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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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