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Environmental sensitivity mapping

At present oil spill sensitivity maps are not yet that widely used in Russia as in western countries. Need for their development, methodology and contents are not yet regulated at the federal level.

The Order by EMERCOM of Russia No 621 stipulates that zones of highest risk, protection priority areas and negative consequences for the environment, people and economy must be identified and described. Whether it should be done by development of sensitivity maps or other means is not clear and is up to an individual operator/consultant.

An attempt to develop common methodological approach to environmental sensitivity mapping was performed by the leading Russian scientific institutions coordinated by WWF and resulted in “Methodological approaches to create maps of environmentally sensitive areas and areas of priority protection from the oil spills in marine and coastal areas of the Russian Federation” - Vladivostok - Moscow - Murmansk - St. Petersburg, the World wildlife Fund (WWF), 2012.

Oil spill sensitivity maps are developed by different scientific institutions mainly as commercial projects for operating companies in the Kara, the Barents, the Pechora seas and Sakhalin. There is no common electronic database where such maps could be stored and systematized. Most of the information is not publicly available.

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