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The Ecological atlas of the Baikal basin

Institute of geography (Irkutsk, Russia), Institute of geography (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia)

In 2014 the joint Russian-Mongolian assessment on creation and publication of unique “Ecological atlas of the Baikal basin” was finished. The atlas consists of more than 150 different nature resource and nature protection maps, which cover the territory of the basin in Russia and Mongolia.

The maps are posted and available in interactive regime on web-site of the Baikal information centre.

The Ecological atlas of the Lake Baikal basin was created for integration of modern data and knowledge about main factors of ecological condition formation in the Lake Baikal basin, as well as about modern condition of environment. The atlas shows those data and knowledge in forms which are appropriate enough for solving of economically and ecologically balanced development problems of the Baikal region. While creation of the atlas the following data and methods were used: the newest achievements of atlas mapping, GIS-technologies, methods of remote sensing, frequently supplemented and updated base of thematic spatial data and the database located in Institute of geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS, Irkutsk), Limnological Institute (RAS, Irkutsk), Institute of earth crust (RAS, Irkutsk), Baikal Institute of nature management (RAS, Ulan-Ude), Institute of nature resources, ecology and cryology (RAS, Chita), Institute of geography of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences (Ulaanbaatar). Creation of atlas required integrated study of ecological problems and situations from both territorial and content views. Combination of nature resource, biotic, economic, social and demographical factors was possible thanks to target developed complex program of digital mapping, which was considered as a procedure of preparation of objective and accessible information about territorial objects for solving of branch and integral ecological mapping tasks.

Within the scope of work the following main steps of atlas creation were set: compilation of map basis, data collection for development of subject content of maps, digitization of necessary subject layers of maps, formation of subject data bases, development of projects in GIS-shell conditions, map grouping, etc. The electronic atlas mapping of the Baikal basin was developed in two basic scale levels: 1: 5 000 000 for maps of nature factors and 1: 6 000 000 for maps of socio-economic factors of ecological condition formation. The data base and its subject scope depended on character of mapped effects and processes, modern condition and existence of certain nature, resource, economic, social, demographic, ecological, etc. problems of nature management.

Structurally the atlas consists of seven blocks – introductory and six subjects:

1)      Nature conditions of ecological condition formation; 2) resource factors of ecological condition formation; 3) socio-economic factors of ecological condition formation; 4) transformation of environment; 5) medical ecological condition; 6) environment protection; 7) ecological condition of the Baikal basin.

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International expedition works on organization of sanitary-epidemiological monitoring of transboundary water objects in the Republic of Buryatia and Mongolia

Central administration of specialized inspection (Mongolia), Federal Supervision Agency for Customer Protection and Human Welfare in the Republic of Buryatia (Russia), Federal Budget Institution of Health «Centre of hygiene and epidemiology in the Republic of Buryatia» (Russia), Federal Budget Institution East-Siberian Scientific Centre of human ecology, Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of medical sciences (Russia).

On June 15-21, 2014 Federal Supervision Agency for Customer Protection and Human Welfare in the Republic of Buryatia, Central administration of specialized inspection,  Federal Budget Institution of Health «Centre of hygiene and epidemiology» with the participation of East-Siberian Scientific Centre of human ecology (Angarsk) held the international expedition works on organization of sanitary-epidemiological monitoring of transboundary water objects in the Republic of Buryatia and Mongolia.

The works were done within the scope of realization of intergovernmental program “Assessment of risk to human health from pollution of transboundary waters on the territory of the Russian Federation and Mongolia”, which was approved on the 6th Plenipotentiary meeting of Russian and Mongolian governments on realization of the Transboundary waters protection and use Agreement between Russia and Mongolia.

