territories. Information support for timely risk reflexivity among various social groups is no less important.

А. Research work and analytical studies aimed at raising the level of environmental safety and lowering risks to human life and health. This presupposes determination of integral impact on environmental components and of factors affecting human health. The territorial health patterns and risk range, which are identified, can be visualized by means of medical-geographical mapping. Methodologically, such studies are based on causality theory (I.V.Davidovsky), the theory of natural focality (Ye.N.Pavlovsky, V.Ya.Podolyan), and the theory of geographical pathology (A.P.Avtsin). Medical-geographical studies by B.B.Prokhorov, Ye.L.Raikh S.M.Malkhazova, V.S.Tikunov, S.A.Kurolap and others are of much use. Scientific medical-geographical approaches are an integral part of the assessment of risks to population health. A specialized division of the Cadaster Institute, the Center for Health Risk Assessment17, is working on these research aspects (the present book develops methodological approaches proposed by G.G.Onishchenko, S.L.Avaliani, B.A.Revich, K.A.Bushtueva, N.V.Zaitseva and a number of foreign studies, particularly those of М. Brodi, D. Hattis, R. Goble, A. Koines, M.A. Callahan and others).

Differentiated territorial analysis of the risk space is, in our view, an urgent task for defining the types and dynamic characteristics of such space. The main tool of such analysis is medical-geographical and environmental-geographical mapping. The major sources of hazards include both functioning facilities and facilities implicated in earlier instances of pollution (past environmental damage). Together, these create a space of environmental risks, which “fluctuates” in tune with changes of economic structure and spatial organization. For instance, the processes of compression of the economic space, which have gathered pace in recent years, entail substantial changes in the territorial structure of environmental risks. Towns and cities where new high-tech businesses take root see environmental improvements, but associated modernization risks, most of them unpredictable, also inevitably increase (Beck, 2000). As the development risk becomes greater due to the climate disequilibrium and man-made impact on the environment, and as new technologies (sometimes not at all green) become prevalent, the main environmental risks tend to be concentrated in urban areas (Borodkin, 2013a; Borodkin, 2013b; Borodkin, 2014a; Borodkin, 2014b; Borodkin & Pikulina, 2014; Fomenko G., 2010a; Fomenko G., 2013b; Fomenko G., Fomenko M. & Borodkin, 2010; Fomenko G., Borodkin, Fomenko M. & Shitikova, 2013; Fomenko G., 2011; Fomenko G., 2012; Fomenko G., 2013a; Fomenko M. & Borodkin, 2012; Pikulina, Borodkin & Fomenko G., 2015).

Territories, which the general trend of rapid economic development passes by, become areas of the greatest environmental risk due to depletion of the natural resources, on which their budget revenue depends (particularly in single-industry towns), and increase in the number of the victims of past pollution (e.g., closure plants, unprofitable mines, etc., which have been transferred to the responsibility of local administrations). It is here that the risk of destructive behavior inevitably increases, especially with respect to shared natural resources and goods (illegal logging, poaching, etc.). Hence the need for regionalization of environmental management, and for its orientation to reducing specific environmental risks and developing new approaches to infrastructure development. The risk structure in a specific territory determines the structure of territorial management priorities.

It is important to analyze the processes of risk evolution, e.g., to track its development within some limited space up to the risk point, or, on the contrary, to go beyond a certain local territory and cover wide geographical expanses. This is made possible by computer modeling of risk assessment and the construction of evolutionary models of hazards posed by chemical or physical factors and by climate change. Researchers can then consider risk evolution in a concrete area in the long term. Studies by the Cadaster Institute have identified the specifics and prospects of risk assessment for managerial decision making on the sustainable development of territories (towns and settlements). In this context, a principle of caution, taking account of justified economic costs and clear benefits for human health and environmental protection, becomes the dominant aspect of risk management practice.

B. Studies of everyday environmental risks undertaken by the Cadaster Institute in recent years are based on the social experience and psychological sentiments embodied in culture-specified, non-reflexive assessments, myths and phobias, in models for the solution of typical everyday problems of interaction within thehumanity-society-naturesystem. The individual cannot know all of the possible remote environmental impacts of his actions and, in a wider context, this entails the impossibility of foreseeing and forecasting future events. Each person acts in a situation of incomplete knowledge and information (compounded by inevitable partial distortions) in real time when decisions are made and implemented.

Conflicts between personal and group interests, environmental ideologies, cultures and subcultures, ethnic and social constraints on the range of choice of acceptable decisions by resource managers – all of these things, taken together, tend to induce chaos in the space of human existence. Environmental culture can be understood as a struggle against the reduction of such relations to chaos; it structures the space by multiple duplicating systems of error correction, adjustment, mutual alignment and regulation. Any culture generates a system of activities to eliminate chaos: professions are distinguished, a social space is shaped, standards and rules are provided (Pelipenko & Yakovenko, 1998).

Social and cultural regulators in the environmental sphere offer a wide spectrum of formal and informal environmental institutions. The older the culture, the more “adjusted” it is to the natural context, the older and more stable are its social institutions, the lower the level of chaos and the more efficacious its mechanisms of localization (Yakovenko, 2006). Accordingly, there are two fields of study of everyday environmental conflicts. The first reviews socio-cultural restrictions and regulations in the course of institutional environmental change, focusing on trends in Russian culture that tend towards chaos and towards streamlining of environmental activities. The second field of study concerns the response of Russian people to the importation of environmental institutions from other countries and the respective changes to environmental systems in Russia and its regions. Interest here is concentrated on the transition from a static, traditional society to a dynamic society in the process of modernization. Our experience of how to prevent pollution by the processes of production and consumption has proved the viability of such analysis.

So by dividing environmental risks into two types (as mega-risks and everyday risks), methodological approaches to environmental management can be appropriately adjusted, since risk-reflexivity differs essentially for each of these groups. All these environmental risks are part of a single system determining the behavior of resource users. The place of a specific risk in the structure of risk-reflexivity defines the goals and priorities of environmental work. It is to be noted that the degree of seriousness of the first group of risks (mega-risks) is much dependent on their translators, a fact which enhances the role and significance of expert knowledge. On the whole, reflection on mega-risks is mainly actualized in activities at national and supra-national levels, while reflection on everyday risks is mostly the responsibility of regional and local levels of management.

Eco-modernization and transition to the green economy

In the current understanding, modernization as a macro-process of transition from a traditional to a modern society is associated with profound changes in human civilization affecting all spheres (economy, society, politics, culture, environment) and reaching out to both advanced and less-advanced countries. There is now a clearly defined global technology mainstream, which is directed towards mutually connected and systematic development of four basic technologies: info-, bio-, nano- and eco-. They provide the foundation of advanced technologies for extracting gas and oil, cutting costs for sea transport of liquefied natural gas, large-scale cultivation of genetically modified biomass for conversion into new forms of fuel and into pulp for the production of cheap cellulose. These innovations are already affecting the structure of energy resource markets and prices for natural raw materials. The new technological order is exerting considerable influence on both economic and social processes.

Meanwhile, exacerbation of environmental and other worldwide risks caused by climate changes, expanding economic globalization and concurrent polarization of the world, with escalating ethnic conflicts mean that modernization can no longer be regarded merely as the transition from a traditional to a modern society.

Modernization processes in contemporary societies have acquired new, formerly unseen, features, notably, the development of eco-modernization and the green economy. In 1990 ecological modernization was declared to be a national strategy in the Netherlands. Eco-modernization (both as a scientific theory and eco-political strategy) has also developed in Japan, Brazil and New Zealand, and is widely used in eco-politics in Germany and the UK. The general development trends of socio-ecological relations in other western economies are largely of an eco-modernization character.

The term “green” economy is also not entirely new. It was first used in the Project for a Green Economy (Pearce & Markandya, 1989). Development of its conceptual framework and basic premises began from one of the nine Joint Crisis Initiatives put forward by the UN Secretary General and the UN’s Chief Executives Board for Coordination in 2008 in response to the financial crisis (the UN Green Economy Initiative). A number of related terms were also coined at the time, including “green growth” and “greening of the economy” (often interchangeable). Transition to the green economy is already underway in developed economies. The international business community (or rather, the part of it which is interested in such a development scenario) has also launched major initiatives, stimulating changes in national legislation and international agreements and including an environmental agenda as part of doing business.

It is gratifying to note that, despite the numerous difficulties experienced since 2008, global investments in environmentally clean technologies have continued to grow steadily. According to OECD data, their total amount will reach USD 4.5 trillion by 2020. The environment is now one of the most dynamic innovation-intensive markets. Conceptions of waste management are also changing: some types of waste are now viewed as a valuable resource18. As President Putin has noted, issues of green growth, reduction of emissions and rational waste recycling, including the use of waste for power generation, have now been included in the global agenda. He also stressed the importance of creating conditions for rational disposal of waste by manufacturing enterprises: “Waste utilization and recycling is a complex, but very promising line of business. We must create conditions for attracting investors, small- and medium-sized businesses to this sector”.

However, modernization brings with it a host of problems, since the development of any new technology presupposes changes in the institutional environment; moreover, some of the changes, which have to be made, are incompatible with the existence of rapidly ageing industrial institutions, mechanisms and fixed assets. The main feature of the new stage of modernization has been increased volatility of prices for natural resources and eco-system services, and decline in prices for a range of natural raw materials (gas, etc.). This entails changes in the spatial organization of socio-economic development, abandoning decision-making stereotypes, which had previously seemed effective. Global commodity markets are being reallocated and the economic space is ever more differentiated: new growth areas are appearing, but problems of poverty have appeared in many settlements that used to be prosperous. This entails new socio-economic contradictions and exacerbation of those, which already exist, leading in some cases to a conflict of objectives.

These problems were highlighted in the second half of the 20th century by the failure of the approach of modernization champions, who believed that social processes in developing economies could be fostered by increasing the volume of economic “aid,” i.e., by transfer of modern technologies and public investments to “third world” countries. In reality the “aid” led to the exacerbation of internal contradictions and to inequality, which, in turn, slowed down growth rates, exacerbated unemployment and poverty, and produced social tension and new conflicts based on socio-cultural prerequisites.

Analyzing the mistakes that have been made, the expert community is now agreed that modernization is a very complex and multi-faceted process, which goes beyond technical innovation and requires a systematic approach in line with sustainability theory. While industrialization begets rationalization, bureaucratization and secularization, post-industrialization entails self-discipline and the value of self-expression (Inglehart & Welzel, 2005). It is natural that the issue of the “human dimension of global change” and timely implementation of institutional and organization measures to meet the new challenges at all levels of management (including local) has recently been brought to the foreground (e.g., the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP))19.

In assessing the prospects for eco-modernization and transition to the green economy we proceed from a number of fundamental premises. First of all, living nature should be endowed with certain subjectivity, compliant with the positions of ecological ethics (Hösle, 1993). The new ethics, according to H. Jonas (2004), must gradually become “ethics oriented to the future” (Zukunftethik), as Jonas writes, we now need “far-seeing forecasts, extended responsibility (before the whole of kind in the future) and profound intents (the whole future essence of humankind), and …serious mastering of the power of technology”. Secondly, when pursuing eco-modernization, we must take account of existing institutional systems determined by the socio-cultural specifics of countries and nations.

Methodologically, this means viewing the impact of socio-cultural peculiarities of territories on modernization processes as a transcendent fact, and theoretically, as a system of methodological constraints which can be used in scientific research and for analyzing the practice and organization of environmental activities and rational environmental management. Respective studies by the Cadaster Institute focus on the following aspects:

1) assessment of socio-cultural modernization, sustainable development and socio-cultural impact on competitiveness in the sphere of rational environmental management and nature conservation;

2) socio-cultural aspects in determining priorities and measurement and performance indicators for modernization strategies and environmental programs and action plans;

3) development of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental management through the prism of cultural modernization theory;

4) investigation of the socio-cultural fundamentals of institutional environmental changes, identification of the potential for promoting innovative work in the environmental sphere and territorial coordination of resource users in order to reduce ecological risks.

Eco-modernization does not have a “founding father,” although Joseph Huber (Germany) might possibly be considered to be its ideological founder. The theory of eco-modernization is now being developed by many sociologists and economists. Proponents of one branch of the theory see the main effect of such modernization in the change of industrial technologies (Huber, 1994; Mol, Spaargarten, Kalpxijk & Huber, 1991). Others believe that eco-modernization depends on macro-economic restructuring (Janicke, Monch, Ranneburg & Simonis, 1989). A number of authors have judged that eco-modernization is a matter of ecological politics (Bohmer-Christainsen & Weidner, 1995; Gouldson & Murphy, 1998; Weale, 1992). Representatives of the most recent line of research, M.Hajer (1996) and J.Druzek (1997), interpret eco-modernization as emerging from cultural politics and discourse. Other scholars regard it as restructuring and institutional reflexivity (Mol, 1996; Spaargarten, Mol & Buttel, 1992), inspired by works on risk theory in modernist society (Beck, Giddens & Scott, 1994).

The theory of eco-modernization has received its fullest expression in the concept of Green Economics, which is extensively discussed at the most reputable international expert platforms. Green Economics is a form of economic organization, which provides human wellbeing and social justice, while reducing risks for the environment and risks of its depletion20. The theory of Green Economics is based on three assumptions: 1) it is impossible to infinitely expand a sphere of influence within a limited space; 2) infinitely growing needs cannot be satisfied from scarce resources; 3) everything on the surface of our Planet is interrelated. In this approach, the emphasis in not only on industrial modernization, reduction of resource intensity and energy saving, but also on preservation of the goods that people obtain from eco-systems. The theoretical foundations of Green Economics were laid by R. Costanza, J. Proops, J. Van Der Bergh, R. Bailey21, as well as by the works by M. Bookchin,J. Jacobs, D. Pierce, A. Markandya, E. Schumacher, L. Margulis, D. Korten,B.Faller, H. Daly, D. Meadows, P. Hawken, and others. In Russia this approach is being developed by N.N. Lukianchikov, K.G. Gofman, T.S. Khachaturov, V.M. Zakharov, S.N. Bobylev, R.A. Perelet and others.

The thought of He Chuanqi concerning the two stages of the modernization process – “first modernization” and “second modernization” – is of critical importance for understanding the issues of eco-modernization and Green Economics. Each stage is related to a specific era of civilization. The first modernization refers to the industrial era and the second to the information or knowledge-based era. Each stage contains four evolutionary phases: commencement, development, maturity and transition. He Chuanqi also believes in the existence of a third stage, that of integrated modernization, which he considered to be a coordinated development of the first and second stages. At none of these stages do the functions of religion and traditional cultural heritage disappear, nor do the world cultures merge, because changes in culture do not occur in a linear manner: cultural development may be a backwards process. He Chuanqi makes the justified remark that “on the one hand, from humanistic positions, every culture is equal to all others and has equal chances of survival and development: they are all parts of universal human culture. On the other hand, from the viewpoint of development and modernization, different cultures have different degrees of competitiveness; different countries and people have differing levels of development and different types of cultural life; and we might say that different cultures are not equivalent [with respect to modernization processes (author’s note)]. If we combine the ideas of anthropology and modernization, each culture will face the problem of preserving its identity and the need for modernization. For the past 300 years, cultural modernization, together with social, economic and political modernization, have been changing the world and humankind” (Lapin, 2011).

Developing the above premises as applied to eco-modernization and progress towards green economy, the surest foundations are to be found in a philosophical and methodological approach based on the subject-object logic of Schelling’s natural philosophy. Such orientation provides a new starting point for studying the interrelationship between modernization processes and environmental management, i.e., as a transition of the nature–society–humanity system in its entirety and interdependence to a new state at the next turning in the modernization process. Importantly, recognition of tri-unity in the process of modernization cannot be a guarantee of environmental safety because it does not negate people’s desire to transform the world in their own interests. The dreams of the conquest of nature, which dominated the industrial era and the greater part of the 20th century, are, to a large extent, what led to the current environmental crisis.

At the present moment in the modernization process, human reflection on expansion of the risk space is on the increase, and approaches to sustainability are being expanded and supplemented by the notion of resilience (lowering of vulnerability). This entails a shift towards transitional, unstable states of the nature–society–humanity system. At theUN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (2012) the last President of the USSR, M.S.Gorbachev, stated that sustainable development is the only real basis for agreement on development issues and prevention of war in humankind’s transition to a new technology format.

H.Jonas (2006) has also emphasized the unprecedented responsibility of individuals for the moral orientation of the humanity, reflecting the exceptional gravity of the current historical situation. We believe that this entails a need for the ecologization of development processes in several directions:

  1. modernization of the economy and of machinery and technology with due account for environmental factors;
  2. development of economic methodology (as understood by S.N.Bulgakov22) based on the ideas of sustainable development oriented to co-evolution of nature and humanity;
  3. humanization of environmental values and a system of goal setting for economic activity, development of environmental ethics that meet the requirements of the time.

The validity of these premises is confirmed by the decision of the World Summiton Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (2012), where the majority of countries, irrespective of their different geographical, social and cultural traditions, voiced commitment to the principles of sustainable development23.

A large part of the research now being carried out by the Cadaster Institute investigates how current environmental modernization processes are determined by reflection on environmental risks. Much attention is given to finding ways and means of stimulating innovations in the field of nature conservation (including economic mechanisms). We assume that it is possible to obtain economic growth and preserve the environment by means of new technologies and environmental restrictions, which target sustainable development. By preventing pollution and cutting waste in the processes of production and consumption, and by saving raw materials and power while increasing output, we can incorporate environmental restrictions into the mechanism of production. This means that restrictions cease to be considered as such, and instead become ways of generating additional profit. The importance of eco-modernization is recognized today from both environmental and economic standpoints, as it generates substantial economic benefits by making production less resource intensive and more energy-efficient. This assumes a combination of regulation and self-organization, in which the state plays the main role. Cooperation and partnership to mitigate environmental risks becomes the leading principle of interaction for all social groups.

It has become evident in recent years that the state needs to take a new role in the environmental sphere, providing support for startups and financing innovative research and development that has important applications. This is the type of support that the Russian environmental goods and services sector (worth just USD 1.4 billion or about 0.2% of the global total) needs today. For comparison, the contribution of environmental business to GDP in developed economies is between 10% and 24%, and new technologies for clean manufacturing, energy-efficient machinery and alternative power sources are growing rapidly in these countries. Potential also exists for the achievement of a double-positive effect, where the solution of economic problems is accompanied by positive environmental impacts, by focusing on the ecologization of territorial planning and new approaches to strategic documents for territorial development (Mau & Kuzminova, 2012).

The studies carried out by the Cadaster Institute have shown that consistent implementation of a system of environmental impact standards using available technologies can do much to promote the environmental goods and services market24. Calculations have shown that this provide a major contribution to development of the green goods and services sector (technology for the manufacture of advanced water treatment filters for repeated water use, new durable materials for reducing amounts of waste, etc.). The green sector will boost employment, particularly in the high-tech sector, and the modernization of manufacturing will lower environmental health risks.

Systematic information support for environmental management

Socio-cultural adjustment of environmental management in the context of transition to the new economy presupposes enhanced requirements for determining and measuring trends in self-development of the nature–society–humanity system, including trends, which were previously unobservable. As far back as the 15th century, the philosopher Nicolas of Cusa (1937), who can justifiably be called the harbinger of the scientific world perception, stated that human beings can cognize nature by their senses, imagination, reason and intellect. As he wrote: “Reason, from the moment when its nature admits transition to speculation, comprehends only the universal, the incorruptible and the continuous.” In his treatise The Layman on Mind (Idiota de Mente– Lat.),25he states the importance of devising exact methods of measurement, chiefly mathematical. The philosopher believed that cognition of genuine essences (“proper truth”) was not possible, that human knowing amounts to the creating of concepts that are “the assimilation of beings,” a more or less accurate “image or likeness” of truth. He advocated the concept of “learned ignorance,” since even the deepest knowledge could not eliminate ignorance.

In our time, ecological indicators measure harmful effects on the environment arising from production and consumption. The selection of ecological indicators should give preference to requirements which, if successfully met, ensure rational interaction between human agency and the environment, maintain the environment in a satisfactory state and identify risks associated with direct and indirect impact on the natural world.

As well as traditionally designed ecological indicators, much importance attaches to measurements, which show:

1) the state and utilization of natural goods and eco-system services;

2) formation and development of environmental institutions and dynamics of the environmental institutional space;

3) ecological risk reflection as the basic factor for environmental and resource-saving activity;

4) goal setting processes in the environmental sphere, prevention and mitigation of conflicts over the use of natural resources and eco-system services.

Due to the specifics of today’s statistical and other information resources, a large number of the above-mentioned groups of indicators nowadays refer to the un-registered economy. It is important, therefore, to develop methodological approaches and practical ways of producing the indicators, which, supplementing traditional information resources, can provide consistent information support for environmental management based on a socio-cultural methodology. This requires a goal-oriented synthesis of environmental-economic indicators produced in the framework of an environmental-economic accounting system, special socio-cultural indices that would help to compare different countries and nations by means of ethnometric tools, as well as environmental, sustainability and green economy indicators which can be integrated in the Joint System of Environmental Information. Special attention should be given to methods of processing large data sets, their visualization and process modeling on this basis for information and analytical support of environmental management in specific socio-cultural contexts.

Ever since its foundation the Cadaster Institute has focused on studies of the use and development in Russia of an environmental economic system and our Institute is now among the leaders in this field. We are proud of the high standards of work, established from the outset by Professor A. Markandya, who is among the authors of the guidelines for the UN System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (1992) and of the very term, “the green economy” (Pearce, Markandia & Barbieret, 1989), and who advised us in the initial stages of our work. Substantial support is also provided by S.N.Bobylev, A.D.Dumnov, A.Khant and R.A.Perelt. Numerous interdisciplinary research projects at the Institute, both theoretical and applied, involve high-caliber experts in the humanities and natural sciences. This approach has enabled us to make a significant contribution to the adaptation to Russian conditions of environmental-economic accounting, as a satellite to the system of national accounts. Our findings are used by federal executive agencies (the Federal Statistics Service, Ministry of Natural Resource and others), public authorities in Russian regions and localities, administrations of specially protected areas and other relevant bodies.

The fundamental importance of the system of environmental-economic accounting (SEEA, 2014) for a socio-cultural approach to environmental management is, in our view, determined by the very nature of the SEEA as a basis for understanding the interrelationship between the economy and the environment with the help of relevant statistical indicators. The first attempts to include data on resource consumption in economic analysis were made as early as the 1930s, when the theoretical works of A.Marshall, J.Keynes,К.Clark, J.Stone and others enabled the design of accounts, which combined all indicators of economic activities. In the late 1960s, research work enabled the design of new approaches to building and operating statistical information systems by unified accounting of different forms of capital (economic, natural, human). This clearly showed, for the first time, the need to include natural assets in national accounting systems, due to the exceptional role of those assets in the provision of livelihoods and economic functioning. The UNConference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (1992)gave a strong impetus to the process, byadopting the document Creation of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting in the framework of Agenda 21. Since that time the Central Framework of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting has been developed for use as an international standard, providing information support for the green economy, which can be used to solve a range of vital tasks in territorial management. Such tasks include:

  1. the analysis of cash flows in the environment–economy– environment system, assessment of the extent and rates of depletion of environmental resources;
  2. determining the impact of real utilization (including pollution) of resources and of environmental efforts on the consumption (stable or unstable) of specific resources and on their stocks, enabling regulation of current environmental policy in accordance with the goals of territorial sustainable development;
  3. involvement in the development of environmental strategies and of a general strategy for social and economic development;
  4. determining the role of environmental assets in the formation and direction of regional cash flows, which helps to find and substantiate possible sources of financing for specific environmental solutions;
  5. coordination of the overall social and economic policies of a region taking account of growth of the environmentally adjusted GDP indicator.

The uniform approaches of the SEEA are used in over 150 countries, which are engaged in improvement of their resource accounting and assessment. Many countries (Australia, Canada, China, Columbia, Italy, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, Sweden) have detailed accounting programs and a number of international initiatives are in progress, such as Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Eco-System Services (WAVES), the Green Growth Strategies (World Bank), the Green Economy Initiative (UNEP), and the EU Strategy for Environmental Accounting (European Commission)26.

Research carried out over many years by the Cadaster Institute shows that SEEA methodology, which enables study of the stock and use of natural resources and eco-system services in physical and monetary indicators at different territorial levels (national, regional, local), provides meaningful scientific results by making it possible to identify the subjective preferences of specific users of natural resources and eco-system services.

Further efficiency gains in use of the methodology could be achieved by a focus on value-based motivation and deeper understanding of subjective value, including such categories as value of a deferred alternative, of existence and of succession. Such a focus resonates with use of the homo responsabilis model in socio-cultural methodology of environmental management, and precisely this has inspired the Cadaster Institute to take the SEEA and its humanization as one of its main research directions. The effect is to expand assessments in accordance with the real value of natural resources for users, including socio-culturally determined non-economic values, thus providing important information for management decisions. So the humanized monetary valuations of natural resources and eco-system services, which reflect both the market situation and the socio-cultural peculiarities of territories, help to obtain vital characteristics of the state and dynamics of the geo-economic space. The inclusion of such valuations in environmental-socio-economic analysis as additional territorial indicators via the SEEA mechanism can therefore be of great help. This conclusion is confirmed by the findings of a number of Cadaster’s projects: assessment of natural resources and eco-system services at micro-level for local government and for administrations of specially protected areas; and the formulation of priorities for strategic planning of environmental development in territories and their environmental management.

As regards the socio-cultural methodology of environmental management, it is critically important that SEEA approaches to assessing natural capital and its components in specific territories helps to identify risks of socially dangerous depletion of the resource base. Ways of replacing the shortfall in income and preventing environmental conflicts can then be found in a timely manner. Sudden shortages of staple resources (particularly uncultivated biological resources, such as fishery and hunting sites, forests, mineral and power resources, water resources) can lead to sharp increase in unemployment, escalation of social conflicts and aggravation of environmental problems. The crucial nature of this problem for sustainable development is shown by its inclusion in WTO standards: Article XX(g) states that GATT does not prevent its members from taking measures that can be described as “the conservation of exhaustible natural resources,” providing such measures do not constitute a “disguised restriction on international trade” or “discrimination between countries,” and they must be carried out in conjunction with restrictions on domestic production or consumption.

There have been attempts in recent years to integrate measurements of eco-system services as a part of the SEEA. The notion of eco-system services introduced in the report Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) has changed the tenor of environmental discussions, including those that concern biodiversity. Assessments of eco-system services enable implementation of certain concepts, which are vital for determining the role in territorial development of specially protected natural areas and for defining ways to preserve such areas. Every natural site generates flows of goods and eco-system services that determine its value, including its economic value (quantities of eco-system services should be measured, as far as possible, not only in physical but also in monetary terms). It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the economic value of specially protected natural areas depends on their flows of eco-system services. Accounting of these flows provides an adequate assessment of natural areas as a part of national wealth, providing important information for management decisions on possible removal of a part of the flows in order to protect biodiversity.

Our experience of adapting the SEEA methodology to Russian conditions and of humanizing its methodology has shown that indicators for evaluating natural capital and its components expand the opportunities for analyzing natural resources as a part of national wealth and as an important factor for economic, social and environmental development of the country and its regions. These indicators provide significant information for evaluating and raising the efficiency of natural capital management and for evaluating the budgetary efficiency of environmental management. They also make it possible to analyze dynamics of the stock of natural resources in a territory, to judge the stock of resources at their given rate of utilization and to make appropriate decisions on optimization of environmental management.

Our studies involve careful planning of raw data collection and we make efforts to expand the range of the information sources, which are used. Two environmental-economic matrixes are constructed, in compliance with the SEEA methodology: a “white” matrix (integrating data of statistical surveys and ministerial accounting) and a “grey” matrix (containing indicators that characterize the facts and phenomena of the unregistered economy). This entails a special role for expert opinion and choice of sources of raw information, and requires particular approaches to understanding and interpretation of the data, but, overall, it serves to increase the socio-cultural content of the results obtained.

The inclusion in the environmental management information system of indicators for the state and dynamics of natural capital is highly relevant at the present time, since pressure on natural resources will be a growing problem for Russia in coming years. This entails the possible appearance and expansion of territories affected by environmental and social disasters due to the exhaustion (quantitative and qualitative) of development resources and reduction of biodiversity.

The Cadaster Institute has recently begun investigating socio-cultural measurements in environmental management and ways of integrating them in environmental information systems. The new toolkit of ethnometrics makes it possible to measure how socio-cultural factors impact on the development of institutional systems, including those in the environmental sphere. This opens up new horizons for research into territorial institutional systems, including assessment of their current state and development dynamics, as well as promoting better understanding of historical prerequisites and cultural foundations. As an applied study, ethnometrics helps:

  • to specify socio-cultural factors that determine the efficiency of environmental institutions in specific societies;
  • to reveal the impact of cultures on environmental stability by the numerical methods of factor analysis (albeit aggregative, in comparable indicators);
  • to determine the range of choices of acceptable environmental solutions and limits for imposing environmental restrictions and regulations on the development of socio-natural systems, dependent on the value-based guidelines that are dominant in a specific society.

Studies have shown that theoretical examination of the character of socio-cultural determination of institutional development in the environmental sphere measured by G.Hofstede’s six cultural dimensions (with the addition of “stability of ownership rights”) enables a better understanding of the essentials of environmental work in a particular territory. It makes it possible to evaluate the impact of cultures on the solution of environmental problems, to specify and expand the perception of institutional constraints and trends of environmental institutional systems, and to determine, on that basis, the range of acceptable decisions for resource managers (Fomenko G., 2014). Most essentially, the use of socio-cultural indices enables a priori assessment of a given culture as a factor, which sets the development trend and limits the choice of acceptable options for institutional or organizational changes in the environmental sphere.

The dependence of environmental institutional changes on cultural dimensions is, certainly, of a very general character; so we should be very cautious in applying a universal value scale to the assessment of human behavior. The specifics of each situation must be taken into account and cultural measurements should only be used as indicators, which help to assess the cultural environment and reach an appropriate decision. It is also important to realize that socio-cultural indices cannot predict the behavior of a specific individual. Different socio-cultural conditions in different regions of Russia have to be taken into account, as well as the increasing behavioral differences among people living in big cities.

It is of principle importance that the set of cultural indices and their quantitative and qualitative characteristics are not constant; their rate of change is slow, but it has recently accelerated. From the positions of ecology and the country’s long-term interests, it is desirable that the changes should be towards greater resilience and should have a consistent and irreversible character, improving quality of life with minimum loss of natural wealth. For this reason ethnometric studies, which involve regular monitoring of socio-cultural dimensions, should be included in the methodology of environmental management by objectives at all levels of state regulation.

Studies aimed at the solution of complex environmental issues should make extensive use of the methodological approaches offered by the Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS). The SEIS uses virtual communication between databases to facilitate the gathering, exchange and use of data and information (including statistical and ministerial materials, information from scientific, research and other relevant organizations, etc.), which is required for environmental management (EEA, 2011).

SEIS is being developed in five main directions in order to increase the efficiency of environmental assessments:

1) preparation of comparable content on various topics and geographical levels;

2) dissemination of comparable methods for measuring progress towards a green economy and for assessing the results achieved in multiple sub-areas related to specific natural resources;

3) deployment of various technologies to create infrastructure, which can underpin the gathering, use and assessment of information;

4) organization of relevant knowledge, including its assessment and accessibility;

5) improved coordination in disseminating information about assessment findings and related knowledge.

The SEIS is based on seven principles, by which information should be:

  • managed as close as possible to its source;
  • collected once and shared with others for many purposes;
  • readily available to meet reporting obligations;
  • easily accessible to all users;
  • usable for making comparisons at the appropriate geographical level with the participation of ordinary people;
  • fully available to the general public and at national level in the relevant national language(s);
  • supported through shared, free and open software standards27.

Emphasis should be placed on specification of the content and on extension of the list of environmental, sustainability and green economy indicators and on the adaptation to national conditions of internationally accepted approaches to their formation. Such an approach can help to identify previously unnoticed processes of territorial development. Aiming to improve their research potential, experts of the Cadaster Institute have participated for over five years in the working group on environmental indicators of the UN Committee on Environmental Policy. In particular we participated in preparation of the key report, entitled Europe’s Environment – An Assessment of Assessments (EEA, 2011) published by the UN CEP for the meeting of Environment Ministers of Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, which focused on issues of water resources and water related eco-systems, as well as the green economy.

The Cadaster Institute pays special attention in its research to advanced methods for processing and visualizing data sets, modeling processes in the humanity–society–nature system in order to provide adequate information and analytics for environmental management in a specific socio-cultural context. Environmental-economic indicators, socio-cultural indices and new sustainable development indicators, taken together in their dynamics as key geographical characteristics, help to reveal and analyze the dynamics of the geographical space and discover new facts and processes. This broadens the potential for cartographic support to environmental activities using GIS technologies. This work draws on the intellectual legacy of A.A.Luty in thematic cartography, offering a better understanding of the role, purpose and potential of what Luty called “the language of maps” for creating behavioral maps and map legends in the sphere of rational environmental management and nature conservation.

Application of this approach adds to the scope and visualization of environmental atlases (or, rather, of environmental changes) and of reports on the state of the environment, making them effective instruments of environmental management. The attention to cartographic methods and GIS technologies is quite natural, as recent decades have seen an increase in the role of maps in the life of society: the range of their application has expanded, their importance for the accumulation and transfer of knowledge and information is increasing, and the scope of scientific and applied problems, which they can help to address, has expanded and become more complex. There have also been major discoveries in cartography itself, e.g., the phenomenon of the language of maps, its rules and specifics (Luty, 1985; Luty, 1988). Both Russian and foreign scholars point to a transformation of cartographic epistemology: cartography is mastering new philosophical concepts, scientific approaches and principles, realizing its potential as a phenomenological science with specific attributes.

The establishment of systematic information support for environmental management based on sustainable development improves the quality of national and regional environmental strategies, with due account for their socio-cultural specifics. As a result, decisions on environmental management can be made on the basis of a new and innovative synthesis of the data, showing:

1) the state, impact and measures for resolving priority issues in a long-term perspective;

2) spatial distribution of environmental load, environmental changes and actions to reduce environmental vulnerability;

3) environmental features of main pollutants, classified to GRI standards.

This approach to information support for environmental work brings substantial improvement of the quality of environmental public reporting. The benefits are most visible in territorial reports on the state and protection of the environment and in corporate reporting, as well as in documents recording spatial visualization of environmental data (e.g., ecological and other thematic atlases and cartographic products).



Growing recognition of the importance of unified environmental ethics, attested by the increasing popularity of the Earth Charter in various countries, lends urgency to relevant changes in institutional systems. We need to investigate the opportunities and limitations for changing the socio-culturally determined institutional matrixes, which are the basis of any society, to identify the cultural features that promote or hamper sustainable development. By so doing we will enable resource users to expand the range of acceptable decisions in a specific institutional environment, since the cultural traditions of countries and nations determine the possibility and the nature of modernization in different societies.

It has to be admitted that no single system of risk analysis has been developed to date and it is therefore unsurprising that the problem of “the human dimension of global changes” and timely implementation of the adequate institutional and organization changes at all management levels are key issues today (see, for example, the International Human Dimension for Global Change programme and others). The related task of informed risk reflection among every social group is no less urgent.

Avoidance of social and ethnic crises depends on “fine tuning” of institutional systems, which involves expansion of the conceptual approach of neo-institutional economics (D.North and others) and institution growth theory as developed by leading scholars of the Higher School of Economics (Kuzminov, Radaev, Yakovlev & Yasin, 2005). This methodological approach offers an alternative both to evolutionary rationalism, with its stress on spontaneous development, and to political-legal constructivism based on the possibility of rapid and major transformations. Using a “biological” metaphor, these theorists propose two means of focused institutional change: cultivating existing institutions and growing new ones (Kuzminov, Radaev, Yakovlev & Yasin, 2005). In the environmental sphere, this involves recognition of the feasibility (based on historical traditions) of socio-cultural structuring of new environmental mechanisms in combination with adaptation to specific territories of universal institutions related to risk-reflection on global ecological hazards (Fomenko G., 2011; Fomenko G., 2004).

Environmental institutions restrict or regulate environmental management; their implementation reduces the level of uncertainty regarding environmental impact of economic activities and makes the institutional space more environmentally friendly. The need to reform institutional systems has special urgency today, when ever more critical technologies are emerging worldwide. These technologies pose various risks to human health, environmental safety and even to human life. These risks are aggravated by increasing climate change, which countries must take into account in all their endeavors.

Adequate evaluation of each current situation is the way for society to achieve a new level of sustainable development. This is why the strategic national priorities of the Russian Federation for 2015 include such significant goals as improvement of living standards, economic growth, science and education, living system ecology and rational environmental management, all of which require a systematic approach to their implementation.

As discussed in Chapter 1, the socio-cultural determination of institutional environmental changes is often underestimated. This happens in spite of the obvious fact that any human activity depends directly on people’s beliefs, while their beliefs, in turn, depend on culturally determined images of themselves and the surrounding world. The increasing generation of risks throughout society lends new importance to preventing socio-culturally determined conflicts and contradictions. It is clear that universal access to new technologies and information about the experience of foreign countries is insufficient. What is needed is joint endeavors by actual resource managers to discover and expand the range of acceptable decisions, and to find mechanisms for eco-balancing of territorial institutional systems. These efforts presuppose socio-cultural adjustment of both imported and national environmental institutions.

These issues are of current concern throughout the world, and recognition of the growing risks to sustainable development creates a need for specific responses:

  • inclusion of the sustainability goals (adopted by the UN on 28 September 2015) in strategic planning mechanisms at all levels of territorial organization (this fully corresponds to the provisions of Russia’s National Security Strategy);
  • priority attention to external restrictions on economic activities associated with global environmental risks (restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions, etc.);
  • reassessment of the entirety of the public regulation toolbox currently in use, taking account of new factors, including encouragement of green innovation and green modernization and systemic regulation of natural resource use at regional level in the light of the new development trends;
  • adjustment of existing development indicators used by countries and regions and the design of new ones, taking account of transition to a new technological order and the implementation of measures to ensure sustainable development.

This present chapter offers practical examples of solving specific problems of sustainable development and conflict prevention in the sphere of rational environmental management and conservation. It summarizes the experience of a systemic approach to the use of new environmental mechanisms obtained by adapting the best foreign practices and inventing new practices based on the historically conditioned environmental experience of specific territories. As well as demonstrating mechanisms for including socio-cultural context in environmental management, the cases to be discussed also exhibit some finer elements of organization of public regulation from the positions of sustainable development of territories.

Unique environment systems as the socio-cultural focus of sustainable development in specific territories

The socio-cultural aspect of sustainable development has received more attention in recent years, largely due to the failure of eco-modernization, which neglects the cultural codes of local people. A different practice is gradually taking root, based on an understanding that people cannot acquire rational, goal-oriented and ethical motivation for environmental activity until the reality and sustainability of “place” is discovered and the sense of “placelessness” is overcome. The socio-cultural features of a territory form a certain vector, by which economic, managerial and other actions are assessed. Socio-cultural dominants, including objects and sites of particular spiritual and historical value, have a surprising capacity for consolidating ethical efforts and material resources to enables the sustainable development of territories.

In order for people to want to stay and plan their future in a particular place, that place must have a special and unique image, which is positively perceived. The process of human acquaintance with geographical space is just the generation of places with their own names and with a subtle network of socio-cultural, economic and political links. Only by means of such an image, which reflects the past and is oriented to the future, can we can develop effective mechanisms of environmental management that will be understood and upheld by people. Any other approach risks popular rejection because its goals will not be convincing to the majority. In this case the ethnos and ethics will rise in opposition to change, perceiving it as a challenge to and abuse of ethical decision-making. Such an image (the socio-cultural core of development) is particularly important at a time when institutional systems are undergoing transformation, the slide into disorganization is an increasing risk, the gap between government and society is widening and consolidation of individual activities is particularly necessary.

The essence of the socio-cultural dominant in territorial development can be better grasped using the notion of genius loci (the spirit of place), a fundamental cultural category, which was already used by Plato, who endowed it with the same features as human genius. In this context, objects of natural and cultural heritage (as elements of cultural landscape) acquire a unifying, operational significance: they can change the appeal of territories as a habitat and a locus for the application of broadly conceived innovations. Similarly, when perceived positively, they help to preserve the historically generated image of a place. Setting the task of preserving such objects is in itself enough to unite people (even people from different social groups) for purposeful activity. The significance of objects of natural and cultural heritage is particularly great when it comes to the marketing of territories, when each place becomes a marketable item presented to consumers, both inside and outside the territory.

One of the most prominent natural sites in Yaroslavl Region is the Cedar Grove of the Svyato-Vvedensky Tolga Convent. It is officially recognized as a natural monument and, for many centuries, it has been an important spiritual and environmental symbol, emphasizing the role of the Convent as a socio-cultural axis of regional development. The project entitled “Design of measures to preserve the Cedar Grove of the Tolga Convent as a natural monument of regional significance” was completed by Cadaster Institute in cooperation with the company Projekt A.D. Banja Luka in 2014 as a commission of the administration of Yaroslavl Region (Cadaster Institute, 2014a), with the aim of preserving the Grove as a socio-cultural object promoting traditions of patriotism, ethical values and a caring attitude towards the environment. The researchers carried out an in-depth study of the historical and literary sources, a survey of the current state of the Grove, identified main threats and risks, developed an action plan and determined priorities for conservation of the cedar trees, and drafted a Statement on the Cedar Grove of the Tolga Convent. The work produced methods and formats for the revival of cultural and natural objects and sites as socio-cultural dominants of territorial development and sustainable growth, which have much potential for replication.

