Environmental awareness rising programs
Company supports important environmental education projects in addition to conducting its own production activities in strict compliance with environmental regulations and standards to minimize environmental impact.
Environmental awareness rising programs
Environment in Sakhalin Oblast and Khabarovsk Krai is truly unique. They are the only areas where one can see some rare plants and wildlife species. However, not only these rare plants and animals require careful attention. It is important to live in harmony with nature. That is why, Exxon Neftegas Limited, the Sakhalin-1 Project Operator, operates in compliance with environmental standards and rules to minimize its footprint and supports important projects to promote environmental awareness.
Name a Whale
Every year Western Grey Whales come to feed off the northeast Sakhalin shore and traditionally receive careful attention. Until recent times, this population was believed to be extinct. While Eastern Grey Whale population migrating off the North America has over 20 thousand animals, there were no or very little information about Western Grey Whales population; therefore, these marine mammals were listed in the International Red Book.
Photo-ID is one of the methods used to study Grey Whales feeding in the Piltun Bay area. As the whale population keeps growing, the scientists engaged in annual photo-ID and registration have faced a challenge requiring creative solution. Every newly identified animal is registered in a unified photo-catalogue and receives a kind of passport assigning two names: a standard international ID made of numbers and letters, and an arbitrarily selected name. The passport helps researchers track on a whale, and check the time and location for the animal to show up. Currently, there are 280 animals in the photo-catalogue and a few dozens of them have only their numbers.
Boomerang Tourism and Environmental Club has been always keen on studying and protecting marine mammals, but it was their first project of this kind.
The Club proposed conducting a competition among schoolchildren for the best ideas of names for whales and using this project to promote knowledge of grey whales. They developed a number of handouts and visual aids about grey whales for the project and arranged tours for children to the marine mammal observers. This is how Name a Whale project began.
Throughout a year marine mammal experts and teachers conducted relevant sessions, presentations and master classes in Sakhalin schools to give children as much information as possible about these unique animals. Children, inspired by the sessions, drew pictures of the whales, gave their ideas of new names and wrote essays. The contest received over 400 submissions. It was so hard to select the winners out of so many submissions, that facilitators introduced three different award categories, and one of them was for the best idea of a name for a whale in a native language of IMPN.
The competition ended with a gala award ceremony. Sixty winners and awardees received gifts, diplomas and copies of the whale photo-ID catalogue sheets indicating the new names given to each animal and referring to the name author. This is the first time when names created by kids were published in a serious scientific paper. For some kids it may become the first step on their way to the big science.
School of Nature
School of Nature is another project run by Boomerang tourism club. Boomerang club is focused on environmental education and development of children including trough arrangement of environmental camps. Environmental tourist camp is a summer outdoor forum for rookie and experienced tourists about various types of tourism and local history. The forum offers group and individual sessions.
Key purpose of the forum — to promote environmental tourism and train children on safe behavior on Sakhalin seashore and water bodies. For many years of its work, Boomerang club has focused its efforts on seashore and marine camping in Sakhalin. Therefore, it conducts many forums close to water.
Exxon Neftegas Limited specialists come to the forum to tell the young campers about its biodiversity protection efforts, including Grey Whale and Steller’s sea eagle monitoring programs, etc. For many years, children from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Kholmsk, Makarov, Poronaysk and other places of Sakhalin have been enjoying a lovely camping time on the bank of Small Vavai Lake in Korsakov District of Sakhalin Oblast.
Rodnik NGO Environmental Projects
Rodnik Environmental Center has a long history of conducting environmental educational programs for teens and youth. Rodnik has a long-standing partnership with Exxon Neftegas Limited who sponsored a number of environmental awareness raising projects for Sakhalin youth.
For example, Solar Wind of Sakhalin project helped children to learnabout alternative energy. They built a special power plant in the camp, consisting of a wind driven generator and solar cell arrays. The plant successfully generated electricity every day and served as a training area for children who had a chance to see how this equipment works converting solar light into the electricity.
Another Rodnik’s project sponsored by Company is called Water Sources. For the purpose of the project, they developed an environmental educational program to study water sources and alternative methods of water collection. Project results: the children participating in the environmental camp developed eight research, environment protection and awareness rising projects about condition of water bodies. The report called Micro-plastic is All Around was presented in the Care about the Future annual regional environmental forum attended by delegations from eight Sakhalin districts.
Education support is one of the top priorities of Exxon Neftegas Limited community contribution program. Company implemented a lot of projects on behalf of the Sakhalin-1 Consortium to open new educational opportunities for students like state-of-the-art scientific equipment that provides students with practical opportunities to study the most challenging elements and apply modern technology, moreover, new educational programs enable the students to gain the required knowledge without leaving the Island.