Letter by Alexei Yablokov, Chair of the YABLOKO Green Russia Faction, on awarding him the Bruno Schubert Prize
And I am terribly sorry for not being here, my serious illness gives me no possibility to travel for some time.
The very existence of the Bruno Shubert Prize is important and inspiring because it draws public attention to wildlife protection, and natural environment protection within Germany and internationally.
These issues become more and more urgent every year. Despite a some progress in past decades, global rate of species distinction do not decline.
You have just heard from my old friend, Manfred Nikiesh, with whom we
were members of IUCN Council, that from the very beginning of my scientific and
public activity I am deeply involved in a real fight for the protection of the Nature and against whaling, against pesticides, against environmentally dangerous territory planning in Siberia and Middle Asia, and for better national and international environmental laws and regulations.
I believe that biodiversity is a precondition of a human existence and well being. After all, only the effective ecosystems are able to ensure life-supporting qualities of the biosphere (including the quality of air and water).
Humankind is the result of the evolution of the biosphere. But for the biosphere this “result” became a big problem-maker and became dangerous.
Before the appearance of a man there were just two infinite parameters in the Universe – space and time. Human beings introduced additional dimension to eternity – limitless greed, commonly referred to as an “economic growth”.
Hopefully, now not only scientists, but even the world’s political leaders start talking about the need for transition from traditional economic growth to a “green economy”.
But it is only an approach to understanding of the situation in Anthropocene. A real green economy means that the environmental security is more important than the traditional “national (military) security”.
Even now the industrial, transport and other kinds of pollution kill more people
than wars. Health of human beings is only possible upon the health of the Nature. And biodiversity is a cornerstone of the health of the nature.
We need to do much more for the conservation of the biodiversity. Period of the “conquest of the nature” have to turn into a period of “nature management”.
There are many ways for this: the preservation of existing ecosystems and restoration, the genetic banks, centers for the reproduction of rare species, such as the Frankfurt Zoo, more effective regulations on different areas of Humankind activities, etc.
This is a direct protection of biodiversity.
But there is another, not less important direction of action – reduction of anthropogenic pollution of the biosphere.
Today we have more than two hundred and fifty thousand of anthropogenic chemicals and compounds emitted into the biosphere on an industrial scale. Many of such are alien to Nature.
We usually pay attention to the radioactivity growth in biosphere only after a disaster, like Chernobyl or Fukusima. In fact, it is also a result of a day-to-day work of the nuclear industry.
By the way, I expect that the Schubert Prize will give me the opportunity to complete the review of the Chernobyl impact on wildlife in Europe – there are a lot of such data after the 30th Chernobyl’s anniversary, including those relating to Germany.
Chemical and radioactive pollution of the biosphere leads to the dangerous growth of the mutational process, destroying the internal environment of every living creature.
We know that this is already happening in some human populations, but this also should happen in populations of all spices of the Earth.
For many people in my country it looks meaningless to focus on biodiversity protection now, while Russia escalates the military violence over the world alluding to the nuclear weapons.
I am sure that awarding me with the Bruno Shubert Prize will draw attention in Russia to the enduring importance of the protection of wildlife.
Once more – many – many thanks for this prestigious prize.