Specially protected natural areas map
The Baikal basin is a unique region with a high biotic and landscape diversity. Specially protected areas ensure the protection of the ecosystems of the basin.
The importance of the principle of territorial nature protection is shown by the history of creation of protected natural territories (PNT). The first protected area in the Baikal basin – near the Bogd mountain range – was created in 1778, which is documented in the Mongolian written sources. Barguzinsky Reserve, founded in 1916, became the first of the currently operating Russian state reserves. The international significance of PNTs in the Baikal basin is underlined by the inscription of Lake Baikal on the UNESCO World Heritage list, as well as by the inclusion of four PNTs of the basin into the network of natural biosphere reserves run by the UNESCO program “Man and Biosphere” (MAB). In the recent years, determining factors of environmental policy included the implementation of the concept of sustainable development and Convention on Biological Diversity and other international environmental conventions ratified by Russia, as well as the compliance with the requirements concerning the ecosystem of Lake Baikal as a World Heritage Site.
A special federal law "On the Protection of Lake Baikal" was passed by Russia to preserve the World Heritage Site. This law established two ecological zones – central and buffer zones – within the Russian part of the Baikal basin, which, in turn, is part of the Baikal Natural Territory (BNT). In order to determine the nature protection regime in each of the category of PNTs in Russia and Mongolia, quite similar laws were passed in both countries including the Russian federal law “On Specially Protected Areas” (dated March 14, 1995) and national law of Mongolia “On Specially Protected Areas” (dated November 15, 1994, entered into force on April 1, 1995) [Mongolian…, 1996]. Due to the differences in the definition, we use the general term “Protected Natural Territory” (PNT).
It should be noted that a significant number of PNTs are divided by the basin’s borders. Nevertheless, they are also discussed in this Atlas.
The PNTs within the basin are unevenly distributed [Savenkova, 2001, 2002]. The Irkutsk part of the basin is almost completely covered by the reserve regime (Pribaikalsky National Park, Baikal-Lena Reserve, Kochergatsky wildlife refuge) and represents an almost uninterrupted protected belt along the western shore of the lake. In Buryatia, the largest protected areas are located near Lake Baikal, while the rest represent only small-sized sanctuaries. In the Zabaikalsky part of the basin, PNTs are small, but they help protect the environment at the sources of key rivers. In the Mongolian part of the basin, PNTs are distributed along the basin’s boundary. Their number in the center of the basin is small. A small national park Tuzhiyn Nars can be mentioned among them. Thus, the ecosystems in the nearest surroundings of Lake Baikal are sufficiently protected, although the PNT distribution on the rest of the basin and the protection of the lake’s water area are not always optimal.
As of 2009, there are 46 PNTs of the main categories (see table) with a total area of 10442,171 thousand hectares within the Baikal basin. They include 10 reserves (incl. four biosphere reserves), 13 national parks, 23 wildlife refuges and sanctuaries. Moreover, in the Russian part of the basin, there are the so-called recreational areas, which are basically PNTs under district jurisdiction. In the Mongolian part of the basin, there are PNTs under aimag jurisdiction [Mongolia’s Wild Heritage…, 1996; Mongolia’s tentative…, 1999; Savenkova, Erdentsetseg, 2000, 2002; Oyungerel, 2009]. The map also shows four National Natural Monuments of Mongolia: Khuisiin Naiman Nuur, Uran Togoo-Tulga Uul, Bulgan Uul, and Dayan Derkhi.
There are plans to create 20 new PNTs of different categories in the Baikal basin.
In the Russian part these will include the “Selenga Delta” (Buryatia) and “Ikh Tayrisin” (Tuva) reserves, national parks "Chikoysky" (Zabaikalsky krai) and "Onotsky" (Irkutsk oblast), wildlife sanctuaries “Verhneulkansky” (Buryatia/Irkutsk oblast), "Khila" (Buryatia/Zabaikalsky krai), "Malkhansky" (Zabaikalsky krai), "Talovsky Lakes" (Irkutsk oblast), as well as the most numerous type of PNT – natural parks "Arey", "Yamarovka" (Zabaikalsky krai), "Utulik - Babkha", "Chersky Peak", "Warm Lakes" (Irkutsk oblast), "Upper Angara", "Kurkulinsky", "Mezhdurechye", "Posolsky Sor"," Slyudyanskiye Lakes", "Tagley", "Khakusy", "Yarki" (Buryatia) [Kalikhman, 2007].
