Lake Baikal is the largest fresh water lake and the deepest lake on the planet. This lake is located in the south-eastern part of Siberia. To the Russians Lake Baikal is spelled Ozero Bayka. Baikal is is a word from the Turk language. The meaning behind the name of the lake is wealthy lake. The word “bai” means “wealthy” and “kul” means “lake”. This lake is one of the most beautiful places in the world; it is home to 1,085 species of plants and 1,550 different species. Baikal is very old roughly 25 million years old; it was formed as an ancient rift valley. Baikal was even put on the World Heritage list by UNESCO. However due to pollution the lake could very easily be taken off the list or put on the endangered list.
A major problem that Lake Baikal is faced with is the large scale pollution that has been pouring in to it. The Baikal’s Pulp and Paper Mill was constructed right of the shore of the lake. The paper mill company has been dumping mass amounts of chlorine in to the lake for quit sometime now. Many people in the surrounding areas protested the company and eventually it was shutdown, only to return a few years later. If this paper plant were to shut down for good that could mean large scale unemployment. Another issue that has potential to destroy the natural beauty of this lake is the recent decision to build a nuclear facility off shore from Baikal. Only about 10% of the uranium made at the plant would be sold the remaining 90% left in storage. Uranium tailings contain tones of toxic material that’s very hazardous to the environment. One reason why people are so skeptical about building a nuclear plant close to the lake is that it is located on very seismic ground and earthquakes are prone to happen.
In order to protect the lake the UNEP teamed together with the Center for International Projects and Buryat Regional Institutions in order to implement a 150.000 USD project on the development of specially protected areas in the republic of Buryatia....
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