Project Methodology and Structure.The project methodology was based on the aim of reviving and preserving the Cedar Grove as a natural-cultural object, retaining ancient cedars and carrying out new planting. The efforts of various social groups, government and business were consolidated around this goal. Such consolidation creates conditions for sustainable development, the significance of which increases at difficult historical moments when the uncertainty and instability of various processes in nature and society are intensified by transformations in science and technology and by climate change and when risks, particularly socio-economic risks, are therefore exacerbated.

The methodology involves a special approach to the planning and design of natural infrastructure (Fig. 2.1). Emphasis is placed on preserving and reviving spiritual values, not by projecting past tendencies into the future, but rather by developing a territory, reinforcing its special image and status by economic activity and landscape planning.

Fig. 2.1. Planning of environmental, social and economic development of the territory where the Cedar Grove of the Tolga Convent is located.
Source: Svyato-Vvedensky Tolga Convent: From the Past to the Future. Urgent Measures for Sustainable Development. Yaroslavl: Cadaster Institute, 1999.

Our work used a broad interdisciplinary synthesis of historical, cultural, scientific and engineering approaches, harmonized with the usual approved methodological approach for work on protected natural areas (Insert 1).

Insert 1

Development of Measures to preserve the natural monument of regional significance the Cedar Grove of the Tolga Convent

Project Structure


1 Situation Review

1.1 Historical background of the Svyato-Vvedensky Tolga Convent and Cedar Grove

1.2 Natural conditions

1.3 Use of the territory

2 Threats to the Cedar Grove of the Tolga Convent

3 Draft Statement, “On the Natural Monument of Regional Significance, the Cedar Grove of the Tolga Convent”

4 Measures for preservation of the natural monument of regional significance, the Cedar Grove of the Tolga Convent

Annexes (historical information, lists of the species at the site (fungi, lichen, plants and animals), register of the cedars with their main biological characteristics, photos)

So the analytical conclusions and proposals were based on analysis of the field study data, archive materials, findings of previous work and expert opinions.

Historical image of the Cedar Grove.The image of the Cedar Grove is closely associated with the history of Svyato-Vvedensky Tolga Convent located near Yaroslavl. The Convent itself has for many centuries been an important religious site, playing a major role in the spiritual life of Russia and the Orthodox Christian world (except during the atheistic period of the USSR).

The Convent was founded in 1314 by Trifon, Bishop of Rostov, who miraculously discovered an icon of the Mother of God in a cedar tree near the Tolga River. A church was then build on the site to house the icon. The early 14th century was a difficult time in Russia’s history and the Convent served as a place of consolation and spiritual strengthening. The date of foundation, August 21, has since been marked by an annual celebration.

The Cedar Grove is the oldest manmade park in the Russian North and represents the first planting of cedars outside their Siberian habitat. It was created more than 500 years ago, when Tsar Ivan IV presented the seedlings to the Convent in gratitude for his recovery from illness. Over 160 Siberian cedars formed a double alley with a pond between them. The seedlings for the Grove were nurtured in a special garden, surrounded by flowers and greenhouse plants, including grapes.

The Tolga Convent always exercised a great spiritual attraction. Its architectural ensemble with churches, bell-towers, ramparts and cedar plantation was an integral part of the local landscape. Up to the revolution of 1917 the Convent also played an important role in the ethical and cultural education of local people. The Convent remained open until 1929, despite the 1918 decree on separation of church and state. In the 1930s it accommodated a Soviet design bureau, working on hydroelectric stations, then from the late 1930s until the 1960s it served as a place of detention for juvenile offenders. The area around the Convent also saw major changes. In 1938 a large industrial rubber plant was established, a “temple” of the new technocratic faith, boldly proclaiming the new atheistic world outlook. A large-scale residential construction program was carried out, supported by a Soviet program of social and cultural development, and the land of the former Convent was transferred to local collective farms. From the 1970s the area was occupied by gardening cooperatives.

The buildings and grounds of the Convent became dilapidated. Although the site was taken under government protection as a historical and cultural monument in 1947, restoration work only began in the 1970s and secular occupants continued to use the premises until 1986. Irreparable damage was done to the Cedar Grove. By 1940 only 83 trees of over 100 years of age remained, and rising water levels in Volga reservoirs, changes in land use, neglect and other reasons led to further losses of ancient cedars. Some conservation work was carried out from 1967 when the Cedar Grove was included in a list of natural monuments but only 46 mature cedars remained by 1987: a total of 141 trees had been lost during the Soviet period.

In 1987 the Tolga Convent was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church, and is revival was supported by municipal and regional authorities, as well as local businesses and volunteers. Much has already been achieved and the general condition and amenities at the Tolga Convent make it one of the most successful examples of restoration of a religious site in Russia today.

Reversing the decline of the Cedar Grove is a long-term task, and further losses of trees were inevitable, despite best efforts in the post-Soviet period (Fig. 2.2).

Fig. 2.2. Numbers of ancient trees in the Tolga Cedar Grove from 1881 to 2015.

The Tolga Convent is regaining its status as a Russian spiritual center and its importance for the cultural development of the territories around it. Restoration of the historic role of the Convent depends largely on harmonious development of the natural-cultural landscape, and preservation and enhancement of the Cedar Grove has symbolic significance for Orthodox Christian Russia. This challenge provides a major impetus for environmental work in the region, by giving it a new and strong socio-cultural foundation. The ancient trees constitute the spiritual and historical image of the Cedar Grove, intriguing and inspiring visitors to the site (Fig. 2.3).

Fig. 2.3. Proposal for a conceptual project

State of the Cedar Grove and current threats.The Cedar Grove of the Tolga Convent was included in the list of special protected natural areas of Yaroslavl Region as a natural monument of regional significance in 1967. It is an important part of the Convent complex and is surrounded by a stone wall, which protects it from intruders and other external damage.

The landscaping of the Grove is governed by a system of four ponds, laid out in a horseshoe shape. The trees are clustered around the ponds and along the central axis of the “horseshoe”. Broadleaved trees and bushes are intermingled with the cedars giving the Grove a picturesque and varied appearance. Particular interest attaches to a circle of 11 lime trees over 120 years old, which symbolize the number of apostles (unfortunately, one tree has been lost). The Grove is also interspersed with old oak trees, larches, maples, ashes and birches as well as apple trees, cherries, lilacs and others.

However, the main value of the grove is represented by its cedar trees (Pinus sibirica). At present the Grove has 202 cedars, of which 23 are 120-200 years old, about 100 are young trees over 25 years old, while the remaining trees are saplings of up to 5 years of age. The present condition of the cedar trees is as follows:

  • the old trees are in a satisfactory or bad condition; none of them can be said to be in good condition. The weakened trees are gradually being lost, mainly due to the effect of wind. The reason for their weakness is not clear: it may be impaired habitat, or could simply be due to their great age;
  • the middle-aged cedars have low growth rates, limited height, considerableexternaldamage and damage from parasites (including their root systems), thinning crowns, and suffer from drying of their branches and tops;
  • the condition of the cedarsaplingsvaries from good to unsatisfactory, some of them appear unable to retain moisture.

Overall, the long-term prospects of the Grove are threatened by low growth rates and limited mechanical resilience of the trees, although the presence of trees of different age ensures the durability of the Cedar Grove as such. The main challenge is to preserve the ancient cedars, which determine the historical image of the Convent complex. This is of particular importance as the Tolga shrine re-emerges as one of Russia's principal spiritual centers, re-affirming its traditional unifying role.

Current threats for the Cedar Grove.Preservation of the Cedar Grove in Yaroslavl Region, far from the natural habitat of Pinus sibirica, poses special challenges. By understanding the reasons for its vulnerability, we can identify the main threats to its existence, evaluate their impact and develop measures for preserving the Grove as a whole and individual trees. Four major vulnerabilities have been identified: A) changes in hydrologic conditions; B) change in land use; C) climate change; D) environment pollution (Fig. 2.4).

А. Changes in hydrological conditions. In the early 20th century, water levels in the Volga River rose to 87.28 m above sea level at the annual peak, falling to 79.57 m in the summertime (a drop of 8 m). After creation of the Rybinsk and Gorky Reservoirs, the water level was permanently higher by as much as 84 m, and the spring-summer drop decreased to 2 m.

Fig. 2.4. Factors of vulnerability of the Tolga Cedar Grove

This has raised the ground water level and caused long-term and excessive moistening and greater soil compaction around the cedar root systems, This prevents the roots from growing downwards, so that roots accumulate in the topsoil, making the trees unstable. The trees have become more vulnerable to fungal and other diseases and to winter temperatures. Prolonged water stagnation in spring and summer is particularly harmful.

В. Changes in land use.The Tolga Convent exerted a spiritual impact on its congregation not only by its divine service, but also thanks to its magnificent appearance. Its imposing buildings occupy an attractive position against a background of villages, fields, vegetable gardens, groves and meadows.

In its heyday the Convent was the principal local landowner and did much to encourage rational and diverse exploitation of natural resources. It generated demand for foodstuffs and various handicrafts (for its own use and for pilgrims), supporting various parts of the local economy. During the Soviet period, the land was transferred to collective farms which used the land in a very different fashion, changing the age-old system of small plots in favor of large-scale holdings. In the late 20th century, Soviet agricultural enterprises were liquidated and new private land use had a chaotic character. Fields and pastures around the Convent have been abandoned and are running wild, which gives an unkempt appearance to the Convent's surroundings.

The landscape and land use were significantly changed by industrial development of the district related to the construction and operation of the Rezinotekhnika rubber goods plant. A number of manufacturing and infrastructure facilities as well as a workers’ settlement were built in close vicinity of the Convent with no regard for the natural, aesthetic and spiritual value of the landscape. The 1970s saw a spawning of garden cooperatives in the area. All that had a negative impact on revival of the ethical significance of Tolga Convent and the condition of its central asset, the Cedar Grove.

С. Climate Change.Yaroslavl Region has been affected by climate change. January temperatures have risen by 2-3C°, July temperatures have fallen by 1-2С°, winters have become shorter, shortening from 5 to 4 months. The period of positive temperatures has increased by 30 days, affecting the vegetation period. There has been an increase in air humidity, since precipitation exceeds evaporation, especially during the vegetation period, and cyclonic weather instability is intensifying.

According to the available data, climate change has a negative impact on the condition of the cedars, primarily due to changes in air humidity and soil moisture. Cedars, being Siberian natives, love dry air, stable anticyclone weather, moderate soil moisture, and are accustomed to frosty winters, which prevent development of hostile bacteria. This explains the poor state of health of cedars at the Tolga Convent.

Longer warm periods, which are good for broadleaved trees, have not encouraged growth of the cedars because their vegetation period is limited to three months.

D. Environment pollution. The industrial development of Yaroslavl and its suburbs, which are home to over 600,000 people, the growth of vehicle traffic, retail and consumer activity have greatly increases the man-made pressure on the environment around the Tolga Convent.

Atmospheric pollution by sulfur, nitrogen and carbon compounds has been growing, despite reduction of industrial emissions in recent years, due to the increase of automobile traffic: air pollution in Yaroslavl as of 2012 was estimated to be high. Measurements also show high levels of water pollution in the Volga river near Yaroslavl. Illegal dumping of construction and household waste is still occurring in the vicinity of the city and nearby settlements.

Although located outside the main industrial and urban development area of Yaroslavl, the Tolga Convent is subject to its polluting effects (the air pollution plume can be traced for 25 km, while the convent is 7-8 km from the city). Pollution of the Volga river near the Convent is also significant. The large rubber goods facility and its workers’ settlement have been situated close to the Convent for decades. Nearby farms and gardening cooperatives with their livestock breeding, chemicals, waste and sewage have negative effect on subsoil water, forests and soil.

Measures to preserve the Cedar Grove as a spiritual monument.The preferred alternative is to develop the Cedar Grove as a site of special spiritual and cultural-historical significance. It has therefore been proposed that the Grove should be given status as a “Special Protected Natural Area (SPNA) of particular spiritual significance,” emphasizing its importance for Yaroslavl Region and for Russia.

The proposal will be taken forward by means of an administrative statement on the SPNA and zoning of the territory and its surroundings. The statement. which has been drafted (Fig. 2.5), has the following sections:

  • legal status of the SPNA (name, category, significance, ownership rights of the Convent, date of creation, duration of the SPNA);
  • location, administration status, cluster status;
  • area of the SPNA, description and boundary coordinates;
  • purpose of creation, relevance to people’s spiritual needs;
  • land description, cadastral numbers, status of land inside the SPNA;
  • environmental and historical description of the territory, main items to be protected; origin and development of the SPNA as a spiritual and environmental complex;
  • location of the SPNA in the environmental network and in the system of Russian cultural-historical sites;
  • management and funding;
  • zoning and security arrangements at the territory, relation to the life of the Convent activities and pilgrimages to the Convent;
  • security and control services at the SPNA;
  • map of the SPNA illustrating the state of the landscape, natural sites and items of special spiritual value.

Fig. 2.5. Model of the draft statement on the Cedar Grove of the Tolga Convent as a Natural Monument of Regional Significance

In order to enhance the spiritual significance of the monument as a symbol that unites spirit and nature, as a genius loci, it will be important to reinforce the organic interaction between the landscape of the Cedar Grove and the Convent itself, to “orient” the SPNA towards the reviving spiritual center. We have therefore carried out a zoning of the territory, which identifies various types and manners of land use and respective environmental restrictions, which will be clearly defined and legally established. The emphasis here is on the value of the landscape and the interrelation of its components with the Convent and Cedar Grove (Fig. 2.6). We thus address the task of identifying key micro-areas for nature preservation and assigning legal status to them.

Fig. 2.6. Microzoning of the territory of the protected area

A system of research and engineering measures is proposed in order to preserve and develop the historical image of the Cedar Grove of the Tolga Convent (particularly the ancient trees).

Insert 2

The system of measures to preserve the ancient cedars should enable:

  • investigationofthe processesaffecting ancientcedar trees and their vulnerability tochanging natural and climatic conditions;
  • action to extend of the life of ancient trees;
  • scientificgrounding for new plantings inthe Cedar Groveto ensure itslong-termsurvival.

We suggest diversion of the tree roots from the area of subsoil waterlogging as a matter of urgency. This can be achieved by enriching the top soil with nutrients outside the waterlogged area (by means of injectors), so that the roots grow towards the enriched layer and escape from the anaerobic, waterlogged zone. This is a standard approach nowadays for rescuing trees. It improves their general state and enhances sustainability.

Systematic work is needed to strengthen trees of various ages, including regular inspection of each tree, measures to combat parasites, sanitary felling, removal of windfall timber, removal of stumps and fungal growth, mowing of grass. To maintain the Gove, it will be necessary to restore the transplant nursery, selecting seeds and ensuring germination.

Long-term scientific work should include hydro-geological observations in the SPNA area and beyond (regular information collection and monitoring, detailed analysis of findings, preparation of design and assessment documentation for future studies, and modeling of forecast processes).

Enhancement of hydrological conditions are a priority and should involve the construction of a polder system, restoration of the Convent’s ponds and tributaries, and maintenance of a stable water regime. Lowering the level of ground water is achievable using up-to-date construction engineering, but there are specific challenges related to the cultural and historical significance of the Convent and the need to devise a model of the relations between the surface and ground water, which takes account of complex connections between water levels in the Volga and the Convent ponds, ground water in the root area and water in the soil layer.

The model will help to address the following tasks:

  • understanding how the local hydrological cycle operates;
  • selection of optimal technology solutions for controlling ground water;
  • selection of a strategy that is efficacious and has minimal impact on the social and natural environment.

The work for revival of the Tolga Convent and its Cedar Grove shows that interaction between the Diocese, regional and municipal authorities, the general public and the scientific community can preserve and develop the natural and spiritual significance of the Convent and its Grove, strengthening their influence on value-based objectives of local and surrounding communities. Saving this historical genius loci for Yaroslavl and its region will be an important driver for their future development.

The next step is to design and implement measures to identify and preserve other symbolic places, which have special spiritual and socio-cultural significance for other local communities. It is perfectly feasible to revive all of the most valuable symbolic places in various regions of Russia, places that were marked out by history and are recognized by contemporary communities. They could become a special group of regional SPNAs with spiritual and historical significance and could be included in the regional land cadaster with documentation attesting their special status.

Harmonizing the goals of sustainable development by territories

Sustainable development is impossible without the setting of appropriate goals in the strategic plans of countries, regions or localities. The global Strategic Sustainable Development Goals, which are the first of their kind, set strategic priorities for all levels of territorial organization. It is important to note that value components and goal setting play a large role in the Russian mentality. So the choice of goals, mutual alignment of their components and the prevention of teleological conflicts by use of “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches merit our careful attention.

Goal setting is a key element in the management of any activity, including environmental work. It requires awareness of the value priorities of the community as a whole and consideration of diverse interest groups. Goal setting in strategic planning is particularly crucial in Russia, since spiritual values play a greater role in the Russian tradition that in the West, where there is more accent on vital interests.

The outcome document adopted at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly (September 2015) Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)call for the harmonizing of national development priorities with the global agenda for human survival. The SDGs were the outcome of intense public consultation and engagement with civil society and other stakeholders around the world, including the193 UN member states. A total of 17 Goals and 169 targets (cf.: the 21 indicators of the earlier Millennium Development Goals) were defined. The UN Secretary General called the event historical and stressed that the new sustainable development agenda required universal solidarity28.

The very fact of adoption of the global SDGs testifies to the growing role of the teleological approach (together with other approaches) in the definition and study of ways of harmonizing the humanity–society–nature system. The choice of development goals depends on a range of factors – ethical, environmental, economic and others, – which stimulate or constrain human activity. Environmental management is dominated by restrictive and prohibitive measures that aim to reduce anthropogenic impact on nature. A growing number ofrestrictions have a global character and are imposed by international documents, provisions of which must be embodied in environmental programs at different levels, from national to local. However, national and transnational programs setting out global restrictions cannot be implemented if they appear alien to regional and local communities. The Ministerial Conference in Sofia pointed out that the “network of broad political goals at the national level is not always applicable to local issues” (UNECE, 1995).

Our experience in various Russian regions strongly indicates that success or failure of any attempt to achieve environmental goals is largely dependent on routine decisions that are made by sub-regional and local authorities, on the efficiency of actions by resource users29and on the attitude of civil society. For example, when working on the Project for Efficacious Environmental Management in Yaroslavl Region in 1996, we investigated the specifics of designing environmental goals in programs at national, regional and local levels and analyzed the extent of their coordination. We took account of the opinions of different stakeholders: heads and executive officers of district and regional bodies, senior officers in the resource industries, representatives of civil movements and organizations. An important element of the study was the search for a method of aligning the proposed goals, based on the analysis of existing and potential conflicts in formulating the goals at federal, interregional, regional and local levels as well as the search for ways of settling or mitigating the emerging contradictions. The findings have shown that the goals of regional environmental programs should be formulated by reconciling goals identified in a “top-down” approach, i.e., from global and national positions, with a “bottom-up” analysis, i.e., priorities and values at local and sub-regional levels.

“Top-down” goals.The “top down” approach concerns global priorities: global sustainability of the biosphere, preservation of biodiversity, adaptation to climate changes and the greenhouse effect, etc., i.e., goals that are relevant at the transnational and national level. Regional and local authorities must take steps to achieve these goals. However, while being justified from the standpoint of global sustainability, such an approach may fail to take account of the interests of individuals living in their home environment with particular perceptions of the nature and values of that small environment. Many “top-down” programs are a priori unfeasible, because they are alien to local communities.

The comparative analysis of priorities in international, interregional and regional programs that call for direct or indirect participation by Yaroslavl Region has led to the following conclusions.

International programs and agreements.Yaroslavl Region is not a direct participant of international programs and agreements, but it is required to meet obligations assumed by the Russian Federation. The relevant documents state goals in an aggregated form, at a high level of generalization. Many of them call for integrated and rational use of natural resources, and mention the important role of local government, regional specifics and geographical peculiarities of territories. But there are differences. For instance, documents of the UN conference in Rio de Janeiro30put the main emphasis on social components of sustainable development, and their relationship to rational resource use and environmental protection. By contrast, materials developed for Eastern and Central Europe31focus directly on environmental issues. The difference can be explained by the fact that European countries are mainly concerned by issues of environment pollution, while the urgent task for developing countries is the preservation and rational use of their natural resources.

Russia’s regions and local territories mix the features of transition and developing economies. This is confirmed by comparing the typical environmental issues (goals) formulated in districts of Yaroslavl Region with the main environmental challenges formulated in recommendations issued by OECD agencies (Equator Principles, n.d). We can see that for parts of Yaroslavl Region with middle incomes and growing industry, the issues are similar to those of developed or transition economies, where concern is focused on the growth of cities and industrialization with inadequate environment protection measures, sustainability of crop systems, development of new water sources, etc. On the other hand, in poorer districts issues of preventing resource-base depletion and degradation, and specific local problems take a larger of the environmental agenda and budget.

Transnational issues such as shared use of international waters, acid rain and overfishing, nesting of migrating birds, etc. will only attract attention at national level if they are critical problems. Global issues such as depletion of the ozone layer, etc., are often perceived by ordinary people, or even experts living in a particular territory, as abstract and remote.

Federal and interregional programs.Yaroslavl Region participates in the Volga Renaissance and Environment Management projects, both of which are being implemented with the support of the World Bank. Both programs are aimed at nature protection, closure of environmentally dangerous facilities and dealing with the pollution legacy, based on the combined efforts of neighboring regions. The Volga Renaissance program also addresses issues of natural resource use, though they are of secondary importance. The Environment Management project (in its section entitled “Environmental Policy and Regulation in the Upper-Volga Region”) does not deal with questions of environmental management.

The above programs do not envisage mechanisms for aligning interregional goals with the environment and nature protection goals in specific regions. But such mutual alignment is needed because of differences in the extent and acuteness of environmental issues in different territories and also because different regions have their own specific environmental management systems, which have taken shape in previous periods. There are major differences between the range of acceptable choices that resource users in different regions can make, based on socio-culturally determined views of rational environmental management. The interregional programs involving Yaroslavl Region tend to underestimate the priorities of rational environmental management for local territories.

Regional territorial programs.Over time, Yaroslavl Region has developed and (to a certain extent) implemented several regional programs. They include the Action Plan for Rational Resource Use in 1996-1997, the “Environmental Protection” section of the District Planning Scheme for Yaroslavl Region, the program Rational Natural Resource Use, Resource Reproduction and Environment Protection, etc. The goals of rational resource use stated in these documents have a universal, conceptual character. Priority tasks requiring focused attention and special resource allocation in real social and political situations are not identified. The programs do not consider how the outcome of reforms can influence and change goals (e.g., how priorities will change depending on whether the social-economic situation improves or deteriorates).

This brief analysis of the goals set in international, interregional and regional programs concerning and including Yaroslavl Region, as developed under the “top-down” approach (from global and national standpoints), shows that, however justified the environmental goals of these programs may be, they factually ignore the interests of local communities living in the places they refer to. Their provisions set limits on human interaction with the local natural environment by creating various prohibited or protected areas and by regulatory restrictions on resource use. It is clear why such programs are not supported by local people and are difficult to implement.

“Bottom up” goals.Russian society is traditionally oriented to executing decisions from the top, so the approach suggested in this project is to a large extent innovative. Our start point is that, in a “bottom-up” approach, regional goals for rational resource use and environment protection are formulated by summarizing goals that emerge in local districts. The goals of regional and district administrations must be determined by consideration of the following factors:

  • what are the concerns of people living in the territory, i.e., an actual person in his/her home environment;
  • what issues of resource use and environment protection are critical in the light of people’s value preferences;
  • what ways of meeting these priorities are the most effective.

Workshops and meetings attended by a broad range of experts, managers, resource managers and actual resource users (people who determine decision making and implementation) have been found to be a useful tool for working out local and regional priorities in environmental management and protection. Such workshops were held in all districts of Yaroslavl Region, involving a total of 400 people.

The results of the workshops were used, via interactive methods of collective decision making, to set priorities for sustainable development and rational resource use and to find means of attaining them in each municipal district. Surveys that were carried out aimed to keep the results as “pure” as possible, minimizing the role of the interviewer. For this purpose, the surveys were conducted before starting a discussion of each topic and questions were carefully formulated. We used a variant of the Delphi technique, which simulates the procedure for allocation of scarce resources.

The research covered a total of 27 environmental issues which were analyzed in all districts. Summarizing the results, we were able to identify and rank, in a generalized form, the main priorities for resource use and environment protection in districts of Yaroslavl Region (Fig. 2.7-2.8).

Fig. 2.7. Priorities for rational resource use and environmental protection in Yaroslavl Region (results of workshops32)

The numbers in the diagram refer to the following issues: 1. condition, rational use and protection of forests; 2. drinking water supply; 3. land use, soil fertility; 4. state of rivers and reservoirs; 5. spirituality, ethics and environmental literacy; 6. waste; 7. atmospheric air pollution; 8. urban improvement and landscaping , sanitation; 9. poaching of flora and fauna; 10. environmental legislation; 11. healthcare; 12. inefficient use of natural resources; 13. food quality; 14. urbanization, population concentration; 15. territorial environmental management; 16. radioactive pollution; 17. lack of rights at local level; 18. subsoil use, quarrying; 19. low level of technology; 20. information shortages; 21. inadequate scientific support; 22. hydrology of reservoirs, partial flooding; 23. preservation of natural landscapes; 24. non-compliance with urban development master plans; 25. trans-border pollution; 26. special protected natural areas; 27. noise and thermal pollution

Fig. 2.8. Main priorities for rational resource use in Yaroslavl Region (as perceived by senior experts in districts of the Region)

Legend: 1. condition, rational use and protection of forests; 2. drinking water supply; 3. land use, soil fertility; 4. state of rivers and reservoirs; 5. spirituality, ethics and environmental literacy of population; 6. waste; 7. atmospheric air pollution; 8.landscaping of towns and settlements, sanitation

The environmental problems that were identified at the district workshops were compared with the goals of environmental programs developed and adopted in each district of Yaroslavl Region in 1990-1993 (Fig. 2.9).

Fig. 2.9. Example of frequency analysis of environmental management issues addressed in previous program documents (1990-1993) and issues formulated at the workshops

The numbers in the diagram refer to the following issues: 1. condition, rational use and protection of forests; 2. drinking water supply; 3. land use, soil fertility; 4. state of rivers and reservoirs; 5. spirituality, ethics and environmental literacy; 6. waste; 7. atmospheric air pollution; 8. urban improvement and landscaping, sanitation; 9. poaching of flora and fauna; 10. environmental legislation; 11. healthcare; 12. inefficient use of natural resources; 13. food quality; 14. urbanization, population concentration; 15. territorial environmental management; 16. radioactive pollution; 17. lack of rights at local level; 18. subsoil use, quarrying; 19. low level of technology; 20. information shortages; 21. inadequate scientific support; 22. hydrology of reservoirs, partial flooding; 23. preservation of natural landscapes; 24. non-compliance with urban development master plans; 25. trans-border pollution; 26. special protected natural areas; 27. noise and thermal pollution.

Analysis of the findings showed that the issues most frequently cited in districts of Yaroslavl Region are the state of forests and grounds waters, land use and soil fertility, drinking water supply, waste, and issues of spirituality, ethics and environmental literacy. Only a few districts highlighted preserving natural landscapes, population concentration, inefficient use of natural resources, etc., as major issues. So the emphasis was on lack of the comprehensive approach, which is a vital prerequisite for efficacious environmental management.

It can be seen that there has been a noticeable change in the priority ranking of environmental issues since the late 1980s: Some of them have been exacerbated, while others have lost their urgency. The condition of forests has significantly worsened. To a large extent, this is a result of declining living standards of the rural population, as people are increasingly forced to exploit the natural resources accessible to them, particularly forests. Another worrying issue is the drinking water supply, particularly in urban-type settlements. Reasons for this include the degradation of artesian wells and lack of funds to maintain water pipe systems. However, atmospheric air pollution from stationary sources has decreased (due to the closure of many production facilities).

Comparison of the environmental priority lists shows that the district programs of 1990-1993 gave most attention to the issues of pollution, while the results of the district workshops mainly highlighted rational resource use. This is explained by the industry-oriented character of the district environmental programs (they were prepared by the committee for protection of the environment, the sanitary-epidemiological service, etc.) and pressure to comply with the environmental standards imposed by more senior authorities.

The project carried out by us used the proposed “bottom-up” methodology in order to define and substantiate priorities for environmental management and sustainable development in all districts of Yaroslavl Region. However, this approach can by no means be treated as an alternative to “top-down” analysis, without which there is a risk of neglecting global development trends, failing to comply with environmental restrictions and regulations, etc.

The research showed that the goals of territorial organizations at different levels may be contradictory, which sometimes leads to conflicts.

The conflicts of most concern are those arising from mismatch between the environmental goals of main pressure groups (teleological conflicts), from ethnic differences (ethnic conflicts) and from different motivations of individuals at the micro-level (Fomenko G., 2004). The goals of rational environmental management and priority actions for achieving them, as discovered by synthesizing the “bottom-up” and “top-down” approaches, should not be established in programs and action plans until a consensus is reached by the different parties.

Agreement (mutual alignment) of “top-down” and “bottom-up” goals.The research shows that many programs and action plans fail, not only due to lack of funding, but also due to lack of agreement between leaders at different management levels. Exclusive focus on the “bottom-up” approach can lead to neglect of global issues, industry-wide restrictions and regulations. But if the “top-down” approach dominates, the link with local interests and the solution of local problems may be overlooked.

The key to finding agreement lies in linkage of interregional, regional and local goals. Conflicts in the sphere of environmental management are a clear sign that such linkage is missing. It is therefore critical to identify existing and potential conflicts of goals at the first steps of program development.

Our project used a matrix for comparison of environmental goals to determine conflicts between goals at the regional level (Table 2.1). The left column lists priorities contained in main program documents, while the first line gives the names of those documents. The numbers in the matrix denote the degree of political attention, which the document devotes to the issue. So the elements of the matrix help to identify and appraise major conflicts between goals, enabling them to be overcome or mitigated.

Table 2.1.Comparison of priorities in various environmental program documents in Yaroslavl Region.

The figures denote the degree of attention, which the documents devote to specific issues (1 – minimum, 2 - medium, 3 – maximum).

Environmental issues Interregional level Regional level Local level
Volga Renaissance (1995) Regional Action Plan; based on workshop materials (Kostroma, Sept. 25-27, 1996) “Environment Protection” part of the District Planning Scheme for Yaroslavl Region (1986 )* Rational Use and Replacement of Natural Resources, and Protection of the Environment (1990) Environmental documents produced in administrative districts in 1991-1994 Workshops, meetings in districts (1995-1996)
Condition, rational use and protection of forests 1 - 2 2 2 3
Drinking water supply 2 1 2 2 1 3
Land use, soil fertility 1 1 2 2 2 3
River and water reservoirs 3 3 2 2 3 3
Spiritual dimension, ethics, environmental literacy 1 1 - 2 1 3
Waste 2 3 2 2 3 3
Atmospheric air pollution 2 2 2 2 3 2
District improvement, landscaping and sanitation - - 2 1 2 2
Flora and fauna, poaching 2 - 2 2 2 2
Environmental legislation 2 3 - 2 - 2
Health care 3 3 3 3 - 2
Inefficient use of natural resources 1 - 1 3 - 1
Food quality - - - 2 - 1
Urbanization, population concentration - - 3 3 - 1
Territorial environmental management 2 1 - 3 - 1
Radioactive pollution 1 - - 1 - 1
Lack of powers at local level - - - - - 1
Subsoil use (quarrying) 1 - 1 1 - 1
Low level of technology 2 2 2 2 1 1
Lack of information on natural resources and the environment 2 2 - 2 - 1
Scientific support 2 - 1 2 - 1
Hydrology of reservoirs (partial flooding); 3 - 2 2 - 1
Preservation of natural landscapes 1 - 3 3 - 1
Non-compliance with urban development master plans - - - - - 1
Trans-border pollution 3 3 1 2 - 1
Special protected areas 2 - 3 2 2 -
Noise and thermal pollution 1 - 2 1 - -

*214 critical environmental issues were identified in Yaroslavl Region

General examination of the matrix forcomparison of environmental goals in Yaroslavl Region reveals conflicts between environmental goals at all management levels: regional vs. local; regional vs. interregional; interregional vs. local. The main conflict points are also visible.

The acutest conflicts are between the interregional and local levels of management. Conflicts at the regional level are less apparent. The conflicts are mainly of an objective character, but it is the regional level which is particularly in need of a satisfactory compromise and deserves most attention.

Conflicts (contradictions) between goals at interregional and regional levels of management.At the interregional level the most important issues are surface water, health care and trans-border pollution. Regional programs give priority to the improvement of comprehensive environmental management, preserving landscapes and health care (similar to the interregional level).

Conflicts (contradictions) between goals at regional and local levels.Local programs emphasize (more explicitly than regional programs) issues concerning forestry, drinking water, land use and soil fertility as well as the revival of spiritual values and culture (including improvement of environmental literacy). The issue of surface water is also quite urgent (similar to regional programs).

Conflicts (contradictions) between goals at the interregional and local levels.Conflicts of this type are the most pronounced, since most of the priorities established by districts in Yaroslavl Region contradict goals at the interregional level. While programs at interregional level emphasize issues related to surface water, health care and trans-border pollution with some attention to environmental literacy, local programs are focused on problems of forestry, drinking water supply, land use and soil fertility as well as spiritual and cultural revival (including improvement of environmental literacy). Surface water is also an issue at local level but is not given high-priority.

The importance of reaching consensus varies depending on the type of conflict and the specifics of the territory. Without agreement, efficacious environmental management and the implementation of regional and local plans and programs become impossible. Consensus among all stakeholders, as identified by “bottom-up” and “top-down” approaches, are needed if the relevant goals are to be accepted as the principal reference point for planning and implementing environmental and socio-economic action plans.

Overall, the experience of regional goal setting in resource use and environment protection leads to a number of conclusions.

The tasks of formulating territorial goals and priorities for resource use and environment protection can and must be approached using geographical methods. Work is also helped by the use of up-to-date methods of information gathering, analysis and generalization, interactive techniques for preparing and making collective decisions, and the methods of neo-institutional economics.

The work should involve a large community of experts and practitioners, representatives of civil society and business, people from various interest groups who are familiar with local problems and ways of solving them. They should include both resource users (local authorities and leaders of major resource-using organizations) and representatives of the local community (experts, professionals, leaders of civil movements, etc.). This approach will contribute most to the achievement of local and short-term goals, arising from the difficult socio-economic situation (decline of incomes, unemployment, etc.), rather than serving global, long-term goals.

Comparison between environmental and resource-use goals using our matrices reveals existing and potential conflict areas when setting goals at different management levels (local, regional, interregional, etc.). Resolution of these conflict situations should be prioritized and may require the creation of special “conciliation committees”.

Systematic approaches to the sustainable green economy, environmental regulation using best available technologies

A global reassessment of the notion of innovative policy is currently underway based on the concepts of green growth: the idea of a green economy based on the development of specific green industries is being replaced by the concept of “greening” of the entire economy. The need for increased sustainability is generally acknowledged, and it is to be achieved systematically, guided by the idea of development for the benefit of both present and future generations. This requires focus not only on technological but also on socio-cultural and environmental risks during the transition to the new paradigm. A systematic approach enables a more precise diagnosis of imbalances in socio-economic development, including those, which arise between climate goals and real actions in each economic sector in the general context of the green economy. In this respect, Russia should assign a special role to the transition to principles of environmental norm-setting based on best available technologies, which will help to improve the quality of life, enlarge the role of the green goods and services sector, and create new jobs, primarily in high-tech industries.

Sustainable development, oriented to innovation, must assume that economic growth can be achieved without degrading or destroying the environment, by the introduction of new technologies in the course of modernization. This entails changes in the structure of energy markets and commodity prices, which exacerbate contradictions between countries entering the post-modernization breakthrough and those which have slower rates of modernization. Advanced technologies often do not require human presence and have low consumption of energy resources and raw materials. This leads to shortages of foreign exchange earnings in some countries for the purchase of new technological equipment. Unemployment risks and social tension can then increase unless special policies for retraining and new job creation are implemented. Environmental prospects then become problematic (see Insert 3). Also, if the export earnings of natural resource economies decline, they may face problems in protecting their publicly available (shared) natural resources and in maintaining biodiversity.

Insert 3

Half of the world population (about 3.5 billion people) now lives in towns and cities. According to forecasts, almost 60 percent will live in an urban environment by 2030. Cities are centers of intellectual activity, culture, science, trade and manufacturing, which promote the social and economic evolution of people. High population density in urban areas can stimulate productive efficiency and technological innovation, while simultaneously reducing consumption of resources and energy. However, the obvious positive trends are accompanied by challenges, such as congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, shortage of quality accommodation and infrastructure degradation. Rapid urbanization also has a negative effect on the living environment, fresh water, etc. All this tends to lower the investment appeal of territories and settlements. For example, in many towns polluted water and air is a serious deterrent to the development of science-intensive technology and manufacturing (e.g., electronics) due to prohibitively high cost of meeting the statutory requirements for technology and working conditions.

In a broader context, there are special dangers attaching to crises of exhaustion (qualitative and quantitative) of natural resources, when local territories lose the natural assets that are indispensable for their development (loss of income from mining of mineral resources, timber harvesting, fisheries, etc.). In this respect, the rational use of natural capital should be viewed as a critical determinant of sustainable high-quality growth. The future we want is achieved by improving basic living standards, encouraging equitable social development and integration, promoting approaches to sustainable growth and environmental management that will enable the preservation, regeneration and full restoration of natural resources and eco-systems. Special attention has to be paid to reduction and prevention of environmental risks, the growth of which is an inevitable consequence of modernization. Pollution and waste generation in production and consumption processes can be reduced by saving raw materials and power, and consequent increases of output make environmental restrictions an integral part of the production mechanism. The main principle of interaction between social groups is acknowledged to be cooperation and partnership for reducing environmental risks.

Those new contradictions became apparent during the Rio+20 World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2012, in which Russia was a participant. The Summit Declaration emphasizes that the green economy33should imply sustainable development, which pays due attention to the quality of life. It is important to note that the concept of the green economy does not replace the paradigm of sustainable development; the idea is rather that sustainability can be achieved relying almost exclusively on creation of the green economy.

It is generally agreed that the green economy consists of a system of principles based on specific priorities and measures, such as:

  • equity and justice both within one generation and across generations;
  • commitment to sustainable development;
  • caution regarding potential impacts on society and the environment;
  • adequate accounting of natural, human and social capital, e.g., by te internalization of external social and environmental effects, green accounting, cost accounting throughout the whole life cycle and improvement of management by greater stakeholder involvement;
  • sustainable and efficient production and use of natural reources;
  • achieving macroeconomic goals by creating green jobs, eradicating poverty, raising competitiveness and expanding main sectors of the economy.

The priorities of the new economy are not a dogma, but evolve and mutate under the influence of a wide range of factors. It is essential to take account of the risks of accelerating modernization processes, since the production of wealth is always accompanied by social risks, which people must reckon with in all spheres of their activity.

The OECD innovation strategy distinguishes three principal system-oriented directions for action:

1) improvement of tax and budget policy, guaranteeing intellectual property rights and regulation of the labor market in order to support the creation and growth of new innovative firms. It is important to devise “adaptable rules” to avoid stifling new firms and business models that can stimulate green innovations;

2) preventing shrinkage of government funding for fundamental research (R&D) and start-ups in order to encourage private investment in green technologies. This is especially important, since non-government spending on R&D is very low in some countries, including Russia, particularly when long-term investments are needed (for the renewable energy or energy storage sectors, for example). Lack of financing for early-stage innovation work is exacerbated by inflexibility of markets;

3) development and implementation of innovative instruments of state regulation that nurture new markets for green transport and sustainable construction. This includes public and private financing of large-scale demonstration projects (e.g., bio-refineries converting waste into renewable power sources or carbon-capture technologies). It is also important to ensure public support for procurement of green technology and equipment (e.g., low-carbon vehicles for public transport).

In many countries government regulation lags behind technological development. This hampers innovation (increasing the efficiency of natural resource use, etc.) and action to reduce pollution. Systematic work on development priorities is the key to addressing today’s global challenges. Hence the importance of regulation that can improve economic well-being (as traditionally understood) while countering climate change, natural resource depletion and reduction in life expectancy due to environment pollution, while supporting eco-systems and biodiversity.

These points are convincingly proved by the results of several research projects commissioned by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources (Cadaster Institute, 2013b; Cadaster Institute, 2014d) and Federal Service for Natural Resource Supervision (Cadaster Institute, 2010c; Cadaster Institute, 2010d). These projects create economic incentives for environmental and resource-saving innovation, making treatment of production and consumption waste more efficient, building methodology and increasing the economic efficiency of Russia’s environmental control and supervision system (using environmental risk management), and providing legislative and regulatory for the reform of environmental laws to comply with the latest requirements and international obligations of the Russian Federation. Research findings substantiate the need to take account of non-economic values and the preservation of public goods. This, in turn, assumes compliance with the external (global) restrictions of economic activities, general reconsideration of the methods of environmental regulation and respective adjustment of the development indicators used by Russia and its constituent entities, taking account of the transition to new technologies and measures for sustainable growth.

