Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that map! The true situation with waste management uncovered at the official geoportal of Voronezhskaya region.

The geoportal itself is quite good especially for Russia and thare are a lot of information. It is even possible to download some of the data and almost all metadata. And because of their kindness we can see the ugly face of true Russian environmental ignorance and corruption:

Dumps in Voronezhskaya region: Red circles – illegal dumps; Green circles – officially allowed, unlicensed dumps; Squares with circles inside – landfills

First of all – you may see how many red circles out there. These are my “favourite” illegal dumps… terrible indeed.

But look at all these green circles and don’t let them trick you: green here does not stand for “green”. These are the same as illegal dumps, but… legal! Yes, these are dumps and their owners have no license for waste treatment and will never have because the soil and ground waters are not protected there.

So we have 9 landfills there. But not all of them have licence too… And finally there are no waste treatment plant at all.

Here you are an ugly inconvenient truth about dumps in Russia. Thanks to administration for shearing with us, but too bad they paint the same shit in different colours.


It’s actually already two month old news, but my research “Developement of the Universal Methodology for Assessement of Environmental Risk Caused by Fires at Illegal Dumps” (download in RUSSIAN), that was made special for Fire Monitoring Challenge (by GIS-Lab, Microsoft, NEXTGIS, several universities and GIS/spatial data corporations), was  awarded the 2-nd pace. The prize consisted of the fancy diploma, Lenovo IdeaPad G560 (thanks to all the gods it became much less uglier when I’ve installed openSUSE at it and applied an OSM sticker 😉 ), a wireless mouse (my wife was happy to grab it) and a nice book on remote sensing for children.

Instead of abstract:

Developed methodology for assessment of the fire probability in dependence of spatial location and actual area of illegal dump. It is applicable for any part of the world. Software used: QGIS, R.

Spatial component of the probability of the fire at illegal dump in Leningrad region, Russia

I was lucky to present this research at two conferences and today I’ve received a printed “minor” publication of the article (it is beta-version of the paper available at the link above). So it is possible now to cite it as:

Yury V. Ryabov (2011) Razrabotka univercal’noy metodiki rascheta veroyatnosti vozniknovenia pozhara na nesankcionirovennoy svalke // Sbornik nauchnih trudov molodyh specialistov, prepodavateley i aspirantov po resultatam provedenia Tret’ego molodezрnogo ecologichescogo congressa “Severnaya palmira”, 21-22 noyabria 2011, Sankt-Peterburg. – SPb NICEB RAN – pp. 93-106.

To Do: develope formula for composition coefficient calculation; translation to English; major publication.

P.S. If you are interested in this research and do not speak Russian don’t hesitate to contact me and ask for general translation.

Vladimir Putin stole the text of speech from Argentine politician.

No Place for Russia

Posted: September 4, 2011 in Amusements
Tags: ,

There is no such country as “Russia” in the witpress registration form))) Romania is absent too… Still I’m happy that Rwanda is not forgotten 😉

There was a link to the interesting research in one of my e-mail subscriptions today. The book “The New Profile of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Russia: A Global and Local Perspective: Summary of a Joint Workshop” brought my attention because of my nationality. I decided to check it out. Of course I had no intentions to read the whole research, but I was curious about graphs and pictures. Here you are one the scary one:




I had another TV experience last Thursday (previous story here). This time we talked about waste-treatment plant which is going to be build near St. Petersbourg by some Greek company. The main issue is that contest for the project of the plant they won was closed to public review, so there is no information on technology or estimated costs for the waste treatment for the population. Also there is no information on the environmental impact assessment. The contest itself was announced in England O_o and main negotiations took part in Germany O_o… So obviously the whole project is the essence of the corruption in Russia. But really bad news is that this plant will incinerate waste…

Currently I have a part-time job in a small “institute” for spatial planing (I highly doubt that I will keep working for them any longer) as an ecologist. It has several challenges such as unappreciated and low paid labour; low overall qualification in GIS (despite a great deal of work related to GIS); top management do not give a fuck about quality of project, workers, etc. and only cares about deadlines; master plan creation != scientific approach; most of the are relatively cheep nowadays because all the big territories have their master plans.

