Resolution of the Round Table The Baikal Is a Gem of the World
devoted to the 10th anniversary of Lake Baikal being included
in the UNESCO list of the World Natural Heritage Sites
December 14, 2006, Ulan Ude
The 20th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (Merido, Mexico, December 2-7, 1996) recognized Lake Baikal as a model of an outstanding fresh water ecosystem. It is the most ancient and the deepest lake in the world containing 20 per cent of the entire planet’s fresh water which is in its lakes and rivers.
The organizers of the Round Table were the Republic of Buryatia Ministry of Culture and Mass Communications, the Republic of Buryatia National Library, the UNESCO International Chair of ecological ethics at East Siberian State Technological University.
Representatives of power bodies, educational and research institutions and social organizations took part in the work of the round table.
The participants of the round table The Baikal Is a Gem of the World, having discussed the problems of protecting Lake Baikal as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the prospects of the regional sustainable development, point out that
· There are different, sometimes even opposing points of view estimating the ability of the state to work out the procedure of responsibility for the established ecological status of the Baikal natural territory, to lead the unified ecological and economic policy towards the Baikal natural territory including the World Natural Heritage Site.
· The procedure of working out, coordinating and adopting amendments and additions to the Federal Law “On Lake Baikal Protection”, working out a package of normative acts to realize the main regulations of that law and other principal federal laws (“Water, Forest and City Planning Codes”, the Federal Law “On Ecological Evaluation”) need getting timely and full information for the community to take part in the activity.
· To provide the territorial unity of Lake Baikal watershed both within and outside the Russian Federation, to develop international cooperation in that sphere it is necessary to adopt the Framework Convention “On Ecological Security of the Baikal Natural Territory” jointly by the Governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Mongolia.
· Spreading the ideas of sustainable development and informing different social groups about the unique ecosystem of Lake Baikal, support and development of traditional knowledge, ethic norms and rules of careful attitude towards nature characteristic of indigenous peoples and local communities of the Baikal region are the main conditions of realizing the project of the special economic tourism and recreation zone.
The Round Table participants recommend:
The UNESCO Bureau in Moscow:
· To ask UNESCO to submit an application to the UNO Secretariat to declare one of the years of the International “Water for Life” decade the International Baikal Year.
The Republic of Buryatia People’s Khural (Parliament):
· To initiate ratification of the International Convention “On Evaluating the Effect on the Environment in the Transborder Context” (Espo, 1991) by the State Duma of the Russian Federation Federal Assembly and by the Great People’s Khural of Mongolia.
· To adopt the Baikal Charter to be considered as the ecological and ethic code of the Republic of Buryatia; it can become a regional analogy of the Earth Charter adopted by the UNO (including UNESCO).
The Republic of Buryatia Government:
- a) Together with interested members of the community to work out and introduce the procedure of ecological and social control over the process of carrying out the project of the tourism and recreation zone on the territory of the Republic of Buryatia. Carrying out the project to take into consideration the experience of the local travel agents and promote the development of tourist infrastructure in the republic on the whole using the project as a catalyst. To ask the Baikal Information Centre of the National Library to publish the information about the development of the project on its site.
- b) To take extraordinary measures to regulate the development of building at the Baikal coast, to work out the overall plans of the settlements adjacent to Lake Baikal, to organize complex monitoring of Lake Baikal coast to discover the facts of illegal building and breaches of the law on the population’s sanitary and epidemiological wealth.
- c) To consider the problem of optimum passenger transportation on the basis of logistic and ecological research, as well as of introducing neutralizers of waste gases and using high quality fuels.
- d) To work out republican and municipal target programmes to carry out the concept of sustainable development, in particular in the field of industrial ecology, healthy lifestyle, ecological and ethical education of the new generation.
The Republic of Buryatia Ministry of Education:
- a) To work out and adopt the project of creating the regional network of sustainable development education on the Baikal natural territory which includes all the stages of educational process (preschool, school, higher, post-graduate education and local self-government institutions).
- b) To prepare a plan to carry out the Strategy of the UNO European Economic Commission for sustainable development education as applied to the Baikal natural territory.
The Republic of Buryatia Economic Development and Foreign Affairs:
- To recommend organizing the Baikal Sustainable Development Forum supported by UNO, “The Strategy of the Regional Sustainable Development: Partnership for the Purpose of Organizing a Special Economic Zone of Tourism and Recreation”, in June 2007.
The Republic of Buryatia National Library:
- To reflect all the current changes in the nature protection legislation of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Buryatia (the Federal Law “On Lake Baikal Protection”, the Water, Forest and City Planning Codes, the Federal Law “On Ecological Evaluation” and others) on the site of the Baikal Information Centre.
The Consortium of Social Ecological Organizations of the Republic of Buryatia:
- to ask to turn to the Ecological Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Federal Assembly to get the full information about working out amendments, changes and additions to the Federal Law “On Lake Baikal Protection” and to place the received information on the site of the Baikal Information Centre of the Republic of Buryatia National Library.