Published: 22 November 2018
Last edited: 22 November 2018

International exposure and focus on western gray whales due to WGWAP’s work has catalysed other discussion arenas where NGOS, scientists and business people can exchange information. The Russian Government approached the panel for guidance into mainstreaming biodiversity into development and has created several official structures including an interdepartmental working group on gray whale conservation.


In regards to legislation and compliance, the panel would like to see all governments create a level playing field for companies operating in or adjacent to key marine habitats to ensure that conservation is a broader requirement, not just a lender requirement.  


Alliance and partnership development
Scale of implementation

Enabling factors

WGWAP was created because of a condition placed on Sakhalin Energy’s lending agreement that the company should work with and take advice from an independent panel of experts. This shows how financial institutions can play a significant role in conservation and are taking an increasing interest in industry’s social and environmental behaviour as seen through mechanisms such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) sustainability standards.

Lessons learned

The WGWAP process leveraged experts’ knowledge and experience to help safeguard Sakhalin’s gray whales, while providing important lessons for other stakeholders. Sakhalin Energy has also used the recommendations of the panel by working towards best practices, for example, on seismic surveys and oil spill prevention, which in turn has helped to better position itself within the industry and advance conservation globally.