Russia and Mongolia to Discuss Options to Mitigate Environmental Risks on Baikal

baa59a5c5ba9d28f104bc7c94bcdd6aa.jpgA working group created by the two countries will discuss various options enabling Mongolia to satisfy its energy needs while mitigating any risks to harm Baikal environment, said Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov at the press-conference following negotiations with his Mongolian colleague Tsendiyn Munkh-Orgil.
“We shared our views on environmental protection of Lake Baikal, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Russia understands the importance of increasing energy supply for our Mongolian friends considering their need for economic development,” Russian Minister was quoted as saying by the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.
The working group created by mutual agreement will have a meeting in the short term.
Source: baikal-media.ru

Scientist From Irkutsk: “Ban On Omul Fishing To Cause Surge in Poaching on Baikal”

i.jpgTotal ban on omul fishing on Baikal Lake will cause a surge in poaching in Irkutsk region and Buryatia, thus negatively influencing population level, said Maxim Timofeev, Director of Institute of Biology of Irkutsk State University.
“This ban doesn’t make any sense. It will backfire foremost on the locals and legal fishing and provoke more corruption. We should fight against poaching, whereas the ban will only lead to one thing: those who legally catch omul and pay taxes today will just shift to the shadow market,” said Timofeev. According to him, poaching is active mainly during the spawning time on rivers that flow in Baikal. This is when Omul swims to the upper reaches of the river to spawn.
“They simply block the rivers with nets and catch all the spawning omul. It can be easily stopped by organizing and financing ecological police, which will be granted powers and legal protection,” the scientist believes.
He also suggests reopening fish farming and tightening control over omul trade and export.
Source: baikal-media.ru

Samsung Develops New Smartphone with Code Name “Baikal”

snimok11111.pngAfter the accidents with smartphone Samsung Galaxy Note7 news started appearing in the Internet that the South Korean producer was considering abandoning this line. However, the information was proved negative and numerous sources confirmed the development of Samsung Galaxy Note8, which, according to the social networks, has an unusual code name “Baikal”. The reason a new padfone was given the name of the deepest lake in the world is unclear.
It is also said that the padfone will have a 4K touchscreen. The image resolution will constitute 3840x2160 pixels. In addition, the device will have a built-in Bixby voice assistant.
Galaxy Note 8 padfone is to be announced not before the third quarter of this year.
For the record, the South Korean company has already named one of its washing machines “Baikal”.
Source: baikal-media.ru, photo: twitter.com

Baikal Wild Leek

120320440_1.jpgWild leek has many names. In Germany for instance it is called “bear’s onion”. Wild leek is a perennial herbaceous plant of the onion genus. It tastes very like onion or garlic. Wild leek grows around Baikal on highland meadows in patches. Its stems can reach up to 30-70 cm. Perhaps due to being one of the main sources of vitamins in the forest, it is a real treat for bears. You can put fresh wild leek in salads or add into pastry and pies and other hot dishes. It is better to gather leaves of wild leek in spring before its blooming. After it is cut, it should be pickled very quickly. Wild leek should not be dried, as it loses all its health properties for the human organism.

Thyme: Baikal’s Brand Herb

db707931584a27aa0d531b2500cfe11a_w600_h400_cp.jpgThyme, also referred to as Mother-of-Thyme, grows on rocky hills and sandy soil around the lake. This plant is fairly low consisting of a branchy woody stalk with many leaves. The leaves are narrow with slightly rolled edges. Thyme usually grows on dry and even lean soil, it propagates easily by cuttings. Thyme blooms from June till August.
Mother-of-Thyme is a medicinal herb. It has antispasmodic properties needed to normalize digestive process. Thyme is beneficial in treatment of gastritis and appetite loss. It is also a diuretic and helps in the removal of various toxins with sweat and urine. This plant also helps those who suffer from rheumatism, arthritis and gout. Thyme can also be used to clean sores or wounds and treat cold and bronchitis. Thyme is very good for hair as it strengthens hair follicles.
As for the thyme leaves, they are often used to spice stew, roast meat, sauces, and various pickles. And if you burn thyme leaves, pleasant aroma will fill the room.