Changes in global development trends mean that environmental practice in Russia has to be reassessed from new positions, because there cannot be a decent future for this country without transition to innovative development. Innovation is not an end in itself, but a means for ensuring sustainable development of the economy and improving people’s quality of life. The Russian Presidential Decree No.440 “On the Concept of Transition of the Russian Federation to Sustainable Development” dated 1 April 1996 confirmed main provisions of the program documents of the UN Conferenceon the Environment and Sustainable Development (Rio de Janeiro 1992), and in December 2015 the Strategy of National Security of the Russian Federation to 2020 was approved by Presidential Decree as a basic strategic planning document that defines national interests and strategic national priorities, goals, objectives and actions for domestic and foreign policy for purposes of strengthening national security.

In recent years Russia has paid more attention to the development and implementation of environmental innovations, which are crucial for ensuring adequate protection of the environment (On Environment Protection, 2002).These issues are also included in the regional strategies for socio-economic development of, e.g., the Far East and the Baikal region (Russian Government, 2009b), Siberia(Russian Government, 2010) and the Urals Federal District (Russian Government, 2011).

How do matters stand regarding environmental investment and innovation in Russia? Investments in fixed capital for environment protection and rational resource use totaled 116.4 billion rubles in 2012 (Federal State Statistics Service, Investments) and current (operating) expenditures for environmental protection were 239 billion rubles(Federal State Statistics Service, 2012). The annual growth rate of environmental investments in absolute terms was 7-9% in 2911, 22% in 2012 and 6% in 2013. The growth of investments in water resource protection in the last four years has been 51% (against 2009). However, all of these environmental investments are “end-of-pipe” investments. Another worrying trend is decline of the indicator that relates registered spending on the environment to Russia’s GDP from 1.3% in 2003 to 0.7% in 201234.At the same time, the developed economies have shown the opposite trend: an increase from 2.0% to 2.25%35. The share of expenditures on environmental protection in GDP in Bulgaria was 2.1% (2007), 2% in the Czech Republic (2009), and 1.8% in Malta (2009) (Federal State Statistics Service, 2011).

In 2012 in Russia compensatory payments for negative impact on environment were a quarter of total fixed-capital investments in environment protection and rational resource use. Such payments represented 0.13% of consolidated budget revenue and 0.05% of GDP (0.06% of gross value added). These levels were almost unchanged in 2013 (Federal State Statistics Service, GDP).

Taxation offers another instrument for stimulating environmental investments. Much remains to be done in this sphere, particularly for the reduction of automobile emissions. At present transport tax in Russia is charged depending on a vehicle’s horsepower, but the role of environmental criteria will increase in the future. Measures envisaged by the state program Development of the Manufacturing Sector and Improving its Competitiveness (Russian Government, 2014b) include graded transport tax rates depending on the emission class and age of vehicles.

The system of returnable deposits, which is widespread in EU countries has not been introduced in Russia. In 2010 an experiment began to stimulate purchase of new automobiles with gross weight under 3.5 tons in exchange for end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) sold for scrap (over 10 years of old with gross weight under 3.5 tons) and to create a system of ELV collection and recycling (Russian Government, 2009a). Also a mechanism is being developed, by which Russian automobile manufacturers would assume obligations to recycle cars when they are first registered in Russia. The intention is to create a recycling industry based on recycling of ELVs (Russian Government, 2014b).

The principal task for Russia is to support environmental innovation. At present, according to experts (Kotler, 2005), the innovative activity in the environmental sphere in Russia is extremely low and 90% of production technologies are outdated. The State Statistics Service reports that dedicated spending on environmental innovations was 24.1 billion rubles in 2011, while the percentage of companies engaged in environmental innovation in the total number of companies that carried out innovations in the last three years was 48% (Federal State Statistics Service, 2013). Total R&D spending in recent years has remained at a level of 1% of GDP (Sorokina, 2013), which is just half of the average figure in the EU. In 2012, domestic R&D spending in Russia was 699.87 billion rubles, or 1.12% of GDP, of which the environmental share was 6.97 billion rubles (1% of the total). R&D spending on rational resource use was 31.57 billion rubles (of which 18.2 billion rubles, or 57.7%, were budget funds), while 75.06 billion rubles was spent on energy efficiency, energy saving and nuclear power engineering (of which 38.4 billion rubles, or 51.2%, were budget funds) (Gorodnikova et al., 2014).

In spite of present difficulties, Russia has embarked on the road towards the green economy and sustainable growth. Progress will be driven by implementation of the Environment Protection Program for 2012-2020, which systematizes legal regulation to support green growth and practical actions to improve the environment. The intention is to modernize existing branches of industry, which are serious pollutants, and to create new high-tech facilities, which will ensure innovative growth. The immediate future should see a substantial increase of investments in “the prevention of pollution,” i.e., mass implementation of a rating system based of best-available technologies. Aggregated calculations by the authors show that with a 10-year estimated investment cycle for transition to best-available technologies (from the start of project development, including construction, to the end of commissioning and roll-out), annual need for investments will be around 250-300 billion rubles. The estimate is based on available statistics36and the experience of Eastern Europe countries and the OECD, which have been pursuing this path for nearly 15 years (Fig. 2.10).

Fig. 2.10. Cost of transition to best available technologies as a key factor for green modernization of the Russian economy (OECD methodology) (2013)

Apart from its importance for the environment, green modernization is also essential for the economy as it generates substantial economic benefits by reducing resource intensity and improving energy efficiency. Modernization processes will also develop the green goods and services sector, e.g., manufacturing of water treatment filters for multiple use of water in production, manufacturing of new durable materials to reduce amounts of waste, etc. The green sector will boost employment, particularly in the high-tech sphere, and reduce health risks linked to environmental factors.

The state has assumed a new role in the environmental sphere in recent years, supporting start-ups, financing scientific and technological projects with important applications. Such support is especially important for the Russian environmental goods and services sector, which has estimated capacity of around USD 1.4 billion (0.2% of global capacity). For comparison, the contribution of environmental business to GDP in developed economies is between 10% and 24% thanks to rapid expansion of new technologies for clean production, energy-efficient equipment and alternative power sources, production of environmentally friendly food stuffs, etc. Foreign experts estimate total value of the world market for environmental technologies and services at about USD 580 billion, and it is expected to draw level with the aerospace or pharmaceutical markets in the near future.

Growth of environmental investments in Russia willbe supported by the measures envisaged in draft laws on improvement of environmental standards and implementation of best-available technologies. Proposed measures are set out in special programs such as: Environmental Protection in 2012-2020; Reproduction and Utilization of Natural Resources; Forestry Development in 2013-2020; and others. For example, the program Environmental Protection in 2012-2020 should stimulate off-budget investments, including public-private partnerships, driving the design and implementation of environmentally friendly innovative technologies that reduce specific indicators for polluting emissions and discharges, and waste generation, as well as developing the environmental goods and services market. As an economic incentive for raising private investments, the program Reproduction and Utilization of Natural Resourcescalls for subsidized interest rates on loans for the construction and reconstruction of water treatment systems and installation of recirculating and recycling water supplies. A total 147 projects of this kind should be carried out during the period of program implementation. The program will increase the environmental investment appeal of manufacturing and utilities, cut the use of water in production processes and non-productive water waste, and will increase energy efficiency of the Russian economy (savings on electricity for delivery of water to end users will be worth up to 15-20 billion rubles per year)(Russian Government , 2014a).

In 2012 the Russian President adopted the Basic Principles of State Policy for Environmental Development of the Russian Federation for the period to 2030, which are intended to ensure environmental security during economic modernization and innovation. The principal tasks of state environmental policy in the period to 2030 include:

  • creation of an efficacious management system in the sphere of environmental protection and security to ensure interaction and coordination between government authorities;
  • improvement of the regulatory and legal basis for environmental protection and environmental security;
  • provision of environmentally oriented economic growth and the introduction of environmentally efficient innovative technologies;
  • prevention and mitigation of current negative impact on the environment;
  • preservation of the natural environment, including natural environment systems, flora and fauna;
  • development of economic regulation and market instruments for environmental management and security;
  • scientific and information-analytical support for environmental management and security;
  • active participation of the general public, civil associations, non-commercial organizations and business communities in solving issues related to environmental management and security;
  • promoting international cooperation in environmental management and security (Ohmae, 1982).

These tasks can be addressed by the following mechanisms:

  • formation of an effective, competitive and environment-oriented economic development model focused uncompromisingly on preservation of the natural environment, its rational use and minimizing negative impact on the environment;
  • implementation of innovative, resource saving, environmentally safe and efficient technologies on the basis of a unified technology platform with active participation of the government, business communities, academic and educational organizations, civil associations and non-commercial organizations;
  • factoring absolute and specific indicators of natural resource utilization and energy efficiency, and of negative impacts on the environment into the system of state regulation of environmental work, planning of environmental protection measures and assessment of the economy as a whole and by sectors (Ohmae, 1982).

A plan of actions was designed and adopted in 2012 to address these tasks, stipulating that, in the period 2015-2030 (Russian Government, 2012), government agencies in Russia’s administrative regions will prepare regional and district programs for modernization of production processes, implementation of innovative energy saving and environmentally safe technologies, reduction of energy and resource intensity, waste recycling and utilization, and environmental damage mitigation.

Transition to a green economy in Russia is thus acquiring more definite features, which can ensure substantial return on investments in natural, human and economic capital, exploiting fewer resources and mitigating social differences. These are highly relevant developments for Russia. Firstly, a huge volume of outdated production assets, especially in machine-building, require modernization (they are uncompetitive due to their high energy and resource intensity and high level of depreciation). Secondly, Russia’s accession to the WTO requires that the emphasis in state regulation should shift from prohibitive “end-of-pipe” measures (with little effective impact) to reduction of pollution in production processes by the introduction of new advanced technologies. Green modernization of the economy presupposes the renovation of manufacturing industries as well as the creation of new high-tech facilities and innovative growth. It is also important to improve the waste management system, which can be a source of valuable secondary raw materials.

The key change that can increase the commitment of business and civil society to environmental innovation is refocusing of public regulation of environmental liability, which currently has the form of monetary sanctions against wrongdoers, towards the prevention and elimination of negative environmental impacts during the production life cycle and reduction of actual environmental damage, as well as stimulating technological modernization by gradual implementation of environmental norm-setting based on best available technologies, eco-balancing of public procurement at all levels, and the development of eco-insurance mechanisms. It is advisable to retain the existing system of payments for negative environmental impact during the transition period, with timely indexation and gradual shortening of the list of substances and types of waste that are penalized, as taxes and other regulators are introduced. In view of the substantial natural-resource bias of the Russian economy, it is important to focus on the mechanisms of management by objectives and public-private partnership. It will also be expedient to ensure the dedicated use of environmental payments.

The “measurement” of development, i.e., the use of adequate statistical indicators to measures innovative processes in rational resource use and environment protection, are a special area of concern. There has to be an increase in the volume and quality of environmental investments and other expenditures at micro- and macro-levels, supplementing and adjusting the system of federal and industry-wise statistical supervision by the use of international standards in the national accounts and by application of the related System of Environmental-Economic Accounting. The standards of non-financial environmental corporate reporting should also be applied in Russia.

Due account for socio-cultural specifics when importing environmental institutions: the case of government regulation to reduce environmentally harmful production.

The Internet and digital technologies have given people access to vast amounts of information and analysis, some of it dealing with environmental regulation, so best practices in various countries can now be studied in real time. On the one hand, this has made it easier to search for new information and find the most suitable options; on the other hand, it has turned the very process of information search into a separate scientific and methodological task. Using foreign experience of state regulation37of the production of environmentally harmful goods, we have defined the main institutional factors that Russia needs to consider at an early stage of importation and identified countries, which would be most favorable sources for institutional borrowing.

The concept of importing institutions is relatively new in scientific discourse38. Institutional theory often distinguishes borrowings from a country’s own history, from the institutional experience of foreign countries and from theory (Oleinik, 2000). The development of institutional systems for rational resource use and environment protection in any country depends both on understanding the importance of environmental restrictions and regulations and on cultural codes that limit the range of solutions (from the huge number that can be viewed and studied via the Internet, etc.), which are actually acceptable. The largest ever UN Summit, Rio+20 in 2012, acknowledged the inevitability of diverse approaches within the overall world development mainstream.

The meeting and confrontation of cultures entails comparisons (economic, social or cultural), for which criteria have to be developed. According to A.N.Oleinik (2005), in the absence of absolute criteria, comparison must be based on relative categories: how the given country appears against the background of other countries. Absolute criteria presuppose the existence of universal reference points accepted by all stakeholders. But, at present, such universal criteria are lacking (Democratizing the Global Economy, 2004). This means that the situation in any one country can only be evaluated by reference to the situation in another country, so a complex system of “cross-anticipations” (“anticipations croisées”) is inevitable.

A number of important points should be made concerning the importation of environmental institutions. Firstly, implementation is subject to the choice of the formal institution to be imported. It is therefore advisable to focus on developing an algorithm for a priori39assessment of the efficiency of implementing any unified formal environmental institutions in Russia. Such an assessment at the stage of preliminary analysis helps to understand the very possibility of import40. Secondly, assessment of the efficiency of environmental institutions is complicated by lack of precise criteria for preferring one imported institution over another41.

Nevertheless, many countries do make assessments of the efficiency of environmental institutions. Sweden, for example, is carrying out a comprehensive assessment of environmental fees and taxes; the USA regularly evaluates systems for the sale of permits; and assessment of the efficiency of institutions is also routine practice in Austria, Denmark, Canada, Germany, Norway, etc. So, despite the lack of theoretical rationale at present, it is still possible to analyze the efficiency of implementing certain environmental institutions, using qualitative and expert methods of factor analysis wherever precise calculations are impossible or encumbered.

A good way of choosing an efficacious institutional borrowing, which could reduce environmentally harmful production in Russia, is by looking at the main trend in public environmental regulation, and considering how we can shift the focus from “end-of-pipe” impacts to environmentally positive impacts in the product life cycle. The experience of European economies, the US and Canada has proved that such an approach cuts the economic and social costs of positive environmental results. In the current situation of increasing unification of the institutional conditions for doing business, transition to a principle of regulation during the whole product life cycle is intimately connected with Russia’s relationship with OECD.

We have decided to base our a priori choice of economic mechanisms for today’s Russia on factor analysis of the experience of various countries, enabling us to define vectors and peculiarities for shaping a system of economic incentives to combat environmentally unfriendly products. The results of the research project “Design of Scientifically Grounded Analytical Materials and Proposals for Regulatory Legal and Methodological Support for Economic Regulation in the Environmental Sphere” carried out in 2011-2013 at the request of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, and a number of other research and consulting projects helped to identify and test the methodology for an a priori assessment of the expediency of importing economic mechanism (or a group of mechanisms) for environmental regulation, and thus to narrow down the range of “best practices”. We have formulated a set of determinants to analyze the scope and the means for importing state regulation mechanisms that can reduce output of environmentally unfriendly products in Russia. They are as follows:

  • how accurately ownership rights are formulated and the traditions for complying with them;
  • concentration of regulatory functions at different levels of territorial management;
  • prevalence of a voluntary or command principle;
  • whether the effect obtained is “stimulating” or “suppressing”.

The results of the factor analysis helped to determine countries, the experience of which can be used in planning institutional changes.

Accuracy in determining ownership rights and traditions of compliance.Precise definition of ownership rights and their historical embeddedness play an important role in determining whether methods of economic regulation will be successful or even practicable in a country, including the regulation of resource use and of negative impacts on the environment. From the methodological standpoint, this relationship is proved in neo-institutional theory, where rights of ownership of the same asset are regarded as the rules of the game regulating relationships between individuals. These rules belong to various economic actors and are subject to multiple transformations when natural resources undergo various stages of technological processing during their life cycle, in the course of mutual exchanges of material and financial assets.

Hypothetically, when ownership rights to all assets are clearly defined and inviolable, i.e., when they are not only legally fixed but also absolutely evident to individuals (economic actors), any economic disputes (concerning, for example, the amounts and procedures for compensating damage) can be resolved without special government regulation. But real situations in the environmental sphere, unlike such hypothetical instances, are always characterized by some degree of uncertainty and relativity of ownership rights, simply because not all natural resources and assets can always be the objects of ownership.

The uncertainty and instability of ownership rights prompt economic actors to resort to short-term actions: in business, they prefer to engage in short-lived transactions with quickest possible profits. Investment solutions with long-term positive effect lose their appeal and interest in reducing negative impact or improving the environment is low. Environmental aspects of production solutions become of minor importance and dwindle to a system of rapid response to the actions of authorized public bodies; the risk of destructive behavior by economic actors towards the environment and natural resources increases (Fomenko G., 2004).

Ownership relationships in Russia are currently perceived by most people as, in the first place, fuzzy and uncertain (vaguely defined) and, secondly, dominated by the state and a collective form of ownership of practically all assets. In the environmental sphere, this entails obstacles to substituting rent taxes for taxes on labor, and the use of mechanisms for internalizing externalities in relationships between owners is extremely handicapped (it depends on interference by the state).

Concentration of regulatory functions at different levels of territorial management.Regulatory impact of the state on economic actors aimed at reducing output of environmentally unfavorable products may refer to different levels of territorial organization or even be delegated to self-regulating organizations. Obviously, if the legal powers delegated to a certain level of government do not correspond to the nature of environmental risks or if they are illegitimate (i.e., are not the result of a compromise between the major resource managers and actors), the respective transaction costs will inevitably rise and may block the operation of the new environmental institution. That is why, in choosing an economic mechanism, it is necessary to determine the management level at which it will be used and to what extent its legal powers are sufficient and legitimate.

The role of various levels of territorial organization in environmental regulation differs between countries. In the Netherlands, the local level is historically very important, even more so in Switzerland with its cantonal system of government. The regional level is also predominant in the USA. In Russia, which is characterized by traditionally powerful public institutions, environmental management is dominated by “bundling” of legal powers at the federal level.

The best solution for Russia is to concentrate the respective legal powers at the federal (national) level, so that methods of state regulation have direct action. But, at the same time, it is important to take account of regional specifics by means of various coefficients.

Prevalence of a voluntary or command principle.Internalization of environmental costs through economic mechanisms presupposes state or public regulation. Such regulation can occur in different forms: command-administrative (imposing strict sanctions for the violation of legal norms and rules); and a softer approach, designed to encourage actors to assume environmental and social responsibility. The choice depends on the socio-cultural peculiarities of the country and its social capital. Where there is a lower level of social capital, the command-administrative regulation of environmental activities predominates; as the level grows, softer voluntary measures gain ground.

Nowadays, the developed economies are characterized by the predominance of voluntary actions, based on a sense of responsibility to society; informal associations are spreading. Voluntary environmental regulation is less costly than coercive regulation. In Germany, for example, 60% of the adult population is involved in informal associations, both new and traditional; in Scandinavian countries the proportion is still higher at 69.5%. Meanwhile, the share of the population involved in non-government organizations in the post-communist countries of Europe is 3 to 6 times smaller (Pain, 2008). Voluntary action is also an issue for business. In Russia, voluntary institutions are uncommon, as are various forms of horizontal coordination of environmental work.

It is important to remember that the basic structure of “command-type” environmental mechanisms is to be found in nearly all countries, including those with highly developed voluntary participation. The “carrot” of voluntary mechanisms is by no means incompatible with the “stick” of command mechanisms and a review of the experience of different countries shows that voluntary mechanisms do not supersede command approaches.

In Russia, economic mechanisms with direct effect are needed alongside voluntary efforts by business and local communities to address issues of the production and recycling of environmentally unfriendly products. Creation of self-regulating bodies or insurance systems would not offer rapid solutions in Russia, because such imported western institutions will be taken over by para-governmental organizations that merely imitate the operation of their western peers.

Two approaches: stimulation and suppression

Stimulating” approaches use such instruments as state subsidies, grants, reduced tax rates, subsidies for certain regions or communities, deposit-refund systems as well as special rules for procurement. A “suppressing” approach uses administrative and market instruments in combination with tough legal, tax, credit and fining policy; it forcibly encourages the development of certain types of production. Examples of such mechanisms are taxes, fines and other levies that increase the cost of goods and services, thus lowering demand for them and, ultimately, reducing their output and the associated pollution or waste creation. Importantly, the so called “cap and trade” mechanism used in various countries, based on the exchange of emission credits, is really a form of suppression, though more flexible than traditional approaches. We should remember that, in real life, all of the above-mentioned mechanisms are never used in pure form, but are territorially combined in various ways.

The institutional systems of different countries are distinguished by the dominance of “stimulating” or “suppressing” mechanisms. The choice between them, with respect to environmentally unfriendly products, depends, firstly, on the historically determined role of the state in stimulating and supervising economic processes and, secondly, on the level of innovation activity in the economy. In Japan, the state often plays the role of “mentor” for the private sector. It sets trends both for the economy as a whole and for specific technologies by granting subsidies and other privileges and changes course to match changes in the economic and political situation (Olson, 1995).

The level of innovative activity in the economy, i.e., the willingness of economic actors to invest their own finds in new technologies to reduce or recycle waste,is an important factor. If the level of innovative activity is high and (ideally) if companies have considerable funds for capital investment, the efficiency of public subsidies for initial development of advanced technologies can be quite high. But if the economy is not ready for substantial investments in innovation (particularly, in the absence of surplus money for investment), such “jump-starting” by the state appears to be ineffective .

Table2.2 shows how a range of different factors determine the choices made by specific countries in favor of certain mechanisms of environmental protection.

Table2.2. Assessment of countries by the factors determining choices of environmental management mechanisms






Precise definition of ownership rights and traditions of compliance with them

Concentration of regulatory functions at various levels of territorial management

Dominance pf voluntary or command principles

Approach based on stimulation or on suppression




























































New Zealand






















Saudi Arabia


























А Precisely defined, strong traditions of compliance

Ab Precisely defined, weak traditions of compliance

aB Unstable, strong traditions of compliance

В Unstable, weak traditions of compliance


А Predominance of national level

В Predominance of regional level

С Predominance of local level

D Complex distribution of bundles of powers


А Voluntary cooperation mechanisms are widespread

Ab Voluntary cooperation mechanisms play a large role

аВ Voluntary cooperation mechanisms operate, but their role is minor

В Voluntary cooperation mechanisms are negligible


А Stimulating mechanisms are widespread

Аb Stimulating mechanisms play a large role

аВ Stimulating mechanisms operate, but their role is minor

В Suppressing mechanisms predominate

Russia has to address a triple task. On the one hand, the country must take account of the changes and new universal mechanisms developed within the OECD and WTO, ensuring the use of unified economic mechanisms with respect to environmentally unfriendly products and assessment of economic losses in accordance with OECD directives. On the other hand, errors committed in the post-Soviet period have to be put right. And, finally, it is important to retain what is valuable from the legacy of the past. Institutional analysis based on the factors cited in Table 2.2. shows that the experience of the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia countries is of special relevance, because they have a recent past in common with Russia. The experience of the developed economies of Western Europe also deserves attention, but the focus should be on periods in their history when their environmental institutional system was closest to that found in Russia today, based on the cited factors.

Despite major differences between countries with different institutional structures (Fig. 2.11), analysis reveals that the trend towards voluntary institutions and predominance of “stimulating” approaches is more common in countries with precisely defined ownership rights. However, such approaches can also be successful in economies where national, regional and even local levels predominate in the distribution of environmental authority and powers.

Given the general instability of ownership rights in the Russian Federation and comparatively weak traditions of compliance, institutions for managing environmentally unfriendly production should be introduced gradually, without undermining the dominance of “command” functions and using the “stimulating” approach and voluntary mechanisms as supplements rather than replacements for the command structure. Introduction of economic mechanisms for environmental regulation must be accompanied by strict sanctions for non-compliance and attention must be paid to ensuring that efforts by the state have their intended impact.

Fig. 2.11. Institutions used for managing environmentally unfriendly products

Multi-factor analysis using specially designed indices (based on respective factors) proves highly efficacious for addressing such tasks. This is confirmed by the promising outcome of numerous studies in various spheres of social life, from government to business development, stimulation of effective civil initiatives, etc. (Hofstede G., Hofstede G.J. & Minkov, 2010; Hofstede, 1980).

Ethnometrics offers new opportunities for achieving better results in the import of environmental regulation by helping to measure the actual impact of socio-cultural factors on the development of institutional systems, including those in the environmental sphere (Fomenko G., 2014). The use of socio-cultural indices enables an a priori assessment of a specific culture as a factor determining or constraining the choice of acceptable options for institutional and organizational changes in the environmental sphere. Specifically ethnometrics makes it possible to:

  • specify the socio-cultural factors which predetermine the success of certain environmental institutions in specific societies;
  • identify in comparative indicators, using quantitative methods of factor analysis, the aggregate impact of cultures on environmental sustainability;
  • determine the socially conditioned range of choices of acceptable environmental solutions that are available to resource managers and the limitations of environmental restrictions and regulations on the development of socio-natural systems, based on the values that are dominant in the given society (Fomenko G., 2014).

However, it is important to remember that the dependence of environmental institutional changes on cultural indices has a very general character and that each case must be examined individually, taking the proposed indices only as a basis for evaluating the cultural environment. Also, socio-cultural indices cannot forecast the behavior of an individual and do not take account of the individuality of any specific person. It is also important to take account of differentiation between socio-cultural conditions in various Russian regions, particularly, the widening behavior gap between people living in big cities (post-industrial trends) and the rural population.

Sustainable development and the green economy in regional environmental strategies

Environmental strategies increase the sustainability of regional development through a better understanding of how long-term systemic goals can be attained by taking account of environmental factors. This presupposes going beyond the scope of narrow departmental approaches, joint use and integration of information, and the design and use of new indicators that enable managers to compare economic, social and environmental achievements while taking account of the socio-cultural context.

We find it difficult to imagine, but there is high probability that the current generation of children will live half of their life in a low-carbon economy based on closed production cycles and eco-systems resistant to negative effects. This is determined by the current development of production and technologies, closer interrelationships among people and increasing climate disequilibrium, which have sped up socio-economic processes, transforming old problems and generating new ones. Most experts believe that the current crisis is related to the new innovation cycle, as revolutionary technologies have become available in recent decades. Today, planners and strategic development experts assume the inevitable transition of the world economy to a new technology mode. Russia and its regions must not let this critical transformation in civilization pass them by.

The sustainable development of a region, as understood today, must combine green economic growth, social and cultural progress and environmental protection. An environmental strategy (as a strategic document for regional development) sets out long-term goals and performance indicators in the sphere of rational resource use and environmental protection, determines mechanisms for attaining established goals (taking account of existing opportunities and restrictions), formulates requirements for the system of regional environmental management and socio-economic development in order to attain strategic goals, and establishes a monitoring procedure based on the adopted indicators.

Management by objectives in Russia is based on strategic and program documents approved across different levels of territorial organization(On Strategic Planning, 2014). From the regional standpoint, this involves the design and implementation of environmental strategy as a rational way of using scarce resources in order to improve environment quality and achieve more efficient resource use on a limited budget.

Strategy documents must therefore apply sustainability approaches and take account of the emergent transition to a new economy. Following this logic, in 2015 we prepared a Draft Environmental Strategy for Territorial Development, Environmental Conservation and Natural Resource Renewal (“the Environment Strategy”) to order for the Yaroslavl Regional Department for Environmental Management and Resource Use. The document is a contribution to the overall program for strategic management in Yaroslavl Region, which sets the priorities and vectors for long-term development of the Region.

The Environment Strategy assumes that improvement of the environment, health and economic well-being in Yaroslavl Region (in both the short and long terms) depends on consistent implementation of sustainability principles, integrating environmental priorities in strategic documents of the sectors of the regional economy that have the greatest effect on the environment. This refers primarily to power generation, agriculture, transport, manufacturing and tourism.

It is important that restoring eco-system resilience to external impacts and improving the living standards of people often takes longer than reducing unfavorable effects on the environment or increasing the efficiency of resource utilization. Some tasks can be solved within two decades or even sooner, while others require several decades of continuous efforts. The difference in time scales complicates the development of a strategy, but alignment of time horizons is only possible in the framework of a comprehensive strategy for the environmental development of the territory.

While working on the Environment Strategy, we carried out a retrospective analysis of environmental planning documents in Yaroslavl Region in the last 30 years (Table 2.3). A definite trend in the development of methodologies was discovered, particularly over the last 10 years. This is connected with growing attention to the principles of sustainability theory and closer interactions within complex environmental-social-economic territorial systems.

Table2.3. Features of main environmental planning documents in Yaroslavl Region




“Environmental Protection” section of the District Planning Scheme for Yaroslavl Region


- multiple targets without clear indication of their priority (214 items of concern);

- local natural features were taken into account (socio-economic factors were less considered);

- areas of environmental concern were identified;

- goals referring to the areas of concern were to be considered in both regional and local environmental policy

Rational Natural Resource Use, Resource Reproduction and Environmental Protection in Yaroslavl Region (general concept for design and implementation)


- consistent improvement of environment quality to meet not only sanitary-hygiene standards for existing maximum allowable concentrations of pollutants, but also to ensure public health over a period of 3- 4 future generations;

- preserving genetic potential of flora and fauna;

- satisfactory reproduction of renewable natural resources;

- further regional development based on attainment of the stated economic targets;

- use of a “top-down” approach ( economic goals set at regional level for performance at local level)

Ecology and Natural Resources in Yaroslavl Region


- the program consisted of 9 sub-programs: Mineral Resources, Forestry, Water Resources, Aquatic Biological Resources and Aquaculture, Regulation of Environment Quality, Waste, Support for Special Protected Natural Areas, Preservation of Endangered Species, Hydro-meteorological Support for Economic Activity and Rational Resource Use. Each of these included specific measures;

- the positive environmental changes, which were targeted should provide indirect additional benefits by improving public health and expanding the potential for economically and socially efficient use of the resource potential of Yaroslavl Region.

Grounds for amending methodological approaches.The Environment Strategy was based on current federal and regional legal acts on strategic management of socio-economic development, which determine the main vectors and trends for environmental protection and rational resource use and also contain provisions concerning the structure and procedures for document design and approval. Account was taken of the condition and development trends in the environmental sphere and resource reproduction in Yaroslavl Region, existing practice of environmental planning and modern trends in environmental strategic planning as well as specifics of the current socio-economic situation. The most important aspects are as follows.

Firstly, there has been progress in understanding the environmental issues of the Region. Previously, specific environmental issues in Yaroslavl Region were addressed by selective targeted measures and mechanisms (214 issues of concern in 2006, see Table 2.4). This was, for example, how problems of waste or the protection of flora and fauna were addressed.

Table2.4. Evolution of approaches to environmental problem solving

Problems Specific Dispersed System
Main features
Linear cause-and-effect relationship;
large unique sources;
mostly of local significance
Combined effect of several factors;
multiple sources;
mostly of regional significance
Systemic causes;
mutually related sources;
mostly of global significance
Period when the problem was addressed
1970s – 1980s
(and up to the present)
1990s – 2000s.
(and up to the present)
Transition to the new economy and sustainable development
Prevailing approaches Goals and measures to address specific problems Integration in strategic management programs, public awareness raising Comprehensive sets of measures and other systematic approaches

However, starting from the 1990s, when many problems were seen to be caused by a number of different factors, environmental issues were integrated into industry-oriented policies, e.g., dealing with water supply or agriculture. The first such program was adopted in Yaroslavl Region in 1990. The results of this approach were mixed. On the one hand, its inclusion in strategic management of the Region helped to mitigate some specific impacts on the environment by raising broad awareness of the environmental situation. On the other hand, comprehensive issues, such as shrinking bio-diversity caused by the destruction of habitats and excessive exploitation of eco-systems, human health hazards due to environmental pollution and climate change, remained unsolved.

The analysis showed that difficulties arise when trying to solve complex, long-term environmental problems of a systemic character, for the following reasons:

1) Intricate links within environmental-social-economic territorial systems hamper clear-cut definition and solution of problems;

2) The limited horizon for planning and decision making42by real resource managers (3-5 years) makes it impossible to prioritize comprehensive environmental issues (short-range planning has to focus on such issues as accident response or supervisory control operations);

3) Comprehensive environmental issues are difficult to solve in Russia’s vertically integrated environmental management system, with its relatively weak horizontal relations.

The Region’s current environmental strategy, as was the case 20 years before, addresses issues of shrinking bio-diversity, irrational use of natural resources and unfavorable impact of the environment on people. But, although the issues are the same, we are better aware today of their mutual relations and their relations to a whole range of social development trends. As new information appears, we gain more opportunities to understand the complexity of interrelations between the existing problems and the factors causing them, and of the need to consider them in the context of socio-economic development trends. For the purposes of management by objectives, this makes the formulation of environmental priorities of territories more complicated, leading to more generalized statements.

Another consideration is equally important: in the context of global socio-economic instability, the role of goal setting acquires special urgency. Bifurcations associated with uncertain socio-economic consequences of the mass implementation of advanced technologies make it vital to avoid unfavorable human development scenarios and prevent social conflicts. So special importance attaches to the task of improving the resilience of individuals, communities and territorial environmental-social-economic systems, and preventing the danger of their uncontrolled destruction by external factors, which may be unpredictable.

Acknowledgement of the systemic character of environmental problems and their dependence on global factors entails a realization that the key to many of today’s complex global challenges lies in an integrated, systematic approach to the priorities of sustainable development with full regard for the socio-cultural aspects of territories. This means that any strategic solution in the environmental sphere must be based on transformation of major systems: transport, the power industry, housing, utilities and food supply. In order to achieve this, we must find ways of putting these systems on an environmentally sustainable foundation by more efficient use of natural resources, reducing power consumption, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and by making these systems compatible with the well-being of eco-systems. This will require adjustment of the respective regulatory mechanisms (financing, taxation, law, health care and education), taking account of the socio-cultural features of Russia and its regions.

Another modern imperative is to participate in transition of the most developed economies to a new technology mode. Russia (and Yaroslavl Region) need transition to the green economy in order to ensure sustainability and competitiveness in the long run. A new quality of life cannot be achieved without changing the development vector of the current production and consumption systems, which cause environment and climate issues. Therefore, in working on the Environment Strategy, we considered a number of new processes with long-term significance:

  • prevention of negative impact on human health and the state of eco-systems, and generating socio-economic advantages through technology innovations that enable the most effective use of natural resources ;
  • adaptation to anticipated climate and environment changes by increasing resilience to negative impacts, particularly in towns and cities;
  • reducing risk of negative environmental impacts by preventive measures based on efficient monitoring and scientific findings;
  • increasing the resilience of eco-systems to negative impacts through restoration of natural resources and promotion of economic development and mitigation of social problems.

Increased instability in the economic and social spheres appears inevitable during transition to the new state of relative stability. When development processes are destabilized, long-term investments decline, and it is impossible to obtain transition to the green economy without stimulating an inflow of investments to Yaroslavl Region (environmental restrictions will not be sufficient). Investments must increase the wealth (sustainability capital) of the Region: it is critically important to avoid investments, which would lock the regional economy into a development path based on existing technologies, prevent innovation or create negative incentives for investment in new green sectors.

Innovative activity depends not only on the general climate in the country but also on the appeal of a specific region, since innovations are not merely technology, but can be of a varied nature, including financial products (e.g., green quotas and payment for eco-system services), integrated approaches to resource management, as well as social innovations (particularly, stimulation of “prosumerism” as a means of creating new products), by which consumers and producers influence service development and provision in the power sector, food industry, transport, etc. Environmental factors should also be taken into account in infrastructure development.

During transition to the new economy, it is important to stimulate the spread of knowledge, which helps people to accept the new technologies and innovations. It is generally accepted today that the level of society’s development depends on environmental, social and economic indicators. However, according to expert opinion, changeover to a new technology mode opens a wide gap between new needs for adequate information and the existing level of monitoring, statistical data and indicators. Investments will have to be made for the collection of information that can help to monitor long-term trends and systemic risks, and the interrelations between environmental changes and human well-being. Preparation of an Environment Atlas of Yaroslavl Region, supplemented by annual reports on the state and protection of the local environment, is a substantial, but only the first, step in this direction.

The Environment Strategy must not be irrelevant and difficult to implement. In the present socio-economic conditions the Strategy should focus on the provision of “weak” sustainability43, based on growth of output (GDP) and the prevention of pollution and dangerous depletion of natural resources. This approach concentrates on public health and the most critical environmental problems. The orientation in Yaroslavl Region should be to sustainable utilization of regional natural capital and improving the resilience of towns and settlements to (unpredictable) external effects. Environmental sustainability in this context entails lower risks of losing productivity of natural resources, on which the regional budget is dependent, and reduced environmental vulnerability of towns and settlements, with an increased role for the long-term values of sustainable development.

So, based on the adopted methodological approach and aiming to meet the socio-economic development goals of Yaroslavl Region for 2030, as stipulated by the Environment Strategy, we decided to focus on three major issues:

  • declining economic value of natural capital;
  • increasing environmental vulnerability of towns and cities;
  • increasing environmental and social vulnerability of rural settlements.

These are the priorities which should be addressed by the authorities in Yaroslavl Region in order to ensure environmentally secure development of the region in the present conditions.

Present environment.Yaroslavl Region is a long-established industrial region with a broad range of economic sectors: machine-building and metal-working, oil refining, hydrocarbon processing and chemical industries, hydro-electric and conventional power engineering, consumer goods manufacturing and food processing. Living standards in the region are close to the average for Russia. Environmental features, trends and prospects are determined by historical traditions and current economic activities, by local natural resources, anthropogenic impacts and environmental culture (Table 2.5).

Table 2.5. Brief summary of environmental trends and prospects in Yaroslavl Region*

Systemic analysis shows substantial problems associated with each of the main trends. Preservation, protection and increase of natural capital in Yaroslavl Region has still not been achieved and this hampers the implementation of regional socio-economic development strategy. The level of pollution from industrial sources has decreased, which has somewhat improved air and water quality, but decline of soil fertility, land degradation (due to the growing demographic imbalances) and climate change remain serious issues. There is a high share of special protected natural areas (SPNAs) of regional significance, though many of them lack the environmental status required for conservation. According to forecasts, negative impact from climate changes will increase, so threats to biodiversity will persist.

Trends in the economy related to efficient resource utilization and low carbon emissions are hard to discern. Greenhouse gas emissions from industrial sources in the Region have declined substantially since 1990, but traffic emissions have increased by several times. Slow progress with modernization is hampering reduction of other environmental hazards (in proportion to economic growth). Amounts of toxic waste are decreasing, but creation of household waste is on the increase and the waste recycling rate is not progressing. Some environmental threats have receded, not due to efficacious environmental efforts but as a result of the financial crises of the early 1990s, 1998 and 2008 and the subsequent economic recessions (it is not clear whether the emergent positive trends will be sustained when the economy returns to growth). Air quality in urban areas has improved and concentration of some hazardous pollutants has decreased in recent years. Nevertheless, air and noise pollution continue to pose serious health problems, primarily in towns. Concentrations of heavy metals in regional reservoirs have declined, but the level of bio-contamination is still high. Forecasts of environment-related risks to human health in coming decades are negative in some cases. For instance, the negative impact of climate change on health will increase.

Analysis of systemic problems in the Region.The main determinants of the regional environmental situation in the 20th century were:

1)changes in the hydrological conditions of the Volga River;

2) industrialization;

3) demographic processes associated with growing urbanization and depopulation of rural areas. Impact of these factors is long-term and is at the root of many environmental issues in the Region.

Though emissions from industrial facilities into the atmosphere and industrial waste discharges into water have decreased, the absolute figures for most negative impacts are still high. Complex relationships between the environment and socio-economic systems also undermine the effectiveness of measures to address negative impacts on the environment. For example, increased efficiency and reduced energy and raw-material intensity of production can lower production costs, stimulating the growth of consumption. Changes in the impact of environmental factors and greater human sensitivity to them as a result of urbanization (and other phenomena) can offset the expected positive effect of reduced anthropogenic impacts. Unstable, “brown” production and consumption systems cause numerous environmental problems but, at the same time, yield certain benefits, including job and income creation, which can motivate people to resist eco-modernization. The environment, consumption and living standards are influenced by a number of long-term mega trends. For instance, the intensification of land use and increase of atmospheric emissions (related to global economic growth in recent decades) are most obvious in developing economies, and this is reducing positive effect from the lowering of greenhouse gas emissions in OECD countries.

Recognition of the complex and systemic character of environmental issues in Yaroslavl Region, based on the analysis of numerous parameters (specifics of environmental conditions and the economy, the current state and anticipated trends in major spheres of environmental management44), enabled formulation of three complex problems, albeit in very general terms.

Gradual decline in the value of natural resources and exhaustion of landscape and biological diversityrelated to the insignificant role of natural capital in the economic development of Yaroslavl Region. This explains the low level of natural resource earnings in budgets, lower levels of employment in mining and processing, leisure (outdoor activities, hunting, fishing, etc.) and general neglect of issues of rational resource use (Fig. 2.12).

Fig. 2.12. Strategic analysis of income-generating industries in Yaroslavl Region

Note:The red line marks the Russian average.

Source: Strategy for Socio-Economic Development of Yaroslavl Region up to 2025, Annex 4.

As a result, we see underemployment in resource mining and processing, leisure services, etc. This is despite the fact that most natural resources are available in quantities sufficient to meet the needs of the region, which also has substantial export potential. The region does not have territories with chronic environmental problems.

