One Million Trees on Behalf of One Million Clients in Russia
One Million Trees on Behalf of
One Million Clients in Russia
Journal
of events

One million cedar trees will be planted in the Far East on behalf of Citi Russia's one million retail clients

Dear Clients,

We are happy to let you know that in 2010 the number of Citibank's clients in Russia has exceeded 1,000,000. In November 2010, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), we purchased 1,000,000 saplings of Korean Cedar Trees. In the spring of 2011, WWF volunteers will plant the saplings in Russia's Far East and will organize for one-year special care of the young cedars. You can watch a documentary that was produced jointly with the WWF and talks in details about the initiative. You can also get more details on the project below.

We will keep you informed about the progress of this project. Please follow the updates on our website. Thank you for staying with us!

"We are extremely proud of our 1 million clients' milestone and are very thankful to our customers for their trust and loyalty, says Zdenek Turek, President AO Citibank, Head of Citi in Russia & CIS. – It is a testimony to our commitment to Russia where we have been building our retail business organically since 2002. We believe that our project with WWF will be well received by both our clients and the broader population as this is a real contribution for the long-term benefit of Russia, the country where we all live and work."

President of AO Citibank

Head of Citi in Russia and CIS

Zdenek Turek

"One million customers implies 38 bank transactions every minute as our clients make purchases at the shops, or make online money transfers, or make their utility payments, or engage in other consumer activities. This is an impressive number for a bank as young as Citibank in Russia that we hope will grow in the years ahead as we will continue to strengthen our range of products and build on client excellence."

Head of Consumer Banking

at AO Citibank

Amit Sah

"Forests are part of Russia's national heritage, and cedar forests are vital. They belong to one of the world's 200 ecoregions that play a key role from the biodiversity perspective. Illegal logging and fires have become pandemic in Russia. All programs aimed at preserving of the unique forest resources are important and timely."

Director for Nature Conservation Policy,

WWF Russia Co-Chairman of the Public Ecological Committee

under the Russian Federal Forestry Agency

Evgeny Schwarz
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and AO Citibank Pine broad-leaved forest recovery project in Russia's Far East

Location:The Land of Tiger and Leopard (South-West Primorye Region).

Environmental protection value:restoration of pine broad-leaved forests, the habitat for such Red Book animals as Far East Leopard and Siberian Tiger.

Wildlife for recovery:Korean Cedar Tree (Pinus koraiensis), and Manchurian Fir (Abies holophylla). Uniqueness: The targeted area is the primary habitat for the Siberian Tiger, whose population in Russia is only 500 specimens, and the Far East Leopard that is almost extinct. Due to anthropogenic impact, including numerous fires, the territory has been experiencing negative changes for many decades. The traditional animal habitats are disappearing, including the unique broad-leaved forests whose main species are the Korean Cedar Trees and Manchurian Firs – the most valuable and richest forests from the standpoint of biodiversity in Russia.

Activities:With support from AO Citibank, during the fall of 2010, WWF purchased 1,000,000 saplings of trees that will be pre-grown and planted in spring of 2011.

Additional information: Cedar and broad-leaved forests of Primorye Region are a part of one of the 200 global eco-regions that are most important in terms of preserving the biodiversity of the World. Thanks to the natural potential of the local ecosystems, the forests have provided habitat for such extremely rare animals as Siberian Tiger and Far East Leopard, along with the legendary plants ginseng and devil's–plant. The value of a live tree is 10 times higher than the price of wood. However, cedar and broad-leaved forests are often the only source of income for the residents of distant villages of Primorye Region.

  • © Vasiliy Solkin

    WWF Russia

  • © Sergey Kischenko

    WWF Russia

  • © Vladimir Filonov

    WWF Russia

Between 1946 and 1993, the area covered by cedar tree forest became 2.2 times smaller. Only one-third of the territory remained untouched. At present, the area of primeval forests is 2.86 million hectares, or 1.1% of the total area of the Far East forests. This is the lowest share in the modern history. The ban on cedar trees logging was in effect from 1990, but it failed to prevent from clearance and subsequent export of 170 thousand cubic meters of cedar timber in 2005. According to expert estimates, should such large-scale clearance continue at the same pace, Korean Cedar Trees may cease to exist in the Russian Far East within 15 years.

The only adequate solution to the problem that WWF and the public had been struggling for over three and a half years became the introduction of a new version of the Russian Government's decree that provides for a total ban on cedar trees logging. The ban came into effect on 12 November 2010. From now on, all efforts should be focused on protection of the existing cedar tree forests and recovery of those that have been damaged. In addition, WWF proposed to introduce long-term concessions of cedar tree forests for non-timber uses (i.e. collection of nuts, food, and medical grasses, hunting, and recreation), giving the population of taiga the priority right to secure concessions.

Contact details

Alina Vilnina

AO Citibank

alina.vilnina@citi.com

trees

Nov 29th 2011
Cedars Planted!

Thanks to all of our clients, thanks to all those who joined our project with WWF! This initiative has become the biggest action on restoration of habitat of the most rare cat of the planet.

Over 500 hectares in the Khasansky and Ussuriysky Regions have been covered with the cedar saplings. The bulk of the young trees that were planted in May — June this year spread their roots and have grown by some 2-5 cm. It has become possible also thanks to the fact that the trees were not left to grow on their own but got some special treatment in summer after the planting had taken place: some bushes and young broadleaved trees were removed to eliminate shade.

Now the future of the young cedars largely depends on whether the WWF supported firefighting groups in the Far East will be able to protect them from fires that every spring and autumn burst out in the Land of Leopard. Starting the autumn period of fires, threat of 2 fires has already been eliminated thanks to these firefighters.