Baikal’s “Golden Root”

993701810.jpgYou can find a plant called Rhodiola rosea, also referred to as “golden root”, scattered around Baikal Lake on various steppe hillsides and rocks and lakefront meadows.
Rhodiola rosea is a fairly low plant with beautiful cup-shaped leaves. The root of the plant is of golden gold color. Rhodiola rosea has several stems. In the end of June-beginning of July Rhodiola rosea gets covered with small unisexual flowers with four petals and four sepals. The fruit appears only in August.
Rhodiola is also a medicinal herb, which works as a natural energy booster and adaptogen. Rhodiola can quickly mitigate fatigue and, like ginseng, support regular energy levels of the organism.
It is better to gather Rhodiola roots during its fruiting season. However, due to its medicinal properties this herb is now at threat of extinction and so needs protection. Mass gathering of this herb leads to a reduction of its natural habitat.

What Grows at the Bottom of Baikal?

1_5293000065d9e5293000065dd8.jpgPlant organisms that grow at the bottom of Baikal have the primary influence on organic matter formation in the water body. There are scarcely any shore plants because of the constant surfs and rocky bottom near the shoreline. The studies of the water plants in Baikal were commenced in the end of the 19th century. It was long believed that Baikal is very poor in phytoplankton, but already in the years before the war it was proved wrong.
The matter is that the weeds usually develop in February-May, in months when the lake is still mostly covered with ice. As a reminder, phytoplankton cannot grow in open water due to the impact of the winds on the water surface. It was only in 1960s that the weeds, which evolve in summer, were finally discovered. The major part of water plant organisms in Baikal is represented by inferior one-celled organisms as well as blue-green algae, which live in different conditions. Diatom weeds constitute the largest group, but sometimes you can see gold as well. And as for the green weeds, they are quite difficult to find, mainly in creeks.

Winteriada 2017 on Baikal To Start Mid-February

450516248_cef3928e78_b.jpgInternational Festival of Winter Games on Baikal “Winteriada 2017” is to take place on the territory of Buryatia and Irkutsk region from February 17 till March 19. New projects will be realized within a framework of this annual event which is held 14th time.
This year the unique project includes the already popular events as well as new ones.
“The main goals this project is implemented for are to popularize active healthy lifestyle with local population and attract guests to Baikal from other regions of Russia and from abroad,” said Igor Kovalenko, representative of the Siberian Baikal Association of Tourism.
“Fairy Sagaalgan” will take place in Buryatia within the framework of Winteriada 2017. White Old Monk from Buryatia Saagan Ubgen will receive on his land Czech Saint Mikulash, Russian Father Frost and Mongolian Uvlin Uvgun. There will also be Culinary Festival and worldwide flash mob “Global Yokhor” as part of the festivities.
Among traditional events of the festival are Pancake week celebrations in “Tal’tsy”, Baikal Ice Golf 2017 (ice golf on the surface of the unique lake), and competitions in “Baikalism” among the teams of alpinists. Also the second expedition “Baikal’s Ice on Quad Bikes” will be held during which the participants will follow the route Irkutsk-Severobaikalsk-Chernorud.
Among new events of the program is the Musical Festival “Blue Ice”. It will be held on Olkhon Island. Here, right on the surface of the frozen Baikal, people will hear modern and classical music performed by the most unusual combination of musical instruments.
Source: “IrkutskMedia”

“National Geographic Russia” To Conduct Photo Tour “Icy Baikal”

c0b088908097c642fa366db6d84d7139.jpgAndrey Kamenev, chief photographer of “National Geographic Russia”, invites photographers on a tour “Icy Baikal” in March 13-17, reports the official website of the publisher.
The head of the expedition will show various shooting techniques, composition rules, rules of shooting landscapes and ice textures at different lighting, image assembly and basic principles of shots processing.
The photo tour will take four days, during which photographers will visit sacral places of shamanists, Tajeran Steppe, Olkhon Island and other sites. All participants will be awarded with commemorative diplomas. Best shots will be published in “National Geographic Russia” magazine and on the official website nat-geo.ru.
Photo: Petr Perepechenko/www.nat-geo.ru

Chinese Traveler Starts Motor Rally across Baikal to Arctic Ocean

uz70gy6zgo7l_640.pngFamous Chinese traveler U Yui, whose aim is to get to the Yakutsk shores of the Arctic Ocean on car across Baikal Lake, came to Beijing. Andrey Denisov, head of the Russian diplomatic mission in Russian embassy, presented him with an honorary certificate and wished him good luck.
U Yui began his journey as part of the motor rally “Crossing the Asian continent” on January 20 from the most southern part of mainland China - the Leizhou Peninsula in South-Chinese sea, and will cover the distance of 8 thousand kilometers through the most adverse eastern coast of Lake Baikal to reach the shores of the Arctic Ocean.
U Yui drives Toyota Land Cruiser. He has two companions with him: a TV operator from CCTV channel and his PA-operator, who will be shooting episodes about the expedition and Russia.
“I found this route while traveling across Siberia. I like challenges, and so decided to accept this one. There are no roads in many parts of the Russian Far East, so you can cross this territory only in winter upon frozen rivers,” – said the traveler.
The whole expedition will take three months.
Source: baikal-media.ru