In 1996, the total value of natural capital in Yaroslavl Region was31.5 trillion rubles (USD6.3 billion). At that time, water resources represented the greater part of natural capital (87%), followed by timber (4%) and non-timber forest products (4%); while the economic value of agricultural land was 3.5% and mineral stocks were 1% of the total. Natural capital had 13.8% of the value of man-made physical capital45. Taking account of the environmental factor (“green” net GDP) increased net GDP of the Region from 12,242.1 billion to 12,273.344 billion rubles (by 0.3% in 1996 prices). The increase was due to the accounting of non-timber forest products, plants used as sources of honey, subsoil water (when drawing water from wells) and hunting resources.

Estimates from later periods show negative changes. According to results for 2011, current use of natural capital had nearly halved against 1996. The greatest economic value was represented by mineral resources, water resources, suburban agricultural land, while hunting resources and forest products were of lesser value. The share of income from the use of the water and timber resources decreased by four times, while the proportion of income from mineral resources, hunting and aquatic biological resources grew (Fig. 2.13).

Fig. 2.13. Changes in the structure of natural capital in Yaroslavl Region from 1996 to 2011.

Increased environmental vulnerability of towns and citiesis manifest in 1)growing health hazards from pollution of atmospheric air, drinking water, soil and noise; 2) loss of natural environment and biodiversity in towns caused by environmentally unsound development projects; 3) threats from industrial facilities: chemical pollution of atmospheric air, soil and water within urban areas; disposal of waste within or close to city limits; facilities that in themselves pose a major environmental danger. Cause-and-effect relations were analyzed using the methods of PESTLE analysis46(Fig. 2.14).

Fig. 2.14. Analysis of environmental vulnerability of towns and cities

Vulnerability of urban eco-systems to changing climate conditions is aggravated by the growing rates of urbanization, posing major challenges for quality of life in cities and towns47. The relationship between environmental pollution and quality of life has been known since early times, but until now the health care system was mainly concerned with the consequences rather than causes of poor health, such as bad quality of the environment. Bans on industrial emissions are insufficient to resolve the problem of air quality in towns. A comprehensive approach is needed with a special focus on automobile transport, more attention to environmental issues in planning solutions, and the establishment of sanitary protection zones around industrial facilities and plants.

Increased social and environmental vulnerability of rural settlementsarises from the depletion of shared natural resources at local level, particularly in the vicinity of settlements (deforestation, poaching, etc.) and deterioration of environmental aspects of people’s quality of life, including drinking water, waste removal, etc. As far back as the late 1990s, all municipal districts in Yaroslavl Region took part in a survey which used meta-planning methodology and Delphi methods to determine priority issues of rational resource use and environment protection. A wide range of experts, including staff of district administrations, heads of administrative territories, resource sector organizations, major resource users, civil associations, mass media, etc., took part in the survey, which helped understanding of the socio-cultural specifics of local territories and settlements.

Analysis of responses showed that the most urgent issues today are the state of forests and water bodies, land utilization and soil fertility, drinking water supply, waste management, and issues of spirituality, ethics and environmental literacy. Respondents in some districts emphasized landscape preservation, inefficient use of the entirety of natural resources, etc., i.e., they emphasized the lack of an integrated approach as a critical factor of efficacious environmental management.

The findings were amplified by expert analysis of statistical and departmental information and compared with the insights described in materials of the 6th National Conference (with international participation) on the Formation and Implementation of Environmental Policy at Regional Level (Yaroslavl 2013). The relevance of the findings was confirmed, since environmental trends have a long-term character, and the impact on them of main external factors (demographics and climate change) remains the same. The methods of PESTLE analysis were used to identify major cause-and-effect relationships (Fig. 2.15).

Environmental priority targets.The priority of the Environment Strategy is to create major incentives for development of the green economy. As well as increasing expenditures for addressing acute issues, the Strategy calls for new kinds of environmental goods and services and rechanneling of capital flows from “brown” to “green” business (manufacturing of purification equipment, control and monitoring devices, alternative energy sources, etc.), promoting employment and creating new jobs.

We identified priority targets for the Environment Strategy based on combined analysis of priorities in environmental protection and resource reproduction and long-term growth in the significance of natural capital in Yaroslavl Region (Fig. 2.16).

Fig. 2.16. Priority targets of the Environment Strategy

Selection of mechanisms and organization of environmental regulation.The environmental problems of Yaroslavl Region have to be addressed taking account of changes in the environmental, social and economic situation of the Region. The choice of environmental regulation measures depends on global factors and processes specific to Russia, both of which are, as such, external to the sustainable development of Yaroslavl Region and require proper adaptation. In view of our decision to address environmental problems in the framework of the Strategy, we perceive these processes and factors as important restrictions and regulations in selecting mechanisms for environmental management in the region.

The upcoming global transition to the new technology mode brings an intellectual challenge, the causes and mechanisms of which require profound study, touching also on methods of environmental regulation. The global movement towards the green economy makes it vital that improvement of the model for regulating socio-economic processes and administrative adjustment in Yaroslavl Region (based on its industrial development) take the direction of “green industrialization”. So, at the moment of inevitable transition to the new growth model, we have the opportunity to choose eco-modernization, avoiding a scenario of “dirty” development.

The modern approach of the Environment Strategy is based on the implementation of green modernization with due account for the socio-economic and cultural peculiarities of the territory. For success, we need to determine the institutional framework of a socio-culturally determined choice of the methods of regional environmental management in Yaroslavl Region for coming decades48.

In our opinion, the basic limitations on the choice of environmental management methods in Yaroslavl Region in the early 21st century are as follows:

1) a lengthy period of institutional uncertainty (“turbulent decades”);

2) climate change, which can have both positive and negative impact;

3) the so called “demographic cross,” when numbers of people in employment decrease and budget liabilities per employed person grow;

4) resource dependence of the economy, when risks associated with volatility of prices for energy resources increase and there is increased risk of a shortfall in regional budget revenues due to levels of global demand;

5)contraction of the economically profitable space;

6) “competition scissors” and “institutional gaps” when high labor costs in a context of weak institutions and low labor productivity create obstacles to eco-modernization;

7) restrictions in the sphere of resource use and environment protection related to Russia’s geopolitical problems.

Socio-economic limitations and regulations concerning the environment have to be factored into the indicators and strategic documents of Yaroslavl Region. Strategies and programs for the Region’s socio-economic development should focus on stimulating eco-modernization, deeper recycling of waste and support for environmental technology initiatives by business. Creation of new “green” jobs and staff retraining should be regarded as important goals for regional development. It is also necessary to extend the range of measures for government regulation of ecological liability, which now only exist in the form of monetary sanctions, and to increase the scope for preventing and eliminating negative environmental impact and damage.

Environmental regulation mechanisms as part of the Environment Strategy.Such mechanisms were devised with due regard for the institutional limitations, which impose a certain range of possible solutions for improving environmental management at all levels of territorial organization. Analysis shows that the range is quite limited. Since environmental restrictions and regulations change slowly (Fomenko G., 2014), we proposed a number of new mechanisms for government regulation in the sphere of rational resource use and environment protection, which not only comply with, but also somewhat extend the institutional track, taking account of the trend towards stimulation of the green economy and sustainable development.

So the balanced system of measures proposed in the Environment Strategy takes account of the current socio-economic situation and socio-cultural peculiarities of the region to enable purposeful transition to a new qualitative level. This strategy offers the possibility of a synergy between design and implementation of government regulation, and investment and research work for transition to the green economy. In the framework of Russia’s institutional system main attention is given to measures that address complex environmental and resource issues and aim to eliminate specific trouble spots. Certain new mechanisms have also been proposed.

Measures to enable horizontal coordination between agencies regulating environmental work and the reproduction of natural resourcesprovide for implementation of strategic goals and tactical objectives despite increased instability of the external situation. Laying foundations for territorial management by objectives, the Environment Strategy presupposes:

1) mutual alignment of strategic priorities, goals and performance targets for environment protection and resource reproduction at different levels by setting reference points and taking the peculiarities of municipal programs into consideration;

2) end-to-end monitoring of implementation of measures stipulated by programs at different levels;

3) regular reporting and performance analysis.

Systematic use of strategic environmental assessment in the framework of a unified system of regional strategic planning49offers an efficacious tool to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements in the sphere of environment protection and prevention of natural resource depletion. From the standpoint of sustainable development, strategic environmental assessment is of critical value in choosing strategic directions and solving tactical issues of the spatial development of Yaroslavl Region and its districts.

It should be remembered that environmental assessment is not an external check of the “appropriateness” of decisions made but an internally conditioned process of identifying environmental factors and incorporating them in the relevant strategic initiative. Such an approach mitigates contradictions and conflicts that arise when an environmental expert examination is only performed after strategic development documents for regions, towns or rural territories have already been drafted. It is a way of “envrionmentalizing” strategic development plans at early stages of their development at minimum cost.

Environmental marketingis a useful mechanism of control and a powerful tool for sustainable growth, based on innovation in the environmental sector, promoting self-identification of people with the “environmental appeal” of their home region, and stimulating the environmental and resource-saving behavior of businesses. Such marketing both informs stakeholders of the positive features of the territory and helps to create an idealized image that can attract investors. Environmental marketing measures include the publication and dissemination of printed and online materials about the region and local territories, visits by heads of territorial administration, meetings with the heads of organizations and companies who are willing to start or support new businesses in the region, meetings with environmental organizations, etc.

It is impossible to improve the sustainability of regional environmental management and ensure the reproduction of natural resources (taking account of current instability and scarcity of finance) without meeting the following conditions:

  • maintaining the wholeness (integrity) of the system, by remembering that it consists of interconnected elements and structures, the necessity of which is determined by the natural and geographical features of the region, the goals of the Environment Strategy and traditions of regional management. Territorial environmental management bodies at regional and district levels must form a unified system by supplementing each other (without institutional gaps) in a functional and structural way;
  • strengthening the core and developing the periphery of the system. The elements of the regional system are not equivalent: some (the core of the system) are more crucial for achieving the goals of the Environment Strategy, others support these efforts, while a third set of elements create conditions for normal functioning of the former two groups. At the present time, it is important to improve the purposeful strategic coordination of all the elements of the system in order to achieve the priorities of the Environment Strategy. It is envisaged to establish unconditional individual responsibility at the level of a deputy chairperson of the Yaroslavl Regional Government and heads of district departments with responsibility for environment protection and natural resource reproduction;
  • stimulating the development of environmental infrastructure. Such infrastructure consists of small and medium-size businesses engaged in a wide range of activities: research and methodology, analytics, planning and forecasting for government bodies in the sphere of environment protection and resource reproduction; design and manufacture of environmental equipment and metering devices; environmental services for economic entities (consultancy and project management, environmental insurance and eco-certification); restoration of the natural environment (soil reclamation, etc.); provision of proper functioning of the environmental infrastructure itself (chemical laboratories, etc.). Involvement of this sector in the implementation of objectives of the Environment Strategy and stimulation of the regional market for environmental goods and services in the crisis period helps to support local producers, promotes employment and maintains budget revenues;
  • maintaining dynamic balance and the hierarchical pattern of the system. This is especially important when the instability of social processes is growing and the system is subject to the disturbing impacts of various institutional factors, which upset interaction between its elements by increasing or reducing their roles in the established hierarchy of relationships, threatening disorganization and inefficiency. Sustainability of the regional environmental management system depends on its ability to adapt and remain efficacious under unexpected stresses and shocks, to transform quickly under new conditions by retaining the dynamic character of its periphery and the stability of its core;
  • ensuring compatibility between the elements of the system. This means that each element of regional management of environment protection and resource reproduction is a part of the whole. The elements must complement each other, interacting horizontally and vertically, thus creating favorable conditions for the functioning of each element and of the system as a whole. The system must comprise only elements capable of solving tasks common to the whole system in order to achieve the priority goals of the Environment Strategy.
Environmental planning at local level: focus on the opinion and needs of people

Systematic perception of environmental problems makes people in cities, towns and rural settlements more active in their solution, thus reducing environmental risks and improving the quality of life. Such an approach to environmental planning at local level is particularly important at a time of growing global instability during transition to the new technology mode. By conceiving geographical conditions as a combination of natural, social, cultural and economic factors, resource managers are able to choose the methodology and tools of environmental planning, which ae best suited to a given territory.

Local environmental management by objectives can be viewed as a sequence of decisions addressing negative impacts on the environment and enabling proper resource use in order to preserve the means of human subsistence in the form of material income and non-material benefits. Such management originates from the time of primeval agricultural communities when people shaped, developed and perfected institutions (initially informal) in order to reduce risks of overexploitation and depletion of the natural resources, on which they depended for survival (Fomenko G., 2004). Institutional matrixes formed over centuries fitted with the geographical conditions of specific territories, due not so much to natural geographical features but rather by virtue of the geographical orientation of human culture. “Place is people! It is a situation where people interact in a specific objective spatial environment” (Heidegger, 1997). The acquisition by people of their geographical environment is a process of the emergence of places with their own name, their own subtle network of socio-cultural, economic and political relationships.50It can be regarded as a series of constant institutional changes in local environmental management.

Management by objectives embraces a wide range of actions and concrete procedures for designing and accomplishing the goals of future development. All participants of this process (from the head of the local administration to local pensioners) contribute their views of the current state and future development of the Place, irrespective of the degree of their involvement, guided by common goals and pursuing their own interests. Such views take shape as the result of a complex institutional synthesis of traditions, behavior standards (rules and restrictions), aims, etc. Environmental programs and plans are a product of creative interrelations between actors (as stakeholders) when they strive to actualize their interests, guided by their own perceptions of the future and ways of attaining it. So the process of development, implementation, monitoring and appraisal of results leads to the conversion of informal practices into institutions.

Generally speaking, management by objectives is a process of continuous sequential formalization of planning guidelines (themselves a synthesis of collective interests and motivations) and the results achieved. Environmental programs and local government plans, appropriately approved and adopted as legislative documents (local government laws) together with supporting documents (on monitoring, performance appraisal, etc.) are the major formal institutions, which set development goals in the environmental sphere and specify priorities (long-term, mid-term and short-term) for their achievement, together with time schedules, financing and assignment of responsibilities. These programs and action plans exist in the given field of formal institutions, in the framework of existing legislative and regulatory acts of national and local government.

It is important to remember that the planning process involves more than the drafting of plans. It targets the consistent implementation of purposeful changes by acting on the institutional development, shaping the future based on general considerations, external expert opinion (“top-down”) and drawing on local experience and knowledge (“bottom-up”). The theory of planning is in constant evolution (Immler, 1990; Lutz, 1988; Pearce & Turner, 1990), and contemporary global practice (including environmental planning) uses the following types of planning (Table 2.6):

  • comprehensive rational planning based on a systemic approach and full analysis of the alternatives;
  • protective planning, focused on the best interests of underprivileged social strata (the poor, national minorities, etc.);
  • apolitical planning, as a purely technical function ignoring the distribution of power and political authority in the course of planning and follow-up activities (although, in fact, planners are bound to conceal political aspects, which inevitably arise in the course of their work);
  • critical planning (as an alternative to apolitical planning), which gives main attention to methods of distribution of power in society and the significance of free dialog and search for consensus;
  • strategic planning that devises and implements approaches to achieve a particular strategic (corporate) goal; it is based on integration and coordination, which helps to overcome threats and make better use of available opportunities;
  • incremental planning is a process of making effective decisions by small consecutive coordinated actions (steps), focusing on interaction between stakeholders without rigid centralized coordination. The emphasis is on the sequence and succession of actions, in a continuous process of choice between subtly differing alternatives similar to those used in the past.(Benveniste, 1994).

These types of planning are hardly ever implemented in their pure form in practice: the actual planning procedure in a specific territory may be based on one dominant type, but also uses elements of the others. The role of each (in their interrelationship) is determined by the combination of the broadly conceived geographical conditions of the specific Place: economic, environmental, politico-administrative, social, cultural, ethnic (Fomenko, 1996), and the peculiarities of the institutional situation.

Table 2.6.Main types of environmental management planning

All-embracing rational planning

Protective planning

Apolitical planning

Critical planning

Strategic planning

Incremental planning


Altshuler A.A., Waterston A., Schultze C.L., Sarfattl LarsonМ., etc.

Davidof P., Barber B., Spiegel H.B., Kramer R.M., Edelston H., Kolodner F.K., WachsМ., Perin C., Jenkins-Smith H.C., etc.

CataneseА. J., Beyle T.L., Lath-rop G.T., Faludi A., HastlingsР., Howe E., Kaufltlan J., etc.

Castells M., Cook K.S., Scott A.J., Deal M., Harvey D., Krallshaar R., Silva E.T., Habermas J., Neufville J., Berger P. L., LucKmannТ., etc.

Andrews K., Cristen-sen K.S.,Вгyson J.М., O'Connor R., Ansoff J., Below P.J., Morrisey G.L., Acomb B.L., Bryson J.М., Elnsweller R.C., Kaufman J.L., Jacobs H.M., etc.

Lindblom C.T., Braybrooke D., Benvenlste G., Weiss C.H., Carnegie D., etc.


Systematic view and approach

Aimed at helping low-income groups

Avoidance of political and management aspects of planning

Critical of current planning practice, emphasizes methods of distributing powers through society and the effect of such distribution on planning

Assumes the impossibility of comprehensive solutions, oriented to the best solutions in specific situations

Decision-making by small increments, prioritizes agreement on current policy, rather than future goals


Enables selection of the best solution. Givesusefulplanningexperience.

Failure to involve ordinary people in decision-making is seen as the main difficulty

Planners underestimate political factors in the planning process.

Believes planning to be inseparable from politics, emphasizes the importance of new knowledge (not necessarily technical) for stimulating efficacious action.

Distrust of human ability to foresee the future.

Need to facilitate interaction and coordination in uncertain situations (external and internal).


Specifying the task, conducting systematic analysis to work out alternatives, set criteria for choosing the optimal option among alternatives and analyzing outcomes.

Planning must take account of the needs of people, particularly disadvantaged people, whose opinions have been ignored.

Planning is seen as a purely technical function; separation of planning from management and control.

Focus on irregular distribution of power, importance of free communication and the search for consensus. Based on a phenomenological approach that understands the needs, the world views and wishes of people.

Focus on strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats from the external environment. No logical end is envisaged, concern is always with what is particular and preselected.

Consistent but limited comparisons between several alternatives. In an uncertain situation each participant must understand how the others act and try to adapt.

Stakeholders in Russia?

Design organizations with experience of similar work; scholars following a systematic approach; staff of regulatory bodies with planning experience

Low-income strata of society; national minorities; ordinary electors; trade unions; civil organizations.

The approach is widespread. It is supported by the staff of design organizations and regulatory bodies, as well as industry departments in government

Democratically oriented civil movements, elected government bodies.

Executive bodies; resource users interested in improvement of the quality of territorial government.

Conservatively oriented managers, centrist political movements.

National experience and the current situation with local management by objectives should be reviewed in the context of approaches to planning in the Russian Federation described above.

In the command-administrative system, environmental management was carried out and controlled by state-run organizations vertically integrated in branch ministries and departments; environmental management was considered to be an integral part of planning. State plans for the national economy included measures for the rational use, protection and reproduction of natural resources. Environmental work was coordinated by Communist Party bodies, which ensured interdepartmental interaction in territories. Administrative districts throughout the USSR composed various program documents dealing with resource use and environment protection: district planning schemes, environmental sections in social and economic development plans for towns and rural areas, territorial schemes for environment protection, and special plans for environmental protection in the form of lists of environmental events, which later became mandatory documents. The major advantage of such documents was deemed to be their clear-cut character, precise orientation and exact deadlines.

Program documents were designed using principles of universal rational planning, which presupposed thorough analysis of the situation, careful consideration of all factors capable of changing the situation, detailed elaboration of several options and choice of the most acceptable among them. The length of time required for planning made the work inefficient in rapidly changing situations, as decisions sometimes became irrelevant before the program had been adopted. As a result, current environmental planning at local level was usually limited to summarizing district environmental plans and their subsequent transfer to the regional level. This enabled the formation of more or less realistic short-term forecasts in the environmental sections of district and regional socioeconomic development plans. As an illustration we could cite the failed attempt to develop an environmental management program as an integral part of the Program of Socio-Economic Development of Yaroslavl Region in the late 1980s. In the context of rapid changes in the economic and social spheres and in the lack of clearly defined priorities for urban development, attempts to carefully elaborate different options for environment policy were unsuccessful and the final version of the Program was not formulated. Work on territorial integrated plans of environmental conservation contributed to improvement of the methodology, but did not affect practices of local environmental management.

There was an upsurge of government concern about environmental issues around 1990, following the proclaimed slogan of building “socialism with a human face”. The intention was to reform the existing economic model in an evolutionary way, by increasing the innovative activities of ordinary people, limiting destructive behavior by reinforcing the role of labor collectives (election of overseers, etc.). In the environmental sphere this was expressed in a movement away from the established practice of organizational schemes and the former principles of planning. New approaches to planning were tried out, oriented to enhancing the participation of ordinary people in the development and implementation of plans and programs, with regard for the interests of disadvantaged social groups. The difficult socio-political context dictated special attention in planning to coordination of the actions of different stakeholders (actors) for the achievement of priority goals.

Relevance of the “bottom-up” approach, focused on identifying and meeting the needs and wants of local people, was confirmed by the results of several projects to design local environmental programs to order for executive bodies in Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow Regions in 1994-1999, and by the results of the project Efficient Environmental Management in Yaroslavl Region, commissioned by the Yaroslavl Region administration in 1996. Comparative analysis of environmental priorities declared in programs of all regional government bodies that were in force at the time and the opinions of main stakeholders showed material discrepancies between the formalized standpoint and the way principal actors (from the head of the district administration to an ordinary citizen) viewed the situation. Practical work using a more balanced approach to setting priority goals helped to formulate the basic environmental issues for each district and to determine the best ways of addressing them (relevant from the consolidated standpoints of government bodies, business and ordinary people), This enabled the design of specific measures to improve environmental management in districts.

Methodological guidelines for the design of local environmental programs were developed in 1995 on the order of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology (Fomenko G., Fomenko M., Mikhailova, Zharinova & Kovalev, 2003) using the above approaches to local environmental planning. At the request of the Yaroslavl Region administration, programs of rational resource utilization and environment protection were prepared for Bolsheselsky, Danilovsly and Lyubimovsky districts in Yaroslavl Region.

We are now resuming our work on programs and plans of territorial development following recent changes of the institutional and economic situation in Russia. Principles of management by objectives are acquiring a dominant role at district level (On general principles, 2003). Budget funds are now allocated for implementation of specific target programs (Budget Code, 1998) with lists of measures and events oriented to a significant end result and with obligatory appraisal of efficiency in the use of funds, based on the respective indicators.

The design and implementation of environmental documents at local level faces certain difficulties, which are largely explained by passive thinking, poor understanding of today’s realities and underestimation of the role of communities in territorial development planning. Nevertheless, these documents are pertinent and find application. Local environmental action plans are chiefly aimed at promoting sustainable development based on improving the state of the environment, ensuring the efficient use of natural resources and subsequent improvement of investment appeal of the local economy and living standards of local people. Such documents are developed and implemented in most municipalities and districts, irrespective of territorial specifics, both in big industrial cities and in small settlements. While varying in terms of design and implementation, their principal quality is comprehensiveness. A system of specific measures is drawn up based on analysis of the most urgent tasks for environment protection and rational resource use (linking up sources of finance, deadlines and officers in charge) with performance indicators and with mechanisms for implementation, management and control .

These were the approaches used by the Cadaster Institute in developing the following local environmental programs: the district target program Reduction of Anthropogenic Impact on the Environment of Yaroslavl City for 2009-2011 (approved by Decree No. 2857 of the Mayor of Yaroslavl on 15 October 2008); Yaroslavl City target program Reduction of Anthropogenic Impact on the Environment of Yaroslavl City for 2005-2008 (approved by Ruling No.111 of the district authorities on 17 June 2005); Environmental Action Plan for Sustainable Development of Kostomuksha Urban District for 2008-2012 (Republic of Karelia, approved on 18 October 2007); Local Environmental Action Plan for Sustainable Development of Pervomaisky Municipal District in 2005-2010 (Yaroslavl Region, approved on 14 October 2005); Environmental Action Plan for Sustainable Development of Korablinsky Municipal District for 2007-2011 (Ryazan Region, approved on 28 November 2006); Environmental Action Plan of Guriev Municipal District, Kaliningrad Region for 2009-2013 (approved by Ruling No.343 of the Guriev Council of Deputies on 28 May 2009); Environmental Action Plan of Krasnoznamensky Municipal District, Kaliningrad Region for 2010-2024 (approved by Ruling No.31 of Krasnoznamensky Council of Deputies on 27 March 2009).

Projects and plans for special protected natural areas (SPNAs) and sanitary protection zones of plants and industrial hubs (treated as special areas in the Russian Urban Development Code) are of particular interest as regards diversification of local management by objectives. The challenge here is to design management (business) plans for Russian SPNAs (particularly those of federal significance) as basic development documents. Management plans for the improvement of work at SPNAs to preserve biodiversity contain detailed description of the tasks, vectors of development and concrete measures to be pursued. Design and implementation of such plans has to be based on indicators of economic value of natural resources and eco-system services, provided by the SPNAs to various groups of users.

The design of industrial sanitary protection zones is regulated by existing rules on public health. Such work in industrial areas of Yaroslavl Region has intensified since the early 2000s. Experts at the Cadaster Institute have drafted plans for a sanitary protection zone at the Southern Industrial Hub, where there are over 65 oil processing facilities, fuel and energy enterprises, as well as construction and automobile businesses. The project is now underway, having obtained all necessary approvals. Special Coordinating Council has been set up to manage the new zone, with representatives of leading companies and of the Cadaster Institute (as the Council’s executive body). The Council serves as an advisory board addressing future development of the sanitary zone (including the contents and implementation of a unified policy for public health and environment protection, improving the efficiency of environmental management at facilities and companies) and also concerned with improvement of the state of adjacent territories and residential areas. The Council uses principles of risk mitigation and operates on the basis of mutual respect and transparency. Its work is supervised by the Deputy Governor of Yaroslavl Region in charge of manufacturing, public property and economic development.

Experience gained in work on the sanitary protection zone of the Southern Industrial Hub has identified various new opportunities for increasing the efficiency of environmental management of industrial facilities and improving public control over public health and environmental security. Better coordination and interaction between economic entities in the zone provides a real opportunity to optimize control of industrial processes at the border of the zone, to reduce required amounts of environmental documentation, and to unify and prioritize environmental measures using the methodology of risk mitigation. New opportunities appeared during early stages of the work for the design and implementation of urban planning policy that prevents breaches of public health and environmental legislation and serves to improve the quality of life. The new approaches were used by the Cadaster Institute when working on a new sanitary zone project for the Northern Industrial Hub in Yaroslavl (the Northern Hub has over 100 industrial facilities, which are sources of atmospheric pollution) and in subsequent legislative establishment of the boundaries of the zone.

On the whole, analyzing the current situation, we see a high level of activity on the part of Russian local and regional government. This is principally due to strengthening of Russia’s system of government, the so called “vertical power structure” where the work of public authorities at each level of territorial organization is carried out and controlled within budget limits and according to approved programs and indicators. However, a number of negative trends can also be observed. Firstly, there has been a certain bureaucratization of the whole procedure for the design, coordination, approval and implementation of documents, so that actual improvement of the environmental situation and the search for consensus on environmental and resource-use priorities become secondary in importance. The process of environmental management by objectives becomes highly formalized, and program documents are simplified and reduced, without any attempt harmonize the interests of society and business. Government officials also tend to be selective in formulating indicators for the efficiency of environmental programs: they prefer “no-lose” indicators, which characterize the actions of the government bodies themselves (activity indicators), rather than indicators, which characterize the state of the environment in the territory (indicators of the outcome of the activity).

The crisis, witnessed at the start of the 21st century, which affected a development model based on the consumerist attitude to nature, acceleration of economic growth by faster rates of consumer lending without due attention to their quality, and reluctance to compensate for environmental damage caused by economic activities cast doubt on the efficacy of contemporary management techniques. The globalization of social processes brings many advantages, but it also poses new challenges to districts and local communities. Various problems have intensified, including growing inequality of wealth distribution, instability of financial systems, erosion of cultural traditions and difficulties in achieving public consent. The global character of environmental degradation, including that caused by climate change, is manifested in irreversible environmental disruptions with negative effect on living conditions in specific territories. All of this entails that local authorities must do all they can to mitigate the economic and social impact of global changes on each individual, and to reduce environmental risks.

In a situation of crisis, when the funding capacity of districts has shrunk dramatically due to lower budget revenues and difficulties with borrowing (while utilities struggle due to falling effective demand from industrial enterprises and households), proper functioning of vital system assumes special importance. Anti-crisis programs are needed, containing affordable and realistic measures to meet the needs of households for energy and clean drinking water by using local capacities, the experience of other territories, and mechanisms of mutual assistance and coordinated joint action.In the context oflimited budget resources and growing social problems Russia’s path to innovative development(On the National Security Strategy , 2015)requires a radical turn from the Hobbesian concept of the social contract towards that sketched by John Locke. Environmental programs must cease to be a method of distributing financial resources and become a real mechanism for coordinating the views of different stakeholders on issues of territorial development. The focus should be on analysis and identification of stakeholders, who are interested or not interested in successful institutional transformations. The primary mission of any program is to develop coordination mechanisms for a territory, which help to coordinate the environmental efforts of interested groups.

“A city for women and children”: a new approach to urban planning

The ideas of sustainability have found expression in new branches of the theory and practice of urban development. One of the most promising concepts is the idea of “a city for women and children” focused on the socio-environmental issues of urbanized territories. The basis of the new approaches to city planning is the creation of an urban environment, in which people feel at ease. The emphasis is on the social needs of families, of the young and the elderly, in contrast with the former approach oriented to the idea of “a city for business people”.

One of the tasks of sustainable development is to create an environment that favors the least protected social groups, including women and children51. This means that the interests of these social groups must have priority in planning of the urban space. Special importance is given to providing children and young people with opportunities for play as a means of personal development, since children learn about the social and material world, and how to understand and change it, through play. This gives a new importance to the task of planting trees, creating parks and making courtyards more attractive. However, in today’s difficult circumstances these ideas are unfortunately seen by many people to be inopportune. An approach, which is perceived as “traditionally male”, is widespread in Russia and elsewhere. It aggravates the already difficult situation of women and children, and should therefore be criticized.

Attaching due importance to landscaping and the improvement of territories in the context of economic crisis is a complex, socio-psychological problem, which receives inadequate attention. In Russia’s conservative society, the majority of management positions are held by men, whose decisions are inevitably guided by their value system, which prioritizes work and career. In order for due weight to be given to landscaping, creation of children’s play areas, etc., as opposed to pressing matters of the economy and business, males in positions of authority must accept that the world of women and children with their needs and values is not less important than their own world.

The significance of new approaches for modern cities can be explained as follows:

  • women and children are the social groups most sensitive to the living environment: they suffer most from deterioration of the socio-economic situation. As shown by the experience of eastern regions of Germany and of Russian regions, closure of nursery schools and kindergartens, summer camps, loss of extra-curricular activities for children, causes children to spend a greater part of their time on the streets, which become their preferred place for relaxation. This is true of most age groups;
  • cultivation of green areas is a relatively low-cost way of encouraging people to environmental action by example. Sociological theory and the experience of many countries that have successfully overcome crisis periods show that people actively seek solutions to their problems once they feel improvements in their living environment. Such improvements can be achieved by creating green areas in the urban environment. Yaroslavl has a tradition of following this approach.

Basic features of the new planning concept

The city as a substitute for nature.Green areas in the urban environment, however limited in scope, are a way of breaking down the artificial contrast between town and country. In nature there are no such rigid boundaries. One, might, for example, think of a riverbank, a thin but definite zone that merges elements of dry land and of water. Whatever lives and grows here cannot exist either fully in the water or on dry land.

Human beings have been called “creatures of the forest edge” – they are beings of the perceptible passing of time, of change and eternal movement. Even living in fixed framework of a city, people cannot do without this special feature of their existence. In all aspects of their everyday life, they prefer to dwell on boundaries. When still a child, the city dweller is captured by his/her surroundings and relates to them through play. In order to avoid breakdown of the human world into sharply contrasted, opposite poles, a person must, when still a child, learn the meaning of the border or edge and experience the great adventure of the boundary zone.

The city has places that can assume this special function. First of all, it is the threshold, the doorstep, the tense moment between darkness and light, the internal and the external. This margin between the private and the social (another pair of opposites), which may also be instantiated by a front yard or garden, is a very important place for children. It is a true border territory, like the firm bank of a river, from where the child can observe the street and feel its proximity. Half-way in, half-way out. The arrangement of this space deserves special attention, marking it out by appropriate use of materials and elements such as natural stone, trees, hedges, walls, soil, flowers, water and wood. It should not be cluttered with furniture or temporary items that can be removed. It should be firmly associated both with the home and with the street, with the locality, in accordance with the laws of nature. But for human interference, this place would have been conquered by its own diverse forms of being.

The way to school also assumes the functions of the forest edge as a specific space between home and school. For the child this route is not perceived as a section of the city, but primarily as a line leading forward to the respective goal, “school – home”, a path that must be traversed in a certain time.

However, the city is largely the antithesis of the mere outside: it is both a space and the gap between buildings and, thereby, the contrary of haste. It is not a place where one has to move forward – one can also stand or sit, meet and talk with people. It is not the path to some goal, but is itself its own “open-air goal”.

The city as a social, communal phenomenon.In her studies from the 1930s in Hamburg,М.Mukho showed how the street is what is closest to the child’s perception in the space, which surrounds the child. Her work, The Child’s Living Space in a Big City broke new ground in German research studies on socialization. She was the first to introduce the notion of “a space for children to play and to live” .

In 1930-1933,М.Mukho studied how children in a working-class area of Hamburg entered into contact with their social environment: “It was a street full of life, where grown-ups did everything imaginable. Certainly, children were mostly left unattended, but there were always some adults nearby or looking out of windows. Through this street life children got to know life in general, without textbooks or school curricula: they got to know grown-up work, the supply and selling of goods, and, probably, social conflicts as well”.

Street as a place of play: yesterday and today.Many photographs and postcards cards of the early 20th century show scenes of street life: girls playing in a street in Berlin; two boys absorbed in novels and real-life stories, etc. The research initiated byМ.Mukho came to an end in 1933. Her approach no longer matched the image of the time, the city and society of the new era. The space of the street was changing and the opportunities for play became increasingly restricted. The place that had belonged to children was taken by automobiles. On the other hand, more opportunities appeared for playing in special places, away from the street. One has the impression that,in the eyes of those responsible for street and urban planning, children as inhabitants of the street, and particularly of the sidewalk, became a rarity.

It was not until the 1960s that the situation changed for the better. Today the sight of children in the public space of the street is no longer considered to be negative or as something to be disapproved of.

Space for playing and communicating.The exit from a house usually consists of steps and stairs. Children step out of their home, stop on the steps and watch what is happening outside. They linger on the doorstep and play, literally, “at their front door”. The front yard by the front door is marked out by a wall or fence, which forms a border with the public area of the sidewalk.

1) Stairs with a broad landing and railing are the first element of transition to the outside space. Broadening out, this passage becomes the front yard, which is a sort of extension of the passage on the outside and serves as a place where children can leave their things (bikes, toys), use as a playground, or stop to chat with neighbors.

2) Sidewalks. “Streets and their sidewalks, the main public places of a city, are its most vital organs”, emphasizes J. Jackobs. She writes: “If the city’s streets look interesting, the city looks interesting, if they look dull, the city looks dull”. She says that, in order to be safe, a street must have three main qualities. First, there must be a clear demarcation between what is public space and what is private space. Second, there must be eyes (windows) turned upon the street, eyes belonging to those, whom we might call the natural proprietors of the street. Third, the sidewalks must be used continuously, both to add to the number of effective eyes on the street and to induce the people in buildings along the street to watch the sidewalks in sufficient numbers. This, precisely, was the principle for building streets in old times: the home as a private area; the front yard as partly private and partly public; the sidewalk as a public area. All of these elements belonged to the people who lived there. The roadway belonged to traffic. Where possible, a row of trees separated the sidewalk from the roadway. Trees and curbs clearly designated dangerous spaces for pedestrians, children and old people.

In older city districts the function of more or less open spaces for children to play and communicate is taken by curb extensions in front of stores, by yards and passageways between buildings, and by other “dysfunctional”, undeveloped sites without any definite purpose.

3) Streets are meant for children. The street where a child lives is often nothing but an extension of their home. In this sense, it is their second home, their “native land”. Here they feel “at home”, from this place they begin to orient themselves in the world and to probe further – to neighboring streets and squares. The living space of the child is situated more or less close to his/her apartment (home) and street, and the child’s space expands gradually from this center. Their friends and neighbors are in this street, they know every nook and corner there.

However, the street can only perform its functions if children are supervised. To play outside, children need confidence, which is provided by inconspicuous observation by adults. This may be the actual presence of adults in the street or behind windows looking onto the street, or it may be pedestrians or visual contact with the mother. Streets with heavy traffic are most often merely places of transit, roads leading to other streets or places. They are not meant for playing and children want to “leave them behind” as quickly as possible. Urban planning standards stipulate a separate roadway for tram lines. This robs children of some of their sidewalk and makes crossing the street more complicated.

4) Open spaces (squares). There are spaces, built-up or empty, with specific functions. They may be used for a certain purpose or have no definite purpose. Those that have a particular function can be used by children if they are arranged in the simplest possible way. Free spaces with no definite function can also be used by children for playing.

A city square appears at a crossroads or widening of the street, where the buildings recede. Squares often provide access to significant buildings or facilities, such as railway stations, churches, theaters, schools, etc. They emerge as multifunctional places where people can stop, talk, rest and children can play under the watching eyes of adults.

5) Playgrounds. The role of informal meeting places is provided by playgrounds. In a classical sense, they compensate for the lack of other special places for children’s communication and play. According toМ.Mukhothe most important thing about playgrounds is that they enable children to find playmates, and playmates largely determine their social behavior. Babies and toddlers usually play alone, turning to adults for help and protection. Starting from about six, children consider every other child in the playground as a potential playmate. This leads to formation of ever changing groups among the children on the playground.

It is important that the playground should have special amenities and equipment, which let the children exercise or find a place to chat and relax. Where the playground is equipped with amenities for children up to six years of age, a “corner” should be laid out where the caring adults can for socialize.

Playgrounds must not be isolated from the residential area. Distance to the apartment (home) must meet the needs of every age group: 200 meters or a 2 minute walk for those younger than 5 years of age, 500 meters or 10 minute walk for children up to 12. Places adjacent to roads with heavy traffic can only be used to a limited extent.

6) Parks. According to J. Jackobs, in order to be suitable for use as public areas parks should have certain features: they should not be full open to view, they should be divided up plantations, they are leading up to a particular point, and have enough sunlight.

Thanks to their size, parks can be used by children of different age groups and by adults. Whether children will be able to play in the park and be allowed to do so, depends on how the park is cared for: good care of the park territory may preserve the traces of children’s pastimes or may destroy them.

Parks cannot exist without people who use them, so it is better to locate them close to places, which have much human traffic. Parks should not restrict or break up the functional texture of the city. On the contrary, they help to connect the different functions surrounding them, offering an enjoyable meeting place. Park amenities should be not hidden.

Similarly to what happens on streets, the life of parks attracts people’s attention. A park can only function properly if its immediate surroundings are diverse. Parks that are unpopular have the same problems as streets “without eyes”: in order to be safe and appealing for children, parks must allow the children to be imperceptibly supervised.

7) Undeveloped spaces in high-rise residential districts. Such districts only appeared after World War II, when there was urgent need for new housing developments. The main idea of such construction is to place buildings almost randomly among surrounding greenery. Apartment blocks seem to ignore the streets and look out at green landscape or stand isolated in a “green meadow” without any functional connection to the street. The street as a public space is replaced by green areas among rows of buildings and loses its function as a public space that shapes the city district.

If buildings face the street, children normally occupy the space around the doorstep. This is not the case when buildings are located at right angles to the street. This space on the doorstep can be compared to the front yard in the old city planning scheme. But the picture is different when buildings are perpendicular to the street. The external space become homogeneous throughout the neighborhood; the social features of the space are lost. The façade of one building faces the back of another, there is no “front yard” area with its privacy. The public green space is squeezed between the road access to one building and the rear residential part of another. The need to play and the need to relax at home become confused.

8) Undeveloped areas on the outskirts of a city. Open green areas on the outskirts are favorite spaces for play. The may be allotments for growing vegetables and fruit or spaces used extensively (orchards, etc.). Such areas, if they are accessible and not far from home, are favored by children.

To summarize, the above principles offer new approaches to the practice of urban planning and new solutions for improving the space of play for children in cities.

Trees in streets.Trees play a special role in a humanized approach to urban planning. Their greenery and the play of light and shadow contribute a strong emotional component, speaking to human emotion and imbuing the space with individuality, charm and comfort. City trees also have useful functions: they absorb carbon dioxide, reduce gas and noise pollution, and improve the thermal conditions (lower air temperature in the hot season and slow down the loss of heat in cold periods).

Trees, which separate the sidewalk from the roadway, are a useful marker for pedestrians, particularly children, mothers and elderly people, warning of danger. Trees and greenery contribute greatly to the appearance of the city and plantations can do much to generate the specific character of residential districts (for example, by selecting different tree species for different districts).

