September 13 Update - Good news! The Russian Housing Development Foundation, which was poised to sell off the land at Pavlovsk to build apartments, has postponed the sale of a part of the collections following President Medvedev's instruction to scrutinize the issue. They’ve also announced plans to convene an international commission to study Pavlovsk and evaluate its future. This is an important step in the fight to save this priceless plant collection.
But that commission's outcome isn't guaranteed. And it's only examining one part of the land. The danger to the second part of the collection – which contains the most important fruits and berries at Pavlovsk - isn't over. (You can learn more here.) Let's keep the momentum up and the pressure on the Kremlin!
August 13 Update - President Medvedev has just announced, via Twitter, that he will be looking into the details of the Pavlovsk Station case. We have already collected over 2,700 signatures, and we now have proof they are being noticed in the Kremlin!
Save Pavlovsk Station!
As Russia’s worst drought in 130 years continues to ignite catastrophic wildfires and ravage crops across the country, real estate developers are poised to bulldoze an incredibly valuable crop collection near St. Petersburg in order to build luxury houses on the land. The Pavlovsk Experimental Station houses thousands of varieties of plants - 90% of which exist nowhere else in the world, and all of which are now in danger.
What can be done?
At the Global Crop Diversity Trust, we strongly believe that today’s court decision is no reason to give up hope for Pavlovsk Station. Over the next four weeks, we will continue our fight to save Pavlovsk, and we need your help. We need to persuade the political authorities of the importance of the irreplaceable crop diversity growing at Pavlovsk Station, and request that the judgment be revoked.
We have already collected over 1,000 signatures to date. Every letter, every signature, every email, every tweet counts. We don’t have to sit back and let this happen.
You can also tweet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on behalf of Pavlovsk Station:
English: @KremlinRussia_E Mr. President, protect the future of food - save #Pavlovsk Station! http://bit.ly/d2H96s
Russian: @KremlinRussia Господин президент, защитите будущее сельского хозяйства - спасите Павловскую станцию! http://bit.ly/d2H96s
Please continue to sign this petition and tweet on the issue.
The take-over of Pavlovsk Station would involve bulldozing field collections amassed over the last century that contain thousands of varieties of apples, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, currants and other crops, 90 percent of which are not found anywhere else in the world.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have not yet responded to public calls to save the experimental station and its collection.
The Pavlovsk Station matters because humanity needs crops to survive. As the climate changes and new threats to existing crop varieties appear, the ones we have now need to adapt, and the diversity found at the Pavlovsk Station provides this adaptation potential for a broad range of fruits and berries.
Please join our petition to save the future of food.
It may be just a start. But if we can get enough tweets and signatures, we're hoping that someone at the Kremlin will take notice and help us save Pavlovsk Station and protect our food supply for future generations.
The threat to the collection, and its history: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/08/pavlovsk-seed-bank-russia
President Medvedev's response: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/16/russia-president-pavolvsk-twitter