Ответы Р.В. Ященко на вопросы после окончания интервью

Ответы генерального директора Института зоологии РК Ященко Р.В. на вопросы, которые опубликовал Региональный офис ЮНЕСКО по Азии и Тихому океану (Джакарта, Индонезия) после онлайн интервью (Sustainability Insight #9: Evidence Base for Environmental Justice and Sustainability), можно прочитать в сокращении по ссылкам:

Q&A – Sustainability Insight#9 : Evidence Base for Environmental Justice and Sustainabilit, Part 2

Q&A – Sustainability Insight#9 : Evidence Base for Environmental Justice and Sustainability, Part 1

Также ниже приводим полные ответы на все присланные вопросы:


Sydney Joseph L. Torrenueva, Bicol University, Philippines

  1. What is your stand on eco-terrorism?

As you know, terrorism is an ideology of violence and the practice of influencing public consciousness and decision-making by state authorities, local governments or international organizations, which is associated with the intimidation of the population and other forms of illegal violent actions that lead to the death of people.  In this regard, environmental terrorism is defined as a violent criminal impact on the environment, causing casualties among the population or posing a danger to society due to a sharp deterioration of the environmental situation, in order to intimidate society and influence political decision-making.

Here we need to separate the concept of eco-terrorism from the concept of environmental radicalism. The practice of eco-terrorism, like any other type of terrorism, is always potentially or directly aimed at creating human victims to intimidate. This is how eco-terrorism differs from environmental radicalism, which is not aimed at creating such victims. The practice of environmental radicalism is the violent actions of environmentally oriented groups and individuals against innocent citizens or their property in order to attract public attention to solving environmental problems and/or pressure the authorities.

My position is very simple – I am strictly against any type of terrorism, as well as against any type of radicalism. Problems must be resolved through negotiations or other peaceful means.

Sadia Bajwa

  • Charcoal based energy production not a friendly atmosphere idea but still there is no discussion at international forum? Because countries produce energy from charcoal are well developed and having higher status in the world so criticism can’t push them back?

No one disputes that the use of charcoal is an environmentally dirty way to generate energy. Strategically, humanity needs to switch to new energy sources that are safe for the environment, such as renewable energy sources. Since the end of the 20th century, this topic has been frequently discussed at various international forums and conferences. For example, the most important international agreement signed by many developed countries in Paris in 2015 also aims to decarbonize energy production. Having made these commitments, the Paris agreement countries implement this policy in their own countries, depending on the available opportunities to reorganize the economy.

  • Is nuclear explosion also threat to environmental issues? Then which country is the liable most for that?

Any nuclear explosion, especially a ground-based one, is a threat to the environment and human health. In addition to the shock wave, powerful light flux, penetrating radiation and an electronic pulse that causes damage to electronic equipment, the greatest danger to the environment is caused by radioactive contamination of the territory, which has a mutagenic effect and causes degradation of natural ecosystems.

The first test of nuclear weapons was conducted on July 16, 1945 in the state of New Mexico (USA), an atomic bomb with a capacity of 20 thousand tons in TNT equivalent was tested. Then in early August of the same year, for the first time, two nuclear bombs were dropped on the major Japanese cities of Hiroshima (August 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9, 1945, in which about 250,000 Japanese civilians were killed.  As a result of the explosion and radiation sickness, about 170 thousand people died in Hiroshima and about 80 thousand people died in Nagasaki.

On March 5, 1946, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave a famous speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, which signaled the beginning of the cold war and the arms race, especially in the development of new types of nuclear weapons. The result of the cold war, nuclear weapons began to possess several countries United States (since 1945), USSR (since 1949), UK (since 1952), France (since 1960), China (since 1964) India (since 1974), Israel (since 1979), Pakistan (since 1998) and the Korean People’s Democratic Republic (since 2006, the last test conducted in 2018). In total, more than 2000 nuclear explosions were carried out in the world.

In total, more than 2000 nuclear explosions were carried out in the world.In 1963, all nuclear-weapon States and many non-nuclear-weapon States signed The Treaty on the limitation of nuclear tests in three environments, under which they pledged to refrain from nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, under water and in outer space. Only underground tests were allowed. The comprehensive nuclear-test-ban Treaty was signed in 1996. Countries that have ratified the Treaty have pledged not to resume testing nuclear weapons.

