General director of the Lake Baikal Foundation Anastasia Tsvetkova shared her opinion about the influence of coronavirus pandemic on the ecology of Baikal in the interview to the Taiga.info information portal.
Quite often the news about the positive effect of the quarantine on the state of nature appear in the mass media: air becomes cleaner in large Chinese cities, birds return to Venetian canals. However, is it that obvious?
«It should be recalled that Baikal is 23 thousand cubic kilometers of water and at the lake’s depth greater than 100 meters the water state has not changed not just for several months, but within a million years. The actual problem, like recultivation of Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill, need for the construction and modernization of treatment facilities – have been acute before the pandemic and still remains a burning issue. They will not be solved neither through the temporary outflow of tourists from China, nor through self-isolation of locals.
Can a little break in a tourist traffic be used to reorganize and to start the development of the civilized market of tourist services on Baikal? It can become an impulse, but will not solve the problems of pit latrine and «grey» market of tourist services. It should not be forgotten that this complex issue requires investments in the development of local communities, improvements in infrastructure, services development appealing for a conscious tourist, and therefore, demands a number of systematic management actions.
Meanwhile, current situation demonstrates the disadvantages of outdated approach to the development of raw paradigm, which is irrational for Baikal neither from economic, nor from the ecological points of view. Unique wildlife of the lake provides an extensive base for focusing on biotechnology, principally new and modern productions. Most medicine are based on natural prototypes, and due to tis endemic environment Baikal has a competitive advantage in the sphere of biotechnological development» – claims Anastasia Tsvetkova.
To read about the importance of the systematic approach to the sustainable development and to the stimulation of conscious consumerism in global dimension in the full interview version – follow this link.
Photo: Dmitry Pitenin