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INTERACTION OF NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND REGIONAL AUTHORITIES IN SOLVING PROBLEMS OF THE LAKE BAIKAL REGION

V.V.Dryukker

Limnological Institute, Irkutsk

The UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) has proclaimed the concept of sustainable development as a basis for a new paradigm of future development of our civilization and has adopted a program of actions when entering the twenty-first century (The Agenda for the Twenty-First Century). Principle 4 of the adopted Declaration states: “In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation from it.”

The Lake Baikal region is an example of a territory that has not only national, but also international importance. It has an eternal value not only for Russians, but also for the whole of mankind. Lake Baikal is the most ancient lake on the planet. Its age is about 25–30 million years. It is the deepest lake, with a depth of 1,637 meters. It contains a tremendous volume of water—23,000 cubic kilometers or 23 percent of the world’s resources of pure fresh water. It is also one of the largest in areal expanse.

According to present-day data, the genetic diversity of Baikal includes 2,565 species and subspecies of aquatic fauna and 1,000 species and subspecies of aquatic plants, of which two-thirds are endemic, meaning they are found nowhere else. To this number one should add many hundreds of species of water and bottom micro-organisms as well as viruses and microbes that have been little investigated. Thus, the diversity of Baikal has no equal in the world, and Lake Baikal is included in the UNESCO World Nature Heritage List of 1996.

What is the Baikal region? This is a region directly connected with the internationally known Lake Baikal and located in the center of Asia on the



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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop INTERACTION OF NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND REGIONAL AUTHORITIES IN SOLVING PROBLEMS OF THE LAKE BAIKAL REGION V.V.Dryukker Limnological Institute, Irkutsk The UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) has proclaimed the concept of sustainable development as a basis for a new paradigm of future development of our civilization and has adopted a program of actions when entering the twenty-first century (The Agenda for the Twenty-First Century). Principle 4 of the adopted Declaration states: “In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation from it.” The Lake Baikal region is an example of a territory that has not only national, but also international importance. It has an eternal value not only for Russians, but also for the whole of mankind. Lake Baikal is the most ancient lake on the planet. Its age is about 25–30 million years. It is the deepest lake, with a depth of 1,637 meters. It contains a tremendous volume of water—23,000 cubic kilometers or 23 percent of the world’s resources of pure fresh water. It is also one of the largest in areal expanse. According to present-day data, the genetic diversity of Baikal includes 2,565 species and subspecies of aquatic fauna and 1,000 species and subspecies of aquatic plants, of which two-thirds are endemic, meaning they are found nowhere else. To this number one should add many hundreds of species of water and bottom micro-organisms as well as viruses and microbes that have been little investigated. Thus, the diversity of Baikal has no equal in the world, and Lake Baikal is included in the UNESCO World Nature Heritage List of 1996. What is the Baikal region? This is a region directly connected with the internationally known Lake Baikal and located in the center of Asia on the

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop territory of two states, Russia and Mongolia. The territory of the Baikal region stretches from south to north for 1300 km, and from west to east for 1,000 km. Its total area is 800,000 sq. km. The unique combination of various landscapes in the center of Asia—from mountain-tundra and mountain-taiga to steppe and semi-desert along with the largest and most ancient freshwater reservoir—is of special significance and value in the biosphere structure of the planet as a whole. The Baikal watershed occupies territory in the southeast of Siberia and the northern part of Mongolia. The largest part is located in Russia, where it has been divided without taking into account the lake’s area over several administrative and territorial entities of the Russian Federation: Republic of Buryatia-73 percent, Chita Oblast-21 percent, Irkutsk Oblast-6 percent. The Baikal ecosystem has become better known just as its protection and rational use have become more complicated. New territories located outside the bounds of the lake’s watershed have been included in the Baikal region, including that part of Irkutsk Oblast that adjoins the northwest boundary of the Baikal watershed. It is up to 200 km. wide and regarded as a zone from which atmospheric emissions of industrial installations may reach the watershed. At present in accordance with the Law of the Russian Federation “On Protection of Lake Baikal,” the Baikal region is divided into three zones: Central ecological zone (“the core”)—territory that includes Lake Baikal and islands, a water protection zone adjacent to Lake Baikal, and protected natural territories adjacent to Lake Baikal; Buffer ecological zone—territory outside the central ecological zone that includes the watershed of Lake Baikal within the bounds of the Russian Federation; Ecological zone of atmospheric effect—territory outside the watershed of Lake Baikal within the bounds of the Russian Federation up to 200 km. wide to the north and northwest of the watershed where there are economic units with activity that has a negative influence on Lake Baikal. Such a division of the Baikal region is an important condition for preservation of Baikal as a part of the World Nature Heritage. At the same time, the Baikal region is characterized by considerable development of industry and agriculture, which cannot avoid affecting the condition of the lake. Therefore, the question of a balanced solution of ecological and socio-economic problems is especially acute here. The following ecological problems of the Baikal region are priority issues: The natural conditions of the geosystem components Preservation of a large amount of biological diversity Consequences of industrial and agricultural development Use of reliable ecological information

