Here we are, nearing the end of December, and it’s time to review another challenging year and look forward to 2022. We all thought 2021 was going to be the year when we could say “post-pandemic”, didn’t we?!
Once again, we are so grateful to our donors and funders for their support. You have been flexible, creative, generous, and patient. Thanks to you, The Altai Project has remained a steadfast partner with frontline community leaders, activists, and conservation experts across Russia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan. It’s been a busy and diverse year!
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world, and our focus geographies are no exception. Russia and Kazakhstan have struggled to vaccinate their populations, and Mongolia’s early successes in halting transmission stumbled badly halfway through the year. Our partners, fortunately, are indefatigable, endlessly patient, and constantly reinventing or modifying their initiatives as the need arises.
Over the last 12 months we have again focused on flexibility and creativity, with an added focus on growing community. Some highlights:
- Coordinating a year-long journalism exchange between Earth Island Journal (part of our Earth Island Institute family) and Vladivostok-based Ecology and Business, a publication of the Bureau for Regional Outreach Campaigns NGO, sharing environmental and indigenous rights news and stories with readers in the United States and Russia.
- Widening access to English-language information about Altai wildlife, peoples, culture, languages, spiritual practices, and history at altaiproject.org and on our Facebook page.
- Ongoing research and conservation efforts to protect Steppe eagles, Saker falcons, and other raptors from power-line electrocution and poaching; and research and community education for snow leopards.
- Matching adventurous travelers with volunteer opportunities in wildlife conservation to study and protect snow leopards and raptors in Russia.
We also joined in the work of two international campaigns in the Arctic, lending expertise and an allied voice to protecting that critically important part of the planet. The first is the Clean Arctic Alliance, a coalition of environmental, indigenous, and research organizations seeking to protect the Arctic environment and communities from the impacts of shipping. The second coalition aims to protect Indigenous communities’ rights to a clean environment and access to traditional lands and resources in the Russian Arctic.
A look ahead to 2022: we will continue to work in solidarity with our partners, providing moral, financial, and technology support. The Altai Project prides itself on its individualized approach to working in this challenging and uncertain arena. We redesign projects, work with large and small, registered and unregistered groups, and even individual activists; and evolve our program areas to match the reality on the ground. Bottom-up, grassroots advocacy is at its most successful and productive when we can meet activists where they are.
And that’s where you come in! Through some of our most challenging times, you’ve continued to support The Altai Project’s mission, allowing us to conduct our important work. Your gift is also a sign of encouragement—that you believe in the importance of what we do. We appreciate you.
Please consider making a gift this year – EVERY gift is important, no matter the amount. Especially now, your gift is even more meaningful, helping us to navigate through the uncertain time ahead.
As a small organization with very low overhead costs, you can be confident that your donation will be wisely used to protect natural landscapes and wildlife and support Indigenous peoples and traditional lifeways in and around Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia in 2022.
We accept donations by check, credit card, and PayPal. Visit altaiproject.org/donate for details.
As always, drop me a note, ask a question, and/or make a suggestion. We can talk on Zoom or phone or by email – reach out today!
Sending warm wishes of good health and moments of joy to you and yours!