05.09.2010 Media-tour and eco-action under UNDP and Coca-Cola Company project, ’Every drop matters – lake Baikal’
On 5 September, in the vicinity of two settlements on the shore of Baikal lake in the Republic of Buryatia, the Association of Teachers-Researchers organised the ecological action, ‘2010 meters of clean shore’, as part of a pilot initiative under UNDP and Coca-Cola Company project, ’Every drop matters – lake Baikal.’ At the same time, a partner organization, ‘Baikal ecological wave’, conducted a similar action on the other coast of Baikal in the settlement of Listvyanka, Irkutsk region..
Over 120 students and teachers from Buryatia State University, representatives of ’Baikal Information Centre ‘GRAN’ NGO, UNDP, Coca-Cola, and 30 journalists from leading media outlets in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Perm region took part in eco-action on the East coast of Baikal lake.
The local administration and the Baikal Museum of Limnology assited in transportation of the collected garbage. Two big trailers took away the sorted plastic and glass for further processing. Over one tone of garbage was collected on that day.
Participation in the action was an element of a media tour programme, organised by Coca-Cola Company to demonstrate to Russian journalists from central and regional press, TV and radio how the project is being implemented. ’Every drop matters – lake Baikal’ is part of the 5-year partnership initiative of UNDP and The Coca-Cola Company aimed at supporting innovative community projects in over 20 countries. There are three main components to the project: community water stewardship and improving water governance; raising awareness to promote environmental resource preservation; and sustainable use of water for industrial and domestic purposes.
It is not by chance that Baikal has been chosen in Russia for the project implementation. The lake carries the World Heritage status; it contains a quarter of the world fresh water resources; and has a huge potential for tourism development.
So the project will support local initiatives contributing to the development of sustainable forms of tourism as well as pilot projects aimed at water quality improvement in selected settlements. Raising public awareness on issues related to water resources is also among its priorities.
The group of journalists visited some of the projects’ local initiatives. One of them called ’New ecotourism resources – a potential for Sukhinskoye village development’ is aimed at preventing the negative impact on natural environment of ‘wild’, non sustainable tourism; founding a Water Museum; and creating jobs through the development of services in recreational areas.
’2010 metres of a clean shore’ initiative is aimed at attracting the attention of the local community to the necessity of selective waste collection, plastic utilization, and recycling. It will conduct two parallel cleaning campaigns on two Baikal shores.
The project also includes six other initiatives:
• creation of a sustainable system of selective waste collection and utilization in the village and on the territory of the reserve’s conservation zone;
• creation of a tour itinerary and ecotourism infrastructure development through voluntary work in the village Tankhoy;
• provision of the necessary facilities in recreation sites; organization of a timely disposal of solid domestic wastes; development of projects on local utilization of various components of solid domestic wastes;
• creation of an integrated system of local organic retail outlets and eco-friendly recreation sites on the banks of river tributaries on the territory of the settlement. The initiative is designed to meet multifunctional demands of the administrative centre, including adequate recreation and entertainment facilities;
• support to local residents’ initiatives promoting the sale of local products (wild berries, mushrooms, vegetables, etc.) in compliance with nature conservation priorities; informational support on eco-friendly retail and recreation sites located in the Baikal conservation areas, aimed at raising environmental awareness among tourists and promoting ecological education.
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