Ecological problems of Lake Baikal

Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world and the deepest. Its area is 31.7 thousand square meters. km, which is slightly more than Belgium. The depth reaches 1642 m. It contains a quarter of the world’s fresh water reserves. The water in the lake is so clean and clear that you can drink it. Baikal is a real freshwater sea – you can’t even see the opposite shore. Therefore, typical marine inhabitants live here – seals, or rather, the Baikal seal. Two thirds of the plants and animals of Lake Baikal are endemic – they live only here.


Зелёный стрим

Every year the pollution of Lake Baikal becomes more and more serious. This is facilitated by a rapidly developing industry and an increase in the number of tourists. Environmentalists say that the lake is on the verge of an ecological disaster. Baikal is home to the rarest representatives of the fauna, which are becoming less and less due to the anthropogenic factor.

Every year the pollution of Lake Baikal becomes more and more serious. This is facilitated by a rapidly developing industry and an increase in the number of tourists. Environmentalists say that the lake is on the verge of an ecological disaster. Baikal is home to the rarest representatives of the fauna, which are becoming less and less due to the anthropogenic factor.

Some large cities are located in the valley of the Selenga River, a large tributary of Lake Baikal. The following factors contributed to the pollution of its waters from Mongolia:

Increased population growth in the main cities: Ulan Bator and Darkhan. In the latter, until recently, there were no water treatment facilities.

Gold and mining industry

In the valleys of the Kharaa-Gol and Boroo rivers, work is constantly being carried out to extract gold and minerals that harm the ecosystem. Tens of kilograms of heavy metals are thrown into the Selenga through its tributaries every day.

Among the hazardous wastes (derived from industrial activities) are: potassium, arsenic, uranium, molybdenum and others. These metals settle at the bottom in the form of large solid particles, disrupting the biological system of rivers and Lake Baikal.

In addition, Mongolia’s hydroelectric power plant is a threat. Now the facility is not yet operational, but environmentalists are concerned. Mongolia’s desire to obtain energy independence can lead to a real environmental disaster. As a result, the Baikal ecosystem can be completely destroyed.

Discharge of ballast water and oil products, air emissions

Ballast water emissions are observed in Baikal and its tributaries. They are used by ships as additional cargo. Most often, water submerged from the shore or pier, or intake water is used for these purposes. Liquid ballast is needed to ensure the required weight and balance of the vessel. Another hazard is oil discharges from ships. In this way, about 160 tons of harmful substances enter the waters of Lake Baikal every year.

Baikal protection programs

The Russian government devotes a lot of time and effort to preserve the ecological situation on Lake Baikal. So, within the framework of state programs, the following activities are carried out:

  • Green stream“. September 2nd, on the Day of Baikal, there will start the first unique ecological stream to protect Baikal ecologicl system.
  • “Seal holiday”. The event is intended to draw public attention to the poaching of these animals.
  • “Let’s Save Baikal”. The program is aimed at the development and implementation of the most effective ways to preserve the nature of the lake.
  • The Great Baikal Trail. This is a program that develops opportunities for the safe interaction of nature and humans, in particular ecotourism.
  • “Reserved Baikal region”. A park of national importance, where the territory is carefully monitored, pollution is eliminated, and the surrounding flora and fauna are protected.