11  April  2012
The Fund for the Protection of the Lake Baikal became the first collective member of Russian geographic society.

A meeting of the Guardianship board of Russian geographic society (RGS) took place in Saint-Petersburg on April 10, 2012. In the course of the meeting, the Fund for the Protection of the Lake Baikal (FPLB), a legal entity, was made a member of RGO for the first time in history.
Chairman of the Guardianship board of RGO V.V. Putin and the president of RGO S.K. Shoygu participated in the meeting.  After grants for the year 2012 were awarded, V.V. Putin, chairman of the RGS Guardianship Board, solemnly handed in a certificate to confirm that the Fund became a member of the Society to M.V.Slipenchuk, the chairman of the FPLB Board of Guardians.

In his speech V.V. Putin, Chairman of the Guardianship board of RGS, noted: "From the moment of its foundation RGO has been carrying a powerful patriotic message.  The initiatives of the society united the brightest and the most educated people of their times, self-denying enthusiasts, true men of action, that were heartily devoted to our Motherland.  Undoubtedly, philanthropists have always played a special role in the activities of RGS.  Their support made it possible to make hundreds of expeditions and research projects that contributed hugely to the development of this country ".
In conclusion, V.V. Putin thanked to all the participants in the meeting for their facilitation to the activities of RGS and suggested the organization of the next meeting in the course of an expedition, for example, at the Lake Baikal. "We could see the process of works financed by us, evaluate recent results and achievements in the field and think about our further work".

The meeting was highlighted by one more unique event - the ceremony of signing of AGS Fliers’ and Explorers' Globe. It was signed by legendary Soviet astronauts V.N.Tereshkova and A.A. Leonov.   The Globe has never left the borders of the USA before. In his speech Jerry Dobson, the president of American geographic society (AGS) specified that this happened due to the support of Mikhail Slipenchuk, a philanthropist and a deputy of State Duma.

Russian geographic society

Russian geographic society (RGS) is the oldest public organization in Russia; it was founded by supreme order of Emperor Nikolai I in 1845. Among the founders of RGS were famous Russian travelers and explorers: admirals I.F. Kruzenstern and P.I. Rikord, rear admiral F.P. Vrangel, academicians K.I. Arseniyev and V.Y. Struve, military geographer and surveyor M.P. Vronchenko and others.  From its foundation onwards, RGS announced that the aim of its activities was to collect and distribute   geographical data about Russia. The expeditions of the Society played a huge role in the development of Siberia and the Far East, Middle and Central Asia and the World ocean. Polar expeditions are a special feature in its activities.

RGS actively collaborates with geographic societies of other countries, participates in major events organized by the international geographic society.  Today among the members of RGS there are specialists from different areas of science: geographers, ecologists, geologists, ethnographers, statisticians, as well as art workers, representatives of the mass media, politicians and businessmen.

In 2009 S.K. Shoigu was elected president of RGS, and V.V. Putin became chairman of the Guardianship board.

The Fund for the Protection of the Lake Baikal

The Fund for the Protection of the Lake Baikal was founded in 2008 at the initiative of the METROPOL Group of Companies. The fund provides support to large-scale scientific and research projects and programs aimed at the development of efficient measures for the preservation of the Lake Baikal. Namely, in 2008-2010 the fund organized a major International scientific and research expedition "Mirs at Lake Baikal".  Among the participants there were leading national and foreign scientists, heads of states, famous politicians and public figures from 12 different states.  The program provided valuable support for further development of Russian fundamental science and became a recognized world-level event.

The president and the chairperson of the Guardianship board of FPLB is A.N. Chilingarov, a well-known Russian scientist and explorer, deputy of the State Duma, Hero of the Soviet Union, Hero of Russia, and correspondent member of Russian Academy of Science.  The Guardianship board is headed by M.V. Slipenchuk, deputy of the State Duma and doctor of economy.  The FPLB Scientific, Technical and Public councils are comprised of famous Russian scientists, politicians, businessmen and art workers.

Fliers' and explorers' globe

The globe was granted as a present to American geographic society in 1929 by John Finley, president of the society and Editor-in-chief of New York Times. He suggested marking the routes of flights and expeditions of famous fliers and explorers of the world on the globe and adding signatures of the participants to each marked route.

Since then 78 legendary travelers and researchers from nine countries have signed the globe. Among them there are great polar researchers Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, famous researcher of the World ocean Silvia Earle, pilot Bertrand Piccard.  The globe also features the signatures of our compatriots - Valery Chkalov, Alexander Balyakov and Georgiy Baydukov that completed a non-stop flight on the route Moscow - North Pole - Vancouver (Washington, USA) in 1937.

V.V. Putin congratulates M.V. Slipenchuk on FPLB’s becoming a member of RGS.

A certificate confirming that FPLB became a corporate member of RGS.

Presidium of the meeting of the Guardianship board of Russian geographic society: S.K.Shoigu, the president of RGS; V.V. Putin, the chairman of the Guardianship board of RGS; N.S. Kasimov, first vice-president of RGS.

V.V. Putin delivers a speech.

V.P. Savinykh, an astronaut and   president of Moscow state university of geodesy and cartography; M.V. Slipenchuk, a deputy of the State Duma and the chairman of the Guardianship board of FPLB; A.B. Miller, the chairman of the Board of Gasprom OJSC; V.A. Sadovnichiy, the rector of The Moscow state university named after Lomonosov; V.V. Tereshkova, a deputy of the State Duma and the first female astronaut on Earth; A.A. Leonov, an astronaut.

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