The significance of trees in the city is therefore hard to overestimate. Their preservation and increase is vital for creating a humane image of the city and for enabling its sustainable development. If the conditions in a town or city complicate the survival and development of trees, special efforts must be made to favor their development52. The issue of urban greenery requires new approaches.

The idea of humanizing the urban natural infrastructure is reflected in new images and myths. In one of his most famous performances, the German classic of postmodernism, Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)53, celebrated the “victory of life” by planting oak trees and erecting a basalt column alongside each of them in Kassel (Germany)54. The project, which was to be extended worldwide, including Russia, would symbolize the victory of Life over Death. Beuys linked the project with his own life experience: according to his own description, he was shot down and badly burned as a Luftwaffe pilot in Russia and miraculously brought back to life by the care of indigenous people. The planting was supervised by the landscape architect and head of the landscaping department in Kassel, H.-J. Taurit. According to Taurit, Beuys wanted to show that, when still a sapling, the tree is protected by inanimate nature and the young tree appears weak and helpless. But when the tree, as a living symbol, grows tall, the adjacent column appears insignificant alongside the preservation and development of Life.

The 7000 oaks have made a global impression. Rather than painting trees as artists before him had done, Beuys created a new, effective, living work of art. When conceiving his project, the artist believed that it would only be the starting point, and the idea would be taken up in other cities and countries: the planting would never end. His dream has been realized to some extent, as artists in the US, Ireland, Finland, Canada, Switzerland have taken up the project, planting oaks or other tree species. In Yaroslavl the first trees “à la Beuys” were planted under the guidance of H.-J. Taurit in the Friendship Park in the late 1990s, each tree symbolizing a twin city of Yaroslavl and accompanied by a stone. We are proud to have supported this continuation of Beuys’ project in Russia (Taurit, Fomenko G. & Fomenko M., 1997; Taurit, Fomenko G. & Fomenko M., 1999). In a similar initiative trees with stones were also planted in the town park of Sortavala in the Republic of Karelia.

The possibilities for new sustainable town planning with special focus on the needs of women and children were analyzed using the example of the town of Danilov in Yaroslavl Region. A target program, entitled “Green Danilov, a Town for Women and Children” was designed by a research team led by H.-J. Taurit and M.A.Fomenko. This was the first small town project to take the well-being of women and young children as its start point in the search for ways of improving the environment in the real conditions of a present-day urban area. The planning pattern of the town was carefully studied, places where children play were surveyed and mapped, the concerns of townspeople regarding urban greenery were considered and suggestions made for addressing them.

The town of Danilov as an object of study.Danilov is a small and ancient town in the north of Yaroslavl Region. It is located at a road and rail hub connecting large Russian cities (Yaroslavl, Vologda and others). Servicing and operation of vehicles and rolling stock is the main source of employment in Danilov. Over half (58%) of the population of 15-16,000 are of working age, 17% are children and 25% are retired (an age pattern typical of Yaroslavl Region in general).

The town is located in an upland area and surrounded by picturesque forests. The old town center is on one of the hills (175m above sea level), while new residential districts follow the Pelenga River to the south-west and run along a major highway to the east. The town is centered along these axes, with its main streets overlooking a picturesque river valley and a small pine wood on a the hill (the wood, much appreciated by local people, has its own name – Gorushka –and is under special protection).

There are three main types of buildings in the urban environment: 1) historical two-storey stone buildings in the center; 2) modern high-rise blocks in the south-east; 3) modern single-storey buildings (dominating the townscape).

The urban environment as a place for children and women.We will now consider to what extent the town environment matches the needs of women (old and young) and of children.

The greater part of the town consists of country-style, single-storey houses with their own yards, gardens and vegetable plots, where children and elderly people can spend time in freedom and safety. Most of the streets have roadways 4.5-6 m wide and sidewalks that are 1.5-2.5 m wide, mainly separated from the roadway by rows of trees. The area from the pavement to the house walls is the preferred place for children’s games and entertainments. Many houses have kept their own front yards, and have benches by the gates and doorsteps where mothers and grandmothers relax and watch their children playing. Sandpits and swings have been installed for the children in many places. Such are Ramenskaya, Sverdlov, Uritsky and Lenin streets – airy and lively, and popular with women and children.

The atmosphere in the historical area of two-storey stone buildings is quite different. The development density is much higher, the roadway, pavements and adjacent spaces are have hard surfaces, the sidewalks are not always separated from the road, there are fewer trees and less greenery in the streets and courtyards, where they exist at all, are often cluttered with sheds and household buildings. Front yards and benches have disappeared. These streets are uninviting and sometimes unsafe for local children and women, whose outdoor activity is confined to interior courtyards and nearby green squares where there are swings, pull-up bars and sandpits. The streets themselves are the preserve of pedestrians and automobiles.

The situation in the area of modern high-rise blocks is different once again. Although the population density here is higher than in the former two areas, the multi-storey construction has left large open areas, where the outdoor life of women and children is focused, away from the congested streets. These areas can be sub-divided into two types.

1. Areas with courtyards that are hard-surfaced, have no amenities and are accessible for all kinds of traffic, thus limiting the safe space for children’s games (ball games, cycling). They lack any secluded spaces that could attract children and elderly people.

2. Areas where the courtyards, in addition to driveways, also have green zones with playgrounds and sports fields, benches and tables where children, mothers and grandmothers can meet. Examples include courtyards in the northern part of the town, near Yubileiny Avenue, where there are playgrounds with access to a green square (a piece of living nature inside the town).

Parks, stadiums and squares are an important part of the urban environment, giving a sense of community and of belonging: people have a sense of living in the same town thanks to traditions and mentality, which are transmitted to the young generation. Danilov has three sports areas. The largest is the town stadium, which is a bare space without any green enclosure and few amenities. It is used for physical education and occasional competitions, but never attracts children for play or extracurricular activities. There is a fairly large sports ground on the edge of the town, near to a leisure facility owned by a local factory, which is badly equipped for classes or games and also does not attract local children. Finally there is a playing field adjacent to the town school, which is more popular and is used by children.

The town’s green squares and its park are badly maintained (as of 1996). Residents had fond memories of the summer garden, which had a merry-go-round and was used as a venue for dances. The once picturesque Yubileiny Square is neglected and overgrown with weeds. Nearly all plantations in other green areas of the town are in need of care, support and rejuvenation.

Local ponds (near the factory and by a water tower) remain popular with local residents, as does the Gorushka Hill green area, where families and children picnic in the summer, taking advantage of the picturesque landscape and relief, and the diversity of natural “values” (forest, forest edges, meadow, river), and proximity to residential quarters. This natural site needs improvement and remediation to make it into a proper recreation area.

Problems and possible solutions.Danilov is therefore a diverse town with attractive natural surroundings and a varied urban environment (each element having positive and negative aspects) for women and children. Taking account of all these aspects, we can identify the optimal development directions for the town environment, which would be acceptable to the residents. They are as follows.

Relief.The town’s situation on the top of a hill, surrounded by forests, forest edges and an undulating river valley is very attractive and the environmental situation is favorable for suburban recreation. Since most town streets run down the hill, polluted air from the center is carried downwards into fresher air streams, which carry the pollution away along the river valley. However, current urban development on the eastern slope of the Gorushka Hill will obstruct this outflow, worsening the local environmental situation. A strip of greenery at least 50m wide should be retained between the forest fringe and buildings as a protective barrier.

Residential areas.The town’s residential areas still offer many places for children, mothers and grandmothers to spend time outdoors, although these locations are gradually transferring from streets to courtyards. This makes it especially important to take good care of the courtyards, several of which have been covered with asphalt, built over with two-storey sheds, and left without greenery, so that, in summer time, they are hot and smell of asphalt, gasoline and rubber due to parked and maneuvering vehicles. It is essential to take steps to preserve greenery in old built-up areas and to add plants and greenery around the high-rise apartment blocks.

Streets.Streets around the modern high-rise blocks and in the old two-storey area are no longer attractive for women and children. They are only used to move between home and places of various activities (school, kindergarten, stores, stadium, etc.). They lack greenery. Active street life has only survived in areas of single-storey residential buildings. It will be important in designing new residential districts to consider the creation of attractive sites for relaxation, social interaction, and children’s games in order to replace the lost street life.

Planting greenery.Danilov has a considerable amount of greenery (most streets have trees). But additional planting is needed in some places. It is particularly important to create alleys of trees along Lenin and Sovetskaya Streets, which are popular with local people. The most suitable species would be ash trees (fraxinus excelsior). Shrubs should also be planted in large quantities in order to reduce dust pollution.

Squares, green squares, parks.Park areas have been laid out adjacent to Sovetskaya and Yubileinaya Squares. They were designed geometrically, in the shape of a star with alleys radiating out, all enclosed in a dense wall of trees and bushes. The trees have grown and spread while the park areas have been neglected and no longer attract people. The parks need care and clearance, with creation of green spaces and places for children to play, relax and communicate. It would be desirable to include Zimmervald Street, near Sovetskaya Square, in the park area and to transform Lenin Street into a tree-lined alley. A third park, located next to the local house of culture and the building of the Town Administration, needs a new layout to bring it onto the town’s central axis, which runs from the administration building via the house of culture and Lenin Street to the river bank in the south-west (with its fine view of Gorushka Hill) and Zimmervald Street in the north-east. The green square at the crossroads of Zimmervald Street, Sverdlov Street and Karl Marx Street is neglected and its merry-go-rounds stand idle. Its existence in the area of green, low-rise housing is superfluous, so we recommend using this territory for other purposes.

Sites for play.Danilov has many spaces for children to play, several of which have arisen spontaneously (Fig. 2.17) and which are regularly visited by children, teenagers, mothers and grandmothers.

Fig. 2.17. Danilov, environment typology, children’s play areas (current situation). Scale 1:20000. 1996.

The creation of new playgrounds is therefore not required. Indeed, the playground specially built near the leisure facility of a local factory is not used. The emphasis should be on restoring the existing parks and green squares and creating pedestrian and bike paths (e.g., towards the Pelenga River), which will open up the beauty of the landscape.

Outskirts.The edges of the town are a gradual transition from urban development to the natural environment. The transition is evident on Naberezhnaya Street, running along the Pelenga river, which consists of houses with gardens and farmyards. People are very fond of this street, so it should be preserved as a “buffer zone” between urbanized and natural territories. Families and children also like spending time near the water tower, attracted there by the ponds and picturesque landscape in close vicinity to town streets. These locations create a positive image of the town and appeal to local residents. It is important to maintain and preserve them.

Based on the survey and analysis, we designed organizational and design proposals, which were included in the action plans of the Danilov town administration. However, since all of the issues could not be addressed simultaneously, we selected inexpensive and feasible projects. Foreign experience (particularly in Germany) suggested involving unemployed young people in some projects (planting, cleaning parks and squares, laying bike paths, making benches, etc.). Such work is within the town budget and will have rapid results, making the town look more appealing to its own residents.

The above principles offer a new approach to urban planning and suggest new ideas for improving spaces for children’s leisure activities in the town. Of course, the concept of a “town for women and children” cannot be implemented immediately, mainly due to dominant socio-cultural stereotypes of development and the dominance of a “male” ethic in Russian society (Fomenko G., 2014). However, steps towards an approach based on sustainable development are realistic, are not costly and will have good social and environmental effect. The practice of developing and implementing such projects shows that they mitigate impact of the economic crisis on least protected social groups (notably women and children) and make towns more appealing as places to live.

Environment budgets as an innovative mechanism for sustainable development and rational management of natural resources

The environment budget of a territory is a formalized exposition of revenues and expenses related to the use of natural resources (land, water and biota, including greenery, mineral resources, etc.) and environmental issues (amounts of pollutant emissions and discharges, waste generation, fees for negative impact on the environment, etc.) in the form of well-grounded parameters (in physical and monetary terms) established for a certain period of time. The inclusion of an environment budget in the system of local government as a satellite to the traditional municipal budget increases the role and competence of local elected bodies in sustainable disposal of the natural capital of their territories, by providing them with unbiased information on its state, current utilization and prospects (profitability of resource rent and ways of increasing it, risks of depletion and degradation, efficiency of the environmental work of resource users, etc.). Local people can be involved in decision-making through procedures of public participation, and socio-cultural factors should be taken into account in addressing management issues. The environment budget is formed by a standard procedure of financial budgeting, which ensures uniformity and minimizes administration costs.

The sum total of natural resources and the environmental capacity of territories and settlements represent their natural capital, which, together with man-made material resources and benefits, are the critical determinant (and the restraining factor) for sustainable growth. Degradation of the natural capital of towns and growing health hazards reduce sustainable development prospects. Pollution of water, air and soil, felling of trees and plants, and other negative environmental phenomena drive up the cost of utility and health care services, increase social payments and impose additional costs on local budgets and businesses. As a result, the cost of economic output increases; depletion of natural capital pushes up the prices of appropriate resources needed to produce goods and services and raises operating costs; and environmental risks compound the negative trends. All this undermines the competitiveness of towns in attracting investments. The emergent situation poses new challenges for environmental management and dictates a shift of focus from control and administrative mechanisms to more innovative approaches.

Economic indicators are no longer the only measure of well-being and development is nowadays no longer measured as income growth per capita. Rather, it is assessed from the standpoint of quality of life, which includes a favorable living environment. This approach requires the design of suitable indicators, an issue which has been actively investigated both internationally and domestically; systems of national accounts and systems of environmental-economic accounting, dealing primarily with natural capital, are being introduced, various indicators for the green economy are being discussed, etc.

In institutional terms, the use of new indicators in territorial management practice remains to be tested. The idea of environment budgets appears very promising, as it allows sustainability indicators (referring primarily to the use of natural capital) to be included in the preparation of management decisions. The traditional financial budgeting process is used: the environment budget supplements the traditional financial budget with respect to natural capital.

The environment budget (as an innovative mechanism of environmental management) enables monitoring and analysis of the stock of natural capital and its use in the budget period (as required for socio-economic development). Such a budget offers a basis for sustainable resource use by efficacious coordination of environmental activities (interaction between executive and legislative bodies), and offers ground for compromise on questions of territorial development, implementation of local initiatives and strengthening of civil society (Fig. 2.18).

Fig. 2.18. Environment budget cycle

The environment budget is based on indicators (in physical and monetary terms), which show the state of the natural environment and resource utilization, formulated in order to identify and prevent negative processes (depletion and degradation of the resource base or, vice versa, decline of budget revenues from resource utilization, etc.). Such indicators, showing the stock of natural resources and environmental assets, and their consumption flows, are monetary estimates of the value of environmental goods and eco-system services, made with due regard for socio-cultural factors and based on value of the natural capital of the territory.

Planning principles dictate that utilization of the natural resources of the territory must remain within the limits of established budget parameters, corresponding to the strategic goals of territorial development and indicators of resource management. Those goals must be agreed on with local government (executive and legislative) and the general public and they must also match principles of sustainable development. So the environment budget is a regulatory document respecting the interests of different stakeholders.

Preparation and implementation of the environment budget must be based on three principles: environmental efficiency (maximum benefit from resource utilization), environmental sufficiency (to avoid “overspending”) and balancing the accounts at the end of the fiscal year. The environment budget sets out the environmental priorities and issues with an accompanying summary (including special plans in critical areas). It can be drawn up either by sectors (manufacturing, services, households) or by spatial parameters (e.g., municipal districts). The planned figures are given with reference to mid-term and long-term environmental goals. At the end of the budget year the planned figures are compared with actual results, both for the consolidated plan and its spatial and sectoral section. As the outcome of consensus between executive and representative branches, and having statutory power, the environment budget legitimizes decisions made in the course of environmental management. It enhances the role of alternatives and outlooks of local residents (including outlooks that are socio-culturally determined) in the formation and implementation of such decisions.

The environment budget of a territory, as an innovative mechanism of resource use management and environment protection, enables monitoring and analysis of the natural capital stock and its utilization in the course of the budget year. It provides a basis for sustainable work by executive and legislative bodies in this sphere, and stimulates the process of finding compromise solutions for territorial development, implementing local initiatives and strengthening the foundations of civil society.

International experience.The use of environment budgeting, as a new tool of environmental management, has been recommended by several prominent international organizations and assemblies: Agenda 21 (UNCED, 1992), the Aalborg Charter (European Conference, 1994), the Lisbon Action Plan (1996) and the Freiburg and Hannover conferences (Hannover Call, 2000). In the 1990s, the International Council for Local EnvironmentalInitiatives (ICLEI) proposed local environment budgets as a useful mechanism for directing urban development towards the goals of sustainability.

A considerable amount of experience has already been accumulated globally in matters of environment budgeting (including indicators and procedures) and incorporation of the practice in territorial development management. Starting from the mid-1980s, environment budgets have been widely applied in Germany, including its Eastern states. The practice was initially applied for land use planning and later as a new aspect of the German Federal Law on nature conservation. Environment budgets (including political and technical execution and demonstration of results) have been elaborated to the greatest extent in three German cities (Dresden, Heidelberg and Bielefeld), and in one municipal district (Nordhausen). In Norway, environment budgeting is used on a national scale.

Analysis of international experience proves the efficiency of environment budgeting for territorial management, primarily as a management tool for achieving agreement on the goals and priorities of sustainable development. Even the initial results of practical work in Germany have shown great potential in a number of directions:

  • formulation of goals and priorities for improving environment quality;
  • forecasting and managing consumption of natural resources (with the primary aim of ensuring sustainable resource consumption);
  • accounting of the consumption of natural resources (direct consumption by the territorial community and the share of the territory in the global resource consumption, which enables comparison and, therefore, provides a basis for forecasting future consumption);
  • higher transparency of the resource consumption process and current state of the environment, presentation of data in unified form.

A system of environmental indicators is selected individually for the environment budget of a specific city. For example, in contrast to Heidelberg, the system used in Dresden includes only 14 indicators and characterizes five city sectors: electricity, land resource use, waste, water supply and water protection. One more indicator (health and quality of life) is added to show the connection between impacts on the environment and health hazards.

The results of a pilot project for environment budgeting in the town Mezhdurechensk (Kemerovo Region), carried out in 2002 at the request of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources (Cadaster Institute, 2002) and subsequent methodological studies showed that the process involves a number of successive and mutually related steps:

  • identification and analysis of priority challenges for local government in the sphere of resource use and environment protection;
  • defining and specifying environment budget indicators in accordance with the identified priorities, with due regard for the intensity, character and development prospects of each of the issues;
  • design of a mechanism for incorporating the environment budget indicators into the urban management system.

Identification and analysis of the priority challenges for local government in the sphere of resource use and environment protectionwas carried out by means of multiple talks with stakeholders and experts. Final results were obtained after extensive discussions at a workshop attended by experts, managers, business leaders and the general public in Mezhdurechensk (the workshop was hosted by the Town Administration in March 2002). The findings were used to formulate (using the Delphi method) the priority challenges for resource use and environment protection in Mezhdurechensk. The challenges were: the problems of a single-industry town; social stability; depletion of main natural resources; river and atmospheric air pollution; spoiling of land. Analysis of these issues included forecasting of their long-term dynamics, determining possible acceleration of negative processes and their consequences so that timely preventive measures could be put in place.

Defining and specifying environment budget indicators in accordance with the identified priorities, with due regard for the intensity, character and development prospects of each of the issues.The main content of the environment budget consists of indicators that characterize efficiency in use of the town’s natural capital, defined as the ratio of available resources to the rate of their consumption. These indicators measure the seriousness of environmental issues and help to establish how well resource-use priorities are being met.

Two groups of indicators (integral and individual) were created for the Mezhdurechensk environment budget, based on results of the workshop:

Integral indicators assess the territory by several parameters. They include:

  • an indicator estimating development of human potential, which includes data on life expectancy, education and well-being (using UN methodology);
  • natural capital, including information on the stock and value of natural resources and eco-system services for economic purposes and human well-being.

Individual indicators assessthe situation according to one of the following parameters:

  • ratio of extraction to proven reserves of stone coal (%);
  • forest loss in the process of coal extraction (hectares);
  • pollutant discharge into water bodies (thousand m3);
  • pollutant emission by automobiles (tons/year);
  • greenery(hectares);
  • ratio of reclaimed land to disturbed land (%);
  • natural population growth (+ or −, thousand people).

For convenience, a specially designed, uniform “passport” is established for each indicator.

Mechanism for incorporating the environment budget indicators into the urban management system.Analysis of the environmental management situation in Mezhdurechensk showed that that preparation of the environment budget (Fig. 2.19) could be entrusted to a special department of the Town Administration.

Fig. 2.19. Mezhdurechensk environment budget cycle

The necessary legal support for this work needs to be established by a local government resolution vesting the relevant executive structure with suitable authorities and designing regulations for its activities. A draft resolution of the Town Administration, “On the Use of Sustainability Indicators in the Management System of Mezhdurechensk” was therefore prepared. The draft set out administrative procedures for the environment budget, identified stakeholders and determined main parameters, including a list of indicators to be used in the environment budget and rules for their formation and use. A letter to the Town Council was drafted in order to enlist the support of that body. The letter explained the importance of including sustainability indicators in the practice pf town management55. The four-stage procedure for the approval of the annual environment budget cycle was finally determined as follows.

Stage 1. Drawing up the draft environment budget.This is the task of the dedicated department of the Town Administration in close cooperation with various agencies (municipal, regional, federal) dealing with main aspects of resource management (forest, water, subsoil use, environment protection, sanitary-epidemiological issues, etc.). The outputs are approved at a special session, where the budget indicators are discussed, adjusted (if necessary), and adopted.

The following aspects should be taken into consideration in preparing the draft budget:

  • compliance with established restrictions on the use of the natural resources and eco-system services in the the town;
  • risks of resource and environment depletion and degradation;
  • raising revenues from the use of the natural capital;
  • improving the efficiency of resource management expenditures.

The regulatory and analytical basis for preparation of the environment budget consists of approved strategic documents for town development, documents dealing with the organization of resource management and environment protection, and forecasts of changes in the environment situation and natural capital. When preparing the budget, necessary data on the current state and utilization of natural capital (in respect of pollution and resource use) are collected, in-depth analysis is carried out (including confidence and elasticity ratings) and the composition and content of the indicators are ascertained. The finalized draft budget is submitted to the Town Administration.

Stage 2. Examination and approval of the draft environment budget.The draft budget is submitted to the Town Council no later than 1 Decemberfor approval of the local law on the environment budget for the coming year. The Council deputies review the document and make amendments (adopted by a majority) to the budget indicators referring to revenues and expenditure, the opening and closing resource stock, annual resource replacement and the environmental situation. As a result, a resolution is passed to:

  • approve the environment budget; or
  • reject the draft environment budget (specifying reasons and citing the provisions that justify the rejection; the draft is returned to the Town Administration to for correction or to a conciliation committee for further consideration).

Stage 3. Implementation of the environment budget.The environment budget is adopted for the coming year, with its implementation starting on January 1 and continued to December 31 of the fiscal year, on which date all budget obligations are terminated. The Town Administration and the Environment Committee submit regular reports to the Town Council. The following guidelines should be observed in implementing the budget,:

  • the environment budget must be implemented according to the provisions in the local law, both in respect to the areas of the resource use and the listed indicators;
  • all current changes (within acceptable limits) must be adopted by agreement with the Town Council; the recommendations for natural resource use and environmental measures planned must be effected to the maximum;
  • all reports on implementation of the environment budget must be specific, precise, reliable and timely.

The purpose of this stage of the budget cycle is to ensure that the use of the natural capital (by anthropogenic impact on the environment and by natural resource use) during the budget year does not exceed the target parameters.

Stage 4. Reporting on the budget implementation.Reports (intermediate and annual) are drawn up by the Town Administration (represented by the Committee for Environment Protection and Resource Use). Intermediate reports are submitted not later than 30 days after the end of the reporting period; the annual report is submitted no later than 1 April of the following year. A decision is made based on the reports as to whether the budget has been properly executed and on adjustment of its indicators (if necessary).

The scope of application of the environment budgetis wide. It use as part of the process of municipal management offers a number of benefits.

1) The resource bias of the Russian economy inevitably causes local depletion (both quantitative and qualitative) of resource assets in various territories, including urban areas. So it is important to reveal potential threats of such depletion and to control the rate of natural capital use in Russian regions. Environment budgeting helps to estimate the character of various types of resource use and to identify means of increasing revenues from the use natural resources in a territories, including urban territories.

2) Environment budgeting can substantially improve environmental management work by the non-executive (legislative and consultative) bodies. Indicators characterizing the use of the territory’s natural capital are discussed and then approved by non-executive authorities, enabling the design of comprehensive solutions for environment protection and rational resource use.

3) Environment budgeting provides every inhabitant of the territory resident with an opportunity to participate in decision-making on the use of natural capital through democratically elected legislative bodies.

4) The environment budget is a tool for direct institutionalization of sustainable development indicators, which amplifies the social and ecological regulatory functions of budgeting, creates conditions for attracting investments and increases the sustainability of territorial development.

All these factors improve the investment competitiveness of the territory because its resource-use efficiency increases, ecological risks are reduced and the quality of the environment improves. The design of a draft environment budget for Mezhdurechensk in cooperation with other stakeholders showed the practicability and efficiency of applying this management tool to achieve sustainable development.

Taking account of people’s behavioral preferences when organizing water supply to rural settlements56

Rural water supply is an aspect of environmental management that depends greatly on socio-cultural conditions and the economic situation in specific territories. Many of the solutions previously for household water supply were found to be inefficient in the post-Soviet period. The many water wells and water supply pipes that were installed in rural areas but are now inoperative are eloquent evidence of the lack of funding. But the problem goes deeper than lack of funding: the designers and builders of the Soviet water supply systems may have been mistaken in their judgment of what rural inhabitants really needed.

Russia does not lack various programs and measures intended to improve public water supply, including concepts for reforming the whole system. However, progress has not been made due to range of serious obstacles of an institutional, legal, financial, political and social nature, demonstrating the systemic nature of existing problems in the water supply sector. The situation is particularly acute in small towns and urban settlements where many of the water pipe networks earlier built have ceased functioning.

The main reason of the existing situation is the dual character of the interests pursued by the local self-government bodies who intuitively adhere to the habitual technocratic methods of water supply management ignoring the behavioral peculiarities of people and their socio-cultural preferences.

Local authorities usually focus on sourcing investments for the reconstruction and new construction of water supply facilities. Financing techniques include provision of local tax benefits to water suppliers, granting of loan guarantees, etc. However, little attention is paid to how the supply system can be made to pay for itself by increasing service tariffs and the way they are organized. Instead of allowing potentially unpopular tariff increases, the authorities prefer to use cross-subsidization, by which financial losses of an unprofitable entity are offset against profits of more successful companies or by regional or federal subsidies. This keeps water supply organizations in a “low-level equilibrium”, providing minimal functioning of all water utilities at the expense of the most successful and profitable operators.

Such “paternalism” may appear harmless and even help to avoid social discontent in the short run. However, it exacerbates actual inequality: uniform low tariffs for water supply mean that the poor are subsidizing those who are more wealthy, because the uniform level is a considerably higher proportion of the aggregate income of the former group. The situation is aggravated by shortcomings in planning of household water supply. It remains common practice to allocate financial resources based on a list of technical measures proposed by the service providers (who are, as a rule, incorporated or private utilities) rather than on the real needs of consumers. It is now increasingly difficult to maintain the low-level equilibrium due to extreme depreciation of the fixed assets in the water supply sector. The system’s internal reserves are practically exhausted, and outdated approaches are leading to the degradation of water resources and serious social consequences.

It is difficult to decide what the best and most comprehensive response to this situation would be. In the first place, the planning of water supply reform shodul be based on substantial decentralization, taking account of the specifics of each settlement. The issues must be prioritize very precisely with due attention to the interests of the water supply users (primarily the general public). The last point is very important, because the state of the public water supply depends mainly on how resource managers and ordinary water users resolve the problem, and on the extent to which their ideas of reasonable and efficacious solutions coincide.

Study of the demand for drinking water and the selection of a source of water supply in a specific settlement then become the basis for reform of the water supply sector. Economic theory distinguishes between the notions of “willingness to pay” and “ability to pay” for a service (good) of a certain quantity and quality. The principle of satisfying real preferences of consumers and ensuring their free choice according to the laws of the market economy is in contract with the existing practice of dictating the level of consumer demand based on capability of the supplier to offer a certain range of services. Today, the notion of ability to pay is often substituted by a set artificially designed technical solutions, convenient from the supplier’s point of view, which sets aside considerations of maximum consumer utility (determined by the notion of willingness to pay). As a result, the interests of the water user are neglected and are supplanted by the interests of the water supplier, who, as a rule, is a monopolist in the given territory. A way out of the low-level equilibrium is only possible when the consumer’s interests become central to the conduct of reforms.

As part of our work on the program for efficient water supply in Yaroslavl Region we investigated the system of household water supply in a specific rural area. We tried to establish how local residents choose their water sources and how resource managers at local level57make relevant decisions.

Specifics of decision making by rural residents.Rural people, unlike town dwellers, can choose their sources of water, so decision-making becomes a multi-factor process depending on the type of water consumption, economic and technical capabilities and ethno-cultural traditions.

Our studies were carried out in seven villages of Semlovo Administrative Territory (Danilov Municipal District) in Yaroslavl Region, 20 km from the town of Danilov and 80 km from Yaroslavl. The main sources of water in this area are subsoil aquifers, temporary water bearing layers as well as surface flowing water and reservoirs. Some local people use open channels and collectors in melioration systems. Many households, except for those living in multi-storey blocks in Semlovo, have appliances for collecting rainwater.The total population in the surveyed villages, i.e., the number of people permanently residing and consuming water, is 417 people, 89% of whom live in Semlovo. According to the questionnaires, the number of residents in the settlements under investigation increases by about 80 in the summer season. Besides, 170 people more come to the area for vacation and at weekends. As a result, the load on the available water sources increases substantially in the summer. The load increase is irregular: while the number of water users in the villages of Semlovo and Toshanovo does not grow by more than 1.2 times in the summer season, the summer growth for the village of Lomki is 4.9 times and for Beklushki, it is 7.9 times.

The density of water sources in the area is also irregular. The calculations performed58showed that there are 14.3 sources per 1 on average, the minimum quantity being 5. So households can usually choose between different sources for different purposes. The only exception is multi-storey developments in Semlovo, which have a centralized water supply system and no reserve sources.

In carrying out our studies we tried to answer the following questions:

  • what changes in the quantity and composition of household water supply have occurred over recent decades and how has the way of using water sources changed?
  • how do rural residents choose their water sources today?

Changes in the quantity, composition and manner of use of household water supply.Our field studies and polling of local residents established that people fetch water for household purposes from different sources: wells, boreholes, springs, rivers, streams and ponds. A large number of respondents use rainwater or (in winter) snow for economic purposes. The village of Semlovo has mains water . Data on the quantity, composition of water sources, manner of their use and changes that occurred in the last decade are given in Table 2.7.

Table2.7. Changes in the quantity, composition and manner of use of sources of household water supply

Source type

Availability and manner of use in 1996.

Changes in 1976 - 1996.


The most widely used sources of water. Out of 51 available wells 57% are shared (only half of them are in operation). The others are in private use, with 96% being in operation.

The total number of wells hardly changed (2% increase). However, the quantity of wells in shared use decreased by 33% and some of them ceased to function. The quantity of wells in private use increased by 7.5 times. The quality of the wells changed considerably. The older wells are usually over 10 meters deep and reach subsoil water-bearing strata. Wells constructed more recently are little more than 3-4 meters deep and can only reach the temporary water-bearing layer.

Artesian wells

There are 5 artesian wells in shared use, 80% of them inoperative. The water has a bad taste with increased concentration of iron.Operated at the expense of the municipal subsidies.

During 20 years only one artesian well was built. In 1976 there were 4 functioning wells.

Shallow holes (up to 15 m)

There are 6 holes in private use, all functioning. The taste is similar to that of well water.

All holes were drilled in the last decade.


6 springs are known, 3 are in shared use (one of them is abandoned) and 3 are in private use. All springs are used. The general opinion is that the springs offer best water quality.

The quantity of springs did not change. In 1976 all of them were in shared use and functioning.


There are 27 ponds, 67% of them are shared, others privately owned. All in active use, mainly for household purposes

The quantity increased by 23% due to the introduction of privately owned ponds

Water supply system

Available in Semlovo and Toshanovo (has not been in operation in Toshanovo since installation). Operated using municipal subsidies

The water supply pipe was built in the 1980s

Rivers and streams

9 water courses are used, mainly for household purposes

No change

Rain water and melt water

Used in villages for household purposes, occasionally even for drinking (melt water)

No change

Even a general analysis of this information shows that the period from 1976 to 1996 saw substantial changes in the quantity and composition of the water sources and in the way they were used by the residents. The following trends can be seen. Firstly, there was a dramatic decline in expensive methods of water supply, such as artesian wells, mains water, etc. At the same time, the quantity of relatively shallow sources and shallow (up to 15 meters) boreholes increased, with the majority being used individually. Secondly, the expensive water supply systems in the urban-type settlements are operated at the expense of meager state-funded and municipal subsidies, so major overhauls are not carried out and there is a lack of funds for basic maintenance. Thirdly, development of the water supply is financed mainly by private investments (personal savings and local labor). Most money is invested in private water sources, while previously shared water sources are often privatized after repairs have been completed using private funds.

These trends indicate that the biggest challenges relate to multi-storey buildings in urban-type settlements where, unlike traditional rural housing, people largely depend on technical facilities and the choice of possible water sources is narrow. Poor quality of running water when there are disruptions of the local supply poses a health threat to people living here. Also, the cost of effluent removal is increasing and there is a threat of environment pollution by volumes of sewage, which is not a problem for dispersed housing. It is difficult to induce people living in multi-storey blocks to raise funds to improving their water supply. These issues have been aggravated in the last decade by the difficult economic situation.

Specifics of choice of water supply by rural residents.Our field investigations and on-site observations attempted to find out why people reject or prefer a certain water source and how these reasons correlate with each other. Without answers to those questions, the task of recording and regulating consumer choice of alternative water sources cannot be carried out and, consequently, domestic water supply in rural areas cannot be improved.

We based our study on G. White’s decision matrix (1990), which he used (together with D. Bradley and A. White) for similar work in East Africa. We also took into consideration that this method was successfully used by C.E. Olinger (1970) in other conditions – in rural settlements in the US. The method used a differential scoring system was used. The summary valuation of the water source was estimated according to the following factors: water quality, technical feasibility of drawing water; economic efficiency; influence of other people. Local residents everywhere gave the highest score to wells and springs, which, as a rule, supplemented or substituted one another. Surface water is also much used, mostly for household purposes. Boreholes have the lowest score (Table 2.8).

Table2.8.Factors in the choice of water sources by rural people (percentage)


Rejected because of


Preferred because of










Semlovo settlement









Villages: Toshanovo













































Khutor Pochinok









Total (average)









The results (based on polling) led to the following conclusions.

Quality of water (Q)is not the chief factor in the choice of source. Water from wells and springs is considered to be perfectly suitable for drinking (with preference given to springs). According to the interviews, people often prefer theses sources, even if they have the opportunity of using an artesian well. Women in Semlovo settlement mentioned the bad taste of water from artesian wells (compared to well water), its “hardness” and high proportion of rust. However, they would like to have artesian water for their livestock, saying that they would continue to go to the well or spring for drinking water.

Technical feasibility of drawing water (T)is foremost among reasons why people reject a source and the third among reasons for preferring a source. People referred to the shortage or occasional absence of water in shallow wells and boreholes and complained about the lack of technical capacity and skilled personnel to repair the wells. Respondents living in Semlovo mentioned frequent breakdowns of water supply. They also pointed out the lack of vessels to collect water from rooftops and impossibility of making rainwater runoffs.

Economic efficiency (E).This is the factor determining the choice of water source. Most significance is given to proximity to home, i.e., whether the water source is within acceptable walking distance. However, economic efficiency was mentioned less frequently, as a reason for rejecting a source, than technical capacities and other people’s influence. This is indirect proof of the dominance of barter over use of money in rural areas today, and of the fact that household labor is not evaluated in monetary terms.

Influence of other people(O) was of greatest importance in rejecting a source (along with the technical feasibility of fetching water), but was the least of the reasons for preferring a source (water sources are not regarded by rural people as desired gathering places). This factor should be taken into account when making any decision to improve water supply in rural areas. The interviews showed that the main reasons for this surprising situation were as follows.

First of all, seasonal inflow of people and the associated sharp increase in water consumption exacerbated existing conflicts and generated new ones. These were most acute in villages where the number of summer visitors was especially large. Many locals consider the newcomers to be alien and do not recognize their right to use wells on equal terms, particularly in case of shortage. The term “summer visitors” (Russian dachniki) is used, as a rule, with negative connotations, emphasizing their behavior as conflicting with the traditional rules of community life. There was particular resentment regarding their lack of care for sources of drinking water (a sensitive point for rural people).

The second point is relocation to villages of people from cities and towns who have a different mentality and lack the communitarian traditions of contemporary rural life, including domestic water consumption. According to locals, even people who were born and grew up in the countryside come back to the village as different people after having spent their mature years in town. The communitarian views, mostly retained by the local people, are alien to the new settlers. They do not believe it necessary to comply with the norms of everyday life that remain usual for the countryside, especially because many people who remained in villages have become lazy, inclined to drink and are reluctant to do any work (discouraged, in part, by the numerous social experiments of the 20th century). It should be noted that people who have moved from towns, purchased some livestock and live in the village year-round, are often the most energetic in providing water supply. They build their own wells or restore old ones at their own cost, but then keep them for their private use.

People are keen to obtain a water source in exclusive ownership at the first opportunity and reluctance to repair shared wells and springs, even if they are indispensable for local people, has deep roots. It is explained, primarily, by a paternalist culture where people have become used to dependnig on government: many people are convinced that repairs to a shared well, even if it is next to their own home and they draw water from it on a daily basis, should be carried out at the cost of the local administration. The majority of people believe that construction, repair and operation of local wells is the task of the local administration or other government authorities, but not a matter for their own collective efforts. However, according to the interviews, a nearby spring was maintained by the joint efforts of people living in Lomki village as recently as the 1970s, but the spring has been destroyed because cattle herds from collective farms were brought here to drink. Such are the consequences of the gradual destruction, over many decades, of rural communities and local government, gradual “lumpenization” of most rural residents and their divorce from ownership. Such situations are typical throughout Yaroslavl Region, as confirmed by workshops devoted to environmental issues in all districts, carried out using interactive methods.

Clearly the situation with domestic water supply in the countryside cannot be improved unless we take account of certain negative factors, such as loss of traditional rural communitarian traditions, mutual distrust between rural and urban dwellers and the resulting trend towards individual use of water sources, as well as complete unwillingness of rural people to solve the existing problems collectively. Rather than planning direct investments in water supply overhauls and construction, local authorities should think how to stimulate private and collective initiatives. Conflicts between summer visitors and locals might be mitigated by differentiation of tariffs for existing amenities, including maintenance of water sources.

Specifics of decision-making by resource managers.The efficiency of water supply policy in rural areas also depends on day-to-day decisions by the specific organizations and administrators who are the effective resource managers.Decisions made at local level are of greatest importance, since they determine the real situation with water supply in the countryside.

Studying the opinions of the leading water supply managers in Danilov municipal district (based on interactive methods of interviews in focus groups and special questionnaires) showed that, on a practical level, they are not capable of the flexibility that is needed in market conditions and only address a certain range of predetermined options. Their approach is largely determined by stereotypes inherited from the Soviet planned economy. They view supply improvements in rural areas as dependent on additional funding from regional and federal budgets. Despite apparent shortage of funds, they adhere to cost-intensive approaches, emphasizing the need for construction and repairs to the piped water supply system and artesian wells in urban-type settlements and the construction of new wells or even of new water supply systems in rural areas.

In order to develop an efficacious system of measures that would help resource managers to expand their range of choices, we tried to understand what domestic water supply options the municipal managers tend to focus on. We again used White’s decision matrices, based on interviews with the officials of Danilov municipal district who make decisions on the water supply sector. The matrix was completed in four versions referring to the localities of water consumption: Danilov town, outskirts and suburbs, urban-type settlements, and villages.The scoring used the same method as was used to assess valuation of water sources by rural people. The managers gave highest rating to wells, artesian wells and springs as well as water pipes. Surface water reservoirs and rooftops were not perceived as water sources (even for household needs).

Comparing the factors that determine the choice of water sources as perceived by municipal administrators (Table 2.9), one can see that the quality of water is the top priority both for rejecting and preferring a source. Special emphasis is placed on technical feasibility as a factor for preference of sources. The influence of other people plays a significant role for rejection, but a minimal role for preference. This result highlights a problem of coordination of efforts for the improvement of domestic water supply and the existence of serious clashes of views at a personal level.

Table 2.9.Factors in the choice of water sources as perceived by municipal officials (percentage)


Rejected because of


Preferred because of










Danilov (town)









Danilov (outskirts)









Urban-type settlement


















Total (average)









As can be seen, municipal officials tend to focus on high quality of the water source. Sources where quality is below official standards are not considered by them at all. So, on the one hand, administrators focus exclusively on compliance with water quality standards comparable to those in Europe (or even higher standards for some indicators), requiring the construction of boreholes, installation of purification and water treatment facilities, etc.; on the other hand, the economic situation in Russia makes implementation of these standard completely unrealistic. But cheaper and technically simpler solutions, which can practically improve domestic water supply in rural areas, are not included in development programs because they fail to meet high standards of water quality.

