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Russians' Environmental Awareness Grows Over Years - Poll


The past few years saw steady growth in the number of Russians prepared to contribute personally to the solution of environmental problems, as follows from an opinion poll by the national public opinion studies center VCIOM.

"The share of those who would like to take part in the activity of public organizations addressing ecological issues went up from 26 percent in 2005 to 30 percent this year," the pollster said. Another seven percent already have an experience of this activity and 16 percent offered no comment. The group of those reluctant to take part in nature conservation activities reduced by nine percent since 2005 (from 56 percent to 47 percent). The people of Moscow and St. Petersburg are most careless about ecology.

According to a more detailed poll allowing more than one answer shows that Russians by and large are prepared to join such activities as tree planting and garbage collection (36 percent). About thirteen percent of the polled are prepared to cooperate with ecological inspections, nine percent would help collect signatures to appeals addressed to the authorities, six percent are ready to take to the streets for protest demonstrations and carry out education and enlightenment work, 15 percent remained undecided and 38 percent said they would not participate in anything at all.

At the same time the results of the poll showed that as before the people tend to put the responsibility for the condition of the ecology in their hometown on the local authorities, and not federal ones. Over four years ago the number of such respondents grew to 34 percent against 28 percent in 2005. Sixteen percent believe that the condition of the environment is the responsibility of the federal government and as many of the people themselves, 14 percent point to the regional authorities, 13 percent, to special government services and most rarely to enterprises (3 percent), and public organizations (2 percent). Two percent remained undecided.

The opinion poll was conducted on May 30-31 2009 in 140 villages and cities of Russia. An audience of 1,600 was questioned. The statistical error margin was no greater than 3.4 percent.

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