Russia & Economy

Since attaining her independence in the early 1990’s Russia can pride herself in emerging as a middle economy which has registered an average annual economic growth rate of 6. 5%. This is largely attributed to her embracing a free market economy to replace the earlier central command approach. The World Bank notes that this economic growth has seen the number of people living in extreme poverty reduced. Trade especially exports of natural resources for instance oil and gas blended with stability in the macroeconomic policies adopted can be blamed economic achievement.

However, there are major challenges that threaten this success story. The need for diversification of the economy, adoption of environmental conservative measures like the fight against deforestation has intensified in the increasingly globalized economy. Various non governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as international institutions have played a significant role in ensuring that this goal is attained. In the process, losers as well as winners have emerged. Many NGOs have been at the forefront to chip in their devoted efforts to resolve the deforestation problem in Russia.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia, an environmental based organization advocates for sustainable forestry in Russia. In the recent times global warming issues have intensified and are a cause of concern due to the effects on climate change. (WWF, 2009). WWF Russia has intensively ensured that this information is disseminated across Russia. It adopts collaborative measures with the owners of the forests as she works to realize this goal. The objective is to ensure that CO2 emissions, a greenhouse gas responsible for global warming are reduced.
WWF highlights the effects of deforestation on wildlife as well as on human beings. It advocates for responsible forestry especially in the timber trade. WWF Russia is also committed to ensuring that the Russian artic and the wildlife there are also conserved. The biodiversity of the Northern Caucasus region must be protected from deforestation, wild fires and poaching if the wildlife contained there is to remain unharmed. In this regard, WWF Russia ensures that companies control their spillage or observe safe or responsible waste management practices.
It also encourages responsible fishing. Joint efforts are vital if this goal is to be attained. WWF Russia advocates for ‘the protection of water sheds as well as the limited soil disturbances to ensure positive effects on the timber harvested’. (WWF, 2009). Another important environmental NGO is Green Peace which also advocates for conservation of forests. Green Peace has registered success by reducing the felling of trees especially in the North Western parts as well as the Russian Far East regions. (Greenpeace)
In addition to the environmental organizations, there are human rights organizations like Indem foundation which have been committed towards promoting democracy in Russia. This is done through collaborative efforts with the civil societies, public officials as well as government organizations. Major issues addressed by Indem include anti corruption, issues of international cooperation, reforms in the government and the political arena as well as justice assistance. This NGO tries to ensure that people know their rights and follow the right procedures to have them respected. (Indem Foundation, 2005).
International institutions like the EU and the World Bank have also played a significant role in influencing Russia. The World Bank highlighted the need to ensure diversification of the economy to allow equitable growth while reducing the poverty levels. In an effort to ensure that Russia moved with the modern times where globalization is enhanced the World Bank created a 3 year strategy. The main objective in the strategy adopted would be to ensure sustained growth, improved management especially in public led institutions, increased social services as well as increased role of the nation at a global level.
Russia was expected to participate in global activities like assisting the less developed countries. (World Bank, 2009). Among the ways in which Russia can diversify her economy is through the promotion of agriculture. This sector is however faced by many challenges like excess use of chemicals, wrong choice of crops as well as extreme or excess farming. Another important industry is forestry which has also faced a lot of problems in the recent past. Exploitative foreign companies and criminal organizations have negative effects on the forestry industry.
Other challenges include wild fires, pests as well as pollution from the industries. (Library of congress, 2006). Russia showed her interests in registering with World Trade Organization in 2005, a move that was expected to place her at a competitive edge in as far as her economic growth and development are concerned. However her failure to adhere to the stipulated rules for instance strict adherence to intellectual property rights sees her blocked from admission by some great economies for instance the US.
(Palmer D, 2009). This has seen different bodies in Russia advocating for a change in how people perceive intellectual property rights. The need to view them as an investment has now become vibrant. Russia is a member of the EU, another international organization and she continues to accrue related gains. There are certain rules to be followed by all members of the EU community. Russia collaborates with the EU to modernize the economy, on security matters, international relations as well as on regional cooperation. (EC)
In an effort to strike a balance between the economical, environmental as well as social interests the forest owners will be losers. This is attributed to the fact that they will forego their financial gains as they adhere to the harvesting. The society will gain as a whole as the adverse effects of global warming will be reduced in a safer environment. Russia has also gained from the globalization process especially in her trading activities with the larger EU region. The poor and marginalized in Russia who forms approximately 20% of the population have also emerged as winners in the globalization process.
(World Bank, 2009). This is attributed to the fact that international organizations like the World Bank have been committed to change their plight. World Bank has been involved in collaborative research activities to find ways of how more jobs can be created. It also assists in health care provision by offering equipment as well as in preventive approaches to curb diseases. World Bank also shows commitment to boost Russia’s education, fight against corruption as well as acquire a safe environment. (World Bank, 2009).
There are many governmental as well as non governmental organizations that affect Russia’s performance in the global environment. These organizations may have a direct impact on the Russians for instance those that empower the human capital while others may indirectly affect man for instance those based on natural resources like wildlife and forests. Regardless of the direct or indirect impact these organization lead to the emergence of losers as well as winners in the society. All in all, the benefits of globalization are enormous and ought to be embraced as no country is self sufficient.
References: Doug Palmer. 2009. Russia’s WTO bid still faces big U. S. obstacles. Reuters. Retrieved on 9th April 2009 from http://www. canada. com/news/world/Russia+still+faces+obstacles/1453371/story. html EC. The European Union and Russia. Retrieved on 9th April 2009 from http://ec. europa. eu/external_relations/library/publications/russia_brochure07_en. pdf Greenpeace. The Russian Forests. Retrieved on 9th April 2009 from http://archive. greenpeace. org/comms/cbio/russia. html. INDEM Foundation. 2005. Retrieved on 9th April 2009 from http://www.
indem. ru/en/index. shtml Library of Congress – Federal Research Division. 2006. Country Profile: Russia, October 2006. Retrieved on 9th April 2009 from http://lcweb2. loc. gov/frd/cs/profiles/Russia. pdf. WWF 2009. Reducing climate change in Russia through sustainable forestry. Retrieved on 9th April 2009 from http://www. panda. org/who_we_are/wwf_offices/russia/index. cfm? uProjectID=RU0130 Wwf Pskov Model Forest Project. Retrieved on 9th April 2009 from http://www. svo. se/episerver4/dokument/sks/engelska/Swedish_Russian/PMF%20 Brochure_ENG. pdf

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