Value of water for domestic water consumers in rural areas.Determining the value of water supply for consumers is one of the most important tasks in territorial planning. Ignoring this factor makes it impossible to use any management methods effectively. We determined the value of water for rural consumers using the method of direct non-market valuation (subjective valuation based on readiness to pay). We wanted to know how much residents of the surveyed settlements were ready to pay to have clean drinking water and water for other uses in their homes. The interviewees were mainly women because, in most cases, they decide what water source should be used.

The findings showed that only 10% of respondents were ready to pay for water in their homes (most of these were former city dwellers who had recently relocated to the village, as well as residents of Semlovo). All of them acknowledge the benefits of the urban social environment where service charges (including water charges) are common practice. Hardly any native villagers said that they were ready to pay. Their principal argument was that water had always been free and shared. This position seems motivated by communitarian experience of water consumption in villages and perception of natural goods (including water) as a free resource.

This means that creation of an expensive water supply system is impossible unless both construction and maintenance are subsidized on non-repayable terms. It will be technically difficult to introduce charges for water supply in rural areas. Any attempt to do so will cause people to use other accessible water sources of a worse quality, which will create health hazards. Traditions of perceiving water as a shared and therefore free resource are strong in the countryside. They cannot be ignored in design of a policy for domestic water supply. This must be remembered when trying to apply in Russia the methods of public regulation, which are efficacious in the West, where private ownership of land and hence of access to most water sources has been in place for centuries.

The current socio-economic situation in rural areas requires revision of basic approaches to water supply strategy in each specific territory with its geographical and socio-cultural peculiarities. Special attention should be paid to low-cost measures. Basing development programs for most rural territories on extremely rigorous standards of environment quality can only hinder realistic measures to improve rural water supply. Allocation of scanty resources to individual and expensive projects will cause neglect of many practical support measures, which can encourage local people to take action to improve their own domestic water supply. Geographic analysis of subjective factors – particularly people’s perception of the value of water – is recommended when developing rural water supply programs. Such analysis helps to understand both the preferred options of water users in the current situation and to predict their response to various methods of public regulation.

Use should be made of new economic-geographical indicators for territory assessment (which take account of the interests of actual water users) in analyzing the development of domestic water supply systems (Loshadkin, 2001b). In market conditions, these indicators characterize essential features of the geo-economic space. As exemplified by a number of Russian regions, they enable adequate adjustment of management decisions on water consumption.

Assessment of natural resources and ecosystem services at the micro level as indicators of behavioral specifics in environmental management59

Creation of an efficacious democratic system of environmental management is only possible if attention is paid to the behavioral peculiarities of the people living in specific territories. This will alleviate risks of social conflicts in rational resource use and environment protection. One of the most promising ways of including the socio-cultural factor in decision making on territorial development is by assessing natural resources and eco-system services at the micro-level based on total economic value, which takes account of behavioral features. Such assessments should be regarded as essential indicators for the sustainable development of a territory.

Neglect of the human factor and people’s socio-cultural traditions is bound to result in failures in environmental management. This obvious point has not received sufficient attention in Russia’s post-communist economic and social reforms. Hasty dismantling of existing institutions and management mechanisms in the early 1990s and the imposition of new mechanisms from the top without proper adaptation to Russian conditions led to serious worsening of environmental management.

In our view, management for rational resource use and environment protection should be designed taking account of behavior patterns (including those, which are socio-culturally determined) in specific territories. So the development of appropriate management methods, particularly those, which prevent human conflicts (not least in the organization of environment protection and rational resource use) should be the most critical task of government. As changes in the social and economic spheres accelerate, small nations, socio-cultural communities and ethnic groups become increasingly concerned about their future, about their access to natural resources and to eco-system services.

One of the most promising ways to include the socio-cultural factor in decision-making on territorial development is the assessment of natural resources and eco-system services at micro-level (viewing such assessments as important indicators of the behavior of individuals as regards resource use). The inclusion of value-based factors assumes a new approach to statistics (methods of integrated economic and environmental accounting), which was supported by the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Keating, 1993). Agenda 21, which was adopted by the Conference, includes an “accounting program” (par. 8.41-8.54), the most essential element of which are monetary estimates of the value of natural resources in territories, taking account of behavioral perceptions of the people living there, the value of specific natural sites, and the value of cultural and natural heritage.

Greater attention to socio-cultural aspects of monetary estimates of the value of natural resources and eco-system services matches the idea that environmental management for sustainable, human-oriented, development is incompatible with underestimation of the significance of natural resource in making economic decisions. Underestimation of natural wealth (both nationally and locally) leads to strategic and tactical errors in planning. Monetary estimates of the value of natural and environmental resources provide more accurate accounting of the real costs and benefits of decisions through numerical adjustment of specific (non-economic) value. New monetary estimates create a more reliable basis for accounting of a territory’s resources, adjusting economic development indicators and land valuations. These estimates allow greater equity in taxation, allocation of subsidies, allowances, benefits and other financial privileges in the sphere of rational resource use and environment protection.

Assessment of the use of natural wealth in real markets is one of the most complicated tasks of environmental accounting and statistics (Beckenbach, Hampcke & Schulz, 1989; Pearce & Turner, 1990). The experience of most countries shows that prices formed in markets do not represent the cost of the natural resources: only a part of the potential value of the natural resources is reflected in their market prices, while the remainder (costs and benefits) cannot be easily revealed in market processes. Such prices are misleading as a basis for assessing resource scarcity, they do not reflect the perceptions of people living in specific territories of the value of a certain resource or of the feasibility of a certain form of environmental management. Very often the benefits of an economic activity (e.g., forest felling for the sake of valuable timber) are perceived as substantial, while the benefits of forest conservation (not felling trees) are perceived as insignificant. As a result, smaller areas are protected than would have been the case if there had been full consideration of all benefits and costs of each alternative land use (Dixon & Sherman, 1990).

Real markets are imperfect (perfect markets are only possible in theory). They are subject to market “failures” and may send wrong signals, which lead to flawed decisions in environmental management. Market “failures” are caused by the following major factors:

  • most environmental goods have neither a value nor a respective market (clean air, beautiful landscapes, etc, are not sold or bought in the market);
  • most environmental goods are socially oriented and socially significant; so it is very difficult or even impossible to charge money for them;
  • there are substantial external effects (externalities), i.e., consequences (negative, as a rule), by which actions affect external parties and which are not been taken into account by the actor;
  • inevitable transaction costs, expenses and complications associated with the need to comply with agreements or provisions in the course of shared use of natural resources (time, effort, obtaining information, etc.);
  • vague definition of ownership rights in respect of natural resources and eco-system services;
  • uncertainty as to the possible environmental consequences of economic activities;
  • shortsightedness, when only short-term consequences are taken into consideration, neglecting long-term interests;
  • irreversibility of many environmental processes.

Measurement of the economic value of natural resources and eco-system services (taking account of adjustment for non-economic value) is based on neo-classical welfare economics, which considers the general well-being of society and assesses alternative projects or actions on the basis of changes in social well-being. Also new methods have recently emerged that enables due account of non-economic values in the monetary valuation of natural resources and land. The methodology of neo-institutional economics (including subjective measures of value, etc.) and the newly formed scientific toolkit of qualimetry help to evaluate natural resources more precisely and to express, in quantitative and qualitative terms, factors that were formerly neglected or inadequately considered.

The need for new approaches has been reflected in various recent documents of international organizations. For example, the UN guidelines Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (1993) recommends three main valuation methods for the assessment of natural wealth: market value; direct non-market value (including, e.g., measurement of readiness to pay); indirect non-market value (including cost elements, such as damage assessment or compliance with certain standards). All these methods, especially those of a non-market nature, take into account the impact of ethnic-cultural factors on monetary assessment of natural resources.

The studies, which we have been pursuing in Russia since 1996 using new methods of monetary assessment (starting from municipality level) have produced certain conclusions on the use of value indicators in environmental management and on the vectors of future research (Cadaster Institute, 1998; Cadaster Institute, 2000; Cadaster Institute, 2005a; Cadaster Institute, 2005b; Cadaster Institute, 2008b; Cadaster Institute, 2009; Cadaster Institute, 2012b; Cadaster Institute, 2014c; Cadaster Institute, 2015a; Fomenko G., 2000e; Fomenko G., 2006; Fomenko G., 2010a; Fomenko G., Fomenko M. & Loshadkin, 2000b; Fomenko G., Fomenko M. & Mikhailova, 2006; Fomenko G., Fomenko G., Fomenko M., Markandia & Perelet, 1997; Fomenko M., Mikhailova A. & Mikhailova T., 2010; Fomenko, G., 2000; Markandia, Fomenko G., Fomenko M., & Perelet, 1999; Preobrazhensky, Fomenko G. & Fomenko M., 1999). They also help us to formulate initial proposals for improving taxation in the sphere of resource management (for instance, in the process of formation of local government, in reform of utilities systems, in improvement of forest management, etc.). As an example, we will consider the results of the first pilot studies in Danilov municipal district (Yaroslavl Region), which were conducted in 1996-1997 (Cadaster Institute, 1997b). The methodology used there has not lost its relevance.

Water resources

Brief summary of water resources and water issues.Danilov district has three main systems of water supply: mains water supply direct to households; outdoor mains water hydrants (water fountains); wells and springs.

To characterize the water supply system in Danilov district, we distinguished the following types of settlements:

  • town (with suburbs);
  • urban-type settlements – rural settlements designed mainly for farming and composed of blocks of buildings (usually a central farmstead);
  • villages – dispersed rural settlements with various types of buildings and without any central core.

These distinctions are important because differences of development density and organization determine the type of machinery and equipment used, the cost of pipelines and sewage and the associated health hazards. Table 2.10 presents these distinctions in their relation to the cost of water supply, sewage costs and risks. Due to shorter distances involved in construction of the water supply system, water consumption in towns is relatively cheaper both in absolute terms and per capita. At the same time, there are greater difficulties in removal of effluents and, as consumption grows, health risks increase due to declining quality and larger effluent volumes. In more disperse settlements water supply costs per capita are high, but health risks are lower.

Table 2.10.Types of settlements and water supply issues



Health hazards caused by bad quality of water

Cost of effluent removal


Towns and suburbs





Urban-type settlements










Cost of water.We used various indicators to estimate the cost of water. For the reasons explained above, the estimate is bound to be imperfect (incomplete), as some forms of water consumption were not estimated. Nevertheless, the research gave useful results, which can be viewed as a first step towards improving water resource accounting and assessment taking account of people’s socio-culturally determined preferences in water consumption (based on the criterion of readiness to pay for water). Table 2.11 presents data on water consumption by households, agriculture and manufacturing and on the gross and net revenues and costs of water supply.

Table2.11. Direct monetary cost of water

Water consumption sector
Annual water consumption,
thous. cu. m. / year
Gross cost,
million rubles
Net cost,
million rubles
- 7,022.5
- 1,760.4
- 8,843.1
underground sources
surface sources
underground sources
surface sources


1)Valuation was only carried out for water from underground sources. Rural households obtain water from surface sources, but do not necessarily pay for it.

2)Agricultural consumption of water from water mains is paid for in the same way as household consumption. Abstract (estimated) charges include tax on usage rights and replacement tax, respectively 29% and 71% of the total amount.

3)Water consumption from underground sources in manufacturing includes a small amount of mains water charged at the established rate. Total charges consist of mains water charge (4.4%), tax on usage rights (47.8%) and replacement tax (47.8%). Charges for water from surface sources are calculated at established rates.

The net value of water is 8.3 billion rubles (about USD1.4 million). It might be lower as a result of the measures described above. Table 2.12 shows estimates based on readiness to pay in the household sector. The figures imply that both mains water and well water may be valued more highly. In particular, there is substantial income from small-scale farming, which is not factored into the payments.

Table 2.12. Monetary valuation of water based on readiness to pay

Water use sector

Annual water consumption,

thous. cu. m. / year

Gross value by readiness to pay based on questionnaires,
m rub.

Gross value according to other findings, m rub.

Net value,

m rub.

Urban households1)




- 7022.5 to 501.5

Rural households2)including those:


with mains water




-1,202.6 to 259.8

without mains water




175.7 to 301.3





-8,225.1 to 1,062.6


1)Urban households include residents of Danilov town. Their readiness to pay is estimated at 330 rub./cu.m. The figure in other findings, taken from research carried out in the Philippines, amounts to 6,500 rub. / cu.m.

2)Rural households those in urban-type settlements and villages with mains water systems (total water consumption is 259.8 thous. cu.m./year). Their readiness to pay is estimated at 1.0 thous. rub./cu.m. for mains water and 2.5 thous. rub./cu.m. for well water. Other studies are based on values of 6.5 thous.rub./cu.m. for piped water and 1,458 rub./cu.m. for well water (based on the costs of delivering water, including expenditure of time).

This analysis of water resources is a preliminary attempt to evaluate water in Danilov district. Despite a number of shortcomings, the work was useful because it showed which actions were ineffective and indicated directions for reform of water pricing and taxation systems in order to improve the situation.

The research found that consumers are often forced to use other sources (mostly wells) in addition to mains water to obtain good quality drinking water or to make up shortfalls. Also many residents using mains water take special measures to improve the quality of the water: filtering, settling, boiling, etc. Fig. 2.20 illustrates the situation: over 80% of respondents boil water, 30% filter it, 48% let it settle, and 72% use other drinking water sources and other kinds of drinks (72% of the respondents use more than one method).

Fig. 2.20. (a) Assessment of the mains water supply system by Danilov residents and (b) Measures taken to improve water quality

So, the municipal mains water supply is judged to be of very poor quality. The main reason is its inability to pay for itself: income of the system (including fixed tariffs and public subsidies) is too low to cover its expenditures. So the reliability of the public water supply system is very low, which increases the load on the town’s wells, including those in private ownership (in some instances owners have charged money for the use of their wells).

Conclusions and suggestions arising from the assessment of water resources.

1. The economic value of water in Danilov municipal district, as in most rural districts and town in Central Russia, is underestimated and is much below the value set on water in the majority of European countries and the USA. This is explained primarily by the approaches of the planned economy in previous decades, which meant that the tax system failed to motivate the preservation and rational use of natural resources. It also reflects the traditional attitude of local people to water. This factor cannot be ignored in the course of the current reforms of utilities, since peasant communitarian traditions are decisive in the mindset of Russia’s rural population and its attitude to natural wealth.

2. In the current conditions, utilities reform has to be approached from more nuanced positions, because there are substantial differences between the valuation of water in rural and urban households, while households in urban-type settlements take an intermediate position between the two. Accordingly, taxation of water use should take account of three levels of differenetiation. It is also very important to lend an ear to the wishes of women. Our field studies in Danilov municipal district revealed that men have no interest in discussing water supply issues, delegating the issue to women. This situation has deep ethno-cultural roots, use of water being peceived as the preserve of women(Beloborodova, 2001).

3. Since most Russian towns are currently trapped in a “low-level equilibrium” (negligible returns ensure that poor utility services remain poor), domestic water supply can only be improved by attention to feasible levels of self-financing of water consumption. Taking account of stereotypes of decision-making by resource users, this mechanism should envisage, as its first stage:

  • increasing water tariffs (not more than two-fold);
  • changing the system of subsidy-based financing of utilities. Some countries in a similar situation (India, the Philippines, etc.) have used a mechanism of loans to local residents to enable them to connect to mains water. The prices include cost of repairs, system operation and improvements. This enables water consumers to control the quality of service and the use of funds;
  • expansion of the range of paid services (e.g., installation and maintenance of individual appliances for additional treatment of water). According to the questionnaire, such a service may find demand among wealthier residents of small towns;
  • sale through retail outlets of pure drinking water subsidized by local budgets instead of trying to improve the existing water quality to a standard fit for drinking.

4. Water supply arrangements in urban-type settlements have come close to collapse in the post-Soviet period due to privatization, impoverishment, etc. Municipal utilities are not able to properly service the available mains water pipes at current prices for energy resources and levels of tariffs for water consumption. New tariffs for water have to be imposed. For this purpose, firstly, it must be established which settlements can afford to maintain existing networks in working order over coming decades and which need to switch to traditional sources of water. Restoration and maintenance of traditional water sources should be emphasized in order to avoid local water supply crises.

5. The situation in villages can be improved by focus on water sources that are already available. It might be reasonable to increase water tariffs and use funds specifically to improve the domestic water supply. Water charges for “summer visitors”, who do not live permanently in villages, should be considerably increased, while a system of allowances should be worked out for residents who use water sources all the year round. It would also be advisable to set up voluntary funds managed by local administrations. Finally, when considering the question of land privatization (or leasing), due attention should be paid to the issue of access to public water sources.

6. The major differences between water supply to people living in rural settlements and in towns make it necessary, when designing water supply programs and reforms, to carry out preliminary studies including studies of the current state of the water supply, ownership arrangements and monetary estimates of the value of water (including indirect, subjective valuations based on readiness to pay). This would help to focus on non-economic values, including ethno-cultural factors.

Forest resources

Brief summary of the current situation.About 53.4% of the territory of Danilov district is covered by forest. Forest management is provided by Danilov Forest Management (six forest areas) and Danilov Forestry, which is included in a company that has responsibility for forest areas in several parts of Yaroslavl Region. The forests in Danilov district are divided into ordinary (2nd group forests) and protected (1st group forests). The forests mainly consist of deciduous trees. Forest areas are used for pasture and haymaking, collecting mushrooms, berries and herbs, and also for sport and commercial hunting. Use and protection of fauna is supervised by the Game Management Department of Yaroslavl Region (permanent staff include a wild game manager).

General assessment of timber resources.Felling of timber was measured as part of a full assessment of the value of timber resources in Danilov district. However, as for water resources, we did not only measure net public revenue from the timber sector (“direct monetary value”) but also its value based on final consumption. Table 2.13 gives a calculation of tax revenues from timber resources.

Table2.13. Tax revenues from timber procurement in Danilov district.

Type of timber
thous, cu,m./year
Average tax revenues,
Total revenues,
million rub./year
Tax revenues from the timber industry
Saleable wood
Tax revenues from intersectoral forestry organizations
Saleable wood
408. 62

The taxable timber volume does not coincide with felling volume reported by timber firms. The latter is higher due to losses in the process of wood procurement. Of the total tax revenue, some 64 million rubles remained in Danilov district.

The net value of timber calculated on the basis of final consumption is much higher than the tax revenues, even leaving out the value of saleable timber (Table 2.14). Tax revenues from timber procurement are around 409 million rubles per year. Even if the net value of saleable timber is taken to be the sum total of the respective taxes (237.25+11.76), the total net value of the utilized timber resources would be 2,449 billion rubles. The amount of tax revenues is only 17% of the net value.

Table2.14. Value of timber procured in Danilov municipal district based on value of final consumption.

Type of timber
thous. cu,m./year
Net value,
Total value,
m rub,/year
Commercial firewood
Illegal felling
Household consumption:
saleable timber




Note:The net value of the final use of commercial firewood and illegal felling is based on expert estimates.

In a context of low demand for timber, what is effectively occurring is the subsidization of rural residents. The experience of foreign countries shows that, in a post-recession period, it is very important to use a differential approach to charges for timber, taking account of the purchasing power of various social strata. Otherwise, the highest incomes are received by the wealthiest population groups.

Our studies enabled important estimates of the value of timber resources. The findings provide a basis for further work on prevention of illegal felling and more extensive consideration of the value of timber in its various uses. In a context of low personal incomes, a reasonable policy on charges for timber resources should help to improve forest management.

Conclusions and suggestions resulting from the assessment of timber resources.

  1. Monetary value of timber is seriously underestimated and this is connected with low living standards of most rural residents, as well as with growing transportation costs, which have causing a fall in demand for timber (especially deciduous wood). Russian regions factually now have two pricing systems for timber. The first is based on the official selling prices of logging companies, which usually hold monopolies. The second is based on the black market. Black market prices arise from the availability of timber as an undervalued resource. According to preliminary expert estimates, 20% of timber in Danilov district is consumed free of charge. Illegal logging is driven by low living standards and profits that can be made from selling timber (especially conifers).
  2. The impact of socio-cultural factors on undervaluation of timber is easy to understand. Rural people traditionally perceive forests as shared resources and field studies showed that, at present, forests are perceived not as a common resource to be jointly protected, but as a resource without an owner, which can be used without limitation.

The financial valuations carried out in Yaroslavl Region show urgent need for a system of special measures to make forest management more efficacious. The standard cost-based methods or attempts to tighten control over forest use are not suitable for Yaroslavl Region. The best way to overcome the forestry crisis is to encourage recovery of demand for wood. Most forests in the Region are of relatively low quality, so direct subsidization of forest renewal cannot produce any substantial effect, because it will not stimulate demand for timber or eliminate the major causes of the crisis. Much could be gained from government support for added-value wood processing in the northeast of the Region, particularly the production of plywood, which is in high demand on global markets. Such an approach would stimulate demand for deciduous timber and create jobs for over a thousand people. The experience of other Russian regions (Kostroma, Perm, Khabarovsk) shows that creation of plywood production facilities (supported by appropriate territorial policy) has a multiplication effect, promoting development of the entire forest sector, generating funds for forest renewal and bringing improvements in the social sphere.

In the current situation, when undervaluation of timber encourages a wasteful approach to its use (reinforced by stereotyped decision-making) special steps are needed to prevent further plundering of Russian forests. Efficacious government regulation will stimulate the inflow of additional financial resources for forest rehabilitation. Alignment between social support for rural populations and forest conservation is a common approach elsewhere in the world. In Costa Rica in the late 1960s, rural residents were given subsidies on condition that they stopped illegal logging. The measures had limited impact, but somewhat reduced damage to forests in the vicinity of villages. A stronger positive result was felt in the 1980s, when the living standards of most rural residents rose.

Recreation resources.We looked at the functioning of Gorushka Park, a protected natural site in the south-west part of Danilov town, which is popular with local residents as a place for leisure and recreation. The park is within the town boundaries and includes high-quality forest cover on an area of 122 hectares. The forest is over 100 years old, consisting mainly of pine and fir trees with mountain ash and honeysuckle. It is divided into five separate plots and the average timber stock is 200 cu.m./ha. Gorushka is a favorite recreation site for town dwellers in summer and winter and is often used as a venue for outdoor social events. It also has an Orthodox church, which gives a special spiritual significance to the place. All these aspects were highlighted by respondents to surveys, which assessed the value of Gorushka based on subjective evaluations (readiness to pay to maintain the site in good order).

According to the landscape designer, H.-J. Taurit (1997), the Gorushka forest and the surrounding relief is highly important for air quality in Danilov. Cold air masses are generated at night in the forest on the top of the hill, and the Pelenga River, with relief sloping down to it, promote air circulation at night, removing warm, polluted air from the town streets in a natural purification of the town’s atmosphere. Urban development, which is drawing closer to the forest edge, represents a threat to this natural phenomenon. Conservation of the Gorushka site is therefore highly important, not only socially and spiritually, but also in order to maintain a healthy climate in the town.

A principle of multiple use should be established for Gorushka park60, based on design and use of new methods for the assessment of its resources. The forest area should be valued based on specific potential uses. This approach is still at very early stages of development in Russia. Therefore, although financial assessment based on multi-purpose utilization is needed for all forests, it makes sense, in the current difficult context, to focus this work on 1st group forests and special protected areas, which are the most prominent natural sites in the territory where they are situated and play a major role in environment sustainability.

Assessment of the recreation site.The total economic value of Gorushka Park was established using several indicators based on a concept of full economic value. The principal indicators are direct and indirect use values and also existence value, based on the criterion of readiness to pay for the preservation of the park (voiced by Danilov residents in the course of the surveys). Monetary values of the Gorushka recreation site are presented in Table 2.15.

Table2.15. Main findings of financial evaluation of Gorushka.

Type of valuation


million rubles

Direct use value


Indirect use value based on ability to absorb CO2


Indirect use value based on recreation use


Existence value by subjective evaluation




Conclusions and suggestions resulting from the assessment of recreation resources.

  1. Monetary assessment of recreation resources is now feasible in Russia, including the use of subjective methods, which take account of non-economic values.
  2. The value of Gorushka based on its maintenance cost (readiness to pay per year) exceeds its direct market value (calculated as value of its timber if it was completely felled). So complete felling of the pine wood in Gorushka Park and sale of the timber to generate revenues for the local budget would not be justified, even in purely economic terms, since the forest area provides “services” to the people of Danilov each year in an amount exceeding the potential gains from complete felling.
  3. The value attributed to Gorushka (readiness to pay for its maintenance in good order) and its popularity for recreation purposes varies in different districts of the town. The highest scores were obtained from people living adjacent to Gorushka, while its significance (and readiness to pay) declined somewhat at greater distance of the respondents’ homes from the site. This point is important for organizing conservation and rational use of the site.
  4. The evaluation studies revealed two components of value – readiness to pay in monetary terms and by contributions in the form of labor, – which appear to be reasonable, given the current difficult socio-economic situation in Danilov.

As well as highlighting people’s commitment to preserving Gorushka as a recreation site, the survey results show potential for collective efforts, including the introduction of a special-purpose levy (to be established individually) or a separate line in the general utilities bill paid by Danilov’s residents. The amount of the levy could be differentiated by different areas of the town and the funds raised could be used to organize and equip voluntary labor by residents (clean-up events, etc.), rather than being used to finance forestry department services. A vigorous information campaign should be arranged to explain the importance and significance of the Gorushka site for residents and to publicize positive outcomes of volunteer efforts.

So, even the initial findings of monetary estimates of the value of natural resources, using methods that take account of non-economic values, show potential for a better understanding of the role and significance of socio-cultural factors in environmental management. Clearly, monetary estimates of the value of natural resources and eco-system services at micro-level offers a useful tool of environmental regulation in the various conditions of Russian regions and can be carried out at minimum cost. Moreover, assessment of natural resources and eco-system services at micro-level ensures that they are representative and helps to understand their composition (the behavioral aspect). It is important to carry out this “zero” step prior to the design of environmental-economic accounting matrices at the regional level. Otherwise, there is a probability of incorrect information on the structure of natural capital and its formation. Clearly, financial valuation of natural resources by methods that include non-economic values has a rightful place in the environmental management toolkit.

Financial valuation of natural resources and ecosystem services as a factor in humanizing territorial development: new approaches

Market pricing based on the theory of utility is the principal mechanism for registering the consequences of individual actions and expresses them in a universal form. By analyzing the change of such prices for natural resources and eco-system services we obtain important information for purposeful impact on the institutional situation in environmental management. Expanded analysis of the price space using the concept of full economic value, with monetary estimates of values determined by people’s preferences for natural goods and eco-system services, enables due account of the social and cultural features of territories, reflecting the current state and dynamics of the price space. So their use as major development indicators in the framework of the System of National Accounts and System for Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SNA/SEEA) helps to identify the potential range of environmental and resource saving actions to support sustainable development of the whole country, its regions and its localities. The most important of these actions are monetary estimates that can be used to select specific economic mechanisms for solving issues of rational environmental management, including clean up of earlier pollution, compensation for environmental damage and other environmental management issues.

The main vector for humanizing the financial valuation of natural resources and eco-system services is the internalization of externalities (the widest possible coverage of various aspects in the use of natural goods and eco-system services) (Bobylev & Zakharov, 2012; Dixon, 2000;Markandya, 1997b). Orientation to indicators that reflect the perceptions by resource users of non-economic (environmental, social, cultural, etc.) value of natural goods and eco-system services is of key importance. This approach is the basis of the integrated environmental and economic accounting, which was elaborated in the 1990s under the aegis of the UN (Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting, 1993; Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting, 2000;The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting, 2014; UN Statistics Division, 1993). Using the theory of total economic value, this methodology combines three main approaches to the valuation of natural goods and eco-system services:

  • direct market valuation (based on actual revenue from the use of natural goods and determined by market prices, tariffs, fees, etc.);
  • direct non-market valuation (based on subjective perceptions of the users of natural goods concerning their value and determined by readiness to pay for their preservation);
  • indirect non-market valuation (based on actual costs incurred by users in case of damage or necessity to comply with certain standards).

All these values, complementing each other, enable managers to compensate for market “failures” caused by undervaluation of many natural goods and eco-system services.

The UN has singled out systems of integrated environmental and economic accounting as the major vector of new management ethics in the 21st century (Annan, 2000) and views them as the most important tool for analyzing the development of countries and regions, because such systems enable the study of cash flows in environmental management and the monitoring of changes in pricing of natural resources and eco-system services at various levels of territorial organization. The new approaches, aimed at the identification and involvement of users in decision-making, promises to mitigate the impact of globalization on local communities, combat environmental poverty, and to prevent and settle environmental management conflicts worldwide. These goals match the requirements of the Agenda for the 21st Century adopted by the UN member states in Rio de Janeiro61and the Resolution of the UN General Assembly, entitled “Five Years After Rio.”62

The Cadaster Institute has completed a series of projects at federal, regional and local levels in Russia addressing financial valuation of natural resources and eco-system services for purposes of environmental management.63All of the work dealt with the adaptation to Russian conditions of methodological approaches recommended by the UN. The aim was to ascertain threats of natural resource depletion in specific territories (in physical and monetary terms), taking account of household consumption and people’s subjective preferences in the use of shared natural resources.

The studies were carried out as part of the federal experiment for the improvement of accounting and socio-economic assessment of natural resource potential in 1993, involving 35 of Russia’s administrative regions. The project was for the creation of a comprehensive territorial cadaster of natural resources and was carried out under the guidance of the Russian Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources. It was initially assumed that the territorial cadaster would contain data on natural resources in physical terms and serve as a basis for their evaluation in the structure of the regional systems and, ultimately, the national system of integrated environmental and economic accounting. However, the work was mainly focused on physical accounting of natural resources, with comparatively little attention to financial assessment and to identifying the dynamics of cash and product flows in environmental management.

The findings showed practical feasibility of the UN methodology for environmental and economic accounting and usefulness of the results obtained, but also identified existing gaps in statistical and sectoral information, e.g., the lack of certain indicators referring to the stocks and flows of natural resources (qualitative and quantitative). The inefficiency of territorial analysis based on a “top-down” approach was made evident. In the course of the research work such analysis was supplemented by a “bottom-up” approach, which showed that regional indicators on availability and use of natural resources should be complemented by similar analysis at district level (starting from local settlements and households).

Subsequent research was based on work to set up a system of environmental and economic accounting for Yaroslavl Region. Analysis was carried out of quantities and economic use of major natural resources (surface water, mains water, ground water from wells, farming land, timber and non-timber forest resources, recreation areas, hunting and fishing resources, apiculture, and mineral resources such as sand and gravel). An SEEA matrix was then compiled, overall natural capital of Yaroslavl Region was gauged, and the Region’s “green” GDP and net domestic product were measured. Work is now underway on environmental economic accounting matrices for specific natural resources in the Region. Similar projects have been completed in Ryazan, Kaluga and Tomsk Regions, where basic SEEA matrices have been compiled. The findings are useful for estimating the efficiency of regional environmental taxation and specific directions for natural resource development (public water supply, forestry, mineral resources, etc.), as well as ensuring due account for principles of sustainability in the preparation of regional strategies. Indicators in the first and second versions of the SEEA base matrix provide important information for that purpose.

First version of the SEEA matrix for assessing the efficiency of environmental management.The basic element for determining the efficiency of environmental management in a Russia administrative region, according to the first version of the SEEA matrix, is the evaluation of its natural capital, i.e., the amount, structure and dynamics of that capital.

Regional differences in the proportion between natural and man-made capital are clearly visible in Fig. 2.21. Such comparisons provide important insights into the character and prospects for development of a region, groups of regions or even the entire country. For example, in 1996 natural capital was of greater significance in Yaroslavl Region than in Ryazan or Kaluga Regions. This fact testifies to the greater dependence of the economy in Yaroslavl Region on local natural resources, and shows the importance of integrated environmental and economic analysis for designing measures to preserve the available stocks of natural capital and use them more efficiently.

Fig. 2.21. Percentages of natural capital and man-made capital in four administrative regions of Russia in 1996.

Fig. 2.22. Dynamics of natural and man-made capital in Yaroslavl Region (in comparable prices)

The analysis of regional development would be more complete if the comparison of natural and man-made capital could be given for a number of years. Fig. 2.22 presents dynamics for Yaroslavl Region in the period from 1995 to 1997. We can see that the share of natural capital increased by nearly 9 percentage points, which is explained by higher rates of depreciation of man-made capital (excluding inflation) and expands the role of natural capital in short-term sustainability.

The results of calculation of the natural capital of Yaroslavl Region (as the sum total of its various components) and the resulting first version of the SEEA matrix for 1996 are given in Figs. 2.16 and 2.17. The research found that there were no statistics and sectoral data on certain groups of natural resources, specifically: consumption and related economic indicators for ground water resources (water obtained by households from non-centralized sources, such as wells, springs, shallow boreholes on private land, etc.), non-timber and recreational forest resources, and apiculture. This is mostly explained by the structuring and functioning of the existing systems for collection of statistical and sectoral data, which were established in the Soviet command-administrative economy and are oriented to the aggregation of data for large enterprises, neglecting processes in the informal economy sector, households and small businesses. We therefore had to compile our own indicators at micro-level by empirical means. We encountered a similar problem in other regions and concluded that existing regional systems of statistical and sectoral information fail to provide complete accounting of all forms of natural capital, use of which generates income.

Table. 2.16. Total monetized valuation of natural resources in Yaroslavl Region (1996, billion rubles)
Table. 2.17. Comprehensive accounts for Yaroslavl Region, 1996, billion rubles

The research discovered regional differences in the structure of the natural capital (Fig. 2.23) and identified those natural resources, which determined the value of natural capital to the greatest extent. In Tomsk Region, e.g., the largest share of natural capital is represented by mineral resources (36,386 billion rubles, 65% of the total value); in Kaluga Region, the largest share is farm land (1,325 billion rubles, 41% of the total value) and timber resources (984.4 billion rubles, 31%); in Ryazan Region water resources dominate (10,608.84 billion rubles, 67%) followed by farm land (3,830.4 billion rubles, 24%); in Yaroslavl Region there is massive dominance of water resources (23,431.4 billion rubles, 91%). Studies of this kind and further detailed elaboration of the indicators provide important information for understanding the role of specific natural resources in territorial development and help to choose proper mechanisms for management of natural capital at different levels of territorial organization.

Fig. 2.23. Structure of the natural capital of regions, 1996 (%)

The second version of the SEEA matrix for assessing the efficiency of environmental management.Here the focus is on accounting and evaluation of different types of environmental activities in the region and their impact on main macroeconomic development indicators. Such studies were carried out for Yaroslavl Region in 1995-1997. Fig. 2.24 shows the dynamics and structure of the Region’s environmental costs in the given period. We can see an increase of the share of spending by enterprises in the total volume of environmental costs and relative decrease of such spending by regional and local budgets. The total amount of environmental spending increased, but its share in key macroeconomic indicators of Yaroslavl Region (e.g., regional GDP) was negligible, being less than one percent (in foreign countries this figure varies from 3% to 5% of GDP). The second version of the SEEA matrix is most expedient for micro-analysis that measures different kinds of environment pollution in various economic sectors.

Fig. 2.24. Structure and dynamics of environment spending in Yaroslavl Region, 1995-1997

The practical work carried out in Russian regions at the start of the new century to assess the sustainability of natural resource management using SNA/SEEA methodology for monetary valuation of natural resources and eco-system services yielded important conclusions. Firstly the possibility of evaluation and macro-analysis of trends in natural capital was demonstrated. The aggregated results of the analysis in a number of regions identified specific features of their resource base, which is vital for optimization of regional and federal socio-economic policy. The importance of regular review of depletion of main natural resources in specific territories was highlighted.
By monitoring the dynamics of regional natural resources using key SEEA indicators we obtain data and an analytical basis for strengthening government control and proper utilization of natural resource stocks.

Use of the second version of the matrix seems relatively unproductive as regards evaluation and analysis of regional environmental policy: the analysis of environmental management using integrated environmental and economic principles is most justified at sub-regional and/or sectoral level, although findings can also be used for improvement of certain aspects of regional environmental policy.

Aggregate comparison of trends in the economic value of stocks of major natural resources with trends in payment for their use helps to assess the socio-economic efficiency of various forms of resource use. Such analysis, which takes account of both direct and indirect tax revenues to the budget, provides a relative estimate of the role of specific kinds of natural resources in the regional economy and suggests specific variants for the most profitable distribution of direct and indirect revenues.

Work on integrated environmental and economic evaluation of sustainability in Russian regions is seriously hampered by the predominantly sectoral nature of available information and the lack of a comprehensive territorial orientation in information gathering and analysis. There are cases when information on stocks and flows of natural resources is seriously inaccurate and even completely lacking (non-timber forest resources, game, fishing resources, etc.) This work should be improved based on UN environmental and economic accounting principles, focusing on the assessment of natural resource depletion rates (quantitative and qualitative) in specific territories and the socio-economic efficiency of natural resource use and eco-system services.

Serious institutional barriers to the exchange of information between different environmental organizations have to be overcome if practical studies in Russian regions are to be successful. Lack of rules and regulations for interaction in this sphere necessitate informal approaches in the gathering, summarizing and analyzing of information. This entails high transaction costs, which need to be reduced in the course of further work to organize integrated territorial accounting of natural resources.

Streamlining of integrated environmental and economic accounting in Russian regions using SEEA methodology should begin from the bottom, i.e., from the level of administrative districts. Only when reliable information on the availability and consumption of natural resources in physical terms has been obtained (existing indicators attested, their elasticity evaluated and missing data collected) will it be feasible to progress to the regional level.

High efficiency of the UN methodology for integrated environmental and economic accounting has been confirmed at local level, both in the design and implementation of socio-economic development strategies and in the design of programs for attracting investments and improving their efficiency for the purposes of regional environmental management and nature conservation (Fig. 2.25).

Fig. 2.25. Investment planning based on integrated environmental and economic accounting (Pervomaisky district of Yaroslavl Region)

The SEEA methodology is also useful for addressing individual environmental issues, such as:

  • prevention and resolution of conflicts regarding consumption of natural goods and eco-system servicesbetween towns/cities and their adjacent territory (the case of the Ob-Tomsk interfluve in Tomsk Region);
  • forecasting depletion of the mineral resource base in specific territories and designing compensation measures (the case of Lysogorsk district in Saratov Region);
  • improving conservation of a unique natural site of global importance (the case of the Curonian Spit in Kaliningrad Region);
  • preservation of town parks and greenery as components of the natural capital of towns and cities (Berendeyevka Park in Kostroma);
  • applying a cost-effective comprehensive approach in the use of natural resources (Dzerzhinsky district and the town of Kondrovo in Kaluga Region, the town of Kostomuksha in the Republic of Karelia).

The main finding of the studies was the need for a more humanized approach to the financial valuation of natural resources and eco-system services. This can be best achieved by increasing the role of subjective and indirect indicators rather by inventing absolutely new methods, based on non-market principles. Particular importance attaches to the views of people living in specific territories on ways to ensure sustainable development, on the environmental value and social relevance of specific natural sites and on their value for cultural and natural heritage64. This is confirmed by numerous examples. For instance, non-market estimates of the value of Berendeyevka Park (Kostroma), town parks and green areas in the town of Danilov (Yaroslavl Region) and the town of Kondrovo in Kaluga Region, showcased the very high value of these sites as perceived by local residents (much in excess of their direct market value based on current estimates).

A socio-culturally, people-focused approach to financial valuation offers greater scope for using different methods to match the broadly perceived geographical conditions of a territory. The experience of our work in Russian regions showed that socio-cultural peculiarities of territories should be taken into account both in choosing methods for monetary valuation of natural resources and eco-system services and in determining approaches to information collection, e.g., in preparing questionnaires. Use of written questionnaires and telephone surveys is of little use in rural territories, where structured interviews are more appropriate, However, such interviews require much more time and resources. Knowledge of the socio-cultural context is also essential for correct understanding of the results of monetary valuation of natural resources and eco-system services obtained by various methods.

So monetary estimates of the value of natural resources and eco-system services made using SNA/SEEA methodology can provide a data base for solving a wide range of important tasks in territorial management, including (among others):

1) the integration of environmental issues into a general strategy of economic and social development based on definition of the role of natural resources in generating and allocating monetary flows of the regional economy;

2) regulation of current environmental policy in accordance with the goals of sustainable development of the territory, based on an understanding of how real consumption of natural resources, resulting pollution, and conservation work impacts the nature of utilization of specific resources (sustainable or unsustainable) and the final value of their stocks;

3) improving cost efficiency of environmental management based on optimization of tax and investment policies, etc.

Promoting community and business involvement in safeguarding specially protected natural areas: management and planning adjustment

Spread of the ideas of sustainable development has affected our fundamental approaches to special protected natural areas (SPNAs). Acknowledgement of the leading role of eco-system services in the green economy entails recognition of SPNAs as meaningful elements of the social, cultural and economic space, while also continuing to recognize their fundamental conservation status. This entails substantial changes in the management and planning of SPNAs, which are to be considered not only from environmental standpoints, but in social, cultural and economic perspectives.

The outcome of any measures that are undertaken depends greatly on whether the specifics of territories containing SPNAs are taken into consideration and whether the environmental traditions of the local population are respected. It is important to encourage those traditions, which contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and, conversely, hold in check those, which lead to the loss of biodiversity and threaten the development of the SPNA. Due consideration of the views and ideas of social groups who are consumers of the eco-system services offered by the SPNA is just as important.

