Conservation of Nature, Societies for the

Conservation of Nature, Societies for the

 

mass voluntary organizations established in all the Union republics of the USSR, with the primary aims of teaching consideration and love for nature and involving the people in the conservation, correct use, and replenishment of natural resources and in planting gardens and establishing parks in cities and villages, along roads, and at other sites.

Founded in 1924, the All-Russian Society for the Conservation of Nature has more than 22 million members (1973). Councils of the societies for the conservation of nature have been established in the autonomous republics, krais and oblasts, cities, raions, workers’ settlements, and industrial centers. The local and primary organizations operate in industrial enterprises, sovkhozes, kolkhozes, institutions, schools, and specialized higher and secondary educational institutions. Information about conservation is spread on radio and television and through the press, as well as through pamphlets and posters.

The societies for the conservation of nature assist in organizing displays and conservation literature exhibits in schools, institutions, and industrial enterprises. They plant shelterbelts and roadside strips of trees, as well as ornamental and fruit trees and flowers. In addition, they organize public control over the protection of bodies of water, the air, populated areas, and recreation areas from pollution by industrial, transportation, and domestic wastes. Societies for the conservation of nature check regularly to make sure that measures have been taken to conserve and restore natural resources. They conduct several traditional campaigns—Bird Day, Forest Week, and Nature Conservation Month, for example. Conservation contests and competitions are organized by the societies. At the local level, societies for the conservation of nature arrange public conservation inspections. The regulations for inspections and the duties of public inspectors are established by the local soviets of workers’ deputies.

Most countries have public naure conservation societies. The oldest of them are the National Society for the Protection of Nature, a French organization founded in 1854, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, a British organization founded in 1889. Other groups include the Kulturbund (the German Democratic Republic), the League for the Conservation of Nature (Poland), the Swedish Society for the Conservation of Nature, and the Finnish Association for Nature Protection.

The worldwide public movement for conservation is united by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), which was founded in 1948. The USSR has participated in its activities since 1956. The IUCN has concentrated on preserving flora and fauna, saving rare and endangered animal and plant species, and organizing preserves, game reserves, nature parks, and national parks. The organization’s highest body is a general assembly, which meets once every three years. Between sessions, the organization’s affairs are directed by an executive board, which is made up of representatives from various countries. The permanent working bodies of the IUCN are its commissions on ecology, education, environmental planning, national parks, rare species and environmental policy, and law and administration. The secretariat of the IUCN is located in Morges, Switzerland. The organization publishes a quarterly bulletin.

L. K. SHAPOSHNIKOV

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