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TYUMEN, November 24 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s oil major Rosneft and Norway’s Statoil have signed a declaration on nature conservation and preservation of biological diversity in developing mineral resources of the Arctic continental shelf. Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin and Statoil ASA’s CEO Helge Lund put their signatures to the document on Friday, Rosneft’s press-service has said.
The Arctic environment consists of ecological systems with unique features and resources, which need special protection, the company said. With this in mind Rosneft came out with an initiative of adopting such a declaration jointly with its partners. Rosneft and Statoil recognize the permanent improvement of technologies and operating procedures for the exploration and development of mineral resources in the Arctic as their goal. They confirmed the commitment to the stable development of the Arctic, including minimization of adverse effects on the lifestyles of indigenous peoples and climate change.
The parties will seek to coordinate their activities for preserving the biological diversity of the Arctic, including those in keeping with the recommendations of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the working group for biological diversity of the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues.
The signatories intend to carry out regular monitoring of changes in the natural landscape and Arctic seas and promote international cooperation in accordance with the Arctic environment protection strategy.
For the purpose of implementing the provisions of the declaration Rosneft and its partners will consider the possibility of creating a coordination center with representatives of Roscosmos, Transport Ministry and the Emergency Situations Ministry of Russia taking part.
“Environmental protection issues are number one priority for us, particularly so, when the development of Arctic resources is on the agenda. We plan to sign a declaration with all of our partners before we begin active work to develop offshore deposits to ensure this priority should be unconditional for all without exceptions. I am very grateful to Statoil and to Helge Lund in person for the consent to join in the declaration,” Sechin said.