About Us

The Altai Project protects natural landscapes and wildlife and supports Indigenous peoples and traditional lifeways in and around Russia and the Greater Altai region which also includes Mongolia and Kazakhstan. We conduct our work through community collaborations and targeted campaigns.

The Altai Project works to achieve our mission through financial support, strategic exchanges of expertise and technology, strengthening protected areas (including sacred sites), and amplifying the voices of frontline partners and experts through storytelling and advocacy.

We support conservation efforts, wildlife research and protection (snow leopards, raptors, Altai argali sheep), sustainable ecotourism development, protection of sacred lands and traditional and spiritual lifeways, and careful renewable energy infrastructure development.

Throughout our programs, we engage with Indigenous peoples. Not only do we support their efforts to manage their traditional natural territories, we believe they hold a key to living in balance with nature—a key that must not be lost. Protection of sacred lands and strengthening traditional knowledge are priorities.

In collaboration with other international nonprofits, we support and participate in activism to prevent or mitigate potentially destructive development that threaten ecosystems, communities, and biological diversity. Our partners are generally people and organizations in the local community, and we strive to maintain long-term relationships.

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Why Altai?

The Greater Altai Ecoregion is of global importance. Within that system, Russia’s Altai Republic is linked with Kazakhstan, China, and Mongolia.

Complex structure for a strawbale at Bobrovka

Our History

Throughout 17+ years of its existence, The Altai Project has constantly refined and adjusted its work to protect nature and strengthen communities in Altai.


Meet The Director

Jennifer Castner, the director of The Altai Project, is fluent in Russian and has traveled extensively in Siberia, the Russian Far East, Ukraine and Europe.

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The Altai Project/Earth Island Institute has a 4-star rating from CharityNavigator.org

We are a project of Earth Island Institute (EII). Earth Island Institute is a non-profit, public interest, membership organization that supports people who are creating solutions to protect our shared planet.

Earth Island Institute develops and supports projects that counteract threats to the biological and cultural diversity that sustain the environment. Through education and activism, these projects promote the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the Earth.

Earth Island Institute was founded in 1982 by legendary environmentalist David Brower as an innovative solution to this dilemma. Rather than create dozens of separate non-profit groups with the same basic administrative needs, Earth Island acts as an umbrella organization, providing individual projects with the freedom to develop new initiatives by offering a wide range of professional services, from fiscal administration and program management to office space and equipment.

Earth Island's Project Network consists of over 75 projects worldwide (see the Project Directory for program and contact information).

Charity Navigator awarded Earth Island Institute 4 out of a possible 4 stars. A 4-star rating indicates that Earth Island Institute adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. Charity Navigator is America's premier independent charity evaluator; they help donors make intelligent giving decisions by providing in-depth, objective ratings and analysis of the financial health, accountability, and transparency  of America's largest charities.

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