Protected natural areas now represent about 13.9% of the land surface of the Earth, 5.9% of coastal waters and 0.5% of international waters. The earnings of nearly a sixth of the Earth’s population are directly related to the existence of SPNAs. Expansion of their territory and improvement of their financing, including charges for eco-system services, would turn them into a more effective instrument for preserving biological diversity and providing social and economic goods for local people, individual countries and the world (The Economics of Ecosystems, 2009).

By nurturing SPNAs we help to preserve eco-systems, biodiversity and unique natural sites at standards that will meet the needs of present and future generations. This concept was first declared at the UN Conference on Environment and Development, also known as Earth Summit (1992), and confirmed by the Convention on Biological Diversity. Now, decades later, these issues have kept their relevance and the outcome document of the Rio+20UN Conference on Sustainable Development, entitled “The Future We Want”65, stresses the need to use all measures that can help to take account of the consequences and benefits of the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of its components and also of eco-systems that provide basic services, by including these tasks in appropriate programs and strategies at all levels of territorial organization..

So transition to new principles of biodiversity preservation has been established as a key vector of sustainable development for over 20 years, and the need for new assessments of SPNAs in the context of sustainability theory and methodology is clear66. Unlike the traditional notion of an SPNA as part of the biosphere (an eco-system of a certain category) which is fully or partially, permanently of temporarily exempt from economic use, SPNAs are now considered to be valuable natural assets that play a substantial role in sustainable development. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment emphasizes that natural (eco-system) capital is not only the foundation of all economies and societies but also the basis for the well-being of each individual.

Today, SPNAs are assessed by their contribution to the preservation of biodiversity, ecological education, educational tourism and the solution of local employment problems. So SPNAs are now viewed as an essential part of the natural capital of countries and regions and regulations on SPNAs are being designed to maximize the value of their natural capital (System of Environmental-Economic Accounting, 2013; The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting, 2014). Targeted investments in their conservation and development are not only environmentally useful but also profitable since they bring additional social benefits. The task is to change the institutional principles of SPNA management from isolation to integration(Fomenko G. & Fomenko M., 2007), where environmental management aims at sustainable development and mutual alignment of the goals of SPNAs with the socio-economic development goals of the territory, appropriate positioning of socio-cultural aims and territorial symbols, attracting the support of all stakeholders and stimulating local initiatives (Fomenko G., 2004; Fomenko G., Fomenko M., Mikhailova A. & Mikhailova T., 2010). The commitment of local residents and their communities to SPNAs is to be encouraged by encouraging SME involvement, creating new green jobs and supporting cultural traditions related to advancement of the socio-cultural status of the relevant territory.

We have carried out projects on SPNAs in Russia, relating to the whole system of such areas and also dealing with individual reserves and national parks. Our projects addressed:

1) development of methodological principles for administrative management of SPNAs, research organization and environment monitoring as well as educational tourism (Cadaster Institute, 2014b; Cadaster Institute, 2015b; Cadaster Institute, 2015c);

2) development of SPNA strategic planning and design of program documents (Cadaster Institute, 2010b; Cadaster Institute, 2011; Cadaster Institute, 2012a; Cadaster Institute, 2012b);

3) creation of an information-analytical platform for managing SPNAs (including preservation and restoration of natural and historical complexes, research work and public environmental monitoring, ecological education and educational tourism), plus a set of indicators for the economic value of the stocks and flows of natural resources and eco-system services offered by SPNAs to various users (Fomenko G., 2006; Fomenko G., Fomenko M. & Mikhailova, 2006a; Fomenko G., Fomenko M. & Mikhailova, 2006b)

This extensive work showed the vectors of future actions and specific measures to be undertaken in order to increase the motivation of local people and businesses to engage in conservation of SPNAs. The focus should be on identifying the socio-culturally determined opinions of local people and external users regarding the value of biodiversity (including its economic value), so that the findings can be incorporated in decision-making on the management of an individual SPNA or the entire system of Russian SPNAs (noting that Russia has a multicultural population and considerable regional diversity).

Russian SPNAs with federal status are numerous (there are 140 of them at present), have differing environmental status and the main parameters and functions of theFederal State Budgetary Institution (FSBI) for SPNAs depends on numerous and continuously changing factors67. These specifics made it important to use a systemic approach based on:

  • integrity, i.e., adherence to a single goal and function;
  • autonomy, i.e., order and completeness, compensation of “missing” elements;
  • sustainability, i.e., measures to ensure sustainable development of the system of Russian federal SPNAs in face of external factors.

Our studies of methodology for the design and implementation of medium-term plans for SPNA management let us formulate basic provisions for the structure and content of such management plans. Medium-term (five-year) plans for the management of state-owned natural reserves/national parks have been defined as documents for strategic planning and management by objectives, administered by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. The work of theFSBI for SPNAs should be based on an integral approach to the preservation of biodiversity, balancing environmental and socioeconomic interests, and its procedures and algorithms should follow principles of strategic planning and modern approaches to the sustainable use of biodiversity68. This means that, while the established environmental constraints are to be fully observed, it is possible and feasible to use other parts of the SPNA in a more flexible way. The efforts of theFSBI for SPNAs should be coordinated with external stakeholders, including local (indigenous) people, local government bodies and businesses, to avoid or mitigate conflicts over land and environment use and to engender broad support for measures to preserve biodiversity.

Socio-cultural adjustment of medium-term plans of SPNA management depends on the selection of priority goals, when existing (or potential) contradictions between different interest groups regarding use of the SPNA are discovered during the analysis of socio-economic conditions. The interests in question may be economic, religious, ethnic or of another character, but they always concern:

1) the needs or requirements of the parties (e.g., for providing themselves with development resources, primarily natural resources);

2) own interests (what each of the participants wants, how they define their needs);

3) goals and values (the criteria, by which each party defines its interests, based on its needs).

Studying the challenges associated with integrating SPNAs into the socio-economic development of regions, we discovered that most attention should be given to conflicts and contradictions with local communities (including small businesses), regional government bodies and local government bodies. Such conflicts arise from mismatch between the goals of territorial development (teleological conflicts), ethnic differences or the different behavioral motives of individuals, local communities and main resource managers, including managers of the FBSI for SPNAs implementing the requirements of federal legislative and statutory documents at local level (Fomenko G., 2004).

Federal guidelines should state that, in developing priority goals and respective measures for medium-term plans of SPNA management (particularly for newly established SPNAs), careful attention is to be paid to conciliation work, (avoidance of conflicts of goals between SPNAs and the socio-economic development of the respective territory, maximum focus on inadmissibility of ethnic conflicts, and avoidance of conflicts with local people).

Comprehensive studies of educational tourism at Russian federal SPNAs helped to formulate approaches to socio-cultural adjustment of decision-making for the planning and arrangement of travel infrastructure, tourist products, development and promotion of package tours, organization of visitor centers and museums at SPNAs. It was found that various other factors need to be considered, in addition to natural features of the SPNA, including reasons why various travel services are in demand by external users and whether local people are ready to offer services to visitors in the framework of existing environmental constraints and economic profitability.

As regards systematic organization of research activities and environmental monitoring in SPNAs (Fomenko G., Fomenko M., Troitskaya, Stishov & Mikhailova, 2015), it will be expedient to develop a set of indicators for the socio-economic efficiency of specific SPNAs and the Russian SPNA system as a whole. Such indicators, characterizing the socioeconomic and environmental value of the SPNA, include measures of the number of visitors and consumption of eco-system services in kind and in monetary terms (assessment of the SPNA’s value assuming different uses of its resources and eco-system services, see Fig. 2.26). Such monitoring makes it possible to measure the socio-economic efficiency of different SPNAs and the system as a whole, determining their role in the overall stock of Russia’s natural resources and the stock of individual regions and, drawing on these findings to make viable decisions on development of the Russian system of SPNAs.

Fig. 2.26. Changes in structure of the economic value of federal SPNAs (thousand rubles per year)

As can be seen in Fig.2.26, the biggest value in the service flow is represented by recreation, although its share somewhat diminished in 2014, which is explained by increase in the value of forests and fisheries.

It should be emphasized that measures of economic value of the natural resources and eco-system services provided by Russian federal SPNAs are likely to be underestimated because they mostly reflect direct usage values. There is no full picture of direct income received, e.g., by residents and businesses in the areas around the SPNA in the form of recreation services, income obtained from the use SPNA of land, consumption of timber, mowing, etc. Indirect use values of SPNAs in the form of important eco-system functions, such as preservation of water supply, carbon absorption (by marsh areas), etc., also seem to be underestimated . However, even the recorded indicators have a substantial weight in the total economic value of natural capital of the Russian Federation, amounting to about 16% of that total. The figures is comparable with the economic value of all the agricultural lands and water resources in Russia.

The recommended approaches to planning and management of federal SPNAs, focused on their integration with the socioeconomic development of regions, make it possible to formulate the main features of management of a specific SPNA (state-administered nature reserve or national park), which will enhance the motivation of local people and businesses to preserve and develop biodiversity, and to comply with the environmental constraints and established mode of SPNA operation. Based on the results of regional projects of this kind, we have devised an algorithm for management and activity planning by the Federal FSBI for SPNAs, using current standards of the environmental management system (GOST R ISO 14004-98) (Fig. 2.27).

Fig. 2.27. Algorithm of management and activity planning of the FSBI for SPNAs

The main aim of the algorithm is to structure and formalize planning and management of SPNA activities in order to preserve and enhance the value of SPNAs for present and future generations. The algorithm is formalized as a series of procedures, including the identification of problems, establishing the main approaches for their solution, development and implementation of the respective managerial actions and assessment of their efficiency.

By using the algorithm, we can:

  • consistently plan and attain established goals of the FSBI regulating SPNAs and performance of its functions;
  • create an information and analysis platform for managing the main tasks of SPNAs (preservation and restoration of natural and historical sites, organization of research work and ecological monitoring, environmental education and development of educational tourism);
  • set up an optimal system for monitoring of eco-systems, biodiversity sites and SPNA activities;
  • streamline the infrastructure and information-analytical support of institutional activities, taking account of the established goals of its strategic development;
  • plan the creation of a financial and material basis for the preservation of biodiversity and SPNA maintenance, and for the rational and efficient use of budget funds;
  • enhance socio-economic benefits from the SPNA’s existence and preservation, facilitating its successful integration with a sustainable socio-economic development plan.

Environmental and economic decisions for managing SPNA activities are to be made based on the following premises:

1) each natural site generates a certain flow of eco-system services, which constitute its value, including economic value (direct, indirect, reserved option value, value of existence, etc.);

2) natural sites and eco-system service flows should be estimated in physical and monetary terms;

3) the flows of natural goods and eco-system services constitute the basis of the economic value of each SPNA and are required in order to identify sources for its preservation.

By using such an approach in the framework of the proposed algorithm, it is possible to formalize the choice of most promising vectors for improvement of SPNA activities, to find efficacious mechanisms for preserving resources and biodiversity and to identify the best sources of additional investments. In order to implement the managerial procedures at different stages of SPNA management (planning, measurement, assessment) and make well-grounded decisions, we need information on the economic value of natural resources and eco-system services offered by the SPNA in accordance with the principles of integrated environmental and economic accounting69. This, together with direct monetary estimates of natural resources and eco-system services, enable estimates that take account of socio-cultural preferences of users (locals and visitors) concerning the value of eco-system services and preservation of the SPNA.

The general algorithm establishes the main requirements for planning of the activities of the budgetary institution in the context of the chosen strategy, including the prevention of negative effects from quantitative and qualitative depletion of eco-system services. It consists of five basic stages: adoption of commitments and of the strategy; planning of measures and events; implementation of measures and events; performance measurement and assessment; management analysis and improvement (Table 2.18). Each of these stages includes procedures for studying the stocks and usage flows of eco-system services offered by the SPNA, including identification and assessment of SPNA biodiversity items and eco-system services, review of benefit allocation, etc. This ensures end-to-end monitoring of the SPNA’s eco-system services, providing information (in physical and monetary terms) for evaluation of the environmental and economic role of the SPNA in the context of the region’s socio-economic development and effectiveness of work by the FBSI for SPNAs.

Table 2.18.General algorithm of the SPNA management process



Adoption of SPNA commitments and development strategy

1.1 Formulation of the main problems concerning preservation of biodiversity, natural resources and sites, and causes of the problems.

1.2 Evaluation of the social and environmental significance of biodiversity, natural resources and sites in the context of territorial development.

1.3 Definition of main vectors for the improvement of SPNA management.

Planning of SPNA management

2.1 Identification of flows of natural resources and eco-system services and their main users (groups of users).

2.2. Assessment of the economic value of the flows of natural resources and eco-system services under existing environmental management.

2.3. Analysis of distribution of benefits from the use of natural resources and eco-system services among different groups of users.

2.4.Analysis of actual financial costs of preserving biodiversity, natural resources and eco-system services(by funding sources).

2.5 Outlining of actions to retain and increase benefits from the use of natural resources and eco-system services.

2.6 Outlining (specifying) the system of measures and investment projects for development of the protected natural area.

Implementation of measures and events to preserve biodiversity and natural resources

3.1 Development and use of institutional measures to implement infrastructure projects for the preservation of biodiversity and natural sites.

3.2 Taking account of environmental traditions.

Measurement and assessment of results

4.1 Assessment of the environmental and economic efficiency of selected tools for preserving biodiversity, natural resources and sites.

Analysis and improvement of the management of work to preserve biodiversity and natural resources

5.1 Elaboration of measures and events for the preservation of biodiversity and natural sites, based on analysis of trends in the economic value of natural resources and eco-system services as well as planning measures to suppress negative trends.

Comment:Grey coloris used to mark procedures related to the evaluation of eco-system services and application of the results of such evaluation.

Assessment in physical terms is carried out in accordance with sustainability principles, by gathering and analyzing data on the current state and main trends in consumption of natural resources, sites and eco-system services, risks of their quantitative and qualitative depletion, and possible causes of such depletion. The aim of this analysis is to identify and evaluate the impacts of economic and other activities which are, as a rule, carried out outside the SPNA.

The economic assessment of resources, sites and eco-system services is based on the premises of the theory of total economic value. Pursuant to the SNA/SEEA methodology (UN Statistics Division, 1993; UN Statistics Division, 2000), the following values are measured: market value, direct non-market value and indirect non-market value. The market value is based on the actual market prices of the resources, discounted present value of the anticipated net receipts, and net prices multiplied by the respective amount of the asset stock. The main emphasis is on actual and available data regarding market prices and operating costs.

Direct non-market (subjective) methods of evaluation are, primarily, applied for qualitative (and quantitative) use of the natural environment for purposes of public consumption. A good example is the value of recreation services provided by natural sites, e.g., SPNAs. The methods most commonly used are based on the criterion of readiness to pay and readiness to obtain compensation; in some cases hedonistic ownership prices are used as well as wage risk analysis, calculation of travel expenses, etc.

Non-market indirect value is based on data for actual or expected costs. Actual costs include expenses incurred for ensuring the flow of eco-system services, including biodiversity. Examples include costs of safeguarding the SPNA and the cost of damage mitigation (e.g., damage sustained by wildlife) as a result of deteriorating environment quality. The latter can be assumed to be the minimal cost of environment quality deterioration (Fig. 2.28). The use of various kinds of valuation provides more adequate indicators and takes account of socio-culturally determined factors, so that subsequent decisions on SPNA management will be better adjusted to socio-cultural factors.

Fig. 2.28. Cost of biodiversity conservation and benefits obtained by specific revenue recipients from the use of natural resources and eco-system services at Sochi National Park in 2006

Comparison with foreign SPNAs showed that Russian federal SPNAs perform favorably by specific indicators, such as economic value per unit of budget spending (Table 2.19).

Table 2.19.International comparison of Russian SPNAs


Area, ha

Budget, thous, USD

Economic value, thous, USD

the same

per dollar of budget spending, USD

per 1 ha, USD

Sochi National Park (2006)






Kostomuksha State Natural Reserve (2005)






Pleshcheyevo Lake National Park (2005)






Bystrinsky Natural Park (2009)






Stolby State Nature Sanctuary (2011)






Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (USA )






Crad orchard National Wildlife Refuge (USA )






Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge (USA )






Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge (USA)






Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge (USA)






Horicon National Wildlife Refuge (USA)






Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (USA)






Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (USA)






Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge (USA)






Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge (USA






Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge (USA)






Quivira National Wildlife Refuge (USA)






Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge (USA)






Donau-Auen National Park (Austria)




Borivli National Park (India)




Bonaire Marine Park






Montandia National Park (Madagascar)




Monteverde Protected Area (Costa Rica)






Prince Albert National Park (Canada)




Source: (Fomenko G., Fomenko M. & Mikhailova, 2006).

The proposals of the Cadaster Institute have provided new approaches to SPNA management planning. A management plan for an SNPA is a high-level strategic document regulating the activity of a federal state budgetary institution (FSBI) responsible for the protection and maintenance of an area under its jurisdiction, in accordance with the purposes set out in its charter. The management plan must contain territory-specific description of the main areas of the FSBI’s activities based on indicators of environmental and economic value of the eco-system services provided by the SPNA. It consists of materials in the form of texts and illustrations (including maps and charts) and is structured in accordance with strategic goals and planned actions. By implementing the provisions of the management plan, the FSBI executive team ensures consolidation of efforts by senior management and staff in achieving common strategic goals.

A separate section of the FSBI management plan consists of proposals for implementation, including infrastructure, information and analysis, staffing and financial support. The innovation here is that envisaged priorities and actions are matched to the specifics of each SPNA, by means of special support measures. The design of infrastructure and information-analytical support is of special significance, because proper environmental infrastructure (adequately installed) is what makes the SPNA accessible for various uses (always on condition of strict adherence to environmental restrictions). There are marked differences between Russian federal SPNAs as to the amount and specifics of their recreation flows, so aggregated approaches to infrastructure support of the SPNA management plan should be used. The latest studies performed by the Cadaster Institute with respect to the Stolby Nature Sanctuary and Kronotsky State Nature Biosphere Reserve have brought some interesting results in this respect.

In the first stage of development of the Stolby Nature Sanctuary management plan we carried out an economic evaluation of its main natural reserves and eco-system services. It was found that the Sanctuary provides eco-system services to the value of over 16 billion rubles per year. The largest share of value (97.6%) is represented by existence of the Sanctuary (based on hedonistic pricing). The remainder is divided between recreation services (1.6%), forest resources (0.8%. consisting entirely of carbon absorption), water resources (1.1%) and fisheries (less than 0.1%). So most of the benefits provided by the natural resources and eco-system services of the Stolby Sanctuary accrue to visitors (mainly local residents) and various businesses. Grasp of the quantitative characteristics of the SPNA’s eco-system services helps to identify challenges in its maintenance and demonstrates the role of the reserve in the socioeconomic development of the nearby city of Krasnoyarsk, guiding the formulation of priorities in the management plan for the Sanctuary.

Such an extended overview of the SPNA, supplemented by estimates of the value of its eco-system services, helps to ensure more adequate planning that takes account of priority goals. Main emphasis is on geographical position, which determines the territory’s natural specifics, its proximity or remoteness from big cities, transport hubs and motorways, as well as data referring to the numbers and structure of visitors, their transport and other arrangements, and potential risks generated by the presence of people in the territory, including unauthorized visits (Table 2.20). On this approach, the core of the SPNA’s sustainable management plan should be the provision of adequate infrastructure to minimize the impact of visitor flows on the natural eco-systems.

Table 2.20.Impact of geographical features of an SPNA on planning of its infrastructure

SPNA geographical features

Infrastructure planning

Geographical location

Due account for natural conditions (climate, relief, flora and fauna, etc.), specifics of anthropogenic impact. Infrastructure planning to be determined by distance to big cities, main roads nearby.

Specifics of visitors and visits

Due account for the number, structure and composition of visitors, income level, to determine the quantity of infrastructure facilities, quality of infrastructure support.

Infrastructure planning based on visitor numbers and seasonal prevalence.

Availability and condition of existing infrastructure

Due account for availability, planning, construction and reconstruction of infrastructure.

Natural and anthropogenic risks

Due account for natural and anthropogenic risks in planning and implementation of infrastructure solutions.

Comparison ofStolby Nature Sanctuary and Kronotsky State Nature Biosphere Reserveusing the above parameters showed that, despite their similar status, the institutional framework and organizational features of the two SPNAs are materially different.

Stolby Sanctuary, with area of 47.2 thousand hectares, is located close to the large city of Krasnoyarsk. Its most scenic part, which contains the pillar-like granite-syenitic rocks, which give the Sanctuary its name (“stolby” = “pillars”) is adjacent to the city boundary and covers only 1.3 thousand hectares (2.7% of the whole protected territory). This area receives large inflows of visitors. Kronotsky Reserve extends over more than 1 million hectares of unique natural landscapes and sites of global significance. Its largest part, consisting of mountain ranges, valleys, volcanoes, hot springs and geysers is completely inaccessible for ground transport, having no approach roads or human settlements. The geographical features of the two SPNAs determine the volume and structure of visitor flows. Most of the visitors to Stolby are residents of Krasnoyarsk and nearby towns who come to the reserve for a short period (usually one day) for relaxation, hiking and climbing. Special protective measures are needed to guard against negative effects of large-scale human pressure. Tourism at the Kronotsky Reserve is of a much more exclusive kind: people travel specially, mainly by air, from all over Russia and from abroad to visit unique remote natural sites of international significance, requiring special means of transport and provisions for their safety.

Therefore, infrastructure planning for the Stolby Sanctuary must include various measures to manage visitor flows and prevent excessive influx (construction of environmentally safe walkways and steps where visitors congregate, arrangements for garbage removal, water cleansing and other measures). By contrast, the Kronotsky Reserve mainly needs measures that will attract more visitors from Russian regions and abroad, construction and furnishing of comfortable guesthouses, refuges and helipads. Prevention of poaching is a very important part of work at the Kronotsky Reserve, so multi-profile field residences, which can accommodate both visitors and anti-poaching guards, are desirable.

Infrastructure planning should follow best practices. The Stolby Sanctuary could benefit from the approaches used by the city of Curitiba (Brazil) to create protected green areas around the city, while the Kronotsky Reserve has most to learn from Yellowstone National Park (USA). The city of Curitiba has introduced strict rules for the protection of its riverside areas: there are extensive linear parks along the rivers Barigui, Tingui и Tangua; and small ditches and dams are used to make new ponds which became the centers of new green areas. Passauna Park has been laid out around a lake, which is one of the principal sources of drinking water. All of the city’s parks have special areas, which are intended for walking, but also have sports grounds. This shows that the Stolby Sanctuary could protect its unique natural sites in places with high visitors flows not only by means of tough prohibitions, but also by more flexible measures: diluting and localizing visitor flows according to their different preferences in order to reduce the load on eco-systems.

Yellowstone National Park is located on the Yellowstone Plateau, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. Its unique geysers are world famous. The Park uses its tourism potential to best advantage, with visitor centers devoted to a variety of natural and cultural sites, and camping facilities in recreation areas and around the park. Infrastructure at Yellowstone includes various tracks and paths, motels, stores, etc. (Fig. 2.29). The experience of Yellowstone Park shows the opportunities for the Kronotsky Reserve and adjacent areas to increase their visitor flows without environmental damage. However, the remoteness of Kronotsky Reserve and its poor accessibility (by helicopter only) means that the management plan must focus on public awareness raising and broad dissemination of information, e.g., by opening a visitor center outside the Reserve and using the Internet to create and promote images of the unique natural sites at the Reserve.

Fig. 2.29. BlackTail Deer Plateau bicycle route and other infrastructure at a part of Yellowstone National Park

Recent years have seen a rapid development of computer-aided design and area planning, which can used in the process of SPNA infrastructure planning alongside data on economic value of eco-system services. Earth remote sensing, which gathers information about the Earth’s surface using equipment installed on satellites or airplanes, provides a rich source of inputs for using computer-based approaches.

Information obtained by remote sensing is now widely available and, when properly processed, can help to study a territory and address various tasks, including infrastructure planning for SPNAs. An important aspect of this work is the eco-geographical interpretation of satellite images containing large amounts of information on environment dynamics, and use of such interpretations to create and implement geo-information systems with data bases concerning the territory under investigation. GIS is a convenient and efficient means of collecting, storing, processing, imaging and distributing coordinated 3D data, and also enables modeling of various natural and technogenic processes in specific territories. The efficacy of various GIS design projects, simulating natural and socio-natural processes, has been shown internationally. In Russia, such investigations are only conducted on a narrow scale (in the defense sector, emergency and weather forecasting, etc.). Our work at the Kronotsky Nature Reserve showed that use of geo-information technologies is highly relevant for planning at SPNAs with poor ground transport access. Dimensional analysis of mountain terrain and determination of its morphometric characteristics make it possible to assess the recreation potential of an area, demarcate its geography, plot routes, etc., and substantiate the engineering support, which is required for the creation of high-quality, up-to-date infrastructure. The results can be presented in the form of special maps showing (among other things) infrastructure facilities (Fig. 2.30).

Fig. 2.30. Schematic map of educational and awareness-raising work in Kronotsky Reserve, compiled using ESRI Arcgis software.

So the essential prerequisite for sustainable development of an SPNA is the preparation of an appropriate management plan. The experience of the Cadaster Institute in developing such documents for the Stolby Sanctuary and Kronotsky Reserve showed the efficiency of our approach to strategic planning, which changes SPNA management concepts in a way that increases the motivation of local residents and businesses to safeguard SPNAs.

The proposed algorithm of SPNA management is based on the idea that a sustainable development plan should incorporate the results of economic evaluation of the SPNA’s natural resources and eco-system services based on a concept of total economic value, taking account of the behavioral specifics of local people, identifying potential users of the eco-system services and possible ways of promoting their flows. This formalizes the prominent role of SPNAs in the socio-economic development of the region and identifies ways of reaching compromise with local people and involving them in efforts to sustaining SPNAs. Such an approach also helps to integrate data on current SPNA activities with the system for integrated environmental and economic accounting, thus harmonizing statistics on resource productivity in the framework of Russia’s preparation for OECD membership.

Preventing environmental management conflicts at local level

The local level is fraught with potential conflicts, including conflicts in the environmental sphere. The recurrent and mass nature of these conflicts strongly affect developmental macro-processes, determining environmental issues and the level of transaction costs in the process of environmental management. Local conflicts should be addressed in their initial phase, when their further exacerbation can be prevented by timely preventive measures. Estimates of the monetary value of natural resources in their broad, humanistic understanding, i.e., taking account of both economic and socio-cultural and environmental values, can provide important information for resolving disputes over the use of natural resources and eco-system services.

Experience in the development of environmental programs and plans for rural territories and small and medium-size towns shows that effective mechanisms of environmental regulation cannot be devised without understanding the conscious and unconscious aspirations of people. Most clashes at local level are between behavioral motives determined by an individualistic, consumerist approach to natural resources and the environment, on the one hand, and the socially, culturally and ontologically determined formal and informal environmental institutions, on the other. Due to their recurrent and mass character, environmental conflicts at local level affect developmental macro-processes. For instance, in the late 1990s, the high level of mutual distrust among rural people in Yaroslavl Region with regard to the use of water sources (see Section 2.9 above) led to the widespread creation of individual wells and neglect of shared wells. The illegal felling of forests, which were formerly used for collection of berries and mushrooms is another proof of the fact that conflicts have a real cost and directly affect the character of environmental management not only at local but also at higher levels of management (Fomenko G. & Fomenko M., 1997).

The social and ontological need for maintaining order is evident from an environmental standpoint. But what kind of order is needed? What should it be based on? Such questions can only be answered in the framework of a synthesis, a trade-off between the universal principles of human rights and common welfare, i.e., by finding a balance between the individual and society (Etzioni, 1999).

According to the theory of local environmental conflicts (Fomenko G., 2004), the search for efficacious methods of environmental management and mechanisms of conflict prevention should be based on the communitarian paradigm. This means that a fair and tolerant society must ensure a stable balance between order and independence rather than emphasizing only one of these elements. This requires the establishment of productive relations and connections based on a civilized attitude of people towards each other and the surrounding world.

We looked into the mechanisms of environmental conflict settlement using the example of a situation, which emerged between two parties: Tomsk city and an adjacent region, the Ob-Tom interfluve70. Difficulties in managing relations between cities and their surrounding adjacent areas are nothing new. Such conflicts vary in intensity, are primarily socio-economic, and arise over the rights of access of different population groups to (mainly natural) resources. In a time of economic reforms, accompanied by redistribution of wealth and changing status of social groups, people naturally become more concerned about their future. So the development of special methods for prevention and regulation of environmental conflicts is a vital task of environmental management. In this specific case, what was needed was a monetary evaluation of the natural resources and eco-system services provided by the Ob-Tom interfluve area to local people and residents of Tomsk city, which could then be used to compile economic indicators and criteria capable of resolving the conflict and providing ways of improving the economics of environmental management in Tomsk Region as a whole. Monetary values of natural resources and eco-system services could thus serve as an information-analytical basis for resolving the dispute and for elaborating an agreement between Tomsk city and the adjacent Ob-Tom interfluve area. In particular, it was proposed to create a compensation fund, which could promote more equitable distribution of natural resource rent.

Description of the site and existing issues.The Ob-Tom interfluve area is located within the natural boundaries of two rivers, the Ob and Tom, and immediately adjacent to the Tomsk and Seversk urban areas. It covers 3.64 thousand (about 1% of the territory of Tomsk Region) and its population represents 3% of the regional total or 9% of the region’s rural population. The area has 76 settlements, a number of industrial enterprises and 10 large agricultural enterprises, as well as recreation facilities, summer cottages and kitchen gardens. A large part of the people living in the interfluve area commute to Tomsk to work.

The Ob-Tom area has special significance because of its large natural water resources, which supply the needs of the city of Tomsk. The whole area was proclaimed a water protection zone without providing any compensation to the local residents; as a result, clean water goes to the city residents, while costs associated with sanitary regulations and limitations on economic activities are incurred by the people living in the interfluve area.

In the course of the studies we carried out monetary valuation of consumption (by people living in the interfluve area and by residents of Tomsk) of the following natural resources and eco-system services of the Ob-Tom interfluve area:

  • underground waters used by water utility systems;
  • timber resources harvested by organizations and individuals;
  • non-timber forest resources harvested by households;
  • huntingandfishingresources.

The existence value of the Ob-Tom interfluve as a unique natural site and the value of carbon absorption by its forests and marshes were also measured. We used UN methodology to measure direct market value (based on actual prices, tariffs, fees), direct non-market value (based on subjective perceptions of resource users, e.g., readiness to incur costs), and indirect non-market value (based on cost data, e.g., costs incurred due to damage or the need to comply with certain standards).


The studies provided estimates of value (in kind and in monetary terms) of the natural resources and eco-system services offered by the interfluve area (Table 2.21) and led to some important conclusions.

Table 2.21. Consolidated estimates of the value of natural resources and eco-system services (in kind and in monetary terms) consumed by residents of the Ob-Tom interfluve area and Tomsk city.

Eco-system services

Estimates of the value of natural resources and eco-system services, thous.rub ./ year

Timber resources of forest harvested by households:

-commercial wood;





Non-timber resources procured by households


Hunting resources


Fishing resources






1. The area possesses considerable natural resources. The total economic value of main natural resources calculated at 3% social discount and taking account of carbon absorption amounts to 446.7 billion rubles. Without carbon absorption, the total economic value of the main natural resources of the Ob-Tom area is 3,540.9 million rubles. The largest part of the latter figure consists of non-timber resources of forests, amounting to 2,705.6 million rubles (76.4% of the total), while timber resources are 542.7 million rubles (15.3%), fisheries are 220.5 million rubles (6.2%) and hunting resources are 72.1 million rubles (2.1%).

2. Given the volatile economic situation in Russia and comparatively high inflation rates, the economic value of natural resources of Ob-Tom appears to be underestimated. At a discount rate of 28% (the Russian Central Bank rate effective at the time of evaluation), their total economic value is only 379.4 million rubles, i.e., 11% of the value calculated at the social discount rate (3%). It is important to consider this difference when evaluating the efficiency of investment projects: any environmental and socially significant innovations to be implemented in the Ob-Tom area should be evaluated in two versions. Priority should be given to the results obtained at a discount rate of 3-7%, which is in line with international practice (Coser, 2000; Heidegger, 1989; Coase, 1960; Kant, 1994).

3. The economic value of the natural resources and eco-system services provided by the Ob-Tom interfluve area is distributed between the two groups of users (local residents and Tomsk residents) as illustrated in Table 2.22 and Fig. 2.31). It can be seen that, measured by all basic indicators, the “export” to Tomsk city from the Ob-Tom area considerably exceeds internal consumption. The only exception to this rule is direct consumption of timber in the area.

4. The existence value of the Ob-Tom area appears to be highly appreciated by Tomsk residents, amounting to 7,400.0 thousand rubles/year, as confirmed by surveys (Fig. 2.32 and 2.33). Judging by those results, the Ob-Tom interfluve area can be regarded as a vital element for the sustainable development of the city.

Table 2.22.Distribution of eco-system services provided by Ob-Tom interfluve area

Eco-system services flow

Residents of Ob-Tom area, thous. rub./year (share of the total)

Residents of Tomsk city thous. rub./ year (share of the total

Consumption of timber resources of forests

15,889.4 (98%)

391.3 (2%)

Consumption of non-timber resources of forests

5,658.3 (7%)

75,509.8 (93%)

Consumption of fishing resources

110.4 (2%)

6,504.5 (98%)

Consumption of hunting resources

474.6 (22%)

1,688.1 (78%)


22,132.7 (21%)

84,093.7 (79%)

Fig. 2.31. Eco-system service structure in the Ob-Tom interfluve area

Fig. 2.32. Frequency of visits to the Ob-Tom interfluve area by Tomsk residents

Fig. 2.33. Reasons why Tomsk residents visit the Ob-Tom interfluve area

5. The natural site represented by the Ob-Tom interfluve area should be regarded as a fully fledged subject of market relations, though incapable of defending its own interests and therefore in need of guardians. Such an approach presupposes the establishment of contractual relations between eco-system service consumers and providers (represented by the guardians), leading to payment for the services provided, which should be at least sufficient to preserve them at their current flow rate and without decline of their total economic value. Taking into account the substantial economic and environmental value of the Ob-Tom area and high economic value of the services provided there, we recommend that expenses for restoration of its natural capital (financing of measures to preserve and develop environmental and social utilities) should be set no lower than 2% of the total economic value of the eco-system services.

Results of the monetary valuation suggested conclusions both for use of the overall set of eco-system services in the Ob-Tom interfluve area and of its individual components.

Water supply utilities

1. The economic analysis found negative direct values of water in various settlements of the Ob-Tom interfluve and also in Tomsk city based on different types of water supply, demonstrating that water resources are being used inefficiently. Direct market value of water in Tomsk is -0.5 rub./cu.m., while values in districts of the Ob-Tom area range between -0.8 to -2.11 rub./cu.m. This is explained by low efficiency of water supply utilities and the traditional communitarian attitude to water of the majority of local people.

2. The largest part of the population pf the Ob-Tom area uses a centralized water supply system, and about 50% have running water at home. Non-centralized sources of water supply predominate in the villages of Kireyevskoye and Pobeda (located on the banks of the Ob River, most distant from the city’s water supply intake). Most of those who have water piped into their homes are not satisfied with the water quality and reliability of supply, and they take some preventive measures.

3. Water supply in the Ob-Tom interfluve area is provided by small municipal utilities, which are unable to improve service quality due to low revenues from water charges. The survey showed that local people are reluctant to pay more (the indicator of readiness to pay is only 1.4 rub./cu.m), although they incur high costs through individual measures to improve the quality of water.

4. Current high prices for energy and low water supply tariffs mean that municipal utilities are unable to properly maintain the existing piped systems. It is important to identify settlements where it would be economically viable to maintain networks in working condition in the coming decade while other settlements will have to rely on traditional water sources (wells, boreholes). The revival and maintenance of such traditional sources will require special care in order to avoid local water supply crises. The reorganization of utilities cannot be carried out in short timeframes under existing conditions, and will require a differentiated approach taking account of people’s readiness to pay.

5. Intensive use of the Ob-Tom underground waters for the Tomsk city water supply intake is hardly compensated at all, and this is much resented by local people. The dispute is largely of a social nature, since there is no direct dependence between growth of the water intake for the city and deterioration of water quality in the interfluve area, nor is there any threat of depletion of water-bearing strata in the coming 30 years.

In view of this, the best way to defuse the conflict is to improve the water supply for local people in the Ob-Tom interfluve area. Possible approaches include a 1% tax added to existing water supply charges paid by industrial enterprises in Tomsk in order to cover the environmental costs of preserving the water intake and adjacent forests. This revenue should be allocated to the environmental fund of the Ob-Tom interfluve area.

Forest resources. Multipurpose forest utilization

1. The area between the Ob and Tom rivers accounts for half of the timber harvested in Tomsk district (mainly conifers). Most of the wood products are sold by tender and delivered to customers outside the Region. The total volume of logging is substantially below the optimal level, so there are very many over-mature trees. Coniferous forest is harvested three times faster than deciduous, mainly in close vicinity to settlements. So the forest structure is steadily deteriorating as the share of lower-value deciduous trees increases.

2. Trees are felled both legally and illegally and the process is driven to a large extent by low standards of living of local people. According to forestry experts, about 40% of the logging in the Ob-Tom interfluve is illegal. This situation forces forestry companies to sell timber below cost, and official prices are currently close to those on the illegal market, making companies insolvent. The experience of foreign countries shows that measures against illegal logging need to be combined with differentiated approach to timber pricing. Any beneficial terms should be restricted and strictly targeted, and a set of measures should be put in place to link social assistance to the rural population with protection and rational utilization of forests.

3. On the whole, direct market prices currently offer an objective picture of the timber market. However, some timber is sold below market prices (at the supply volumes approved by government). These are minimum rates for standing trees. The Tomsk municipal authorities have no motivation to create an efficient timber market, since the local tax share of revenue from timber sales is based on established minimum prices for timber. The difference between the minimum prices and actual prices at tenders is taken by federal forestry enterprises. It would be reasonable to increase the established minimum prices and to compensate this by reduction of the industry “tax” for issue of felling permits (basing the latter on factual costs).

4. The Ob-Tom interfluve area lacks its own value-added wood processing facilities. The only wood processing enterprise in operation there processed as little as 3.3 thousand cubic meters of timber in 1999 and stoppages are frequent due to highly depreciated equipment. There are no facilities for deep processing of wood

5. The monetary estimates for the Ob-Tom interfluve area show, on the one hand, the critical state of the forest industry there, but also show that commercial timber procurement is not the most profitable form of resource use in this territory. Its inefficiency can be substantially compensated by other kinds of income from use of the forest as a multi-purpose resource.

6. Monetary evaluation of the Ob-Tom forests from the point of view of multi-purpose use showed much greater economic value compared with the value of timber. Additional income from use of the territory as a source of foodstuffs and other valuable raw materials (mushrooms, berries, nuts, medicinal plants, game animals and fish) amounts to 89,945.7 thousand rubles per year at 2000 prices. Net value from gathering of wild crops exceeds profits from exploitation of the forest as a source of timber.

7. The existence value of gthe Ob-Tom interfluve area is also much higher than the direct income from complete felling of its forests. We considered two components of its existence value: readiness to pay for preservation of the territory, and its maintenance in monetary terms and in terms of labor cost. The data obtained demonstrate the strong feelings of Tomsk residents as regards preservation of this recreation site and point to mechanisms that could be used for its preservation. These include:

  • introduction of a special-purpose tax to be established on a case-by-case basis, or as a special item in the general structure of utilities bills paid by Tomsk residents, or as a fee payable by vehicles entering the Ob-Tom area. The least affluent Tomsk residents could be exempted from payment of this charge;
  • creation of a special-purpose fund (an independent organization or a subdivision of the regional environmental fund) for preservation of natural capital in the Ob-Tom area. The Supervisory Board of the fund should include representatives of the Ob-Tom interfluve area, Tomsk Region and Tomsk city;
  • creation of a supervisory committee and public monitoring of the establishment and use of the fund;
  • involvement of city residents, civil organizations, activists in preservation of the Ob-Tom interfluve area.

Economic analysis of the eco-system services provided by the Ob-Tom interfluve area in favor of Tomsk made it possible to evaluate in monetary terms the main environmental product flows between the area and Tomsk city. This has created a real basis for understanding the economic roots of the environmental conflict and designing an appropriate system of preventive measures.

Eco-balancing of industrial areas in the context of transition to the green economy and sustainable development of the urban environment

Effective transition to the green economy and sustainable development involves the creation of an urban environment where people feel comfortable. This requires new approaches to managing cities, including the role and place of manufacturing facilities. It is equally important to change the organization and control of such facilities, bearing in mind their key role of providing economic growth but also the environmental risks, which they represent. A new mainstream in approaches to planning and managing urban industrial areas has now taken shape, based on a transition from territorial-production complexes to eco-industrial parks. Real-life cases of successful organization and control of industrial areas show that this vector of development is feasible and highly promising in current conditions.

The challenges and opportunities caused by the technology revolution make us reconsider the fundamental concepts of urban development and contemplate new ways of addressing territorial planning issues. Industrial manufacturing must be viewed both as a factor of economic growth and, simultaneously, as a source of environmental risks.

