Pamela Anderson & IFAW visit to the Kremlin, Moscow

Participants:

• Honorable Sergey Borisovich Ivanov, Chief of Presidential Administration

• Honorable Konstantin Anatolyevich Chuychenko, Head of Control Department, Presidential Administration

• Honorable Sergey Efimovich Donskoy, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment

• Pamela Anderson, Actress and Conservationist

• Dr. Maria Vorontsova, Russia Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare

• Andrew Wilson, Vice President of Development, International Fund for Animal Welfare

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Pamela gives 3 Documentaries- 

Black Fish, The Cove, and Racing Extinction

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Statement by Pamela Anderson to the Media at the Kremlin. 

Moscow,December 7


Thank you ..... 

What an honor to have been given a private tour of the Palace, This is a once in a lifetime experience. I will treasure -  

I am so pleased to be here with my friends from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, who participated in the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok with me, while I represented PETA and Sea Shepherd in September. I was inspired by the attention both the Government and Russian businesses are giving to wildlife conservation here and abroad. I was excited to hear about Renova’s work with Amur leopards, and I know this is a priority topic for Mr. Ivanov. And I was also pleased to hear about RosAtom’s work in Tanzania to stop poaching and protect elephants. I know that the Presidential Administration and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment take these topics very seriously.

Personally, I am very concerned about the welfare of seals. This is a topic that IFAW -the first organization in Russia to investigate, and we both care deeply about this issue. The Government banned the hunting of harp seals in the White Sea in 2009, but we understand that there is an effort underway to change the Fishery Regulation in Northwest Russia to allow for the farming of baby harp seals for their fur. One of the reasons I am here today is to persuade the Government to elevate this fishing regulation to the status of law: a legal ban on killing baby seals.

I am also very concerned about sea aquariums which keep belugas and orcas in captivity, and I am campaigning globally to release belugas and orcas back into the wild. Into Sea Pens as transitions -Sea aquariums are abusive and old-fashioned and cause horrific practices. I believe Russia has the power and relationships to help end this practice, and, I am here to enlist your help in ending this terrible practice worldwide. 

Another issue we are here to discuss is the illegal wildlife trade. Minister Donskoy wrote the introduction to IFAW’s study on illegal internet wildlife trade in Russia last year, and the Ministry has taken a series of actions to crack down on this trade. Russia has done a good job of creating laws to protect species that live in Russia, but there are many non-Russian species that are not protected here, and so illegal traders can easily important exotic animals and animal products without penalty. In order to stop this trade, though, we are hopeful that Russia will strengthen its involvement in international wildlife discussions and, being party to the Convention on Illegal Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), will adopt the Law on Illegal trade of Wildlife Fauna and Flora.  

It is a pleasure to be here, and my friends at the I.F.A.W. and I are looking forward to productive discussions today. 

1. I would like to thank you for this opportunity as well. And I would like to congratulate you on successes in the Russian Far East with tiger and leopard conservation. I was very pleased to learn that since your efforts to establish Land of the Leopard Park (which I visited) , the population of leopards has more than doubled, to 70 individuals living in the wild. And I know that IFAW was excited to participate in the release of the five rehabilitated tigers back into the wild last year. I know that all three of you have been very involved in driving these successes forward, and , want to thank you for elevating wildlife conservation to such a high level of visibility for the Government and for Russia.  

2, as for Marine mammal topics:We were very disappointed to see the Winter Bay receive permission from the Russian Government to transport the meat of137 endangered fin whales to Japan via Russian Arctic waters – with a Russian icebreaker – in August. This sends a signal that contradicts other very positive conservation efforts, and we would like to see the Russian Government ban the shipment of CITES-listed animals and products through Russian territory, starting with endangered whales. We have a copy of the permission slip - 

My concern about sea aquariums runs deep. It is my life's goal to release all belugas and orcas, dolphins out of captivity snd back into the oceans. I have plans for Sea pens that are much less expensive than aquariums and much more humane. If not anle to release directly into the wild to fond their families. , I am campaigning globally - and will not stop till I am dead. Sea aquariums are a thing of the past. They cause horrific practices (e.g. Taaji, Japan). I believe Russia has the power and relationships (in the east) to help end this practice, and I would like to enlist your help. It would be a great first step for Russia to enact a law banning the export of marine mammals.  Personally, I am very concerned about the welfare of seals.

