MOSCOW, May 30, 2018. - Gazprom International Children’s social programme Football for Friendship launched an Ecological Initiative within its educational and humanitarian mission. Young Ambassadors of the programme and Football for Friendship followers took part in the event HAPPY BUZZ DAY supporting rare and endangered animal species - Amur Tiger, Red Panda, Baltic Seal, Large Fig Parrot, and Red Ruffed Lemur, one of the largest lemurs of Madagascar. Reserves of rare species of animals from Nepal, USA and Russia joined the ecological mission.

The name of the event was not chosen by chance: the same day one year before in the reserve of lemurs Duke Lemur Center a lemur named Buzz was born. He became a symbol of the ecological mission of Football for Friendship programme this year. TheRed Panda Network from Nepal, theAmur Tiger Center and the Friends of the Baltic Seal Fund from Russia joined the campaign.

Dozens of other environmental actions and marathons were launched around the world in frames of the Football for Friendship Ecological Initiative.

For example in Tanzania Young Players of the sixth season of the programme took a tour to the Tarangire National Park together with Young Footballers of the Tanzanian Lengo Football Academy, where they were lucky to see more than 450 rare species of African birds and animals. In Algeria, young athletes jointly cleaned up one of the country's largest municipal football stadiums, showing solidarity with ecological mission of the programme. In Aruba, the 2018 season participant Shekaili Larianne Asencion, a remarkable environmental activist, is promoting the Football for Friendship ecological mission in her native country. She runs her own Youtube channel, telling her peers about the values of the programme and the necessity to protect and preserve rare species of animals around the world. Football for Friendship Young Ambassadors from Sri Lanka took part as volunteers relieving the consequences of the recent massive flood in the country. Together with their parents they helped the affected compatriots to reverse the effects of the raging disaster that hurt more than 100,000 Nepalese people.

In order to promote the defense of wildlife and to increase interest of new generations in conservation and protection of the world fauna, 32 football Teams of Friendship were named after rare and endangered species of animals. Teams were formed on the principle of friendship that allows children of different nationalities and cultures to find common language, learn to make compromises and achieve victories together. For example, the Siberian Tiger team includes participants from Burkina Faso, East Timor, Syria, Yemen, Morocco and Jordan, and the Imperial Woodpecker team consists of young athletes from Germany, Belize, Guatemala, Canada, Nicaragua and Slovakia.

Substantial contribution to the Ecological Initiative has been made by the Russian Schoolchildren's Movement assisting in promotion of the values of nature protection among the young generation. Within the framework of the International Friendship Camp on June 9-11, 2018 an ecological activation will be launched together with representatives of the Ecological Funds worldwide who will be lecturing and performing interactive master-classes about preservation of the extinct animal species. Ecological Initiative will be discussed at the International Football for Friendship Forum on June, 13, 2018 that will be held in a unique complex of Moskvarium – the largest roofed oceanarium in Europe that gives the audience an opportunity to see rare inhabitants of the sea world within touching distance.

The main aim of the Ecological mission of the Football for Friendship programme is to draw attention of the children and adults to the problem of the environment protection and careful attitude to nature as well as to tell the young generation that only joining our efforts will make it possible to preserve and improve the world we are living in.

A special daily renewed column with a hashtag #ECOINITIATIVE is posted in all the official accounts of the programmevideo materials about ecological issues are published on the official Youtube channel -

A special web-site is created for convenience of the young participants of the programme –, where the children may download their photos, form teams and learn more interesting facts about animals including those that are in a need of special care and are included in the Red Book of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation.

"The importance of an ecological mission should not be underestimated – human activities have a direct impact on the climate change of our Planet. Each day we are facing the natural disasters as a result of which the people worldwide are suffering. Recently thousands of children and adults became victims of the dramatic flood in Sri Lanka. In this context an Ecological mission of the Football for Friendship programme has common aims with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris climate agreement – to assist in taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine as well as restoration of terrestrial ecosystems and favoring of its rational use", said Vladimir Kuznetsov, Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Moscow.

"It is extremely important that the global Children`s social programme Football for Friendship is implementing such ecological events and draws attention both of the children and adults worldwide to the problem of extinction of rare animals. Preservation of nature is our common deal. The more we talk about this problem, the higher the chance that by joint efforts we will conserve the biodiversity of our Planet. I`m grateful to the organizers of the Football for Friendship programme for the possibility to share with young participants information not only about rare Red Pandas, but also about the activities that are carried out by our Fund as well as by the reserves of Nepal in order to save and increase the population of the world fauna", said Ang Phuri Sherpa, Country Director of the Red Panda Network, Nepal.

"This is very important for us to tell as many people as possible about the Amur tiger. Tigers cannot be preserved without hoofed animals and forests that are the key resources for humans. Doubtless an ecological initiative of the Football for Friendship programme makes a significant contribution to the conservation of Amur tigers as well as other extinct animals worldwide. The most pleasant for us is the fact that now we have a wonderful opportunity to acquaint the children from across the globe with not only the Amur tiger which is an ecological symbol of our country, but also with the unique nature of Russia", said Sergey Aramilev, Director General of the Amur Tiger Center, Russia.

"The problem of clean and healthy environment concerns everyone and presents common interest of all people around the world! Each of us should contribute to the promotion of environmental values throughout the globe. Our future depends on coherence and coordination of our efforts in the struggle for preservation of rare and endangered species of animals", said Young Ambassador of the Football for Friendship programme Stoyanna Grace Stewart (Cayman Islands, 12 y.o).


Since 2013, PJSC Gazprom has been organizing the International Children’s social programme Football for Friendship. The key values promoted by the programme participants include friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, tradition and honour. The participants are Young Players (girls and boys, including those physically challenged), as well as Young Journalists covering the F4F events within the framework of the Football for Friendship International Children’s Press Center. Geographical scope of the programme expands annually: from 8 countries in 2013 to 211 countries in 2018. For the past five years, more than 3,700 people have participated in the programme. Football for Friendship is supported by FIFA, UEFA, International Olympic Committee, football federations of various countries, international children's charity funds, and world's leading football clubs.

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