Actually, the last point is a problem only in minds of top management and other workers – I have a different opinion. These small projects (for the smallest municipalities) are a great advantage to demonstrate an ultimate modern scientific, sustainable and open-minded approach to spatial planing and to develop skills of the young workers (more than 90% of employees are younger than 30). But the general approach for to this relatively cheap contracts is to do somewhat and somehow, they think that small municipalities (opposite to the entire regions) are not cool, that everything is the same there, they are not worthy efforts… And here the responsibility starts.

A lot of people are not aware about sustainable development. And I believe that most of people in spatial planing industry in Russia do not know what these words mean. The key words to understand sustainable development are “responsibility” (to nature and people) and “quality of life”: we are responsible for everything that happening around. We are  responsible for quality of our lives, quality of lives of people around, quality of lives of people we are working for (consumers of goods and services, provided by our labour)… And here responsibility starts.

A role of spatial planing in sustainability must be recognised – that’s where sustainable decisions should be implemented in the first place, because master plans are an official document and a basis for development of the region or municipality.

Pride is the most serious of the 7 deadly sins and the source for others. I’m an atheist but I can’t reject the wisdom. Isn’t pride the root of the opinion that small municipalities are not worthy efforts in spatial planning? Or the maybe it is stupidity?

Ok. Which of the following proud statements is more probable?

  1. We were able to create a solid, comprehensive land use plan for the entire region.
  2. We were able to create a solid, comprehensive land use plan for the local municipality.

Of course it is #2! Larger area guarantees only greater amount of work and a greater butthurt – not the greater achievements. Only spatial planing for the local municipalities (which seems significant on the global scale) is able to make a difference. Just think about it: creation of the spatial planing documentation is very expensive for small municipalities, so it will be too difficult (because it is expensive) for them to make changes in this documentation. Documentation on spatial planing is very important, because will determine development of this communities for the next couple of decades so if there is no good strategy proposed, then municipalities will suffer. On the other hand no good strategy will be proposed in the situation when the job is treated as unworthy. That means that shitty documentation will guarantee shitty life for small municipalities for the next 20 years.

It is another illustration of the principle that in the world driven by money reach will multiply their wealth and poor will grow poorer.


  1. Do not treat your clients as unworthy just because they do not have enough money to feed your greed, or the project is much smaller than your egotism.
  2. If you are unable to find a challenge in lesser project, it means you are not skilled or qualified enough for the job.
  3. Be responsible, especially if well-being of thousands of people depends on you.
As I become aware of, about a year ago the St. Petersburg Committee for Nature Use Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety an airborne monitoring of the environment was launched. A helicopter with the representative of the committee followed the predefined route and took picture of the surface. The maps of the ecological issues were created, the fines were paid, etc.

But after the six month of the successful work the project was closed. The problem was… you won’t believe it – the monitoring was too successful! Some high-ranking bustard in the city administration (obviously he wanted to protect own business of business of his friends) ordered to stop fights. The criminals may sleep well now – thanks to the city administration! [No.more.waste – my unofficial translation to English] is another environmental-oriented NGO in Russia. Fellows try to solve multiple waste problems like separate waste collection and illegal dumping (but not illegal landfilling – unfortunately, this fish is not for their teeth for now) in countries of the former USSR.

Guys were inspired by Estonian Let’s do it project and its international offspring and decided to carry out 500 actions to get rid of illegal dumps on the 15 of May. Hope that information about locations and composition of illegal dumps they’re asking to provide is going to be reflected at the Global waste map. created a map for the scheduled actions. There are only 3 actions at the moment, hope this number will grow. You can pick up an action from this map and take part in it.

P.S. When I discovered Global waste map today there were only a couple of places with litter in St. Petersburg and whole Russia. Immediately I decided to reveal some of the “inconvenient truth” to the civilised world and upload data about large illegal landfill inside the borders of St.Petersburg and a thematic “photo” (RGB true-color + panchrom composition from WorldVeiw-2 imagery). Seems, it is the largest illegal landfill in Europe at this map. Unfortunately I have to register (don’t know if I will) before I will be able to edit composition of the illegal landfill.

40 000 m3 illegal landfill inside St. Petersburg

Here (autotranslated to English) you can find statements of the Russian president and its comparison to reality. Seems that google translated that post good enough so I suggest you read it. I will only tease you with this quote (from author, not the president):

According to the suicide statistics, [in Russia] it is 50 times more likely for corruptionist to commit suicide, than to be punished for his crimes.