Parliamentary hearings on the preservation of Lake Baikal were held in the State Duma. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia is working to preserve Lake Baikal within the framework of the federal project of the same name. In 2020, a government commission was established that considers and makes decisions on key issues of lake protection: from the construction of sewage treatment plants on the Baikal natural territory to the elimination of accumulated harm, the development of tourism and the conservation of biodiversity. In February 2023, the Russian government adopted a fundamentally new regulation on state environmental monitoring of the Lake Baikal ecosystem.

"Within the framework of the federal project "Preservation of Lake Baikal", monitoring coverage amounted to 92% by the end of 2022. In 2024, we plan to reach 100%. These are the most key points of the situation," said Sergey Anoprienko, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia.

On behalf of the President of Russia, the department is solving a block of issues on the modernization and construction of sewage treatment plants on Lake Baikal. In 2022, their construction began in Ulan-Ude, treatment facilities in Severobaikalsk are included in the federal project, more than 25 treatment facilities in the Irkutsk Region and the Republic of Buryatia are being designed.

Within the framework of the federal project "Conservation of Forests", reforestation in 2022 was carried out on 67 thousand hectares. The planned values of the main indicator have been achieved: the ratio of the area of reforestation and afforestation to the area of felled and dead plantings. Within the framework of forest pathology monitoring within the boundaries of the Baikal Natural Territory in 2022, observations were made on an area of 7.7 million hectares, selective observations on an area of 40.7 thousand hectares. According to the federal project "Preservation of Lake Baikal", the branch of the Federal Forest Protection Agency, which is located on Lake Baikal, has been re-equipped in the amount of 297 million rubles.

"This made it possible in 2022 to carry out expeditionary surveys on an area of two million hectares, remote observations on a total area of about 32 million hectares, to conduct DNA analyses of four thousand pieces," Sergey Anoprienko added.  

Monitoring data showed that the area of active foci of pests and diseases is 52 thousand hectares. But within the framework of the current regulatory legal field, it is impossible to carry out continuous logging on this territory, even for sanitary and health measures.

"Therefore, in order to increase the volume of sanitary and health measures, work on the construction of self-protective structures, the current legislation needs to be adjusted," said Sergey Anoprienko.

The head of the Republic of Buryatia Alexey Tsydenov noted that in order to protect against anthropogenic impact, it is necessary to analyze "wild tourism", which is popular here. So, until 2018, the attendance of these places exceeded one million tourists per year. And in the first two months of 2023, with the development of domestic tourism, it is observed that the flow of tourists in official places of accommodation increased by 80% compared to last year.

"We do not have organized tourist reception places, there is no proper infrastructure for tourism, sewage treatment plants, waste collection and sorting sites, equipped routes. There is wild tourism, which, it is unclear, benefits Baikal or not," Alexey Tsydenov added.

He noted that the region has a project for the development of a natural territory in a special economic zone. It takes into account environmental regulations, anthropogenic loads with the preservation of red book plants, and so on. But changes in legislation are necessary for its implementation.

The auditor of the Accounts Chamber of Russia, Sergey Mammadov, recalled that earlier President Vladimir Putin had ordered the governors of the Baikal regions to conduct an inventory of wastewater treatment facilities.

"We have planned a control event to audit measures for the management of biological resources, create conditions for ecotourism, and also consider the sufficiency of the measures used to improve Lake Baikal," he concluded.

Source: Press Service of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia

Опубликовано: 24 March 2023