The planting works will resume in the spring of 2012, with some planting works still taking place in October. Local school kids, as well as new volunteers who keep on enrolling for this project will get involved under the supervision of WWF.

And now you can download the certificate on your participation in the project.

Nov 29th 2011
Cedar Day

We have finalized our cedar movie and now it incorporates video material from Cedar Day.

Citi's 5-people strong team led by Sergey Korotkov, Head of Retail Business, planted about 300 cedars in one day!

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

  • foto_1

    © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

May 17th 2011
We are back from Russia's Far East!

Check out some first pictures. Full report will be available shortly.

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

  • © Dmitry Kuchma

    WWF Russia

May 13th 2011
Leaving for Vladivostok

Today we are flying to Vladivostok. On Sunday, we will join WWF volunteers and plant the cedars.

In the meantime, we are leaving you an interactive flash card that you can use to plant your own virtual tree.

May 10th 2011
We have talked to Denis Smirnov, Head of Forest Program of the Amur Branch of WWF Russia

For this post, we have talked to Denis Smirnov, Head of Forest Program of the Amur Branch of WWF Russia. Denis was one of the authors of our joint program.

— How long have you been with WWF? Why did you choose this organization? How did you find yourself on the thorny path of environmentalist?

I'll be celebrating my ninth anniversary at WWF in a couple of days. However, I took an interest in environmental issues a lot earlier. It happened during my student years at the Leningrad State University in the late 80s when I joined the newly born «green» movement. After graduation I came to work to the Russian Academy of Sciences, and preservation of the remaining inviolate forests in Russia became my hobby that took most of my leisure time. WWF gave me an opportunity to turn «hobby» to a proper job.

— Has anything changed with the ban on logging of cedar forests come into effect in November 2010?

The situation has definitely changed for the better. Until the end of 2010, the cutting of the trees continued on the basis of the permissions that had been issued before the adoption of the new law. Starting this year, timber lorries laden with the Korean Cedar are no longer seen on the roads of the Primorye Region that often. Of course, we can still identify certain cases of illegal logging, but the overall picture is very promising. More importantly, thanks to this ban the inhabitants of the Far East started to believe that there is room for a better change. Before, you would hardly find a person to doubt the fact that cedar forests are doomed to vanish in the next few years through the greed of timber merchants.

— Have Russian corporations changed their attitude to restoration and preservation of forests lately?

Last year, Russian companies began supporting WWF's projects on forest restoration in the habitat of the Far East Leopard. These programs used to be implemented at the expense of foreign donors. AO Citibank purchased the saplings of the Korean Cedar and funded the planting works. Thanks to BAT Russia and M–Video we bought a cross-country vehicle and a truck that help us transfer the saplings to mountainous areas. We hope that this interest will not wither once the International Year of Forest is over.

— You had a chance to take part in the planting works last weekend. How many saplings can a volunteer handle in one day?

It's been my seventh day in the fields starting last Saturday. Under the existing conditions, as our experience shows, one volunteer can plant about 600 young trees per day.

— Thank you very much for your time and good luck! We'll hope to see you on May 15th.
May 4th 2011
imgd6The planting works have started!

70 courageous volunteers opened the planting season in the Primorye and made their valued contribution to Russia's sustainable development within the framework of our joint project with WWF.

According to expert estimates, the planting works will take no less than six weeks and will last till mid–June as we will have to plant some 500 ha of wood! Over 150 volunteers have registered for May 15th to celebrate the Cedar Day and plant their own tree for the good of Russia and the whole Planet Earth.

  • © Julia Kalashnokova

    WWF Russia

  • © Olga Sass

    WWF Russia

  • © Ivan Egorchev

    WWF Russia

April 27th 2011
imgd7The winter time is over for our cedar saplings

The day is coming when the young trees will be transferred to the Khasansky and Ussuriysky Regions. This is the place where the remaining population of the Far East Leopard lives. There are only 30-40 specimen left. In 100 years, impacted by the anthropological factor, the size of habitat of this wild cat has decreased by 40 times. The Leopards disappeared in the Borderline District of Primorye and in the Sikhote Alin mountains. The species went almost extinct in the neighboring districts of China.

The future of the woods in the south-west of Primorye – the last asylum for the Far Eastern Leopard – is in question. According to our WWF colleagues, the woods are degrading due to logging and wild fires turning into secondary oak forests, and then – to forestless empty spaces. Extinction of firs and pines is the first sign of the degradation. Only within the last 50 years, the area occupied by fir and broadleaved forests has reduced more than twice!

It is very important to prevent the environmental catastrophe and restore the damage incurred by human to the unique flora and fauna of these territories. We hope that our project will contribute to sustainable development of the planet and will draw more attention to the problem of preserving the biodiversity of the Earth.

Our next update is planned for May 4: we hope to have some first pictures from the planting works in the Primorye woods. Stay tuned!

  • © Konstantin Kobyakov

    WWF Russia

  • © Konstantin Kobyakov

    WWF Russia

  • blog_7

    © Ivan Egorchev

    WWF Russia

  • © Ivan Egorchev

    WWF Russia

  • © Ivan Egorchev

    WWF Russia

  • © Ivan Egorchev

    WWF Russia

April 15th 2011
1,000,000 saplings of Korean Cedars

In 2010, the number of our clients has exceeded 1,000,000. On the occasion of this important event and on behalf of our clients, we partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and in November 2010 we purchased 1,000,000 saplings of Korean Cedars to plant them in the Far East in the spring of 2011, as well as organize for one-year special care of the young cedars.

Starting end of April and until beginning of June this year, the planting works will be taking place. On May 15th, we will go to the Far East to plant our own tree too. You can also join the ranks of volunteers by calling Olga Sass at the WWF Russia Amur Branch at +7 (4232) 41-48-68.

  • © Denis Smirnov

    WWF Russia

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