Skip to content

Baikal Environmental Wave Labeled a Foreign Agent by Russian Court

December 12, 2013

In November 2012, Russia passed a law requiring non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to register as foreign agents if they engage in political activity and receive financial support from foreign donors.

The term “foreign agent” raises concern for activist groups because of its negative Cold War connotations. Moreover, the law is seen by many in the international community as a way for the Russian government, under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, to further repress civil society groups.

Earlier this year, Baikal Environmental Wave (BEW), the NGO co-founded and co-chaired by 2008 Goldman Prize winner Marina Rikhvanova, came under investigation when it refused to register as a foreign agent after receiving an explicit order to do so from government officials.

According to a report from Pacific Environment, Rikhvanova and her team at BEW filed a complaint against the order with the prosecutor’s office. When they received a response demanding that the organization register as a foreign agent, they filed a legal suit.

Last month, a district court in Siberia’s Irkutsk region ruled in favor of the prosecutor, ordering BEW to register as a foreign agent.

Faced with increased government scrutiny, Rikhvanova and the team at BEW are taking steps to protect the organization’s institutional assets and working hard to ensure the continuation of their important environmental work.

Check back often for updates from Rikhvanova on the status of BEW and ways you can show your support.

Related Posts

The Fight for Our Rivers

July 25, 2022 – By Jacqueline Kehoe

Carving canyons, sustaining communities, feeding wildlife, and shaping history: rivers are integral to life on our planet. Despite their essential role, these rushing waterways make up just under half a percent of all surface freshwater on the planet. Rivers are rare, and they’re a prize worth fighting for. What Rivers Give Us Rivers are vastly…

Read more

Prigi Arisandi Embarks on River Tour, Raising Awareness for Indonesia’s Plastic Problem

April 13, 2022

Prigi Arisandi (Indonesia, 2011) has embarked on a 300-day tour of Indonesia’s rivers, documenting the status of 68 unique waterways. Starting on March 1, 2022, the journey will take Prigi and his team at Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation Foundation (Ecoton) across 68 rivers spanning the entire Indonesian archipelago, from Sumatra to Papua. Many of…

Read more

Three Indigenous Leaders Protecting the Amazon

October 4, 2021

In early September, members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress approved a motion requesting a global commitment to protect 80% of the Amazon Basin by 2025. The campaign behind the initiative, Amazonia for Life: 80% by 2025, acknowledges the critical role of the Amazon in stabilizing the global climate…

Read more