NOVATEK does not have any negative impact on biodiversity in the areas of its operations. The Company monitors biodiversity in the areas where it conducts its production activities and takes proactive and compensatory measures to protect it.
Biodiversity preservation is considered as a part of the Company sustainable development principles. As part of biodiversity preservation activities, the following actions are planned on an annual basis:
- compensatory measures in relation to aquatic biological resources;
- research activities;
- biodiversity monitoring;
- outreach and awareness-raising measures.
As part of compensatory measures in relation to aquatic biological resources, artificial reproduction of aquatic biological resources is provided jointly with the Russian Federal Fisheries Agency local offices by releasing juvenile fish into water bodies of the regions where the Company operates.
In the regions of the Company presence there are rivers of the Ob-Irtysh and North-Western basins, the habitats of valuable fish. To enhance these aquatic biological resources, NOVATEK finances rearing of valuable fish and release of fry into their natural habitats.
In order to eliminate gaps in data on critical sea benthos habitat in the Ob Bay, a special research and scientific center is being involved. As part of these works, background data on benthos communities are verified, maps are developed (lithological map, benthos communities distribution), field works are carried out to verify the results of library material processing. It is planned to use not only direct, but also remote research methods.
The Arctic has region-specific species of flora and fauna. Many of such species are red-listed as rare and endangered species.
As early as during the survey stage, NOVATEK keeps a close watch on any red-listed plants within its license areas and chooses to develop only those areas where such species are not encounted.
The Company carries out annual biodiversity monitoring which includes both monitoring programs for biodiversity of terrestrial ecosystems and research programs for water bodies and marine mammals.
The results of ichthyological and hydrobiological studies as well as studies of species composition and quantitative characteristics of phytoplankton, zooplankton and macrobenthos carried out in 2018 indicate low degree of anthropogenic load on the studied water entities.
In general, based on the results of work in 2018 and compared with previous years, it can be noted that most part of ecosystems of the Company’s fields and license areas is in baseline low-disturbed state. Over recent years, biodiversity of species and communities suffered no significant changes. The results of surveys also confirm the regional trend that habitats of species are expanded towards the North.