Competition among cities is growing because effective transition to new (less environmentally dangerous) technologies is only possible where they are regarded as the principal development driver. Investors want to be assured of economic and social stability, and that a city offers the decent quality of life and convenience, which can attract and retain high-profile professionals. It is already clear that competition in the 21st century will be for expertise, for people who are capable of generating innovative and creative ideas and projects. Whereas previously search and recruitment of appropriate staff came after the construction of a factory, the opposite is now true: investments “gravitate” towards professionals, to places where a certain potential has been built up and where life is more appealing and comfortable, i.e., to cities with high standards of education, culture, individuality, and all the features that underwrite sustainable development.

Building a comfortable and enjoyable urban environment requires new approaches to city management. Meaningful cooperation between residents, businesses and government is of key importance. Approaches, which were effective in the industrial economy, cannot achieve the desired effect in transition to a new development model oriented to people as generators of creative ideas.

This is reflected in today’s urban theory and practice, which is dominated by two main principles. The first is replacement of the traditional “top-down” approach by an approach, which combines “top-down” with an initial “bottom-up” stage. This was the road followed by Holland in the 1960s–1980s , when it used its experience, based on love of freedom, the protestant work ethic and capitalist orientation to genuinely involve people and businesses in making decisions about the country’s future, and put this new practice on a legislative footing.

The second principle is that of transition from an industry-based city structure to a territorial, integral image of the city’s existence. This transition is even more difficult to effect and it has not been completed anywhere to date, since it goes against the habitual model of urban management based on economic sectors (transport, water supply, power supply, safety, etc.). Familiar management structures, cultural perceptions and habitual practices have to be reviewed and even created anew. Transition to the new model of urban development depends on a radical change in the prevalent view of the role of the human being in economic development: instead of a being a factor of industrial growth the individual becomes the actual goal. It is increasingly evident that new technologies, innovation and resource-saving are impossible without improvements and advances in education. Solution of the economic, social and organizational issues of cities and towns requires territorial cooperation between industrial entities, driven by government. The urban population of our planet now exceeds the rural population, so cities and towns are the key to transition to the green economy.

The experience of many world cities shows that such radical change of the development model is very complex and not always achievable. In Russia, cities have traditionally been centers of power and authority rather than places that ensure convenience and quality of life for their residents. Russia’s industrial revolution treated towns as satellites of production giants, which were the bedrock of the urban environment; such was the “town for production” principle. As towns and cities expanded, production facilities on their outskirts were enveloped by residential development, creating “layer cakes” of residential and industrial areas, where it is very hard to provide comfortable living conditions. The situation is most unstable in “single-factory towns” where life is completely determined by the operations of one factory.

Nowadays many big cities are moving plants and factories outside their boundaries for environmental reasons, in order to improve living conditions and use the land more effectively. This process often forgets that city dwellers spend a third of their life at work, and the place of employment impacts lifestyles, daily routine, and state of health. So such distancing of factories from their workers is a mixed blessing. Also, the relocation requires additional spending, which may be unaffordable for many enterprises (particularly in view of employment issues).

Volatility of hydrocarbon prices, which is characteristic of the present time, requires collective efforts to “pull” industrial towns out of the trap of a vanishing development model. Key vectors are intelligent, well-balanced zoning of urban territories, fixing optimum boundaries of industrial areas and making proper decisions on the transplantation of large enterprises. Optimization and definition of buffer zones and efficient use of territories, which they enclose, to stimulate the creation of high-tech businesses boost the investment appeal of cities and towns, attracting investments to machine building, petro-chemistry, high-tech and other sectors.

Experience and prospects for eco-balancing of industrial areas: from territorial-production complexes to eco-industrial parks.The environmental component of projects for the design of industrial areas is undergoing substantial changes as transition to the green economy progresses.

The clustering of industrial enterprises was first practised in the UK and USA in the 1890s, when its economic usefulness was realized. The development of industrial areas sped up after World War I and further into the 20th century as the ideas of territorial planning proved their worth in European countries (Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, as well as in Scandinavia). Local government often provided special infrastructure to support the development of industrial areas. Italy and the USA used industrial areas to boost the economy of their less developed regions.

There are over 20 thousand known industrial areas in the world today, and their number is continuously increasing. While sharing some common features, they differ greatly between countries due to differences in mentality, legislative, economic, social and political conditions. The Italian model of an industrial zone is a highly organized area with a number of small and medium-sized enterprises with the same (or related) profile. They function in close cooperation, which raises their competitive capacity. Competition between them drives innovation, while at the same time close ties and a high degree of specialization makes them interact and transfer new knowledge. This creates flexible, mutually beneficial relationships and economies of scale similar to those within a single, large businesses. The cooperation encouraged by industrial areas has boosted technology in sectors usually considered to be technologically backward (e.g., the textile industry).

The success of the Italian model has led to its widespread dissemination. New Italian-style industrial areas have been created in Russia, Romania, Croatia, Morocco and Tunisia. Such areas in Tunisia are specialized in textile manufacturing, while Russia has created centers for consumer electronics, wood processing, and footwear. The main principle for developing an industrial area is the deployment of small satellite facilities around a chief production center, which obtains components and accessories from its affiliates. The area will also have training and professional development facilities (Zaitsev, 2009).

The United Arab Emirates is developing industrial areas in the framework of the general policy to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and gas revenues. Industrial areas in China implement the government’s scientific and innovation policy through an alliance of science and technology with manufacturing, emphasizing technology innovation to modernize the economy. This is a policy based on knowledge and technology innovations, and improvement of sectoral structure, which should raise the competitiveness of Chinese enterprises (Fomenko G., 2010a).

Most countries have thus found mechanisms to set up and manage industrial areas as territorial-production complexes, enabling them to use urban territory in an economically efficient and environmentally safe manner. In general terms, a territorial-production complex can be described as an interdependent combination of enterprises on a single site, which achieves a certain economic effect thanks to synergy resulting from a rational selection of enterprises suited to the natural and economic conditions of the area, and to its transport and economic-geographical position. Its success depends on creating an efficient production structure, with infrastructure that can support production processes while ensuring environmental protection and rational use of natural resources. Production facilities in the complex are deployed in a way that preserves natural conditions in protected areas, implementing low-waste and clean technologies, with cost-effective use of land and natural resources, and redistribution of natural resources and raw materials in a way that maintains a favorable natural environment.

The modern trend of development of industrial areas as mechanisms of efficacious environmental management is related to the transition from a pattern of territorial production complexes to the model of the eco-industrial park. An eco-industrial park is a community of manufacturing and service businesses located adjacent to one another and seeking enhanced environmental, economic and social performance through collaboration in the management of environmental and resources issues. By working together, the community of businesses seeks a collective benefit, which is greater than the sum of individual benefits that each company would realize by optimizing its individual performance71. The aim of forming eco-industrial parks is to improve the economic performance of its participants and reduce environment pollution. This presupposes planning (or re-planning) of the infrastructure of the industrial area, achieving greater efficiency in use of raw materials and energy resources and enhancing partnership between producers in a way that makes them into an industrial eco-system. The resulting eco-efficiency, should:

  • reduce the quantity of materials used in production of goods and services;
  • reduce power costs;
  • reduce generation of toxic waste and by-products;
  • maximize sustainable use of renewable natural resources;
  • enable longer life and more intensive use of goods and services by consumers.

One example of an industrial eco-system is the so called “industrial symbiosis” at Kalundborg in Denmark, where a number of companies in a small coastal area have created a network of product and power flows between enterprises, residential areas and farms. The idea is to collaborate in using each other’s by-products and otherwise share resources, thus reducing production costs and pollution of air, water and soil (Zaitsev, 2009).

The best known eco-industrial park in the world today is the Burnside Industrial Park in Nova Scotia (Canada). It was designed and set up by the Dalhousie University team headed by Prof. Raymond P. Cote (1998) and brings together over 1,200 large and medium-sized companies in an industrial eco-system. ThekeypremisesatBurnside are:

  • organization of material and power flows between enterprises, creation of a waste data base, involvement of companies specialized in waste collection, neutralization and recycling;
  • integration of residential buildings in a single natural network, use of solar heating and use of marsh ground for decontamination of sewage;
  • creation of a data base with information on required materials, power consumed and waste generated in the area;
  • organization of feedback inside businesses and between them, and to managers of the park.

Special ECOPARK software, developed to manage the eco-industrial park and its participating businesses, contains a data base on the participating enterprises and on the materials and technologies used, together with legislation and regulations, government support, products made by recycling and remanufacturing, and current research work. ECOPARK helps businesses to find potential markets for their products and carry out cost-benefit analysis. The main aim is to enhance effectiveness of the eco-industrial park.

Specifics of managing industrial areas in Russia.Russia has some experience in setting up and developing industrial areas in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ulyanovsk, Vladivostok and other cities. We carried out a series of projects in Yaroslavl for the creation and management of sanitary protection zones (SPZs) around industrial clusters (SPZ at the Yaroslavl Northern Industrial Hub, 2010;SPZ atthe Yaroslavl Southern Industrial Hub, 2006) as well as validation and establishment of the boundaries of zones around individual enterprises (Baltika Yaroslavl Brewery OJSC, Baltnefteprovod LLC, Yaroslavl Dairy LLC, AMMOPHOS OJSC, Russkiye Kraski OJSC,R-PHARM CJSC, etc.), including calculation, validation and legislative demarcation of the zones, development of measures for zone maintenance, and territorial management mechanisms. The results have proved the potential for use of these mechanisms in management of industrial areas elsewhere in Russia.

The main conclusion drawn from the projects, which have been completed, is that success in establishing zones for industrial clusters largely depends on the will of local government to use the urban territory in the optimal way, to carry out urban zoning, and to establish boundaries of residential areas (enabling investments in residential construction). It also depends on the willingness of company owners to restructure their enterprises and start new construction. In Yaroslavl the Southern SPZ was initiated by three large companies (Slavneft-YANOS OJSC, Tekhuglerod OJSC and Heat and Power Plant-3) and creation of the Northern SPZ was led by Yaroslavl City Administration. The boundaries of both zones were established by statutory documents. Both projects have been approved by supervisory authorities and are now being implemented (Fig. 2.34).

In this way the Yaroslavl city administration was able to issue permits for new construction on sites that became available for development following the closure of production facilities at the Northern Industrial Hub in recent decades. With the support of the city administration, the 20 largest enterprises at the Northern Hub (of a total 150 located there) signed an agreement on creation and management of an SPZ around the Northern Industrial Hub. The boundary of the Zone was defined and plans were designed and approved. Using the framework created by the agreement, the city administration is considering the creation of new community facilities (in compliance with permits), following the principle of micro-zoning.

Successful enterprises at Yaroslavl’s Southern Industrial Hub have also been able to start reconstruction and modernization of their production facilities thanks to the creation of a coordination council to manage an SPZ at the Southern Hub, When planning where and how to locate a new specific facility, the council assesses impact on atmospheric air to check compliance with statutory SPZ limits. It also takes steps to implement proper maintenance and improvement of the territory. A unified policy is thus achieved which protects the health of local people and the environment. We believe that indicators of health hazards caused by air pollution must be included in all key decisions regarding the industrial zones, and particularly when allocating commitments of different businesses to maintain and improve of the SPZ.

The projects which have been completed in Yaroslavl helped to formulate key principles for establishing the boundaries of sanitary protection zones and designing concepts for their maintenance and, in a broader sense, for management decisions on sustainable urban development.

Firstly, studies of this kind are extremely useful both for sustainable urban development and for industrial growth. They have great methodological potential for supporting transition to the model of eco-industrial parks. At the same time, they highlight the need for a comprehensive approach and coordination of interests both at the design stage and, in particular, during the implementation of design solutions.

Secondly, establishing the borders of sanitary protection zones and their landscaping is an integral part of the design of industrial areas. More precise methods of calculation are needed in order to take account of specifics of the terrain, movement of air masses at low altitudes, etc. An important role is played by improvement of the regulatory and legal framework for territorial planning and public health.

Thirdly, more consideration should be given to the assessment of health hazards. By using the tools of risk management in transition to eco-industrial parks, managers can address a broad range of issues related to the regulation of impacts on people and the environment. The main task is to analyze the efficiency of measures (economic and administrative) taken to reduce the impact to a specified level. Main attention should be paid to analysis of risk-benefit, cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness tradeoffs.

Finally, transition to eco-industrial parks entails stricter requirements for internal zoning of industrial territories, identification of restricted areas, green areas, and areas intended for investigating development of the industrial eco-system, focusing on biocenosis. In the course of designing the SPZ at the Southern Industrial Hub in Yaroslavl we studied vegetation at the territory and learnt much regarding nature’s ability to adapt to anthropogenic influence.

Work to improve the quality of zoning and geo-environmental monitoring has been advanced by the use of GIS technologies. Remote sensing images captured from space have become an important tool for solving practical tasks of industrial area management, supplying a geo-system basis for decision making at various levels. The use of space images jointly and as part of the GIS minimizes time costs and financial expenditures by dimensionally summarizing various factors (geographical, geological and anthropogenic) and building thematic and forecasting maps. Special software provides instant images on electronic maps and print-outs of information on pollution and health hazards at any point in the area, with respect to any substance and over any period of time (including future periods) by selection from the available data base.

Fig. 2.34. Sanitary protection zones at the Southern and Northern Industrial Hubs in Yaroslavl

So it is methodologically advisable, when designing industrial areas, to focus on issues of transition from territorial production complexes to eco-industrial parks, because, even at the earliest stages of such transition, there is an urgent need for micro-zoning inside the industrial areas. This relates to the need to choose sites that are suitable (and permissible from the regulatory standpoint) for the deployment of various enterprises, including medium-sized and small firms, within the overall environmental capacity of the industrial area. Such an approach requires the work to have a systematic and comprehensive character, and depends on accuracy in demarcation of the SPZ.

Unified control of the industrial area increases the cost effectiveness of work to comply with public health requirements and environment protection standards and helps to reduce transaction costs when formalizing environmental permits and other documentation. Managing industrial areas as single entities also creates potential for trading of pollution rights, marrying environmental issues with market relations.Treatment of such areas as industrial eco-systems focuses attention on ways to profit from energy savings, on the recycling of production and consumption waste, and on minimizing discharges into the environment (by use of the so-called “bubble principle”).


There is no more important challenge than the preservation of life on Earth. This challenge can only be met by an integrated, trans-disciplinary approach, which treats any evolving complex system – including emergent socio-cultural systems – as a set of coherent, developing, interactive processes that manifest themselves through time as globally sustainable structures, quite distinct from the equilibrium or rigidity of technological structures (Janish, 1980). Recent advances in science and technology mean that the sophisticated technical systems, which are implemented in the social and natural environment, penetrate information, cognitive, bio- and nanotechnological spaces in a manner that is increasingly broad and uncontrolled, leading to unexpected and often undesirable synergetic effects with a range of unpredictable consequences. Hence a state of instability in society and the appearance of a universal discourse, where an uncertain future generates and verbalizes new forebodings and anticipations (Aseyeva & Pirozhkova, 2015).

The final document adopted by the 70th UN General Assembly (September 2015) Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals set the task of harmonizing national development priorities with a global agenda for the survival of humanity. This presupposes the general acceptance of supreme environmental values, which lend universal human significance to efforts to protect and preserve the natural world. Each individual then has the opportunity, by comparing the ethical standards, which currently govern the relationship between Society and Nature in our world, with global ethical codes such as the Earth Charter, to see the vector of reasonable institutional change. Further, a capacity is provided for identifying the institutional constraints, which limit the application of environmental management tools at a specific time and in a specific place.

The research, which has been carried out regarding a corridor for institutional changes in the environmental sphere in Russia (Fomenko G., 2004; Fomenko G., 2011; Fomenko G., 2014), shows that such changes depend both on the ideas about the future, which are dominant in society, and on specifics of the basic institutional matrix. Now, more than ever, the smooth transition of Russian society to sustainable development and a green economy require resolute and systematic efforts by elites to expand the existing socio-culturally determined range of possible solutions. This is a vital, but extremely complex and “delicate” task, requiring due respect for the cultural codes that can lead the country to a decent future, while identifying those codes, which impede sustainable development and impair the competitiveness of Russian society at the global level.

It is a sad fact that, in the course of the 20th century, Russia gradually lost many of its traditional institutions, which were oriented to protection of the natural environment, particularly institutions based on local self-government.

Legislative regulation of natural resource use (formal institutions for the protection of the environment) ceased to function in Russia during the 20th century, when the abolition of private ownership in urban and rural communities had the institutional effect of reviving much older archetypes, characteristic of the pre-Romanov Muscovite principality. The effect of this was to put a brake on the process of modernization.

Soviet legislation was intended as an entirely new edifice. But, during the Soviet period, new institutions for natural resource management (good and bad) became embedded in historically determined matrixes (one cannot abolish informal institutions!) and became a part of the Russian cultural landscape, reflecting the pre-Soviet, autocratic model of government. The historical paradox is that the legislation in place in Russia today is a continuation of the Soviet legal system, which, in many respects, was more conservative than its imperial predecessor.

The interrelationship of society and nature in Russia’s institutional space is defined by the specifics of Russia’s culture of resource use, which remains extensive, i.e. based on the wasteful use of resources. In any critical situation, an extraordinary squandering of human and natural resources tends to assert itself – an attitude of “victory at any cost”. Surveys of public opinion have shown that Russia’s enormous size is a source of pride to most of its population72. Russia has traditionally lacked volunteer-based institutions and most horizontal forms of environmental cooperation have been poorly developed. The traditional rural institutional framework, based on communities (the “obshchina”) was destroyed in the 20th century when the enslavement of the peasantry assumed greater proportions than ever before, albeit in a different form. This made it harder to achieve collective, compromise solutions. The tendency to see the world in terms of a permanent conflict between good and evil, without any search for compromise or a happy medium, far from being overcome, actually grew stronger during the Soviet period. Ever greater socio-economic instability worldwide may lead to the neglect of environmental responsibility, as the planning horizons of those who hold power over natural resources become more narrow (Fomenko G., 2014).

In this context, the institutional corridor for change in the environmental sphere tends to shrink. Control and administrative government regulation remain the most efficacious tools, and their development readily borrows institutional ideas from international experience. Economic tools based on sustainable ownership rights are of limited use in present conditions in Russia, and this complicates institutional changes in environmental management, such as the application of internationally accepted methods for the assessment of damage to the environment. In this context, it is clear why penalties based on a standard costing method are so popular in Russia today. As regards environmental damage inflicted in the past, uncertain ownership rights often leave current taxpayers, rather than the original perpetrators, to pick up the bill, since the original perpetrators are almost impossible to identify.

Environmental activities in the context of sustainable development, based on the post-non-classical understanding of rational resource use, set their objective parameters on the basis of ethical values, which are a benchmark for assessing reality. One must also bear in mind the considerable dynamism and instability of the Society–Nature system, especially during periods of crisis, which are characterized by random and unpredictable effects, greater impact from the events of social life, and the appearance of new actors who seek to satisfy their aims and desires and who are forced to make preferential or acceptable decisions (Streletsky, 2014).

In this situation, special attention should be paid to a “management by objectives” approach at all levels of territorial organization, with particular emphasis on its teleological aspect. The setting of objectives is critical for any management process, including natural resource management and protection of the environment. It is important to note the much greater status and impact on everyday life, which are accorded, in the Russian spiritual tradition, to values. This is in contrast with the priority accorded to interests in the western tradition and it entails special attention, when designing institutional change in Russia, to value-based standards, determined by the culture-specific system of values and beliefs. Now, as never before, we must work to rebuild the humanity of Russian society, severely damaged by the Bolsheviks’ demolition of the old value system and their aborted attempt to build a new system based on atheism and an often-vulgar understanding of materialism.

With Russia’s security and sustainable development at stake, we need a systemic approach to the green modernization of the country, based on economic and social change. Cultural modernization sets special challenges, since institutions (both favourable and unfavourable for national development) are imprinted in culture. They are not only long-lasting, but may appear to the collective consciousness to be untouchable. Any attempts to rapidly demolish cultural traditions bear serious social risks: the limited result that may be obtained in terms of economic growth is quickly cancelled out by subsequent losses, as convincingly demonstrated by the Maddison dataset.

Our research has convinced us that populism and belief in miracles are dangerous obstacles on the path to sustainable development. What works best, despite its difficulties, is the gradual approach recommend by the ancient Chinese proverb: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. World history and Russian history offer examples (albeit few) of successful modernization initiated by elites, purposefully adjusting cultural codes without the loss of national identity. Most instructive for Russia is the experience of the BRICS countries, particularly China, where cultural modernization, including that of the Society–Nature relationship, has been systematically implemented in recent decades, taking account of national socio-cultural specifics, consolidating traditional cultural codes while rejecting those codes, which hinder modernization processes based on sustainable development.

We would state in conclusion that acceptance of the systemic character of green modernization and of the crucial role played in environmental activity by moral motives, together with a post-non-classical understanding of environmental management, are changing the conceptions of national transition to sustainable development. We must grasp the significance of a humane approach to the greening of ethical standards, because a caring attitude towards the natural world, to animals and plants, is inseparable from respect for the individual and love of the world around us. Mechanisms of environmental regulation that regard people as passive objects of government control, as means for achieving goals beyond their comprehension, have never been effective anywhere, in either the long or short term. The socio-cultural specifics of territories must be taken into account in every project for rational resource use and conservation. This is what we call a socio-cultural approach.


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Cadaster Institute. (2000). Design of regional matrices for environmental and economic accounting and the mechanism of their synthesis at the federal level [Разработка региональных матриц эколого-экономического учета и механизма их синтеза на федеральном уровне]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2002). Report on research project "Developing a scientific, regulatory and methodological basis for investment, innovation and economic regulatory mechanisms in the sphere of rational resource use and environment protection" specifically regarding the provision of regulatory functions of public control of environmental management by means of an environment budget [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе «Разработать научную, нормативную и методическую базу инвестиционных, инновационных и экономических механизмов регулирования в сфере рационального природопользования и охраны окружающей среды» по теме: «Разработка нормативного правового обеспечения государственного управления в сфере рационального природопользования и охраны окружающей среды на основе механизма экологического бюджета»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2004). Report on research project ON-17 "Scientific and methodological provisions of innovative policy in rational resource use" [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по базовому проекту ОН- 17 «Научно-методическое обеспечение инновационной политики в секторе рационального природопользования»]^^^!.

Cadaster Institute. (2005a). Report on research project "Validation of an environmental-economic accounting system in the Republic of North Ossetia- Alania as a basis for rational resource use and effective public environmental supervision and control" [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по проекту «Апробация системы эколого-экономического учета в РСО-Алания как основы обеспечения рационального использования природных ресурсов и осуществления эффективного государственного надзора и контроля в сфере природопользования»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2005b). Report on research project "Validation of an environmental-economic accounting system in Ryazan Region as a basis for rational resource use and effective public environmental supervision and control" [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по проекту «Апробация системы эколого-экономического учета в Рязанской области как основы рационального использования природных ресурсов и осуществления эффективного государственного надзора и контроля в сфере природопользования»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2006a). Design of the unified sanitary protection zone of the Yaroslavl Southern Industrial Hub [Проект единой санитарно-защитной зоны Южного промышленного узла г. Ярославля]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2006b). Report on research project "Environmental and Economic evaluation of natural resources and eco-system services as a basis for efficient management of SPNAs and preservation of biodiversity (as exemplified by Sochi National Park)" [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по проекту «Эколого-экономическая оценка природных ресурсов и экосистемных услуг как основа эффективного управления ООПТ и сохранения биоразнообразия (на примере Сочинского национального парка)»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2008a). Procedure for determining commitments of entities to finance activities for maintenance and management of the sanitary protection zone of the Yaroslavl Southern Industrial Hub [Порядок определения долей предприятий в финансировании мероприятий по содержанию и управлению санитарно-защитной зоной Южного промышленного узла г. Ярославля]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2008b). Report on research project for evaluating the natural capital of Tomsk Region [Отчет о выполнении научно-исследовательской работы по оценке природного капитала Томской области]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2009). Report on research project 07-E6-02 "Developing a methodology of for reporting the value of natural resources in the system of national accounts" [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по базовому проекту 07-Э6-02 «Разработать методологии отражения в системе национальных счетов (СНС) стоимости природных ресурсов»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2010a). Design of the unified sanitary protection zone of the Northern Industrial Hub [Проект единой санитарно-защитной зоны Северного промышленного узла г. Ярославля]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2010b). Report on research project 09-U4-04 "Developing a special-purpose program for the organization and operation of special protected natural areas of federal significance" [Отчет о научноисследовательской работе по базовому проекту 09-У4-04 «Разработать проект ведомственной целевой программы «Организация и функционирование особо охраняемых природных территорий федерального значения»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2010c). Report on research project FE-l-09 "Proposals for improvement of the efficiency of public supervision and control in environmental risk situations" [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по базовому проекту ФЭ-1-09 «Разработка предложений по повышению результативности государственного надзора и контроля в условиях возникновения рисков в природоохранной сфере»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2010d). Report on research project 08-E7-01 "Proposals for improvement of economic incentives stimulating business entities to invest their funds in conservation measures" [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по базовому проекту 08-Э7-01 «Разработка предложений по совершенствованию механизмов экономического стимулирования субъектов предпринимательской деятельности к инвестированию собственных средств на природоохранные мероприятия»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2011). Report on research project "Developing a management plan for Kronotsky State Nature Biosphere Reserve and Yuzhno-Kamchatsky State Nature Reserve of Federal Significance" [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по обеспечению мероприятия: «Разработка плана управления Кроноцкого государственного природного биосферного заповедника и государственного природного заказника федерального значения «Южно-Камчатский»» для нужд ФГУ «Кроноцкий заповедник»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2012a). Report on research project "Developing a management plan for environmental education (including tourism): work at the Sayano-Shushensky State Nature Biosphere Reserve" [Отчет о научноисследовательской работе по теме «Разработка менеджмент-плана развития эколого-просветительской (в том числе туристической): деятельности государственного природного биосферного заповедника «Саяно-Шушенский»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster I nstitute. (2012b). Report on research project "Developing a management plan for the Stolby State Reserve" [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по теме «Разработка плана управления Государственного природного заповедника «Столбы» для нужд ФГБУ «Государственный заповедник «Столбы»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2012c). Report on research project "Scheme for location, use and protection of hunting areas in Pskov Region" [Отчет о научноисследовательской работе по проекту «Разработка схемы размещения, использования и охраны охотничьих угодий на территории Псковской области»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2012d). Report on research project "Scheme for location, use and protection of hunting areas in Tomsk Region" [Отчет о научноисследовательской работе по теме «Схема размещения, использования и охраны охотничьих угодий на территории Томской области»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2013a). Report on research project "Scheme for location, use and protection of hunting areas in Orenburg Region" [Отчет о научноисследовательской работе по теме «Разработка схемы размещения, использования и охраны охотничьих угодий Оренбургской области»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2013b). Report on research project II-E6-0I "Developing scientifically grounded analytics and proposals for regulatory and methodological support for improving the use of economic tools of environmental management regulation" [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по базовому проекту 11-36-01 «Разработать научно-обоснованные аналитические материалы и предложения по нормативному правовому и инструктивнометодическому обеспечению в сфере совершенствования применения экономических методов регулирования в области охраны окружающей среды»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2014a). Report on research project "Development of a package of measures to preserve Cedar Grove of the Tolga Convent" [Отчет о выполнении научно-исследовательской работы «Разработка комплекса мер по сохранению памятника природы регионального значения «Кедровник Толгского монастыря»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2014b). Report on research project "Developing research program and environmental monitoring in state nature reserves and national parks" code I3-N4-0I [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по теме «Разработка программы проведения научных исследований и экологического мониторинга в государственных природных заповедниках и национальных парках», Шифр 13-Н4-01]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2014c). Report on research project "Developing recommended methods of assessment of unused biological flora and fauna resources at current market value" [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по теме «Разработка методологических рекомендаций по оценке некультивируемых биологических ресурсов, относящихся к растительному и животному миру, по текущей рыночной стоимости»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2014d). Report on research project 12-E6-03 "Proposals for regulations on the use of economic incentives by organizations, including development of a fee system for disposal of production and consumption waste and implementation of low-waste and resource-saving technologies and equipment and recycling" [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по базовому проекту 12-Э6-03 «Разработать предложения по формированию нормативного правового обеспечения экономического стимулирования хозяйствующих субъектов, в том числе в части совершенствования системы нормативов платы за размещение отходов производства и потребления, создания и внедрения малоотходных и ресурсосберегающих технологий и оборудования, а также повторного вовлечения отходов производства и потребления в хозяйственный оборот»]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2015a). Report on research project "Developing scientifically grounded proposals for collecting and forming data sets on the current state and use of natural resources for environmental and economic accounting by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources" code 13-E7-03 [Отчет о научноисследовательской работе по теме «Разработать научно обоснованные предложения по обеспечению сбора и формирования данных о состоянии и использовании природных ресурсов и окружающей среды для эколого-экономического учета в сфере деятельности Минприроды России», Шифр 13-Э7-03]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2015b). Report on research project "Developing scientifically grounded proposals for educational tourism in special protected natural areas of federal significance", code 15-12-NIR/02 [Отчет о научно-исследовательской работе по теме «Разработка научно обоснованных предложений по развитию познавательного туризма на особо охраняемых природных территориях федерального значения», шифр темы 15-12-НИР/02]. Yaroslavl.

Cadaster Institute. (2015c). Report on research project "Developing recommended methods of preparing medium-term (5-year) management plans for state nature reserves and national parks", code 14-12-NIR/01 [Отчет о научноисследовательской работе по теме «Разработка методических рекомендаций по подготовке среднесрочных (5-летних) планов управления для государственных природных заповедников и национальных парков», шифр темы 14-12-НИР/01]. Yaroslavl.

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Basic concepts

BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES include genetic resources, organisms or parts thereof, populations, or any other biotic component of ecosystems with actual or potential use or value for humanity (Convention on Biological Diversity, the International Agreement adopted in Rio de Janeiro, June 5, 1992).

GREEN ECONOMY is an economy which provides human wellbeing and social justice, while reducing risks for the environment and risks of its depletion (Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication. UNEP, 2011).

An INSTITUTIONAL MATRIX is a system of institutions that has taken shape over time in a specific territory. This matrix is an integral and comparatively stable geographical formation with a specific location on the surface of the Earth. The socio-cultural features of a specific territory ensure the relative stability of institutional matrices: even in a period of revolutionary changes they continue to reproduce the previous conditions for a certain time, because culture responds to conscious human efforts extremely slowly. Investigation of the constantly changing relationships between institutions is helpful in forecasting the development of individual communities in time and space. When analyzing environmental management, knowledge of institutional matrices helps to identify deficient institutions and conflicts between institutions (North, D. Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Moscow, 1997 (translation)).

INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE is a certain set of institutions that provide matrices of behavior and define limitations for the subjects who are generated by a system of interrelated business activities. A part of this system is constituted by environmental institutions regulating the relationships of individuals in the environmental sphere. By forming, governing, organizing and regulating various environmental institutions, the institutional structure ensures the systematic solution of all kinds of problems. The extent to which the institutional structure is complete and well developed determines the vector and sustainability of communities at all levels of territorial organization (Fomenko G.A. Environmental Management: A Socio-Cultural Methodology. Costa Rica: Institute for Sustainable Innovation, 2017).

INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT is constituted by the main political, social and legal norms, which are the basis for production, exchange and consumption. It is the widest possible range of institutions within which people and organizations apply institutional mechanisms. The institutional environment is not merely a collection of institutions, but determines the main vector of formation and selection of the most efficient institutions and the vector and speed of institutional changes. It should be remembered that individual behavior is not only determined by specific institutions but is formed under the influence of the institutional environment (Williamson O. Private Property and Capital Markets // ECO. 1993. No.5 (translation)).

INSTITUTIONAL SPACE is the geographical area considered in the terms of neo-institutionalism and social economics and distinguished by its sociocultural characteristics, presenting an aggregate of relations between geographical objects located in a specific territory and developing over time. With respect to the environment, it is founded on the respective regulations and restrictions of economic and other activities, which enable institutional analysis of relationships in the course of environmental management. The territorial features of institutional space are manifested in the differences between territorial institutional systems. The institutional space does not create a unity; it is the outcome of interaction between specific territorial institutional matrices. The uniting elements are standardized institutions, including environmental institutions, which are involved in these matrices (Fomenko G.A. Environmental Management: A Socio-Cultural Methodology. Costa Rica: Institute for Sustainable Innovation, 2017).

USE OF NATURAL RESOURCES is the exploitation of natural resources, their involvement in economic turnover, including all kinds of impacts in the course of economic and other activities (Russian Federal Law of January 10, 2002, No. 7-FZ (last updated on December 29,2015) "On Environmental Protection").

PLACE is an aggregate of economic, social, cultural, spiritual, ecological and other features of a locality, embodied in a spatial and temporal identity. Such an approach to the notion of place is close to the category of "Dasein” suggested by Martin Heidegger. The disintegration of traditional territorial communities caused by globalization and the growing number of virtual associations, which are not connected with any particular territory, call for reconsideration of environmental management as a whole. In this context it seems possible and necessary to examine both the general and the particular as part of a study of existing practices of natural resource use in each place and to identify the environmental institutions, which are relevant to that place (Heidegger M., Last Writings. Moscow: Gnosis, 1993. (translation)).

BEST AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGY is a technological process, a technique based on the advanced developments of science and technology designed to reduce economic impact on the environment and having a limited period of validity under the existing economic, technical, environmental and social conditions (Amendment No. 1 to GOST /National State Standard/ R 52104-2003. Resource Conservation. Terms, Definitions, adopted by Rosstandard Order of November 30,2001 No. 756-st).

NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT is the impact of economic or other activities which results in negative change of the environment quality (Russian Federal Law of January 10,2002, No. 7-FZ (last updated on December 29,2015) "On Environmental Protection").

ENVIRONMENT is an aggregate of environment components, including natural, natural-anthropogenic and anthropogenic elements (Russian Federal Law of January 10, 2002, No. 7-FZ (last updated on December 29, 2015) "On Environmental Protection").

SPECIAL PROTECTED NATURAL AREAS are areas of land, water surface and the airspace above them containing natural sites, which have special environmental, scientific, cultural, aesthetic, recreational and health significance, which are fully or partially exempt from economic use and are assigned a special protection status (Russian Federal Law of March 14, 1995, No 33-FZ (last updated on July 13, 2015) "On Special Protected Natural Areas").

ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION / CONSERVATION involves the activities of the public authorities of the Russian Federation, the public authorities of Russia's constituent administrative regions, local government authorities, civil and other non-profit associations, legal entities and individuals, intended for the preservation and restoration of the environment, rational use and reproduction of natural resources, prevention of negative impacts of economic and other activities on the environment, and remedial actions (Russian Federal Law of January 10,2002, No. 7-FZ (last updated on December29,2015) "On Environmental Protection").

OWNERSHIP RIGHTS are a multitude of norms regulating access to scarce resources, including natural resources. From the point of view of individuals, ownership rights are "bundles of entitlements” giving access to resources. The transfer of such rights from one person to another (fully or partially) is a transaction, which may or may not be instantaneous, i.e., the transfer of the ownership rights may take time. Such transactions are contracts. A contract is an exchange of promises; it restricts the behavior of the parties and can be explicit or implicit. A contractual approach makes it possible to describe any organization (from a firm to a country) as a network of explicit and implicit contracts, as a certain contractual space (Fomenko G.A. Environmental Management: A Socio-Cultural Methodology. Costa Rica: Institute for Sustainable Innovation, 2017).

The POLLUTER-PAYS PRINCIPLE is the principle according to which the polluter should bear the cost of pollution prevention and control measures as stipulated by the public authorities to ensure that the environment is in an acceptable state. The polluter shall also pay for the environment pollution caused thereby (English-Russian Glossary of Terms Used in Environmental Enforcement and Compliance Promotion, OECD).

NATURAL RESOURCES are components of the environment, natural sites and natural-anthropogenic sites, which are used or can be used, in performing economic or other activities, as energy sources, products and consumer goods and which have consumption value (Russian Federal Law of January 10,2002, No. 7-FZ (last updated on December 29,2015) "On Environmental Protection'").

NATURAL CAPITAL, in terms of economic growth, is considered to be an aggregate of natural resources, which can be used in production processes. Any natural asset generating a flow of ecological services having economic value is natural capital (Dictionary of Sustainable Development Terminology).

An ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION is a group of people united by the desire to achieve a certain environmental goal collectively. The concept of an environmental organization embraces political, economic, social, educational and other entities operating in the sphere of nature conservation. Such organizations can be created for specific purposes thanks to the existence of a range of environmental institutions, which provide the conditions for such organizations to operate, and environmental organizations, in turn, are the main agents of institutional environmental change. Institutional matrices exert a decisive influence on how such organizations emerge and develop (Fomenko G.A. Environmental Management: A Socio-Cultural Methodology. Costa Rica: Institute for Sustainable Innovation, 2017).

ENVIRONMENTAL INSTITUTIONS are the "rules of the game" in a society, a certain limiting framework that organizes relations between individuals taking account of environmental requirements. Such institutions are the products of collective efforts; they impose a set of motives inducing people to comply with environmental restrictions and regulations. They reduce uncertainty by structuring everyday life or, in other words, they determine or limit the range of alternatives available to each individual in his relations with the natural environment. Environmental institutions make the behavior of people and communities in the environmental sphere more predictable, reduce the probability of destructive behavior and conflicts caused thereby (Fomenko G.A. Environmental Management: A Socio-Cultural Methodology. Costa Rica: Institute for Sustainable Innovation, 2017).

  • INFORMAL ENVIRONMENTAL INSTITUTIONS include customs, traditions, religious norms and rules restricting or regulating impact on the environment. They are formed without any conscious intention, as a byproduct of interaction between numerous people pursuing their own interests. It is impossible to give precise definition of the contents of informal rules or the role they play in the development of any community. However, they largely determine the range of choices in decision making.
  • FORMAL ENVIRONMENTAL INSTITUTIONS differ from informal ones by the extent to which they are manifest. For instance, unwritten rules and environmental bans at the level of tribes differ from today's constitutions, laws, etc. mainly by the extent of their complexity, which has come about as society has evolved. The creation of legal systems to address increasingly complicated conflicts and disputes entailed expansion of the scope of use of formal rules. Formal environmental institutions are established and enforced consciously, by the power of state.
  • CHANGES IN ENVIRONMENTAL INSTITUTIONS mark the way a society is progressing from the standpoint of its relations with the natural world and therefore serve as a key to understanding development issues.
  • IMPORT OF ENVIRONMENTAL INSTITUTIONS refers to their borrowing or transfer for use in new conditions. Institutions can be imported in different ways: from abroad, from a country's own history or from the history of other countries and nations as well as from theory.

A SANITARY-PROTECTION ZONE is a special -purpose green landscaped territory separating the settlement area of a city from an industrial facility. The size and organization of the SPZ depend on the character and extent of harmful effect of the industry on the environment (Model Ecological Code for CIS Member Nations adopted by the 27th Plenary Meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly of the CIS Member Nations (Resolution No.27-8 of November 16,2006)).

A SYSTEM OF NATIONAL ACCOUNTS is an internationally agreed standard set of recommendations on how to compile measures of economic activity in accordance with a coherent, consistent and integrated set of macroeconomic accounts based on the principles of economic theory (System of National Accounts 2008. New York, 2012, p. 64).

A SYSTEM OF ENVIRONMENTAL-ECONOMIC ACCOUNTING is a multipurpose conceptual framework for understanding the interactions between the environment and the economy, and for describing stocks and changes in stocks of environmental assets. (SEEA Central Framework. United Nations, 2012).

A COMMUNITY is a group of people sharing the same goals. In the framework of the theory of "responsive communitaranism', a community is regarded as an association of individuals where the collective does not depersonalize but, while protecting the personality, provides the conditions for its material and spiritual realization. According to A. Etzioni, the "spirit of community" is what generates sets of values that counteract disintegration. There are formal and informal communities, territorial and virtual, religious and non-religious associations of people. According to the theory of "responsive communitarianism" individuals are neither absolutely free subjects, but nor are they completely determined by the communities they belong to. Including communities in the study of environmental management promotes understanding of the role and significance of formal and informal environmental institutions, their interaction within the existing institutional matrices. (Encyclopedic Dictionary of Sociology Moscow, 1998).

A STIMULUS is an impetus to work, a driving force for behavior. According to the neo-classical approach, the main motive of productive work is the prospect of promotion or receiving other compensation. But it would be wrong to focus exclusively on monetary incentives with regard to environmental activity, where a much broader range of stimuli are at play (Fomenko G.A. Environmental Management: A Socio-Cultural Methodology. Costa Rica: Institute for Sustainable Innovation, 2017).

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987. Moscow: Progress, 1989).

ENVIRONMENTAL RISK is the probability of an event having adverse effect on the natural environment and caused by negative effects of economic or other activities or emergencies of a natural or technogenic character (Russian Federal Law of January 10,2002, No. 7-FZ (last updated on December 29,2015) "On Environmental Protection").

ECOSYSTEM SERVICES are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems by way of resources and environmental regulation, including support for biosphere processes, inputs to culture and the intrinsic value of the systems themselves. The services users services may be at local level (individual businesses) and at regional and global levels (entire countries and regions) (Convention on Biological Diversity - International Agreement adopted in Rio de Janeiro on June 5, 1992).

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