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About the project

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Editorial Council

N. S. KASIMOV

M. V. SLIPENCHUK

A. K. TULOKHONOV (Chair)

V. M. PLYUSNIN (Deputy Chair)

S. V. KUDELYA (Deputy Chair)

S. ENKH-AMGALAN

D. DORZHGOTOV

S. OYUN

B. TULGA

Z. BATBOLD

R. R. GIZATULIN

A. M. AMIRKHANOV

B. O. MAMAEV

Z. TSOGTBAATAR

O. E. KRAVCHUK

O. A. POLYAKOV

Y. P. SAFYANOV

A. V. LBOV

A. N. BESHENTSEV (Executive Secretary)

 

Editorial Board

V. M. PLYUSNIN, Dr.Sc. Geogr., (Co-chair, Editor-in-Chief)

D. DORZHGOTOV, Academician of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, (Co-chair)

A. R. BATUEV, Dr.Sc. Geogr., (Deputy Chair, Executive Editor)

E. Z. GARMAEV, Dr.Sc. Geogr., (Deputy Chair)

L. M. KORYTNY, Dr.Sc. Geogr., (Deputy Chair, Executive Editor)

Z. OYUUNGEREL, Dr.Sc. Geogr., (Deputy Chair, Executive Editor)

V. S. TIKUNOV, Dr.Sc. Geogr., (Deputy Chair)

D. ENKHTAIVAN, Dr.Sc. Geogr., (Deputy Chair, Executive Editor)

V. N. BOGDANOV, Cand.Sc. Geogr., (Executive Secretary)

A. V. ARGUCHINTSEVA, Dr.Sc. Tech.

A. N. BESHENTSEV, Dr.Sc. Geogr.

S. R. CHALOV, Cand.Sc. Geogr.

I. A. BELOZERTSEVA, Cand.Sc. Geogr.

G. DAVAA, Dr.Sc. Geogr.

T. I. ZABORTSEVA, Dr.Sc. Geogr.

E. E. KONONOV, Cand.Sc. Geogr.

T. I. KUZNETSOV, Cand.Sc. Geogr.

K. G. LEVI, Dr.Sc. Geol.

T. V. KHODZHER, Dr.Sc. Geogr.

S. SHIYREV-ADYA, Dr.Sc. Geogr.

M. N. SHIMARAEV, Dr.Sc. Geogr.

 

Dear Reader

Geographical maps offering a clear picture of how great and at the same time how tiny our world of Planet Earth is accompany one's life journey for the most of its part. Earth still has places, where wonderful landscapes of untouched nature have been preserved. Among them is Lake Baikal - one of the most beautiful places attracting tourists from all over the world.

In 1996, by UNESCO’s decision Lake Baikal was listed as a World Heritage Site. In doing so, Russia and Mongolia jointly with the international community took responsibility to protect its nature. However, both the lake itself and its surrounding territory, where over three million people live, cannot be turned into a nature reserve. In our plans, here there should be a modern, high-tech, and environmentally friendly economy ensuring the necessary living standards for the local community.

A poor and deprived individual cannot protect the environment. He or she is more concerned about providing food, clothes, and other necessary resources for oneself and family. From this perspective, the Baikal basin has all the riches to have spiritually and materially affluent people living on its shores.

In order to achieve this, both local residents and visitors should have ample information to develop the economy and address social issues. This Atlas has been created precisely for this purpose. It includes data about the structure and wealth of mineral resources, flora, and fauna, climate, and hydrosphere. Some of the maps feature information, which helps understand the impact of the anthropogenic activity on the environment.

A. K. Tulokhonov, Chair of Editorial Council

 

About the Project

The Project "The Ecological Atlas of the Baikal Basin" has been commissioned by and implemented with the support of the Global Environment Facility. It aims to integrate current information and knowledge about the key factors driving the development of the environmental situation in the Baikal basin and the existing state of natural environment. It presents this information in a form, which is adequate for addressing the issues of economically and environmentally balanced development of the region.

The Atlas considers the Baikal basin as a special trans-border and inter-regional development system and part of the all-Russian and all-Mongolian territorial development systems. Therefore, the creation of the Atlas required an integrated study of environmental problems from both territorial and content-related perspectives. From the territorial perspective, the formed structure of the Atlas
database comprehensively localizes municipalities of the second level (city and municipal districts) on the Russian part of the Baikal basin and aimags on the Mongolian part. In terms of the content, the combination of economic, social, demographic, natural resource, and biotic factors of the development of the environmental situation became possible thanks to a purposefully developed and integrated program of environmental mapping. The state-of-the-art developments in the thematic atlas mapping, GIS-technologies, remote sensing techniques, and constantly supplemented and updated databases of the research organizations-executing agencies of the Project, such as the V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography SB RAS, Limnological Institute SB RAS, Institute of the Earth's Crust SB RAS, Irkutsk State University (Irkutsk), Baikal Institute of Nature Management SB RAS (Ulan-Ude), Institute of Natural Resources, Ecology and Cryology SB RAS (Chita), and the Sh. Tsegmid Institute of Geography of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences (Ulaanbaatar) were used to create this Atlas.

The mapping of the Baikal basin was carried out using two main scale levels: 1:5 000 000 for physical maps and 1: 6 000 000 for the maps showing social and economic factors of the development of the environmental situation. The thematic database of the map series had the following requirements: it must be contemporaneous, i.e. its quantitative data on all variables must belong to the same point in time; sufficiently detailed; positionally accurate; completely compatible with other data; adequately reflect the nature of phenomena; and be available to users. When developing the content of the maps, even when referring to individual topics, not to mention complex characteristics, the task was not just to show the actual state of the mapped phenomenon or process, but also to emphasize the patterns in their development and highlight the dynamic aspects as far as possible. For the first time ever, the Atlas reflects spatial patterns of the development of the environmental situation within the whole catchment basin of Lake Baikal and its water area, which makes it possible to define and substantiate the directions for environmentally balanced and sustainable territorial development in the future.

Structurally, the Atlas consists of eight blocs, including an introduction and seven thematic sections: 1) Natural conditions of the development of the environmental situation; 2) Resource factors of the development of the environmental situation; 3) Socio-economic factors of the development of the environmental situation; 4) Environmental transformation; 5) Medico-ecological situation, 6) Environmental protection; and 7) Ecological state of Lake Baikal.

The Atlas is published in digital and hard-copy formats. A digital copy of the Atlas will be incorporated as an electronic resource with a database into the Geoportal of the Baikal Region, which is being created by the Global Environment Facility. A hard-copy of the Atlas will be released as a fundamental reference atlas.

The Atlas is a collective work of many scientists who are experts in various fields of knowledge. The maps were created using library and published statistical materials provided not only by research institutions, but also by government authorities of the regions of the Russian Federation: Irkutsk oblast, Republic of Buryatia and Zabaikalsky krai, as well as research organizations and government authorities of Mongolia, and the authors of the Atlas are
deeply grateful for it.

V. M. Plyusnin, Chair of Editorial Board

 

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