Our Mission

Far Eastern Environmental Health Fund is a non-government non-profit organization based in Primorskyi krai, Russian Far East. Our primary activity is to address regional environmental health and conservation issues by direct active involvement and promotion of sound, science-based political decisions. In our work we are largely relying on international cooperation and use of world experience for solving regional issues.

Our Programs

Reducing Risk of Lead Poisoning of Children

spilled lead concentrate in Serzhantovo, Dalnegorsk District, Primorsky kray, photo: Petr SharovLead poisoning is serious global problem. Many industries in Russia and other developing countries use old equipment and old technologies that increase contamination of the environment. In countries of the former Soviet Union there are dozens of highly contaminated places that were polluted during the Soviet time and never cleaned up later. Most people that live in the Russian Far East are unaware of lead health dangers and ways to reduce health risks. Some children that were tested in Vladivostok, Spassk, Kavalerovo, and Dalnegorsk in 1999 had blood lead concentrations over 40 μg/dl. In Rudnaya Pristan in 2004 there were several children with blood lead level over 40 μg/dl. This is much higher than the present international "safe" standard 10 μg/dl.

The Program on Reducing Risk of Lead Poisoning of Children is the first and the biggest activity of the Far Eastern Environmental Health Fund since its foundation in 2002. At present we focus most of our efforts on the Rudnaya River Valley in Northern Primorye. The town Rudnaya Pristan located in that area is one of the most contaminated with heavy metals sites in Russia. In 2007 it was even listed by the Blacksmith Intitute among the top ten most polluted places in the world. This place, where mining and lead smelting industry was founded by Yul Brinner's family almost hundred years ago, is gradually changing for better. We have achieved a significant reduction of blood lead levels and now work to cease risk of lead posioning of children in that area. Besides Rudnaya River Valley in 2009 we started development of smilar projects in Cheremkhovo District near Lake Baikal and in Chimkent in Southen Kazakhstan where issue of lead poisoning of children is big problem. Learn more...

children playing in remediated playground that used to be contaminated with lead and cadmium FEHF staff examining tailings of Dalpolymetall Company near Dalnegorsk

Environmental Awareness

In modern Russia we see constant violation of the constitutional rights of people for clean and healthy environment. People also seldom receive full and trustworthy information on the environmental situation in their city or region. the goal of our awareness program is to provide people with such information on environmental issues and give advice on existing environmental risks. In doing so we are trying to help people form their own opinion by expanding their knowledge. Our actions are also meant to attempt influence policy makers to promote environmentally sound decisions. And the last but not least part of our program is working with young people and helping teachers in schools to raise new "eco-knowledgeable" generation. The activities of the program include preparing and distribution diferent kinds of informational materials, conducting public meetings, making public actions, teaching special eco-lessons at schools or kindergartens, working with media, spreading information through our websites, and printing our own regional environmental newspaper "Fresh Wind" learn more...

FEHF supported lecture about forest FEHF organized action against environmentally unsafe oil pipeline project

Green Energy and Environmental Housing

Environmental Housing project developed in Vladivostok

The amount of enrgy that Earth is receiving from the Sun within an hour is enough to satisfy all human needs for a year. Even now we are mainly using energy of the Sun stored in fossil fuels. But this releases CO2 and other greenhouses gases and produces huge pollution that is dangerous for our health. It is time for the whole humanity to rethink our lifestyle. There are no absolutely clean ways to produce usable energy. But already exists lots of technologies that save our health and our planet creating electricity power and thermal energy without polluting emmisions. It is no secret that continuing "business as usual" is putting us on a verge of a global environmental crisis. But there are ways to avoid it and start changing our attitudes. We could widely use principle of less consumption: reduce, reuse, recycle. We can build houses with little or no need of external energy supply. We can make good use of solar and wind power. People in the Far East like inthe rest of the world have all chances to improve living conditions by using modern technologies and reducing impacts on environment. It is a complex task that requires complex solution.

