In an interview with the Voice of Russia the First Deputy Executive Director of the Russian Geographical Society Dmitry Polikanov said a few words about the future expeditions.
Another volunteer expedition to Siberian Tuva will be the most large-scale project of the Russian Geographical Society this year. Soon a new section of the railway leading to the Krasnoyarsk Region in Siberia will be laid there. However, ahead of construction work scientists and volunteers from 28 countries will examine all barrows and ancient settlements there. What is of archeological and historical value will be preserved. For this purpose the route will be changed for the new mainline. During the first expedition last year scientists found the remnants of ancient civilizations there, Dmitry Polikanov said.
"That expedition confirmed once again that Scythians had lived there. Today our task is to find Scythian gold there."
Volunteers are involved in other projects as well. For example on Franz Josef Land they are clearing the territory of the former Soviet military base, which the Russian servicemen left in the early 90s. The main thing today is to restore the unique nature of this archipelago. The remains of ancient animals, including mammoths, have been well preserved on Franz Josef Land as well as on the New Siberian Islands. The Russian Geographical Society plans to continue examining the most far-away northern islands, Dmitry Polikanov says.
"There are many islands and straits under the glaciers around Franz Josef Land and the New Siberian Islands. Should a glacier melt away someday in the future, there will appear new geographical objects on Russia’s map."
Although white spots are gradually disappearing from Russia’s map, there are still many white spots on it. There will be enough work to fill in tens of years of research, Dmitry Polikanov says.
"The part of Russia beyond the Ural Mountains is poorly studied. Some time ago our colleagues from the Sakhalin Regional Branch of the RGS discovered some new objects in the ocean near the Kuril Islands: new straits, a spit, a rock, and even an island."
Paramount attention is being paid to the preservation of Lake Baikal, the most freshwater lake in the world. Russian scientists together with their colleagues from China and Mongolia are examining the trans-border river pollution sources, aiming to hamper the penetration of sewage into Lake Baikal. Besides, practically all projects aimed at the shelf development as well as at the construction of oil and gas pipelines across the sea-beds are under the control of scientists. Their task today is not only to study the flora and fauna of the almost inaccessible territories but also to ensure the harmony between the interests of business and local ecology.