Recall that on July 11, Russian parliamentarians approved amendments to the law on the protection of Lake Baikal in first reading. The authors of the initiative proposed, in particular, to allow until the end of 2030 clear-cutting in the central ecological zone of the natural territory of Baikal for the construction of roads, protection against mudflows and hydraulic structures, communal infrastructure, public catering and services. to the consumer. , toilets.
As Buryatia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Natalia Tumureeva pointed out, the changes being introduced are designed to eliminate legal conflicts that hinder settlement development.
There are 83 settlements in the central ecological zone of Baikal on the side of the Republic of Buryatia.
– There are 83 settlements in the central ecological zone on the side of the Republic of Buryatia, – he said. – The existing inconsistencies in the legislation prevent the development of their livelihoods, consequently, the rights of local residents are violated. So, the heads of settlements are fined for the fact that there are no fire breaks on the territory, but they cannot make them, since the execution of work according to the current legislation is considered clearing. In the Pribaikalsky district, it is necessary to build a road in the settlement, but the forests located within its boundaries do not allow this. In order to reorganize cemeteries in accordance with the law, it is necessary to transfer land from the forest fund to land for special purposes. Now this too is impossible.
A similar opinion is shared by one of the authors of the law, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Honorary Scientist of the Russian Federation, member of the Federation Council from 2013 to 2017 Arnold Tulokhonov.
– On the shores of Lake Baikal today there are restrictions on agricultural activities, grazing, firewood, gathering wild plants and even protecting houses from forest fires. People cannot be held hostage by any protected area, be it Baikal or the Amazon. It is important to understand that without logging it is impossible to build roads, develop tourism, form a communal infrastructure, allocate places for burials, he stated.
At the same time, according to the scientist, clear-cutting will not have a negative impact on the ecosystem, since the work is clearly regulated and can only be done to ensure people’s lives and create infrastructure.
– The law defines specific areas, everything is justified and calculated in such a way that it does not harm nature. Let me give you a specific example: during the construction of a road with a length of about 30 kilometers, 550 trees have to be felled. That is the price of the matter, – said Tulokhonov.
The academic also highlighted that, according to the law, five new ones must be planted for each felled tree.
At the same time, there were also opponents of the adoption of the amendments. So, the chairman of the “Fair Russia-For Truth” party Sergei Mironov sent an official letter to the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin, where he asked to assess the possible negative consequences of allowing logging.
Opponents of the amendments are convinced that deforestation around Lake Baikal will bury the region’s unique ecosystem.
– The position of our party is shared by many scientists, ecologists and public figures. We believe that if the initiative to cut down forests around Lake Baikal is not buried, the unique ecological system of the region will be buried, – said Sergey Mironov.
He added that international lawyers should participate in the preparation of the reforms, since in this case it deals, among other things, with relations between countries.
– The fact is that the Selenga River, part of which passes through the central ecological zone of the natural territory of Baikal, is a transboundary watercourse and is included in the scope of regulation of the Agreement between the governments of the Russian Federation and Mongolia on the protection and use of transboundary waters of February 11, 1995. The adoption of this bill may push the Mongolian side to implement the Blue Horse project, which involves the transfer of water from the tributaries of the Selenga as the main tributary of the lake Baikal to the Gobi desert for the implementation of mining projects in southern Mongolia. explained the party president.
According to Sergei Mironov, this will lead to a drop in the level of Lake Baikal, a reduction in the depth of the Angara and other significant negative consequences for Russia in the environmental and economic spheres.
The next consideration of amendments to the law “On the Protection of Lake Baikal” is scheduled for the fall.
– The Chairman of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, was instructed to go to the places, hold talks with residents and put forward proposals that we will consider during the autumn session. Our task is to make well-considered and balanced decisions in the interests of the people, – said the head of the State Duma Committee on Ecology, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Dmitry Kobylkin.