"Economic Development and the Environment"
on the Sakhalin Offshore Oil and Gas Fields II

Copyright (C) 1999 by Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University.
All rights reserved


Environmental Consciousness in Sakhalin:
Background and Views on the Sakhalin Offshore
Oil-Gas Development

Tsuneo Akaha and Anna Vassilieva


Participation in Civic Organizations
We are interested in whether citizens of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk actively participate in civic groups and organizations outside of their occupation. We are particularly interested in whether their activity relates to environmental issues and whether their participation affects their attitude toward the Sakhalin oil and gas projects.

Participation in Nonoccupational Group/Organization

We asked, "With what group or organization outside of your organization of employment are you affiliated that occupies a significant share of your time as a private citizen?" As Table 25 shows, 28 respondents (about 26 percent) participate in some organized civic activity, while 58 respondents (about 53 percent) have no such activity.

The civic groups and organizations in which our respondents participate include: Boomerang (a self-actualization society involved in environmental and moral education of children); Our City Today (environmental education for children, scientific symposia, public opinion polls, research and exchange, educational exchange); Club Rodnik (promotion of tourism, environmental projects, self-esteem building); Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk City Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (promotion of indigenous peoples' legal, political, and social rights); Information Agency on Tourism in Sakhalin and the Kuriles (promotion of tourism in Sakhalin and Kurile islands); National Labor Union of Russian Solidarity (promotion of modern democracy); Judo Association of Sakhalin Region (promotion of judo); Environmental Watch of Sakhalin (an environmental NGO), Ecological Branch (environmental education for school children); Ecojuris (a union of lawyers and environmental activists); Ecological Shift of Sakhalin (an environmental movement); Public Council on the Shelf and Civil Responsibility (an environmental movement); Sakhalin Regional Branch of the Women's Union of Russia (promotion of women's participation in social, economic, and cultural life, support for poor families); Consumer Association (development of small businesses); Iabloko (liberal political movement); the Communist Party; Hunters and Fishermen Society (promotion of hunting and fishing and environmental monitoring); and Sakhalin Branch of the Armed Forces Veterans Association (assisting retired officers)

Table 25. Nonoccupational Group Activity
Nonoccupational group participation # of respondents        %
Yes
No
NA*
28
58
24
25.5
52.7
21.8
Total 110 100.0
* Includes "no answer," "don't know."
Table 26. Area of Nonoccupational Group Activity
Area of activity* # of respondents     %**
Social
Environmental
Political
Legal
13
11
6
1
41.9
35.5
19.4
3.2
Total 31 100
*
**
Some respondents gave multiple answers.
Out of the 31 respondents who participate in nonoccupational groups.

Social and environmental groups or organizations appear more inviting than political movements. (Table 26)

By profession, NGO participants appear the most active in organized civic activity. It should also be noted that a fair number of media people and Oblast and city personnel also participate in organized activities outside of their employment. Teachers, business people, students, professors, and scientists are the least likely to participate in nonoccupational civic groups. Only three teachers out of 14 in our sample, one business person out of 11, two students out of 14, two professors out of 11, and two scientists out of 20 participate in civic groups or organizations (Table 27). We will discuss this point later.
Table 27. Nonoccupational Activity by Profession
  # of respondents Nonoccupational group
Profession   Yes No
NGO
Media
Teacher
Business
Oblast
City
Student
Professor
Scientist
8
10
14
11
11
11
14
11
20
6
3
3
1
4
4
2
2
2
2
7
11
10
7
7
12
9
18
Total 110 27 83

Table 28. Nonoccupational Group Activity by Age
  # of respondents Nonoccupational group
Age   Yes No
19-24
25-29
30-34
35-39
40-44
45-49
50-54
55-64
21
17
10
8
19
11
13
9
2
4
3
0
6
4
7
1
19
13
7
8
13
7
6
8
Total 108* 27 81
* Two respondents did not indicate their age.

Table 29 Nonoccupational Group Activity by Gender
  # of respondents Nonoccupational group
    Yes No
Male
Female
52
57
19
7
33
50
Total* 109 26 83
* The totals do not match because some respondents did not answer this question.

Table 28 shows the breakdown by age. The youngest group, including mostly university students, shows very little activity in civic groups or organizations. People in the 35-39 age group also show no participation in organized civic activity. Proportionately the most active are people in their 40s and those in the 50-54 age group.

It appears that men are more actively involved in civic activities outside of their occupation. Table 29 shows that almost 37 percent of our male respondents have such involvement, while only about 12 percent of the female subjects are similarly engaged.

Organizational Ties Abroad

We asked, "Does your organization have ties to groups/organizations outside of Russia?" Thirteen respondents answered this question affirmatively and nineteen people negatively (Table 30). Out of the 28 respondents who participate in organized civic activities, nearly half of them (46 percent) say the groups in which they belong have some international contacts.

If a respondent answered the above question affirmatively, he/she was then asked to name the country or countries in which the overseas groups were located. Table 31 shows the countries with which the respondents' groups have ties. The United States and Japan are the most familiar partners for Sakhalin groups, followed by Germany, Australia, and France.

Table 30. International Ties
International ties # of respondents %*
Yes
No
13
15
46.4
53.6
* Out of the 28 respondents who participate in civic groups.

Table 31. Countries with Ties
USA
Japan
Germany
Australia
France
United Kingdom
Canada
Ukraine
Belarus
Kazakhstan
Korea
Netherlands
Laos
7
5
4
3
3
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
Total* 32
* Some respondents named multiple countries.

