NAFI and WWF study: Russians do not link the extinction of rare animal species with climate change

26 January 2022

Russia currently has 443 species of animals listed in the Red Book of the country*. Especially sensitive to climate change (temperature increase, ice melting) are the inhabitants of the polar regions. At the same time, according to a study conducted by WWF Russia and the NAFI Analytical Center**, Russians do not consider climate change to be the main reason for the extinction of rare animal species in Russia.

Every third Russian considers environmental pollution (35%) and illegal hunting (31%) the main threat to rare species of animals. One in five (18%) associate this with the reduction of natural habitats. And only 9% of respondents named climate change as the main reason for the extinction of rare species.

Irina Gildebrandt, Director of Socio-Economic Research at NAFI:

The results of the latest NAFI research show that Russians are becoming more aware of existing environmental problems. However, the population's ideas about this issue are often purely every day, local in nature, not taking into account the wider context. We are sure that environmentally responsible behavior is impossible without environmental literacy, which also includes a basic understanding of various factors affecting the state of the environment, as well as cause-and-effect relationships in ongoing processes. Without these competencies, it is impossible to build an effective and systematic process for solving problems of maintaining the sustainability of ecosystems. The promotion of the environmental agenda must necessarily have an educational component.

Alexey Kokorin, Director of the Climate and Energy Program at WWF Russia:

“According to the forecasts of scientists presented in the report of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) “Living Planet 2020”, in the next decades, climate change will become a serious factor in the decline in the number and even extinction of rare species of animals. The first cases of death of species due to climate change have already been recorded. We think it is a big problem that Russians do not understand the threats of climate change, both for the planet and for ourselves. It is very important that the inhabitants of our country understand this threat, since biodiversity is our common heritage and pride, we are responsible for the conservation of nature to future generations. Now Russians' understanding of the environment is more formed by companies that talk about their eco-initiatives, for example, about the opportunity to hand over packaging for recycling or eco-friendly composition. But environmental protection is not limited to restrictions in everyday life, it is much more global and more serious”.

* Order of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation dated March 24, 2020 No. 162 "On Approval of the List of Fauna Listed in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation".
* *The All-Russian survey was conducted by the NAFI Analytical Center in September 2021. 1,600 people aged 18 and over were surveyed in 53 regions of Russia. The sample is based on official statistics from Rosstat and represents the population of the Russian Federation by sex, age, level of education, and type of settlement. The statistical error of the data does not exceed 3.4%.
Type of publication: Poll results

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