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Although there are now greater environmental protections on the Russian law books, these protections have so far done little to improve ecological conditions in Siberia. This article examines how the dramatic political and legal changes in Russia have affected Siberian nature conservation and environmental protection. More specifically, it seeks to explain why, despite the significant restructuring of political power and the increasingly open discussion of ecological issues, the Siberian environment continues to deteriorate. The article begins with an analysis of existing ecological and economic conditions in Siberia. It then considers how the legal legacy of the USSR has hindered recent efforts to protect Siberian nature. Lastly, specific legal strategies for improving Siberian nature conservation are presented and assessed.


This article was first published at 7 Georgetown International Environmental Law Review 59 (1994).