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........ published in NEWSLETTER # 58

by Professor M. Uppenbrink, Federal Agency for Nature Conservation of Germany, Bonn (Germany) and Professor V.A. Koptyug, Sibirian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk (Russian Federation)

The Lake Baikal Region is a unique natural heritage to all mankind. Lake Baikal is the most ancient lake of the planet, about 30 million years old. The lake is the deepest with a maximum depth of 1637 m and the largest in volume - it contains 20 % of the world reserve of fresh water. Lake Baikal is inhabited by 2.000 species of living organisms, 2/3 of which are not found elsewhere. Baikal's sediments, up to 8 km deep, hold important information on the paleo-climate of Central Asia encompassing many millions of years. In spite of considerable pollution, it is not yet considered to be irreversible. Remedial actions are urgent and therefore the lake appears as a legitimate candidate for the system of world model territories for sustainable development in the spirit of the international Convention on Biological Diversity.

This book of the edited proceedings of an international NATO Advanced Research Workshop held in Ulan-Ude in September 1994 is devoted to an assessment of data, to elaborate indicators for sustainable development and to make recommendations for strategies. The workshop was attended by more than 400 interested people, which shows the urgency and the degree of interest. Contributions by leading scientists, representatives of different national and international institutions are arranged in three parts covering the major themes presented during the workshop in Ulan-Ude: i) Sustainable Development: General Aspects, Requirements and Indicators; ii) Main Problems of the Lake Baikal Region Development and the Role of Science and Culture for their Solution; and iii) Legislative and Administrative Support of Sustainable Development.

The scope of this book is large and covers the following issues: environmental strategies for industrial development and energy production; best available technologies and best environmental practice; agriculture, forestry, nature conservation and landscape planning; ecotourism; legislative and administrative support for sustainable development; environment monitoring and control; indigenous population; education and human health.

To summarise, this volume (NATO ASI SERIES 2-6) is a unique synoptic collection of a multitude of articles by acknowledged authorities on different parts of this great ecosystem. It will be of great value to those wishing to study and to understand all the complex aspects of sustainable development, not just in the Lake Baikal Region, but also as a model for all regions with large lakes and inland seas around the world. The large number of tables and diagrams demonstartes this. This book will also serve as an excellent source of new data and up-to-date references.
Reference books: 2-2, 2-3, 2-6, E296

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