UNESCO Requires to Conduct Environmental Monitoring of Lake Baikal

22.09.2017

UNESCO demanded from Russia to create a system of ecological monitoring of Lake Baikal, which is a World Heritage site. Until February 1, 2018, it is necessary to provide a report on its safety, as well as data on the further use of the territory of the closed Baikal Pulp and Paper Mill.

UNESCO Requires to Conduct Environmental Monitoring of Lake Baikal

In particular, the organization is concerned about reports of algal blooms and a decline in fish stocks, and requests to identify the reasons for these changes. Also, UNESCO asks to assess the ecological status of special economic zones (SEZ): "Gate of Baikal" in Irkutsk region and "Baikal Harbor" in Buryatia. This will help to understand how the further development of tourism will affect the lake ecosystem. Another point of concern for UNESCO specialists is the construction of a hydroelectric power station on Selenga by Mongolia, a river feeding the unique lake.

Baikal Pulp and Paper Mill was closed in 2013, and accumulated lignin wastes are still on its site.