In the Mongolian part of the basin, 11 territories will become new PNTs, including "Burengiyn Nuruu" reserve and nature reserves "Arkhan Buural-Badaryn Nuruu", "Bohloo-Chagtayn Nuruu", "Ikh Tunel-Emged Ovgod", "Tovhonhaan uul", "TerhenTsagaan uul", "Khalkhan bulnai" [Kalikhman, 2011; Special Protected Areas…, 2000].
Moreover, there are plans to organize five transboundary PNTs in the basin: "The Amur Source ", "Khentei – Chikoyskoye Highlands", "Selenga", "From Khovsgol to Baikal", "Delger - Muren" [Savenkova, 2001; Oyungerel, Savenkova, 2004]. A relative similarity in the legislature concerning the PNTs in Russia and Mongolia helps coordinate their activities, as well as the general nature protection efforts on neighboring territories. It can be proved by the already operating transboundary Russian-Mongolian PNTs outside the Baikal basin: the trilateral cluster transboundary reserve "Dauria", which includes the Russian reserve "Daursky" (Zabaikalsky krai), Mongolian reserve "Mongol Daguur", and Chinese reserve "Dalainor", has been working since 1994. A cluster transboundary World Heritage Site "The Uvs Nuur Basin" was founded in 2003. It consists of 12 different areas, five of which are in Mongolia and seven – in the Republic of Tuva, Russia [Kalikhman, 2012].
In general, it is possible to conclude that the currently existing system of the PNTs in the Baikal basin does not fully cover the region’s ecosystems and is unevenly distributed. In this regard, an increase in the number and size of PNTs is expected in order to improve the effectiveness of conservation measures.
Kalikhman, T. P. (2007). Specially protected natural areas within the boundaries of the Baikal Natural Territory. Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Geography, 3, p 75-86.
Kalikhman, T. P. (2011). Territorial nature protection in the Baikal region. Irkutsk: IG SB RAS Publishing. p 322.
Savenkova, T. P. (2001). Protected areas of the Baikal basin. Irkutsk: IG SB RAS Publishing. p 186.
Savenkova, T. P. (2002). Atlas of protected areas of the Baikal basin. Irkutsk: p 96.
Savenkova, T. P., Erdenetsetseg, D. (2000). Development of a network of protected areas within the Baikal basin in Mongolia. Geography and Natural Resources, 2. p 131-138.
Savenkova, T. P., Erdenetsetseg, D. (2002). Protected areas of the Baikal Natural Territory. Gazarzuyn Asuudluud, 2. p 45-53.
Kalikhman, T. P. (2012). The Nature Conservation of Baikal Region: Special Natural Protected Areas System in Three Environmental Models. In J. Tiefenbacher (Ed.,), Perspectives on nature conservation: Patterns, pressures and prospects. Rijeka, Croatia: InTech Open Access Publisher. p 199-222.
Mongolian Environmental Laws. (1996). Ulaanbaatar. p 152.
UNESCO Beijing office, Ministry of Education of Mongolia. (1999). Mongolia’s tentative list of cultural and natural heritage. p 54.
Finch, C. (1996). Mongolia’s wild heritage: Biological diversity, protected areas, and conservation in the land of Chingis Khaan. Boulder, CO: Avery press. p 42.
Оyungerel, B. (2009). Tusgai khamgaalaltai gazar nutag. Scale 1 : 5,000,000. Mongol ulsyn undesniy atlas, II khevlel. Ulaanbaatar. p 156-157.
Special Protected Areas of Mongolia. (2000). Ulaanbaatar. p 105.