test wind power generator installed by the Far Eastern Environemtnal Health FUnd with support of Aquatoria 25 construction company That is why in 2009 we started a new program oriented on promotion of green energy, eco-housing, and energy efficiency. We present the developed in Primorye project of eco-friendly dwelling HOUSE OF THE FUTURE. This concept unites: comfort, economy, energy-efficiency, and environmental thinking. We wish that most of houses in the future are built on such principles. Such house should on itself produce electricity, heat water, clean wastes and provide good lighting and heating. Owners would not suffer from turn offs of central supply of water and power. The construction would be a bit more expensive than an ordinary house, but it will payoff greatly. Because maintaining such house will be very cheap. Such "green palace" will consume on monthly utilities several times less, than a traditional dwelling.

Scodn important direstion of the program is promotion of alternative green sources of energy - wind generators, solar panels, collectors, etc. We try to tell people what is it and how it could be used. Wide application of green energy could solve the problem of energy supply in many places of the Far East and at the same time increase energy efficiency of the country. Green energy is one of the main solutions for keeping air and water clean and reduce the pace of climate change. Right now there are many obstacles for using wind and solar power. Not many options available, high prices, absence of examples - all these issues we are trying to address in our program. And we welcome everybody to participate in uor activities. Green Energy in Russia should be simple, reliable, efficient, and available. to the program page... (in Russian)

Ecotourism and Protected Areas

source of mineral water Milogradovsky near the south-eastern border of the national park "Tiger Call", photo: Petr Sharov Primorye is a truly unique region. During the Glacial Ages the norhtern species were moved here by the glaciers while the southern species survived. That is why the biological diversity of the region is unmatched in the world in any other temperate climate areas. The level of biological diversity is similar to subtropical areas, and here we observe an incredible mix of northern and southern plants and animals. Of course, such unique nature must be preserved, which is a tough task for a country with natural resource based economy. There are six nature reserves in Primorye and two relatively new national parks.

rafting on Milogradovka River, end of April 2009, national park "Tiger Call", Primorye, photo: Yury Bersenev The goal of our Ecotourism and Protected Areas Program is to promote eco-tourism as the way to protect nature and at the same time develop regional economy. Right now eco-tourism in Primorye is very undeveloped. There is very little infrastructure, lack of information, and difficult access to most interesting natural areas. We try to help recently established national parks Udege Legend and Tiger Call to develop and maybe become some day as famous as Yellowstone and Yosemite. Learn more...

Protecting Marine Environment

In 2007 we started a project on improving the environmental situation in the Gulf of Peter the Great of the Sea of Japan in Southern Primorye. One of its main parts the Amur Bay is one of the most polluted marine water bodies of Russia. This resulted from the extremely inefficient system of management and environmental protection. Almost no sources of pollution are controlled and the biggest city in the Russian Far East - Vladivostok - does not even have sewage treatment facilities. It is both a big shame and a huge problem. At the same time the ecosystems of the Gulf of Peter the Great have high conservation importance as an interesting mix of northern and southern flora and fauna species. The Gulf of Peter the Great is home for the Far Eastern National Marine Biosphere Reserve - the only marine nature reserve in Russia. The Gulf coast is widely used for recreation by millions of local residents and incoming tourists.

In our project we launched an informational campaign to increase pressure on authorities and make them finally start solving the marine pollution and litter problems. In additional to general campaign we were working with politicians personally and persuaded them to act. We are not just saying: "Hey! Do something!". We united experts of the regional scientific insitutions and involved international experience to make recepies for the government how to improve the situation. Our activities brought the first expected results. In 2009 the construction of Vladivostok sewage water treatment facilities started. They should be ready in 2011 and in several more years we should see a great improvement of the marine water quality of the Amur Bay and the whole Peter the Great Gulf

We plan to have more marine initiatives and to work on other environmental issues of the Far Eastern seas like sustainable use of marine living resources, impacts of oil and gas shelf drilling, poaching of valuable species, conservation of rare animals, etc. In our work we are willing to cooperate with all organizations that share our values and work on similar issues. Learn more...

Sea terns in Kievka Bay, Primorye Sunset at the Amur Bay, part of Peter the Great Gulf