Project | Jan, 2017 - Mar, 2022

Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel 2017-2021

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Overview and objectives

Summary:
Since 2004, IUCN has been working with Sakhalin Energy – an oil and gas company with Gazprom, Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi as shareholders – and other actors, including IUCN Members active in the…
Since 2004, IUCN has been working with Sakhalin Energy – an oil and gas company with Gazprom, Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi as shareholders – and other actors, including IUCN Members active in the region, to ensure the long-term conservation of western gray whale population, listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The overall goal of WGWAP is to provide objective independent advice on the conservation of these cetaceans with a focus on those that feed off Sakhalin Island in the Sea of Okhotsk, North Pacific. These feeding areas located in the Russian Far East – a region with large offshore oil and gas deposits, and active exploitation of other natural resources – are used by the western gray whales every summer and are vital for the maintenance of the population.

For the period of 2017-2021, the WGWAP is focusing on the advice regarding the Company’s plans for the implementation of the IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Responsibility, continued development of measures for future marine seismic surveys, the refresh of the joint Sakhalin Energy/ENL annual programme on western gray whale monitoring, as well as support the work of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

For more information on the role of the WGWAP and IUCN, please see the Panel's Terms of Reference, available at https://www.iucn.org/western-gray-whale-advisory-panel/panel.
Objective:
Given that Panel’s term will conclude at the end of 2021, in addition to providing advice on the ongoing activities, the Panel is also working to produce a series of journal articles and other…
Given that Panel’s term will conclude at the end of 2021, in addition to providing advice on the ongoing activities, the Panel is also working to produce a series of journal articles and other documents to ensure that the good practices, lessons learnt, science and knowledge acquired over the Panel's lifetime of 15+ years are available to all stakeholders, including the industry actors, conservation practitioners, and policy/decision makers. This includes topics concerning whale biology, whale population assessment, and impact monitoring and mitigation. These activities are explicitly intended to help ensure continuation of effort to improve conservation status of western gray whales under Russia-led bodies and mechanisms post-2021. The particular focus is to support the objectives of the Russian national project “Ecology” for 2019-2024, including contribution to the development of a Russian Federation Conservation Strategy and Roadmap for western gray whales in 2021-2030.

Project at a glance

Start date:
Jan, 2017
End date:
Mar, 2022
Budget:
Nature 2030 priorities:
SDGs:

Members and partners

Southall Environmental Associates, Inc.,
World Wide Fund for Nature - International,
World Wide Fund for Nature - Russia,
Far East Whale Research LLC,
International Fund for Animal Welfare,
International Whaling Commission,
IUCN Species Survival Commission 2017-2020,
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation,
Okapi Wildlife Associates Registered,
Sakhalin Environmental Watch