The Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Branch has conducted a biodiversity expedition on the Kola Peninsula, revealing notable environmental recovery following Nornickel’s decision to reduce emissions by 90%. In a conversation with TASS, Nornickel’s Vice President for Ecology and Industrial Safety, Stanislav Seleznev, discussed the positive outcomes of the company’s ecological initiatives.
The research findings illuminate the earth’s incredible ability to heal itself when human-induced negative impacts are curtailed. A significant decrease in water-soluble salts and sulphate sulfur near the former Nickel plant suggests a natural self-cleansing process in the soil. This development points towards an expected increase in biodiversity in the region.
Closing Ecologically Unfit Facilities
Seleznev highlighted the closure of several Nornickel facilities that did not meet ecological standards as a pivotal step in this recovery. These closures have led to a substantial decrease in atmospheric emissions, previously a major environmental issue in the area.
Following the shutdown of the Metallurgical Shop in Monchegorsk, along with the smelting facility in Nickel settlement, sulfur dioxide emissions on the Kola Peninsula were reported to have decreased by 90%. These measures were part of Nornickel’s efforts to align its operations with contemporary environmental standards.
A Comprehensive Biodiversity Initiative
The ongoing study of ecosystem recovery on the Kola Peninsula offers valuable insights into nature’s self-recovery mechanisms. These findings are expected to inform the development of nature-like and eco-technologies.
This biodiversity survey is part of a larger project initiated in 2020 by Nornickel and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Branch, covering the Kola Peninsula, the Krasnoyarsk Region’s north, and the Trans-Baikal Region. The objective is to assess the impact zones of Nornickel’s operations and evaluate biodiversity. The results from this research will be crucial in developing a robust corporate biodiversity management system and programs dedicated to biodiversity monitoring and conservation.