Academic Competition on Baikal Studies Held in Buryatia

olimp.jpgA school in Severobaikalsk with the focus on tourist and ecology studies conducted Academic Competition on Baikal Studies on January 17, 2017 within a framework of the events on the occasion of Year of Ecology and Specially Protected Nature Territories. Such events have been held since 2003, and this year it is also devoted to a 100-anniversary of the Barguzin preserve.
Among the participants were teams from schools, gymnasiums and training colleges in the city of Severobaikalsk. Participants of the Academic Competition competed with each other in knowledge of specific and complicated details about Baikal, ecology and biology, and about Barguzin preserve. They also demonstrated their talents in creative contests “Baikal poetry” and “Baikal songs”, which were assessed separately. The juries were all of the same opinion – all teams deserve rewards.
The winners were awarded with the prizes provided by the Federal State Budgetary Institution “Precious Near-lake Area”.
Source: baikal-media.ru

Ecologist from Irkutsk: “Enormous Territories To Be Flooded for Hundreds of Square Kilometers”

x_62b17e52.jpgMaxim Timofeev, Director of the Science and Research Center of Biology at Irkutsk State University, Ph.D. in Biology, told us about the consequences of constructing Mongolian hydroelectric power stations on the Selenge and also the Eg River and Orkhon river.
This month Timofeev participated in the meeting focused on the influence of the planned construction objects on the ecosystem of the Selenge and Baikal. The meeting took place in Irkutsk Science Center of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science.
“One of the evident consequences of reservoir construction will be flooding of huge territories for hundreds of square kilometers. As a result, all of the soil covering rich in organic and biogenic elements will go directly into the Selenge and further into Lake Baikal. It is not hard to imagine the effect of such “fertilization”. The story known through multiple eco-reports about algae spreading in Senogda Bay caused by only one drain tube of Severobaikalsk will be just a small incident compared to the scale of the catastrophe gigantic volumes of biogenes from hundreds of cubic kilometers of drained soil will lead to. We will see the effect almost immediately,” said Maxim Timofeev.
Source: baikal-media.ru

Girl from Irkutsk Gets into “Beijing underground system”

16387154_1404239189596664_4829793241079869493_n.jpgA citizen of Irkutsk region published on her Facebook page a photo of tourists with luggage walking along the strait Maloe More in the direction of Olkhon and back.
“It’s like Moscow underground system. Though no, like Beijing underground system,” commented the girl under the photo. In her comments she explained that there is an air-cushion vessel “Khivus” for the tourists, but there are too many of them (especially Chinese), queues are huge, so many people go on foot. The pathway takes 20 minutes.
Rescue groups inform that the ice way for the auto transport will open no earlier than mid-February. There is no official walking way in this area, so people bear all responsibility for being on ice.

Ice Library of Wonders Opens on Baikal Shore

fvtrv.jpg“I wish to pay off the mortgage within 5 years”, “I wish to meet love of my life”, “I wish to learn the language of animals” – these and many other wishes appeared on the walls of this peculiar library. During the two months anyone could leave their dreams on the special website – “sobytiyasibiri.rf”. Citizens from other countries also could take part in this action. Now their wishes are carved in five different languages on ice blocks on Baikal shore in Irkutsk region.
“We take ice right from here, from Baikal. We were waiting quite long this year until Baikal finally froze. The ice from Baikal is transparent and clear. We hope that the ice will melt naturally in spring, water will get into Baikal, and people’s dreams will come true,” – said Maxim Khvostishkov, President of the Interregional Association of Event Management in Siberia.
Organizers of the library will be receiving the wishes until February 28. The main condition is that the wish should not exceed 100 symbols, including spaces and punctuation marks. Opening of this library is a part of the festival program “Winteriada-2017” aimed at tourism development on Baikal.