The respondent was then asked to describe the nature of the international ties his/her organization had with the overseas groups. Answers included information exchange, joint organization of conferences, receiving grants, and conducting joint research or action projects. (Table 32)

Table 32. Nature of International Ties
Nature of ties # of respondents        %*
Information exchange
Conferences
Joint projects
Grants received
Supply/equipment support
Publication
7
4
3
2
1
1
53.8
30.8
23.1
15.4
7.7
7.7
* Out of the 13 groups with international ties.

Funding Source

The question "What is the source of funding that supports the activities of your group/organization?" prompted the answers shown in Table 33. Eleven of the groups in which our respondents participate (about 40 percent) receive funding from business enterprises. Membership dues support 10 groups (36 percent) and revenues fund nine groups (32 percent). Six organizations (21 percent) secure funding from the Sakhalin Oblast government. The City of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk provides funding for four (14 percent) of the groups in our sample, with the federal government supporting only two groups (7 percent). (Table 33)
Table 33. Funding Source
Funding source # of respondents        %*
Corporate
Membership dues
Revenue
Oblast
City
Federal government
11
10
9
6
4
2
39.3
35.7
32.1
21.4
14.3
7.1
Total** 42 149.9**
*
**
Out of the 28 respondents who participate in nonoccupational groups.
Some respondents cited multiple sources of funding.

Size of Group/Organization

We asked, "About how many people are affiliated with your group/organization?" As table 34 shows, out of the 25 respondents who answered this question, nine (36 percent) participate in organizations with a membership of 50 or more. Eight (32 percent) are active in groups with ten or fewer members. Five respondents (20 percent) take part in groups of between 11 and 30 members and another two (8 percent) in groups with 31-50 members.
Table 34. Size Of Group
Size of nonoccupational group # of respondents        %*
Up to 10
Between 11 and 30
Between 31 and 50
Over 50
NA
8
5
2
9
1
32.0
20.0
8.0
36.0
4.0
Total 25 100.0
* Out of the 25 respondents who answered this question.

Benefits from Oil/Gas Development to Nonoccupational Group

When asked, "Does your group/organization stand to benefit directly or indirectly from the development of oil and gas in Sakhalin?" 14 out of the 25 respondents who answered the question (56 percent) believe their group will benefit from the offshore oil and gas development projects, while 11 (44 percent) anticipated no benefits (Table 35).
Table 35. Expectations of Benefits to Group
Benefits to group # of respondents        %*
Up to 10
Yes
No
8
14
11
32.0
56.0
44.0
Total 25 100.0
* Out of the 25 respondents who answered this question.

Those who anticipated benefits for their groups were then asked to describe how their group might benefit. The distribution of their answers is shown in Table 36.

Table 36. Type of Expected Benefits to Group
Type of benefits # of respondents
Financial support
Material support
Projects
Jobs
Other, indirect
NA
4
2
2
1
6
1
Total* 16
* Some respondents gave multiple answers.

Environmental Consciousness Raising

Most civic groups in which our respondents participate conduct activities designed to increase environmental awareness. We asked the 28 respondents who participate in organized civic activities, "Does your organization's activity include the raising of citizens' consciousness about the environment?" Eighteen of them (72 percent) answered affirmatively and seven (28 percent) negatively. (Table 37) Evidently, environmental issues are an important part of organized civic activity for those citizens of Sakhalin who are active outside of their place of employment.
Table 37. Environmental Awareness Raising
Raising environmental awareness # of respondents        %*
Yes
No
18
7
72.0
28.0
Total 25 100.0
* Out of the 25 respondents who answered this question.

Activities for environmental awareness raising range from field trips and camps to environmental education projects for children, from festivals to conferences and workshops, and from development of environmental websites to publication of environmental appeals in newspapers. They also include clean-up campaigns, ecological expeditions, and participation in environmental activist groups.

Impact of Civic Activity on Attitude toward Sakhalin Projects

We are interested in the impact of people's participation in organized civic activity on their attitude toward the Sakhalin oil and gas projects. We first asked, "How long have you been affiliated with this organization?" Table 38 shows the distribution of their answers. Unfortunately, the number of respondents who are active in civic groups is so small that we cannot relate the length of affiliation with civic groups to changes in attitude toward the Sakhalin projects.
Table 38. Length of Group Participation
Length of participation # of respondents        %*
Less than 1 year
1-2 years
3-4 years
5-6 years
7-8 years
9-10 years
Over 10 years


3
4
8
3
2
1
2


13.0
17.4
34.8
13.0
8.7
4.3
8.7


Total 23 99.9**
*
**
Out of the 23 respondents who answered this question.
The total does not equal 100% due to rounding error.

Secondly, we asked, "How does your affiliation with the group/organization affect your attitude toward the offshore oil and gas development and its environmental impact on the citizens of Sakhalin?" We then asked them to describe the impact briefly. Only 12 respondents answered this question. Nine of them indicating their attitude has changed as a result of their activity in the group/organization but three noted no change. That is, participation in civic group activities appears to have a moderate impact on the participants. (Table 39)

Table 39. Impact of Group Activity on Self
Impact on self attitude toward Sakhalin projects # of respondents
Yes
No
9
3
Total 12

Seven respondents described how their participation in organized civic activity have changed their attitude toward the Sakhalin oil and gas development projects. Six of them stated they have become more critical of the projects as a result of their activities in their groups. One respondent gave a neutral answer by noting he became more knowledgeable about the environmental issues in general and more familiar with the work of Sakhalin authorities and Russian oil exploration and development companies.


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