Today, on March 3, the international ecological community celebrates World Wildlife Day. Each year, the UN selects one key topic to attract the attention of the general public. This year, such a topic is the preserving endangered flora and fauna.
Baikal is a habitat for many species of rare and endemic animals and plants. Together they make up the unique Baikal, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage and which is so loved by tourists and locals. The disappearance or deterioration of even one species will affect the state of the entire Baikal ecosystem, so it is important to prevent such a negative scenario.
For several years we have been helping scientists to preserve rare species within the framework of the Baikal Initiative grant competition. Thus, projects have already been implemented to study and preserve the Olkhon vole, Dubrovnik, Baikal seal and reindeer. The Foundation decided to structure these grants and announce the launch of a special program for the conservation and study of rare, endangered and endemic species of animals and plants of the Baikal region. The program is aimed at supporting environmental and scientific-applied projects that will help to understand the causes of the decline in the biodiversity of Lake Baikal, explain the impact of human activity and climate change on the well-being of species and populations, as well as offer solutions for their restoration and support.
By initiating this grant program, we contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 15 on the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems, as well as contribute to the development of cooperation and knowledge exchange between researchers, natural territories, the non-profit sector and interested relevant agencies. Together we will be able to multiply efforts to preserve the unique but fragile nature of Lake Baikal many times over!
We will soon publish the Regulations on the program. A general description of the program can be found via the link.