Trash Free National Parks: the Zabaikalsky National Park

Trash Free National Parks: the Zabaikalsky National Park

2019 – present

The pilot project is being implemented in the Zabaikalsky National Park (the Republic of Buryatia) in 2019-2021. It extends by 260 thousand hectares and is annually visited by 42 thousand people.

The program is based on the principle «Carry In – Carry Out». Following this principle, the visitors stop leaving their «garbage footprint» in national parks, they can separate and recycle solid waste. To this end, the necessary infrastructure, such as recycling bins and information boards for the visitors, has been installed or repurposed.

The project includes an educational part as well. During the whole summer, trained volunteers and national park’s employees work with the visitors, explaining the new rules of waste management to them. In 2020 the project unfolded a summer ecoschool: visitors of all ages participated in workshops and recycled garbage on their own. As a gratitude from the national park, they received “green” tickets which can be exchanged for free services during the next visit.

Finally, the waste studies of 2019-2020 served as a base for the Concept of Sustainable Solid Waste Management for the Zabaikalsky National Park. It primarily includes data on morphology, dynamics and logistics of waste accumulated in the national park, obtained by the international project expert team.

Goals:

  • to increase the level of ecoculture of the local population and the visitors of the Zabaikalsky National Park;
  • to prevent littering in the Special Protected Natural Area (SPNA) and neighboring settlements;
  • to implement separate waste collection and elements of responsible tourism in the SPNA.

What have been done:

  • more than 1.7 tons of separated waste (PET-plastic, glass, metal) were sent to the recycling company «Clean City» in the city of Ulan-Ude instead of landfills. In 2021, the national park will analyze how the volume of waste has decreased over 2 years;
  • our pro bono partners Social Business Group performed sociological analysis of the questionnaires from the visitors of the national park on ecohabits and attitude to recycling;
  • we created the pool of the collecting and recycling secondary raw materials companies in the Irkutsk region and the Republic of Buryatia. The database helped to find a partner for the Zabaikalsky National Park, and it is accessible for any organization or person;
  • we created an animated video about separate waste collection in the national park;
  • in 2020, the project started an important partner in the region, namely environmental movement «Reshaem Vmeste» («We Solve It Together»). Its participants worked as coordinators of volunteer campaign;
  • we held a contest for ecotourists in social media: during the summer 2020, the Foundation’s and the park’s followers posted stories about what they do to preserve nature while travelling in the Baikal natural area. The contest attracted 16 ambassadors of the project in social media and two of them received eco-friendly gifts from the Foundation and the park.

Sustainable development of the project:

the model project will be scaled up in other SPNAs around the Baikal region including the Chikoy National Park as a priority.

Photo: Zapovednoe Podlemorye



Trash Free National Parks