The following objectives have been achieved:

  • The harmonization of methods and techniques of water laboratory control by sanitary-epidemiological indicators;
  • The enhancement of sanitary-epidemiological monitoring programs of transboundary rivers, sampling points and sampling frequency;
  • Conducting of joint water sampling on transboundary rivers (Selenga, Orhon, Tuul , Kyahtinka, Lake Baikal) to ensure results comparability on microbiological, virological and parasitological parameters by employees of departments of both countries, responsible for implementation of the program;
  • Holding of joint workshop for employees of departments of both countries, responsible for implementation of the program and scientific experts in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), on the methodological issues of measurements procedures and sampling procedures;

Development of action plan for implementation of the program for epidemiological risk assessment to human health from pollution of transboundary waters of the Selenga River in the Republic of Buryatia and Selenge aimag.

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Intercalibration of analytical procedures for analytes, included into harmonized program of hydrochemical monitoring for Selenga river basin

Hydrochemical institute (Russia), Institute of Hydrometeorology (Mongolia)

In 2012 harmonized program of water quality in the Selenga River basin was developed by Russian Hydrochemical Institute and Mongolian Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, and endorsed by governments of both countries (Russia and Mongolia), what enables to work out unified approaches to ensuring of control system of analytical procedures quality between Russia and Mongolia.

In 2014 the second phase of intercalibration of measurement methods of the following was carried out: microelements (arsenic, cadmium, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, cobalt, nickel, aluminum), cations (lithium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, ammonium), anions (fluorides, chlorides, bromides, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, sulphates), petroleum products and chemical oxygen demand. Measurements of only five indicators, such as hardness, calcium, phosphates, sulphates and chlorides, out of all data obtained from the Mongolian laboratories can be regarded as reliable and compatible with the Russian data. Training workshops have been held in Ulan-Ude for Mongolian specialists on methodology issues of surface waters and measurement quality control with the purpose of implementing of more selective and sensitive measurement methods of: microelements (arsenic, cadmium, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, cobalt, nickel, aluminum), cations (lithium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium), anions (fluorides, nitrates, phosphates, sulphates). Also, a new high value equipment has been bought and present available equipment has been modernized (ion chromatograph and lamps for analysis of heavy metals by means of atom absorption) for Mongolian Central Laboratory in Ulaanbaatar.

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Model of pollutants transport and water balance in the Baikal Basin

Geographical faculty of Moscow State University (Russia)

Data base for modeling of pollutants transport in the Selenga river basin has been created, as well as setting of the model of pollutants transport and water balance in the Lake Baikal basin, basing on the data base, has been developed. For pollutants transport modeling along the length of water systems, programs and methods necessary for task solution have been chosen and specialized program module has been elaborated. Solution of this task enables to conduct early and timely warning of users, who are downstream, about strong threats of transportable pollutants for purposes of prevention and necessary protection measures.

Within the scope of work the following objectives have been achieved:

  • Conduction of trainings using the premises of Baikal Institute of nature management (Russia) and Institute of hydrology and meteorology (Mongolia) for acquaintance with principles of HEC-RAS, WEAP model work and necessary skills of ArcGIS.
  • Calibration and verification of one-dimensional hydrodynamic model (HEC-RAS) for chosen key parts of river net.
  • Calibration and verification of WEAP for the Lake Baikal basin.
  • Development of expert-analytical system of chemical element transfer down the Selenga River.
  • Installation of program complex HEC-RAS, WEAP and developed models on computers of Baikal Information Centre in Mongolia and Russia.
  • Visualization of scenario results of river net reaction forecast and water balance calculation published on Baikal Information Centre web-site.

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    Organization and holding of training seminars for environment protection inspectors of the Baikal nature territory

    Burpriroda (Russia)

    Learning and teaching guide in Russian “Ecology and law on Baikal. Experience and practice” for environment protection inspectors has been developed and published. Series of training seminars (20-30 visitors per each seminar) for environment protection inspectors of the Baikal nature territory have been held.

    The guide includes the following parts: goals and objectives of environment inspectors; specifics of ecological inspection in the Baikal nature territory; analysis of law enforcement practice; State control of wastes circulation and measures to improvement; subsoil use control in the sphere of widespread mineral resources and measures to improvement; water protection legislation compliance; protection, control and regulation of use of animals which are ranked as hunting objects; measures to monitoring, reproduction and use of animal world objects.

