Science-based evidence steers industry action on whale conservation

As the world heads towards a more sustainable future, business and government leaders face challenges on how to reconcile conservation and development.

IUCN-led Independent, Scientific and Technical Advisory Panels (ISTAPs) are helping to address complex and often contentious issues concerning natural resource use. They offer unbiased, scientific advice to reduce a project’s impacts on nature and identify solutions that can contribute to conservation while meeting economic and development goals.

The first ISTAP to be created was the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel (WGWAP), in 2004. WGWAP provides independent advice to Sakhalin Energy on how to minimise risks associated with its operations on gray whales and their habitat while working with other actors to ensure the whale’s long-term conservation. The whales’ feeding areas near Sakhalin Island, off the Russian coast – a region with large offshore oil and gas deposits – are vital for maintaining the population.

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