MVP Sustainability Map
GDP Per Capita
Dmitry Makeev; License CC BY-SA 4.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Russia._Young_woman_with_baby.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
bibikoff; License Public domain; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fishing_Port_Novorossiysk.JPG via Wikimedia Commons.
Russia’s current population and economic activity are sustainable. Due to a very low fertility rate per woman averaging under 1.5 children for almost two decades starting in the mid 1990s coupled with a high death rate and rate of abortions, Russia experienced a declining population for the first decade of the century. However its decline would have been greater except for substantial immigration primarily from other former Soviet bloc nations. Population growth has remained relatively flat the past five years.
The Guardian reported in the wake of the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986, the country enshrined strong environmental protection principles in its constitution. The challenge, of course, is whether those protections will be enforced – a distant likelihood in a country that consistently ranks in the world’s bottom third on the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, which measures perceptions of corruption in countries and territories by domestic and international observers.
The industries where Russia depends on foreign markets for support appear to be furthest along the path of sustainability. Russia is home to some of the world’s most important fisheries, for instance, and the country’s fishing firms have made sustainability commitments. (1)
President Vladimir Putin called Russia's dramatically declining population, "The most acute problem of contemporary Russia." His obsession in growing the population as a critical step in the country’s historic fate will result in more demand and pressure on its natural resources and generate more pollution leading to a less healthy and sustainable future for all Russians.