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    Publication of reports on ground waters and hot spots of the Kharaa River basin (Mongolia)

    The following reports on works done in 2013 were published and distributed among stakeholders: “Groundwater Resources in Shallow Transboundary Aquifers in the Baikal Basin: Current Knowledge, Protection and Management”, Pollution threat assessment in the Kharaa River basin.

    Download Kharaa river report

    Download Report Lake Baikal - ENG

    Download Report Lake Baikal - RUS

    Download Report Lake Baikal - MON

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    «Water quality monitoring in the Selenga River delta»

    Baikal Institute of nature management (Russia), Limnological Institute (Russia)

    The Project supports annual water quality monitoring on chemical, microbiological and hydrobiological indicators in the Selenga River delta.

    2014 showed extremely low water flow of the Selenga River with biogenic substances and dissolved oxygen content not exceeding set regulation value. There were increased concentrations of heavy metals in surface waters of the 2014 summer period. High concentration of microorganisms, including potentially pathogenic microflora, indicates low level of water quality and necessity of limitations of water use in recreational purposes.

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    Support and implementation of sub-basins management plans of the Ider River and the Eg River (Mongolia)

    Mongolian Water Forum (Mongolia)

    The Ider and Eg Rivers sub-basin management plans were developed in 2013 and got approval from the Ministry of Environment and Green Development in 2014. Plans and educational materials have been published; training workshops for sums’ and aimaks’ administrations and water management have been conducted.

    Ider sub-basin plan

    Eg sub-basin plan

    Orkhon-Selenga plan

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    The Strategic Action Program

    Experts (Russia and Mongolia)

     

    Being developed in 2013, the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis of the Lake Baikal basin ecosystem threats was a basis for development of the 2014 Strategic Action Program (SAP), which includes joint Russian-Mongolian actions for strengthening of the Lake Baikal basin ecosystem protection. By now a draft SAP has been developed by joint efforts of Russian and Mongolian experts and has been submitted to the Ministry of nature resources of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of environment and green development of Mongolia. That draft SAP defines conception and strategic goals and objectives of the Program, as well as determines 6 basic components, including:

    - protection, restoration and sustainable management of main water and terrestrial habitats;

    - pollution reduction and water quality improvement;

    - rational use of fish, hunting and other wild nature resources;

    - control and prevention of biological invasions;

    - adaption to climate change consequences;

    - natural disaster readiness.

    Strategic objectives (in total 16) are defined for each component. There are strategic actions and key indicators to objectives performance.

    Download SAP

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    The 4th Meeting of Joint Mongolian-Russian environmental protection commission was held in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation

    28 November 2014 Moscow, Russia

    Event details

    When

    Nov 28, 2014 07:30 AM to
    Jan 15, 2015 07:30 AM

    Where

    Moscow, Russia

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    The 4th Meeting of Joint Mongolian-Russian environmental protection commission was held in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation

    The Russian delegation was headed by Deputy Director of Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage, Co-Chair of the Commission - Amirkhan Amirkhanov. The Mongolian delegation was headed by Director of the Department of Public Policy and Regulation of the Ministry of Environment and Green Development of Mongolia - Narantsetseg Dugersuren.

    The participants of the meeting discussed a number of transboundary issues, including ones related to the cooperation between Russia and Mongolia in the field of Water industry and Forestry, development of the system of specially protected areas (PAs), joint monitoring and control of migratory animals.

    According to Amirkhan Amirkhanov, the issue of establishing of transboundary protected areas, particularly the reserve "Istoki Amura" - is a priority activity of the Commission. The planned reserve should include the State Nature Biosphere Reserve "Sokhondinsky" (Russia, Zabaikalsky krai) and the National Park "Onon-Baldzinsky" (Mongolia). The draft agreement on the establishment of the reserve "Istoki Amura" was approved by the Federal Government (Order 09.03.2013 № 323-p).

    Amirkhan Amirkhanov said: "The creation of the Russian-Mongolian transboundary reserve "Istoki Amura" will provide additional opportunities for the conservation of biological and landscape diversity of the southern Trans-Baikal area in the source of Amur river basins, will contribute to the development of scientific research and environmental monitoring".

