The radio program «Different Time» on November 12, 2018 was dedicated to essential problems of the Baikal natural area: illegal building, deforestation, poaching and left-off garbage. The discussion involved two experts: CEO of Lake Baikal foundation Anastasia Tsvetkova and senior assistant to environmental attorney of the West-Baikal area Natalya Ryaguzova.
The representative of attorney clarified some aspects of Lake Baikal Protection Act, particularly, building ban in Central ecological zone. Unfortunately, current legislation is very often violated by businessmen, including foreigners. They continue to build hotels and restaurants under the guise of housing development. Baikal Environmental Attorney office keeps a close eye on businesses when they pass state environmental audit, regularly reveals violations in waste storage, unauthorized land seizure, untreated sewage. Law violators are sued in court.
Anastasia Tsvetkova gave detailed comments on balance between tourism and the Baikal’s ecosystem conservation. She pointed out the importance of scientific tourism in national parks, the necessity of education about diversity of lake Baikal to decrease burden on main tourist sites: Listvyanka, Olkhon and others. Anastasia Tsvetkova extended the list of the region’s fundamental problems with soil degradation and dangerous situation with waste recultivation of the Baikal Paper Mill Plant.
The central issue of the discussion was responsible tourism and cutting-off anthropogenic impact on ecosystem. According to the sanitary-microbiological research conducted by Limnological Institute of SB RAS with grant support of Lake Baikal Foundation, quality of water in the Baikal bays Mukhor, Kurkut, Zagli and Bazarnaya does not correspond with SanPin 126.96.36.1990-00 norm. The reason for that is lack of sewage treatment facilities at tourist sites. Thus, it comes clear that it is important to provide the infrastructure together with responsible tourism propaganda.
There were also noted positive changes in lake Baikal conservation: establishment of Baikal Interregional Environmental Attorney office, development of «Lake Baikal Conservation» project charter, growth of eco-volunteering and comprehensive projects of Lake Baikal Foundation scheduled for 2019.
The program is available here.