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Putin calls to improve nature protection laws ahead of Year of Ecology

MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called to continue efforts to improve environmental laws and involve civil society institutions to these activities throughout the year 2017 which has been declared the Year of Ecology.

"It is important to ensure active involvement of civil society in the resolution of such tasks as improvement of environment protection laws, preservation of endangered species of animals and plants, creation of a humanitarian system of care to homeless animals," the Russian head of state said on Thursday in key address to the Federal Assembly. 

He instructed the cabinet of ministers to prepare programs of preservation of Russia’s unique nature symbols. "The next year, 2017, has been declared the Year of Ecology. I instruct the government to prepare programs for the preservation of unique nature symbols of Russia, such as the Volga River, Lake Baikal, Alai’s Teletskoye Lake," Putin said.

Apart from that, the president called to take efforts to dispose of dumps near cities and villages. "It is necessary to clean up polluted territories, to do away with dumps that have accumulated around many populated localities," he said.

The president reminded he has recently discussed this topic with activists of the All-Russia Popular Front. "This problem is topical not only for big cities but also for small toms and villages," he noted.

The Year of Ecology will be held in Russia in 2017. Overall financing of projects included in the Year’s program is expected to exceed $5.44 billion, Russian Minister of Naturals Resources and Ecology Sergei Donskoi said earlier.