In the USSR, a nuclear explosion was first made in 1949 at the Semipalatinsk test site in the Kazakh SSR, then until October 19, 1989, the military tested many nuclear charges here (mainly underground). In 1991, on August 29, by decree of the President of Kazakhstan, the nuclear test site was completely closed and Kazakhstan officially renounced nuclear weapons. Later, this day was declared the International day of action against nuclear tests. Our Institute of Zoology of the Republic of Kazakhstan conducted research on the effects of nuclear explosions on the state of fauna in the former nuclear test site (within activity of the Radiobiology Laboratory). Both genetic and general monitoring studies of animals (mainly mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and aquatic invertebrates) of the nuclear test site were carried out, as a result of which the most disadvantaged territories in Eastern Kazakhstan were identified. The results of research showed the degradation of the fauna.

The greatest responsibility for the nuclear arms race is borne by the country that initiated it, first used this type of weapon against the civilian population, and conducted more than half of all tests of these weapons in the world (1,112 explosions), this is the United States of America. At the same time, all countries that developed and tested nuclear weapons (the USSR, Great Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and the DPRK) bear their share of responsibility to humanity and the planet’s ecosystems.

The number of nuclear weapon testing carried out by different countries is shown below.

1) USA (1112): 205 aboveground, 905 underground, 2 underwater

2) USSR (842): 211 aboveground, 628 underground, 3 underwater

3) France (210): 50 aboveground, 160 underground

4) China (48): 26 aboveground, 22 underground

5) Pakistan (7))

6) India (6))

7) North Korea (6 aboveground)

8) Israel (1 underground)

Reynaldo Gayas

  • How can we help and protect indigenous people from discrimination and invasion so that indigenous cultures and their areas are preserved and sustained?

International and national legislation protect the rights of indigenous people from discrimination and invasion. Also, the activities of many international organizations and programs (UNESCO, UNEP, UNDP, Human Rights Watch, etc.) are aimed at protecting indigenous cultures and their areas.  By actively participating in these organizations and programs, we can help protect indigenous people and their cultures.

Dalton Baltazar

  • Hi. I am a member of UInspire Philippines. I just wanted to ask who decides on the sizes of the core, buffer, and transition areas? Are there regulations that ensure that the rights of all living in the core area are not violated?

The organization of the UNESCO biosphere reserve is based on one or more protected areas that already have their own zoning in accordance with national legislation. In this regard, the size of core and buffer zones is determined by the authorized body in each country in accordance with all legal norms. The Transition area, which is usually not part of a protected area and is adjacent to it, is determined by local authorities in accordance with the interests of local communities and large land users.

Anonymous Attendee

  • Who or which group of people decides what is environmentally just?

As a rule, this assessment is given as a result of research by research groups that publish their research at their scientific conferences and seminars. Later on, the results of such research are used for discussion and decision-making at major international political meetings.

Kamran Yousaf

  • Environmental tribunals are there in some developing countries and shouldn’t be influenced by political pressure.

I agree with Your point of view, but I think that it is very difficult to fully implement this principle, because Environmental tribunals are held in a society filled with contradictions and clashes of various political and social forces. In this regard, even members of the Tribunal, sympathizing with any political parties or socio-political ideas, will be influenced by them. It is very difficult to live in a society and be free from its influence.

  • Environmental laws subject is being taught in institutions.. justice departments should join at least short courses to know the subject still environmental laws are lacking and needs further improvement

I completely agree with you. An important condition for getting good results in any activity is professionalism, which is formed on the basis of a good General education and special knowledge.  Improving the educational level of the company is the key to effective work.  In every country, legislation is constantly being improved as a response to changes in society. Globally, issues of environmental protection and improvement have reached a priority level as a condition for the survival of mankind. In this regard, national and international legislation regulating the use of natural resources needs to be developed.

Precious Bernabe

  • There is a statement that COVID19 has been decreasing air and water pollution, how would you explain this environmental changes and what is your plan to maintain and sustain this changes?

Indeed, COVID19 caused a reduction in air and water pollution. But this happened due to the forced downtime of many industrial, agricultural companies and other organizations that stopped their activities due to the lack of staff at the workplace, caused by restrictions on movement and self-isolation of people. Due to the collapse of the economy in many countries, the standard of living of the population has significantly decreased, many workers have been laid off or sent on unpaid leave. This is the cost that society pays in the fight against the pandemic, and this cost is extremely high in relation to people. In this regard, it is advisable to reduce pollution through the modernization of the economy and the use of environmentally friendly technologies.