    The participants stressed the need to accelerate the signing of a draft intergovernmental agreement on the establishment of "Istoki Amura". A. Amirhanov, in turn, said that the Russian side has all necessary documentation ready to signing.

    In addition, the Russian side has proposed the establishment of transboundary reserve on the basis of the national park "Saylyugemsky" (the Russian Federation) and the National Park "Siylhem" (Mongolia).

    As part of the work aimed at the preservation of transboundary populations and groups of rare and endangered wildlife, the parties took a decision to establish a joint working group for development of a program for the conservation of argali in the Russian-Mongolian transboundary area.

    Taking into account the decisions adopted at the end of negotiations within the 18 meeting of the Joint Russian-Mongolian Intergovernmental Committee and by the end of the work of the Commission, the parties reached an agreement on the organization of a joint meeting in the first half of 2015. This meeting will be dedicated to the informational interchange, relating to assess the environmental impact of the project of “Shuren” hydroelectric power plant on Selenga river.

    The meeting, which was held on 27-28 November 2014, was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage (RPN), the Federal Water Resources Agency, the Government of the Republic of Buryatia and the regional branch of the RPN, FSBI All-Russian Institute for Nature Protection,    A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, FSBI National Park “Tunkinsky”, FSBI National Park “Saylyugemsky”, World Wildlife Fund, UNDP-GEF "Integrated Natural Resource Management in the Baikal Basin Transboundary Ecosystem".

    The results, implemented in 2014 by the project UNDP-GEF "Integrated Natural Resource Management in the Baikal Basin Transboundary Ecosystem" was reported during the 4th Meeting was reported by Project Manager, Sergey Kudelya.

    Source: http://www.mnr.gov.ru/news/detail.php?ID=138197

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    Methodology of pollution hot spots identification in the transboundary Lake Baikal basin.

    Experts (Russia and Mongolia)

    Adaptation of methodology of pollution hot spots identification in the transboundary Lake Baikal basin was finalized by experts and approved in 2014 by the working group within the scope of Agreement between governments of the Russian Federation and Mongolia on protection and use of transboundary waters. The methodology is available in Russian, English and Mongolian.

    Download report (Eng)

    Download report (Rus)

    Download report (Mng)

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    Groundwater resources assessment as a contribution to the TDA, including surface water - groundwater interactions and groundwater dependent ecosystem in the Baikal Basin (UNESCO 1.3)

    The scope of this project under the Output 1.3 is to study transboundary groundwater resources in shallow aquifers in the Baikal Basin, with special regard to:

    • Sustainable, integrated management of groundwater and surface water and environmentally sound water protection policy considering ethical, religious and cultural traditions of local societies.
    • Increasing water demand for drinking and other purposes and potential impacts of excessive groundwater exploitation (e.g. groundwater level decline, loss of base flow, land subsidence).
    • Pollution threats to groundwater quality (in close cooperation with Output 1.4).
    • Vulnerability of groundwater and groundwater dependent ecosystems.
    • Advantages of conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water for social and economic development.
    • Influence of the present status of land use and land use planning on groundwater resources quantity and quality.
    • Potential impact of climate variability and change on different type of aquifers (shallow, karstic, deep) and on frequency and extent of natural disasters (floods, droughts, storms, earthquakes).

    Download report UNESCO 1.3

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      Review and rank upgrade needs for Mongolian municipalities in Selenge River basin, including the identification of ongoing and planned water and sanitation projects, focusing on Kharaa River Basin pollution assessment (UNESCO 1.4)

      The scope of the activities on the pollution assessment in the Selenge River Basin under Output 1.4 includes:

        1. A review and ranking of upgrade needs for Mongolian municipalities in Selenge River basin, including the identification of ongoing and planned water and sanitation projects, with regard to:

          • Water, sanitation and wastewater in main cities and municipalities;
          • Ongoing and planned water and sanitation projects;
          • Prevention, control and reduction of pollution from urban areas.


