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Nord Stream 2 presents findings of biodiversity enhancement initiatives

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World Pipelines,

Nord Stream 2 AG, the developer of a pipeline to supply Russian natural gas to the EU market through the Baltic Sea, supported the International Scientific Forum “Gulf of Finland – Natural Dynamics and Anthropogenic Impact”, held this week in St Petersburg. The conference, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Trilateral Gulf of Finland Co-operation, was organised by the Russian Geological Research Institute (VSEGEI) in partnership with the Trilateral Gulf of Finland Expert Group and the Russian Federal Agency on Mineral Resources (Rosnedra). Over one hundred scientists, experts and government officials from Finland, Estonia and Russia attended the event. Supporting scientific research and expert discussion is a priority of a comprehensive Environmental and Community Initiatives (ECo-I) Strategy, which Nord Stream 2 is implementing at the Russian landfall in line with national legislation and international standards.

Dr Dirk von Ameln, Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer at Nord Stream 2, provided a project status update and gave an overview of the surveys and initiatives undertaken by Nord Stream 2 in the effort to preserve the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea environment. “Our company is committed to the highest international standards in protecting the marine environment along the entire pipeline route from Russia to Germany. We are happy to be part of this international forum where distinguished experts from Estonia, Finland and Russia get to explore opportunities together to improve the ecological situation in the Gulf of Finland”, von Ameln noted.

Nord Stream 2 representatives spoke at several sessions within the Forum’s programme, where they highlighted the company’s approach towards compensation measures for the Gulf of Finland fisheries, and outlined the 2018 compensation programme, which has been fulfilled in line with Russian legislation and permit documentation. They also provided an overview of various biodiversity enhancement initiatives that have been performed in the region so far, as well as of activities planned for the near future as part of the Biodiversity Action Plan. The plan was developed by the company as part of its commitment to comply with the international standards, including the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards.

As part of its engagement in biodiversity enhancement, Nord Stream 2 has contracted a leading Russian expert on sturgeon to assess the feasibility of reintroducing this near-extinct species to the local environment. The company has also commissioned the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences to perform a comprehensive study on invasive marine species in the Baltic Sea. Nord Stream 2 will also support an assessment of ghost nets in the Gulf of Finland, a project which envisages engagement with fishermen and maritime authorities, in order to quantify the extent of the problem.

Furthermore, a group of international experts presented results from the ringed seals telemetry study project that is receiving continued support from Nord Stream 2 for the second consecutive year. The preliminary results of the project were discussed with expert community in early January 2018. The data being collected through this project is helping scientists to better understand ringed seal behavioural patterns, to identify threats to their population, and as such, to enhance the conservation strategy.

As a responsible project developer, Nord Stream 2 developed a comprehensive Environmental and Community Initiatives Strategy (ECo-I) Strategy to ensure sustainable project implementation and benefits for the environment and communities in the project area in Russia. The Strategy represents a holistic approach to reinstatement and compensation, conservation, community initiatives and sponsoring activities that Nord Steam 2 plans to undertake in and around the landfall in the Kingisepp district.

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