This is a topic that IFAW was the first organization in Russia to investigate, and we both care deeply about this issue. The Government banned the hunting of seals and the importation of seal Products. It cannot come back -I am also aware that polar bear skins have been successfully imported from Canada to Russia. As an important iconic species native to the Russian Arctic, the polar bear has benefited from Russian conservation leadership in the past, and I would like to see Russia strengthen this leadership with a ban on the importation of polar bears and polar bear products from Canada

Russia must not allow transit of IUCN red listed fin whale meat through their north arctic territory sends a signal to the world that Russia cares little about wildlife and undermines CITES. 

We all know that Icelandic fin whaling is pursued by one wealthy Icelandic businessman, Kristjan Loftsson, who is determined to continue fin whaling despite growing international pressure and declining domestic support. 60% of Icelanders do not support this activity according to a national Gallup poll this October and opposition is increasing quickly among key Icelandic politicians and media. The foreign minister of Iceland repeatedly stated this summer that the fin whaling is damaging to Iceland´s wider interests.  US political pressure has increased over the past year and the Government of Iceland may sharply reduce the fin whale quota it issues in 2016.During the past 36 months, both Icelandic shipping companies, Eimskip and Samskip, have denied Icelandic fisheries magnate Kristjan Loftsson use of their services for shipping whale meat. European ports previously used by Loftsson, Hamburg and Rotterdam, have closed for such transshipment. After sending the cargo ship Alma around the tip of South Africa in 2013,  Loftsson tried trans-Canada shipment by train, but failed – in part due to behind the scenes work from IFAW -- and the meat was ultimately shipped back to Iceland.The cargo ship engaged by Loftsson last summer is the St. Kitts and Nevis flagged Winter Bay, a Class 1 ship. An accident could lead to serious environmental damage. Russia has everything to gain by building up good reputation for future cargo shipments in this area but there are definite risks from facilitating Mr. Loftsson’s singlehanded attempts to resuscitate the international trade whale meat in the 21st century. We have the permit that proves Russia gave permission. 

Given Russia’s ongoing moratorium on importation of Icelandic fisheries products and the environmental and credibility risks involved, finding reasons to delay or deny passage to Mr. Loftsson in future would be a win-win for the Russian government. It is of course well within the capability of Russian authorities to refuse passage on whatever grounds. At a minimum, a clarifying statement by the President of Russia or a senior Minister of Russia indicating Russia will not provide support and does not condone the shipment should be issued.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/13/us-russia-crisis-food-idUSKCN0QI18R20150813#oImdDgrMI5dCEyQr.97

It is sickening that Loftsson has cultivated relationship with key Russian government officials, including hosting them on luxury fishing expeditions in Iceland, just prior to this year’s shipment.  As usual, it is likely a web of personal, financial, political and corporate interests involved.  What a wonderful opportunity for Presidential leadership . . .

I think that Russia could really win over some hearts and minds in the West if Russia were to take a leadership position on defending wildlife and the rights of animals.

Millions of people around the world are looking for world leaders that have compassion for defending nature, biodiversity and the rights of animals. Russia has proven to be a nation unafraid to take undaunted action where action is needed.

Compassion for animals and respect for nature are virtues that unite people of all nations.

Where Russia leads others will follow and if Russia took a leadership position on both wildlife and the rights of animals, it would win the respect and the admiration of people around the world.

A strong, decisive and tough leadership tempered by benevolence and empathy is a combination of virtues both rare and desperately needed by a world that is being diminished of it’s living treasures.

I would like to discuss the possibilities of Russia taking a hard line on wildlife poaching, stopping the transshipment of illegally exploited whale meat through Russian waters and ending the trade in cetaceans like Orcas, belugas and dolphins. 

Sea Shepherd would be willing to work in cooperation with Russia on investigating poaching operations. We presently have a cooperative working relationship with Mexico and we have been partnered with the Galapagos Park Rangers in Ecuador since 1999.

I would like the Russian government to ask me how I can be of assistance in Russia’s conservation issues and if Russia could use my voice to pursue constructive efforts in an alliance where we can make this a better world.I would like to offer the assistance of our ships and international volunteers to assist with conservation efforts with the Russian government.

Humans need nature to survive. We have a responsibility to defend and protect other species and to preserve the interdependence between species that allow for a healthy eco-system.

I have a voice and an international following and I want to use my voice to help animals and nature and to forge working alliances between governments and international non-governmental organizations.