          2. A case-study on the assessment of pollution hotspots and pollution threats in the Kharaa River Basin, with a specific focus on:

            • Human impacts on water quality in the basin;
            • Major pollution threats to groundwater and surface water quality.
            • Pollution hotspots, including pollution sources and types and levels of selected main pollutants
            • Urban wastewater management, including the collection, treatment and disposal of municipal sewage, stormwater, urban runoff and solid waste;
            • Negative impacts of water pollution on the sustainability of water resources in the basin, as well as on human health and ecosystems.

            Download - Selenga report

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            Festival of ecological films H2O: documentary “Baikal without boundaries”

            11 October 2014 Ulan-Ude, Russia

            Event details

            When

            Oct 11, 2014 05:55 AM to
            Jan 09, 2015 05:55 AM

            Where

            Ulan-Ude, Russia

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            The documentary “Baikal without boundaries” was created under order of UNDP and GEF. The cinema project raises completely new topic. This is a narration of what type of lands, rivers are the sources of Baikal water. The film is a fascinating journey over the center of Russian Siberia and Mongolian steppes. The route of cinema expedition is about of 10 000 km

            http://www.h2ofilmfest.ru/ru/festivals/336/films/3750

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            Meeting “Social ecological organizations in economic development and environment preservation”

            06 October 2014 Ulan-Ude, Russia

            Event details

            When

            Oct 06, 2014 05:50 AM to
            Jan 09, 2015 05:50 AM

            Where

            Ulan-Ude, Russia

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            Meeting “Social ecological organizations in economic development and environment preservation” was a platform to discuss problems and contradictions in environment and economy development on the territory of Buryatia.

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            The Bringing together Selenga-Baikal Research conference

            01 October 2014 Leipzig, Germany

            Event details

            When

            Oct 01, 2014 05:50 AM to
            Jan 09, 2015 05:50 AM

            Where

            Leipzig, Germany

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            The Bringing together Selenga-Baikal Research conference was held at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany.

            The purpose of the conference is expanding of contact networks between Russia and European countries in the field  of investigation of the unique water bodies like Baikal and Leman Lakes.

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            Heritage Interpretation Training Seminar for NAI Certified Interpretive Guides

            29 September 2014 Tankhoi, Buryatia, Russia

            Event details

            When

            Sep 29, 2014 05:35 AM to
            Jan 09, 2015 05:35 AM

            Where

            Tankhoi, Buryatia, Russia

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            The workshop was targeted on strengthening and expanding interpretive skills, learn some additional interpretive techniques, explore ways to lead effective training seminars for colleagues, and together make plans for continuing to build a network of professional interpreters in Siberia.

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            XIVth Baikal International Festival of Documentary and Popular-Science Films "PEOPLE AND ENVIRONMENT"

            29 September 2014 Irkutsk, Russia

            Event details

            When

            Sep 29, 2014 05:30 AM to
            Jan 09, 2015 05:30 AM

            Where

            29 September 2014 Irkutsk, Russia

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            The XIVth Baikal International Festival of Documentary and Popular-Science Films "PEOPLE AND ENVIRONMENT" that took place in Irkutsk on 29 September 2015.

            The film festival "PEOPLE AND ENVIRONMENT" was conceived by the organizers as a platform to make people think about inter-relations between mankind and nature.

            The Festival aims at raising environmental awareness by means of cinematography.

            Source (photo and text): http://www.baikalkinofest.ru/en/for_massmedia/

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            The Baikal Olympiad for schoolchildren

            28 September 2014 Pribaikalskii district, Buryatia, Russia

            Event details

            When

            Sep 28, 2014 05:25 AM to
            Jan 09, 2015 05:25 AM

            Where

            Pribaikalskii district, Buryatia, Russia

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            XII Baikal Olympiad for schoolchildren was traditionally organized on the shoreline of Lake Baikal in children educational center “Baikalskie volny”. The purpose of the Olympiad is to determine the knowledge level of schoolchildren about the Lake, drawing attention to the environmental problems.

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