© Marina Shangina and Dolphin Embassy
On 18-19 November 2017, a series of events took place to commemorate Dolphins’ Day. North West Green Cross Russia’s team member, Yulia Afanaseva, coordinated and managed the project alongside the Dolphin Embassy and the Bookvoed Bookstore amongst others. Part of the sixth Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum, this marked the first time that the intelligence, culture and language of another biological species was discussed at a distinguished international forum.
Experts from France, USA, Italy, Canada and Russia presented their own studies and research demonstrating the sophistication of Cetacean culture. Marine biologists, government officials and artists alike contributed to the key outcome of the conference the Declaration on the Rights and Freedoms of Dolphins and Whales. The declaration established the grounds for further legislative developments or the recognition of Cetacean cultures and was signed by over 10,000 supporters. The declaration, available in English, French, Russian and Spanish, can be viewed here and supporters are encouraged to add their voice by signing.
As part of the celebrations, a special exhibition was held entitled “Just Like Us: Humans and Dolphins.” It attracted over 8,000 visitors in just two days, reflecting significant public interest in Cetacean communities.
Wild dolphins live in the Black Sea, in the Sochi and Adler area, six different species live in the in the Far East. Several species of whales inhabit the Japanese, Chinese and Korean peninsulas as well as the Arctic seas in Northern Russia.
North West Green Cross Russia is proud to promote the wellbeing of dolphins and whales and believes this event helped raise public awareness and is a first-step towards recognising the rights of Cetacean communities internationally.
Learn more about the Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum here.