Fire From Under Baikal Ice

in_article_70be035040.jpgReporters from Irkutsk newspaper “Kopeyka” managed to capture quite unique shots of flames bursting forth from under the ice of Lake Baikal.
The flames were demonstrated to the journalists by the local fisherman. He pierced the ice letting out a torch over one meter high.
Various mirages and flickering flames have been witnessed on Baikal at nights throughout the centuries and considered as something mystical. Later, however, scientists found a purely scientific explanation for this unusual phenomenon. This effect is created by gases accumulated under the ice.
In 1931 gas deposits were found in Baikal area. However, ecologists insisted that no gas and oil should be extracted in this place.

Finnish Ice Carousel Created on Baikal

A group of young guys and girls repeated a recent trick of the Finn Janne Käpylehto, who carved a round block of ice on the surface of the Gulf of Finland 36 meters in diameter and made it rotate with the use of the outboard motor.
Friends from Irkutsk repeated the “deed” of the hot Finnish guy and carved the same ice carousel on Baikal ice. The thickness of ice in that place constituted about 20 cm.
The video was noticed by the local officials of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, who named this carousel a “coffin lid”. The specialists say that misbalance on the block of ice could cause the block to heel over, and people on it would fall in the water. The “lid” would then close over them without the chance to get out.

Wooden Pathway and Viewing Platforms to Be Built on Khoboy Cape in 2017

Хобой.jpgPrecious Baikal region prepares a brief for constructing a path 1.7 km long on Khoboy Cape. This place is considered one of the most picturesque and most attended on Olkhon Island. The cost of the safe road will constitute several million rubles, says Nadezhda Nikolenko, Deputy Director for development of “Precious Baikal region”.
“According to unofficial estimations, about one thousand people a day come to Khoboy during the season, which represents enormous soil loading. People go anywhere they want and trample the plants. Moreover, everybody wants to come to the very edge of the precipice to look down from above, which can be dangerous. These are two issues we intend to resolve by building a pathway,” explained Nadezhda Nikolenko.
The flooring is planned to be on piles to preserve the soil. In some places, where the pathway will hang over Baikal, fence will be provided. Similar pathways and separate sites are to be constructed in Babushka Bay, on the way from Dark Pad’ to Old Angasolka and on the way to Sukhoe Lake.
As “Irkutsk trade newspaper” says, there is an intention to implement a new system of electronic admission to specially protected nature territories. The electronic pass will be issued through the new website of “Precious Baikal region”, which is expected to be launched in 2017.
“Precious Baikal region” will be provided with 110 million rubles in 2017 from the federal budget for its maintenance, which is by 18% more than in previous year.
Information Agency “IrkSib”, photo from the website angara.net

XIII Baikal Eco Ice Golf Tournament-2017 to Take Place on Baikal

baikal.jpgTournament will take place in the area of Listvyanka settlement in March 11-12 within a framework of the International Winter Games Festival “Winteriada 2017”. Golf players from Moscow, Togliatti, Novosibirsk, and also from South Korea, China, South America and Belgium are going to take part in the competitions.
“Players from all over the world will come to Baikal to gain new acquaintances, contacts and unique experience of golf playing, as well as to draw public attention to unique sport and recreational opportunities of winter Baikal,” reported Golf Federation in Irkutsk region.
Golf players will have to overcome various natural obstacles on the playground of over two thousand meters long created by the distinctive Baikal nature, which includes a hole in the ice cove, frozen cracks and pressure ridges, sand spits , in order to win the traveling trophy of Baikal and medals made of charoit. It was noted that among the tournament participants there will be Igor Minshikov, a famous figure in the Russian golf society, director of “Togliatti golf-center” and the first total winner of Baikal Eco Ice Golf Tournament.
This year the tournament also speculates about the first selections of players for the championship in ICE-golf in 2020 – World Eco Ice Golf Cup, which is also planned on Baikal, according to the press-service of the Ministry of Sport in Irkutsk region.

National Geographic To Shoot a Film about Deep-Water World of Baikal

518a8276.jpgNational Geographic is going to shoot a film about the deep-water world of Baikal in summer 2017. This was reported by TASS with reference to the words of Valentin Batomunkuev, Deputy Director on scientific work in Baikal Institute of Natural Resources of Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science. Valentin Batomkuev: “Expedition is to start on July 9. Eight to ten foreign specialists will come with their equipment to perform deep-water shooting.”
Shooting will take place in Irkutsk region and Buryatia. They will start around Olkhon area, on Maloe More and in Listvyanka. The expedition will move then to Ushkanii islands in Chivyrkuisk creek.
Information Agency “Irkutsk Online”

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