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop The natural conditions of the Baikal region require accurate methods of investigations for measuring the parameters of water and ground ecosystems and the air basin. For the most part the region is still not polluted. While solving the questions of environmental protection in the Baikal region, particular attention must be paid to preservation of biological diversity which means, according to the Convention on Biological Diversity, variability of living organisms from all sources including soil, sea, and other water ecosystems as well as ecological complexes including these components. For addressing the questions of preservation of the Baikal region, the normative-legal basis includes both international documents and the laws of the Russian Federation: Convention on Biological Diversity, Rio de Janeiro, 1992. Convention on Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1972. All-European Strategy of Preservation of Biological and Landscape Biodiversity, Sofia, 1995. Convention on Assessment of Environmental Effects in a Transboundary Context, 1991. Federal law “On Natural Environment Preservation,” 1991. Federal law “On Ecological Examination,” 1995. Federal law “On Especially Protected Territories,” 1990. Federal law “On Protection of Lake Baikal,” 1999. Water Code of the Russian Federation. Forest Code of the Russian Federation. “On State Strategy of the Russian Federation Regarding Environmental Protection and Ensuring Sustainable Development,” the Edict of the President of the Russian Federation of February 4, 1994, # 236. “Conception of Transition of the Russian Federation to Sustainable Development,” the Edict of the President of the Russian Federation of April 1, 1996, #440. “National Plan of Action for Environmental Protection of the Russian Federation in 1999–2001.” Approved at the meeting of the Government of the Russian Federation on November 12, 1998. “Strategy of Sustainable Development of the Russian Federation.” Approved at the meeting of the Government of the Russian Federation in December 1997. Thus, in the Russian Federation there are a number of strategic planning documents in the field of environmental protection and Sustainable development that have not yet been put in a strict hierarchical order due to the fact that the legislation in this field is relatively new. However these documents can already be used as a legislative basis.

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop In the Baikal region a number of attempts have been made by state structures and public organizations to implement programs aimed at preservation. The state documents on Baikal preservation are as follows: Resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the USSR Council of Ministers of April 13, 1987, # 434, “On Arrangements to Ensure Protection and Rational Use of Natural Resources of the Lake Baikal Basin in 1987–1995.” “Territorial Integrated Scheme of Protection of Nature in the Lake Baikal Basin,” approved on April 14, 1990, by the Resolution of the Presidium of the Russian Federation Council of Ministers. “Integrated Federal Program of Ensuring Lake Baikal Preservation and Rational Use of Natural Resources of Its Basin,” 1994. The role of nongovernmental public organizations in implementing the above decisions is difficult to overestimate. The destiny of “the sacred sea,” as people living on the banks of Baikal call the lake, has worried both children and old people. This is evident from signatures for preservation of the unique Baikal, demonstrations, appearances on television, and unauthorized signs reading “Let us preserve Baikal” on the chimneys of the Baikal Pulp and Paper Plant. The most active supporters of environmental protection in the Baikal region are the following public organizations: Baikal Ecological Wave, which has organized regular publication of the ecological magazine Wave. Baikal Ecological Parliament, with prominent scientists from Irkutsk as its members. Revival of the Land of Siberia. Greenpeace. The above public organizations are in continuous contact with local government institutions. They participate in all ecological decisions without exception. In particular, they put forward the idea of instituting Baikal Day, which since 1999 has been routinely conducted at the end of August-beginning of September in the form of various actions for the protection of the lake, thereby joining the efforts of local governing institutions and various ecological movements. In March 1998, the Limnological Institute in Irkutsk and the Baikal Institute of Nature Management in Ulan-Ude, with the support of ecological organizations of Irkutsk Oblast and the Republic of Buryatia, started implementation of a TACIS project “Assistance in Gaining Ecological Information and Its Dissemination among the Population of the Baikal Region.” The financial support was provided by the European Union and the technical

