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141. Natural managment and environmental condition of central ecological zone map

Natural managment and environmental condition of central ecological zone map

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Ecological state of the Central Ecological Zone of the Baikal Natural Territory

The Central Ecological Zone of the Baikal Natural Territory (CEZ BNT) includes Lake Baikal itself with its islands, the adjacent water protection zone, and specially protected natural areas (SPNA) (Federal Law No. 94-FZ “On Protection of Lake Baikal” dated May 1, 1999). Its boundaries coincide with the boundary of the World Natural Heritage site “Lake Baikal” and follow the outer boundaries of the Baikal-Lena, Barguzinsky, and Baikalsky reserves (zapovedniks), Pribaikalsky, Zabaikalsky, and Tunkinsky national parks, Frolikhinsky, Pribaikalsky, Enkhaluksky, and Snezhinsky nature-sanctuaries (zakazniks), as well as the main watersheds of the Primorsky, Baikalsky, Verkhne-Angarsky, Barguzinsky, Golondinsky, Ulan-Burgasy, Morskoy, and Khamar-Daban ridges. The main function of the central ecological zone is to preserve the unique ecological system of Lake Baikal and to prevent the negative impact of economic and other activity on its state.

The main sources of the atmospheric impact on Lake Baikal are industrial enterprises located in the basin and on the shores of the lake, and sections of the Trans-Siberian Railway and Baikal-Amur Mainline. Air emissions from industrial enterprises and boiler stations of the towns of Baikalsk, Slyudyanka, Severobaikalsk, and Nizhneangarsk and villages located in the Baikal basin have the highest probability of falling into the lake. Air transport products from the Irkutsk-Cheremkhovo agglomeration constitute a much smaller part of the total air pollution over Lake Baikal because of the remoteness and a large number of calms and fogs. Emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen sulphide and hydrocarbon, methyl mercaptan, formaldehyde, and phenol, produced by coastal enterprises have a negative impact on the ecological situation.

On the northern shore of Lake Baikal a single zone of the atmospheric pollution distribution, stretched along Lake Baikal, is formed. Its area for the town of Severobaikalsk amounts to approximately 150 km, and for Nizhneangarsk – to 60 km. Despite the fact that the content of certain impurities tends to decrease, the level of air pollution remains high.

The snow cover, having a high sorption capacity, is the most informative object in identifying the technogenic pollution of the atmosphere. According to the data of the Irkutsk Territorial Administration for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, in the CEZ BNT there are several zones of technogenic pollution with the solids concentration in snow ranging from 0.5 to 10 g/kg. Mineralization of snow waters near the sources may exceed the background one by 10 times. The maximum amount of solids in snow reaches 200 g/m2. Zones with increased concentration of calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium were identified. Concerning the cations, which are soluble in snow, the predominance of sodium and potassium was revealed. The maximum values ​​of the insoluble residue of snow associated with the operation of CHP plants, boiler stations, and stove heating, are registered in the vicinity of Kultuk and Sludyanka; as regards the soluble residue, its maximum values are recorded in the area around Baikalsk. The total area of snow pollution with chemical elements extends 60 km from the southeast to the northwest with a width of 10-15 km.

In connection with the spontaneous development of tourism on the shores of Lake Baikal in the CEZ BNT, one of the most pressing issues is the problem of collecting, processing, and recycling of solid household wastes. Most of the garbage goes to disposal sites, both approved and unauthorized.

Within the CEZ BNT, cement and quartz raw materials, facing and ornamental stones, and different kinds of building materials are produced with local environmental disturbances. Significant anthropogenic changes of the natural environment (felled and burnt areas, etc.) are also observed near settlements, roads, and tourist centers and camps.

In order to establish a long-term strategy for the organization of the use of the CEZ BNT, which would ensure a sustainable development and preservation of the unique ecological system of Lake Baikal through reducing the anthropogenic impact and preventing the damage, a technique and scheme of territorial planning of the CEZ BNT was developed [Plyusnin and Vladimirov, 2013].

References

Plyusnin, V. M., Vladimirov, I. N. (2013). Territorial planning of the Central Ecological Zone of the Baikal Natural Territory. Novosibirsk: Geo. p 407.

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