Trash Free National Parks

Trash Free National Parks

January 2019 – July 2020

In attempt to consider comprehensively conservation of the Baikal natural area Lake Baikal Foundation paid attention to one of the most serious environmental problems: littering and excessive amount of waste. The «Trash Free National Parks» program is aimed at comprehensive solution of the problem of left garbage and waste deposits in the national parks around the Baikal.

The program is based on the principle «Carry In – Carry Out», which corresponds with the world-known «3R» concept of correct waste management: reduce, reuse, recycle. Following this principle, the visitors stop leaving their «garbage footprint» in national parks, they can separate and recycle solid waste. To this end all necessary infrastructure was installed or repurposed: recycling bins and information boards for the visitors.

The project includes an educational part as well. During the whole summer period trained volunteers and national parks’ employees worked with the visitors, explaining to them the new rules of waste management.

Finally, since July 2019, for the first time the experts from Switzerland, the Republic of Buryatia, the Irkutsk region have been carrying out research on volumes, morphology and logistics of garbage accumulated in national parks. The results will allow to save in collection costs, to replan routes for maximum collection volume or weight of recyclable waste.

In 2019-2020 the pilot project is implemented in Zabaikalsky national park (the Republic of Buryatia).

We appreciate the consult support provided by the American non-governmental organization «National Parks Conservation Association».

Goals:

  • to increase the level of ecoculture of local population and the Baikal visitors;
  • to prevent littering in the Special Protected Natural Area (SPNA);
  • to implement separate waste collection in the SPNA.

Targets:

  • to find the «pressure points» of Zabaikalsky national park: points of unauthorized entrance, areas with no info tablets, areas which suffer most from anthropogenic factors;
  • to include the principle «Carry In – Carry Out» into the visitor’s rules of Zabaikalsky national park;
  • to work out info and educational materials;
  • to sign agreements between recycling regional companies and Zabaikalsky national park on transporting the recyclable waste to the plant;
  • to install containers for plastic, glass, metal and other waste at the exit points of Zabaikalsky national park;
  • to organize control on carrying in and carrying out potential waste at the entrance and exit points of Zabaikalsky national park, involving volunteers into these activities;
  • to open recycling points in 5 sites of Zabaikalsky national park;
  • to monitor the implementation of the pilot program «Trash Free National Parks», to receive feedbacks from the participants and target audience;
  • to conduct research on trash morphology and logistics of waste management in Zabaikalsky national park.

What have been done:

  • we organized control on carrying in and carrying out potential waste in Zabaikalsky national park;
  • we installed and repurposed bins for separate waste collection;
  • visitors of Zabaikalsky national park have been informed about the new principle of waste management in the national park;
  • 55 m3 of separated waste (plastic,glass, metal) were sent to recycling company;
  • the experts concluded the first stage of research on waste morphology in Zabaikalsky national park.

What will be done:

  • on the basis of the pilot project’s results we will give recommendations on improving the sustainable waste management system in Zabaikalsky national park. The model project will be scaled in other natural protected areas around the Baikal including Pribaikalsky national park as a priority;
  • in the long term the project will become the base for sustainable environmental development of the Baikal region in the field of waste management. In the context of the waste-management governmental reform the national parks which have implemented the progressive pattern in 2019 and are ready to implement it further independently will be able to become innovative leaders of reserve management in Russia.

The project is implemented with the support of  Presidential Grants Foundation

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Sustainable Tourism