3 June, 2020 Lake Baikal Foundation and the Baikal protected natural areas held an online-meeting dedicated to sustainable waste management, preparation for the tourist season 2020 and cooperation planning. The meeting welcomed representatives from the protected areas associations «Zapovednoe Podlemorye», «Zapovednoe Pribaikalye», the Baikal State Biosphere Reserve, the Chikoy National Park, the Tunkinsky National Park.
The participants shared the news and short-term plans, exchanged experience on selected garbage collection and responsible tourism practices on the threshold of the 2020 tourist season, and discussed problems and obstacles they are facing.
Thus, the Zabaikalsky National Park keeps developing the recycling system implemented in 2019 in cooperation with Lake Baikal Foundation, at the same time the Pribaikalsky National Park is organizing dual selected garbage collection system on the Olkhon island – the most visited spot in the park. The Chikoy National Park sees as a priority the principle «Carry In – Carry Out» regarding garbage and plans on building the ecotrail equipped with recycling bins. The Tunkinsky National Park, in turn, started to work on a road map for implementing the recycling system in the area. Surely, the case of the Baikal Reserve is inspiring: it has been sustaining the recycling system for 12 years, relying on enthusiasm and professionalism of its employees.
The meeting also touched upon the results of the Trash Free National Parks project, launched by Lake Baikal Foundation in the Zabaikalsky National Park. The project was supported by the Presidential Grants Foundation in 2019 and is an effective example of cooperation between an NGO and a protected natural area (a Federal State Budgetary Institution).
The national parks and the reserve are optimistic about developing and implementing recycling systems in their areas. They note that systematic environmental education is an essential part of that. The specialists also consider useful the database of the collecting and recycling secondary raw materials companies in the Baikal region produced by the Foundation in March 2020. In the end of the meeting all participants agreed to continue cooperation with informational, consulting and practical support provided by the Foundation.