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop support by the Society of Technical Assistance (Germany). The aim of the project is to distribute information among the population and organizations responsible for decision-making in the field of environmental protection. As a result of the joint work conducted by a large number of state and public ecological organization as well as institutions of basic and additional education, the Baikal Ecological Information Network has been established. Its participants are located in 12 towns of Irkutsk Oblast alone. The inhabitants of the Baikal region realize that they are responsible to the whole of mankind and future generations for preservation of the world pearl, Lake Baikal. The ecological conditions in our region are very tense and complicated. Thus, realizing their personal responsibility, more and more people are standing up for environmental protection. People also realize that nothing will change if the way of thinking remains unchanged. But it can be changed only if there is reliable information. Ecological workers understand the importance and necessity of ecological education; but very often they have no possibility to obtain the information they need, even though such information is available at research institutes situated in the Baikal region. In Irkutsk alone there are nine institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences conducting research on nature management. The organizers and those implementing the above mentioned project have identified the following problems: To collect and process ecological information and make it accessible to all those who need it. To establish a standing network of ecological organizations of Irkutsk Oblast and the Republic of Buryatia, including consumers and distributors of this information. The project participants have defined the concept of providing the population of the Baikal region with information as a strategy of collecting, processing, and presenting data about natural resources of the territory based on the principles of integration and legal responsibility, using up-to-date information technologies to make well-grounded decisions regarding nature management in the region. Now the important tasks for teachers, ecologists, and progressive groups of the population are not only the ecological orientation of the public and providing the population with information, but also the task of promoting civic positions and stimulating social activities for democratization of ecological knowledge. The implementation of this large-scale TACIS project has resulted in: Establishing the Baikal Ecological Information Network. Obtaining a large number of computers.

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop Establishing contacts with ecological organizations from other countries and regions (ISAR, Social Information Agency, the American organization Sacred Earth Network, and others). Participating in preparation of the state report “On the Status of Environmental Conditions of Irkutsk Oblast,” which says, “In arranging ecological education of the population there must be coordinated efforts of the government organs; environmental, educational, scientific, and public organizations; and the mass media.” The importance of continuous ecological education is clear to all the participants in the Baikal Ecological Information Network. Most of them have been closely cooperating with each other and with other organizations in this important task. Another example of cooperation between local autonomous bodies and public organizations is the Russian-Canadian project on cooperation in decision-making in the field of environmental protection and, in particular, the Irkutsk component, “Water Resources Management in the Angara River Basin.” During the 1998–2000 period, the project organizers combined the efforts of state authorities and public organizations of Irkutsk Oblast in arriving at a “consensus” in decision-making in the field of environmental protection. Some of the project participants are: State Committee on Environmental Protection Committee on Natural Resources Department of Nature Management, Irkutsk Oblast Administration Angara-Baikal Basin Water Department Irkutsk Territory Department of Hydrology, Meteorology, and Environmental Monitoring Irkutsk Hydro-Electric Station Administration Irkutskenergo Joint-Stock Company Baikal-Angara Department of Waterways and Navigation Committee on Nature Management Legislation and Ecology of the Irkutsk Oblast Legislative Assembly Limnological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Institute of Geography, RAS Energy Systems Institute, RAS Institute of Geochemistry, RAS Institute of the Earth’s Crust, RAS Institute of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, RAS Institute of Biological Research at Irkustk State University Irkutsk Refrigeration Industrial Complex (state-owned enterprise) Irkutsk Housing Design and Construction Administration Science in Siberia (publication)

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop Academy of Water Industry Children’s Ecological Organization of the city of Angarsk Baikal Ecological Education (public organization) Regional Ecological Forecasting (research and production firm) Baikal Ecological Wave (public organization) Civic Informational Initiative (public organization) Irkutsk Branch of the All-Russian Nature Protection Society Mayor of the Usolye Administrative Region Mayor of the town of Shelekhov. In spite of the fact that the programs and governmental decisions regarding the Baikal region were only partially realized, progress has been made: The Selenga Pulp and Paperboard Plant has converted to a closed-loop water consumption system. Wood drift floating along Baikal’s tributaries has been stopped. Collection of waste water from boats in Lake Baikal has been put into practice. Pollutant emissions to the atmosphere from the Baikal Pulp and Paper Plant have been reduced. Hazardous substance discharges into Lake Baikal have been reduced. Lake Baikal was put on the World Nature Heritage List by UNESCO. The Law of the Russian Federation “On Lake Baikal Protection” was passed. The Baikal state information system has been established. Norms for permissible pollutant impact on the Baikal ecological system have been worked out, and a new ecological approach is under preparation. Integrated ecological monitoring of the Baikal ecosystem is being conducted. A new way of obtaining drinking water from the depths of Lake Bakial has been developed and patented, and production of bottled water has been organized as an alternative type of profitable production. At the same time, experience makes it possible to identify the reasons why environmental programs being realized by local government bodies in cooperation with public organizations and population are not completely effective. They include: Lack of a coordinated system of objectives and tasks being realized under various projects and programs. Lack of an ecological basis in some programs. Lack of economic, financial, and legal mechanisms due to budget constraints.

