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International Cooperation in the Environmental Protection

The objective necessity to preserve and to restore Lake Baikal ecosystem is the main motive power of international contacts expansion. That activity was performed in accordance with federal, republican and international legal acts, agreements and treaties.
International cooperation used to have and now has different forms and aspects, but this variety was came to the single objective of guaranteeing absolute protection of Lake Baikal natural phenomenon.

A kind of starting point of this activity is the international conference “The Baikal Region as the World Sustainable Development Model Territory” which took place in September 1994 and was especially urgent.
On the initiative of the World Bank scientific research was done to work out the general plan of ecological tourism development by the Baikal (1994-1995). The main objective of that plan was to get the maximum effectiveness alongside with minimum influence on the environment.
The next stage was working out of the project “Natural Resources Management and Biological Diversity Preservation in Lake Baikal Basin” (2001) which was financed by the World Bank.

Within the framework of the Russian-American project (Davis project) “The Complex Programme of Land Utilization Policy on the Russian Territory of Lake Baikal Basin” research work was done which included the problems of land resources utilization on the basis of sustainability and ecological systems preservation.
Scientific search works in the field of working out the Baikal component of the Global ecological foundation project supported by the Russian State ecological committee and financed by the World Bank (1998-2001) are of more long-term character.
The main project objective is to preserve the unique ecological system of Lake Baikal and its cavity natural-historical complex. The project document consists of five sub-components: inter-regional activity; the model project in the Irkutsk region; the model project in the Republic of Buryatia; the model project in the Chita region; the local initiatives programme (smaller grants).

Not less important nature protection objectives were imposed on the European community TASIS programme on the Baikal region (1997-2000). One of the main project advantages is the fact that in the process of its realization the principal performers had an opportunity to get acquainted with the working practice of West European organizations in the sphere of state government on different guidelines, including natural resources management and the environment quality.
The instruction provided state management improvement in the context of transition to market economics with the accent on the special attention to the environment protection.

The above mentioned list of international cooperation guidelines shows that it is mostly manifested in the field of scientific-research activity. The attempts of turning to concrete nature protection activities are hampered at that stage by lack of information for foreign investors on the present-day state of Lake Baikal ecological system.
Insufficient development of the social structures in Russia, in the Baikal region in particular, capable of cardinal solution of nature usage and natural complexes problems, as well as foreign investors restraint in their contacts with state power representatives, produce more hampering effect.
Lake Baikal and its ecological system have planet significance, that’s why its preservation is concern of the whole world community. Many advanced scientists share that opinion, that’s why international cooperation in the field of the Baikal problems solution will be broadened in different aspects.

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