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EastRussia Bulletin: The initiative to reduce the Baikal water protection zone sparked controversy - EastRussia | Far East

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EastRussia Bulletin: The initiative to reduce the Baikal water protection zone sparked controversy

EastRussia Bulletin: The initiative to reduce the Baikal water protection zone sparked controversy
Photo: EastRussia
Disputes are caused by the initiative of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation to cut the Baikal water protection zone almost in 10 times, according to the next issue of the EastRussia bulletin. The corresponding bill was developed in February.

Doubts about the need for a significant reduction of the water protection zone arose among the deputies of the State Duma, representatives of the Prosecutor General's Office and environmentalists. The head of the Duma committee on natural resources, property and land relations N. Nikolaev (United Russia, elected from the Baikal region) stated that it is necessary to conduct additional studies and develop separate projects for the border and internal differentiation of the zone, setting a different level of restrictions. The Prosecutor General's Office is afraid of negative environmental consequences for the Baikal natural territory. The Prosecutor General's Office also notes the meaninglessness of changing borders - in her opinion, it is necessary to guarantee the rights of people already living on these lands. Environmentalists also note that reducing the area of ​​the water protection zone will not affect the possibility of privatization of land within its borders, but it will allow for continuous logging of a large area.

Despite criticism, the Ministry of Natural Resources plans to maintain strict environmental restrictions near Lake Baikal. In this case, the establishment of water protection zones for settlements and territories of municipalities should be further decided individually.

The proposal itself appeared after the complaint of the residents of Olkhon Vladimir Putin in June 2017 year on the inability to conduct normal economic activities on Lake Baikal. Last week, the results of a survey of the NAFI analytical center and the Lake Baikal Foundation were distributed, according to which about half of the polled opposed the adjustment of the borders. So, to leave Olkhon "on favorable terms", to reduce the human impact on the environment and preserve the unique nature, were not ready for 63% of the inhabitants of the island. In general, 62% of the respondents favor the restriction of the construction and operation of tourist camps, shops and other objects of economic activity of man near Lake Baikal.

A detailed analysis of this and other relevant topics can be found in the weekly bulletin EastRussia (https://www.eastrussia.ru/subscribe/).