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop Methodological miscalculations, in particular, not taking into account the integrated ecological approach. Unreasonable “centralization” and lack of orientation towards priorities of the concerned parties and users of the results of activities under the programs. With regard to resource potential, this region has all the necessary qualities to be chosen as a “model” when elaborating the concept of sustainable development from the position of the Agenda for the Twenty-First Century. A rather well-preserved environment of the region, a huge resource potential, and a unique natural object—Lake Baikal with the surrounding landscapes—form a natural basis for the sustainable development process. On the other hand, the ecological fragility of the natural landscape system of the region, especially the ecosystem of Lake Baikal, will determine the high requirements for social and economic development processes, including the ethics and aesthetics of nature management oriented toward the future. Lake Baikal and the whole Baikal region should become an area for international cooperation of intellectual, financial, material, and human efforts aimed at solving the integrated problems of the survival of mankind and the preservation of the biosphere. PROJECT OF BIODIVERSITY PRESERVATION IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION TABLE 1 Fauna of the Most Ancient Lakes Lake Number of animal species and subspecies Reference Baikal 2565 Timoshkin and others, 1997 Tanganyika (Africa) 1248 Coulter, 1991 Biwa (Japan) 595 Mori, Miura, 1990 Caspian Sea 542 Kosarev, Yablonskaya, 1990 Ohrid (Macedonia) 430 Stancovic, 1960; Salemmaa, 1985; Kenk, 1978 Hubsugul (Mongolia) 285 Varikhanova, 1989; Kozhova and others, 1997 Titicaca (South America) 200 Dejoux, 1992

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop TABLE 2 Drinking Water Standards Components EEC Russia, All-Union State Standard Drinking Water WHO (94) US EPA, Bottled Water Switzerland, High quality Water “Baikal Water” Chlorides mg/l 200 250 250 250 20 0.5 Sulphates mg/l 200 250 250 250 10 5.4 Calcium mg/l 270       40 17 Magnesium mg/l 50       5 3.4 Sodium mg/l 150 200 200   20 3.4 Potassium mg/l 12       10 0.9 Aluminium mg/l 0.2       0.05 0.003 Solid residual mg/l 1500   1000   100 96 Fluorine mg/l     1.5 2.4   0.2 Nitrates mg/l 50 45 50 10 25 0.4 Nitrites mg/l 0.1 3 3   0.01 0.005 Ammonium mg/l 0.5 0.2     0.05 <0.02 Oil product mkg/l 10       0.1   Phenols mkg/l 5 1     0.5 <0.1 Natural iron mkg/l 3000 300 300 300 50 0.005 Manganese mkg/l 50 100 500 50 20 0.6 Copper mkg/l 1500 1000 2000 1000 50 0.3 Zinc mkg/l 5000 300 3000 5000 100 0.5 Arsenic mkg/l 50 10 10 50 2 <1 Cadmium mkg/l 5 1.0 3 10 0.5 0.02 Chromium mkg/l 50 50 50 50 1 <0.2 Mercury mkg/l 1 0.5 1 2 0.1 <0.1 Lead mkg/l 50 10 10 50 0 0.05 Selenium mrg/l 10 10 10 10 1 0.5 Barium mkg/l   100 700 100   10.1 Boron mkg/l   500 300     8.8 Nickel mkg/l   100 20     <2 Strontium mkg/l   700       110 Antimony mkg/l     5     <1

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The Role of Environmental NGOs: Russian Challenges American Lessons - Proceedings of a Workshop LIMNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE, SIBERIAN BRANCH, RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES The Baikal International Center for Ecological Research has been created. It allows increased scientific investigations of different integrated problems. Ecological passports for different enterprises and institutions functioning in the Baikal region have been developed. Norms of the allowed pollutant impact on the Lake Baikal ecosystem have been developed. A draft of the Law on Lake Baikal has been worked out and submitted to the State Council. The technical conditions for Baikal bottled drinking water have been developed, and a patent for its production has been obtained. A draft of the Federal Target Program of the Baikal Pulp and Paper Plant that solves social problems of the town of Baikalsk has been developed. Microbiological and hydrobiological monitoring of the Lake Baikal ecosystem and its main tributaries is being conducted. Integrated research of biodiversity in the Lake Baikal ecosystem and in the water bodies of its basin has been considerably expanded.