On Feb. 16, about 35 students from several departments attended a talk by Associate Professor of Government Laura Henry, titled “Protecting Russia’s Environment: Do International Agreements Make a Difference?” Prof. Henry recently returned from the Russian Far East where she was researching the logging industry and its impact on local civil society. While in Carlisle, she also met with seniors Andrei Vernon and Olivia Stevens to discuss their honors theses on Moscow recycling programs and environmental activism in Russia, respectively.
Before attending Professor Henry’s lecture, I knew next to nothing about Russia’s past and current attitude towards environmental protection. As fascinating as the topic of forestry in Russia was, what I found most informative was the broader implications of Russian suspicious attitudes toward international NGOs and Russia’s lack of their own NGOs. Given the current political climate in Russia, I am left wondering if the recent protests will be able to breathe life into Russian grass-roots organizations. -Mackenzie King ’15
Professor Henry’s lecture allowed me to better understand the various roles both Russian and international non-profits play in modern-day Russian environmental activism. She also spoke at length about the differences between environmental issues facing people living in small and large cities. It was also very interesting to hear about her personal research in the Far East. -Andrei Vernon ‘12