Baikal Environmental Camp 2002

Page - 9 April, 2003
Greenpeace organizes the international environmental camp on the isle of Olkhon (Lake Baikal) from the 5th to the 17th of August 2002.

Olkhon Island: pine forests on sand dunes

In this timeframe we plan to collect the garbage on west coastline 70 kilometers long. We also plan to clean up some illegal dumping sites on the Isle Olkhon (including the one near the village Khuzhir).

It is common knowledge that picturesque landscapes, mild sunny climate and plenty of multifarious archaeology spots make Olkhon the most inviting sightseeing in the Baikal region. Unfortunately the lack of competently organised camps results in tourist carelessness in other words in numerous areas with litter left about. In the south-western part of Olkhon there is a rather dense-populated settlement - a village of Khuzhir, besides it along the coast stretch themselves some other countries. The main problem the local population has to deal with is a irregular removal of rubbish. That's why it is not a rarity to come across spontaneously dumped piles of garbage. Some coastal Baikal territories are overlittered. For example, at a distance of two kilometres from Khuzhir there is a whole square kilometre evenly covered with a layer of wastes. That's why one of the tasks of Greenpeace during the camp is not only clean up the island, but to help to organize a system of garbage collection and transportation.

There're several problems linked with the transportation of garbage from the island. Thus, to transport an assorted and non-compressed garbage is too expensive. And so Greenpeace has brought with it a special compressing device which will be left in the village Khuzhir after the camp's closed. It will be passed to the local environment organization "Berkut" and will be used by all people interested in keeping Olkhon a clean and beautiful place.

It's also very important to make a difference in the inhabitants' relation to the "garbage problem". Another step in that direction will be a planned for the 10th of August mass action of cleaning up the island with active participation of the tourists and local inhabitants.

We want to help the inhabitants cleanse the isle's coast so as to bring back its primeval beauty. It is for that reason that more than 40 volunteers from Russia, Netherlands, Germany and the USA are making for this unique isle in order to get rid of heaps of garbage.

The environmental camp lays down the following tasks:

  1. To set up jointly with Khuzhir administration a regular removal of rubbish from peasant homesteads to places that are allotted for that. Inquiries conducted by a local environment organization "Berkut" have shown that the dwellers are ready for waste removal payments provided that they are worthwhile.
  2. To do away with a forest dump next to the coastline with the help of all the dwellers on a chosen day-off.
  3. To clean up the illegal dumping site in the Khuzhir's vicinity.
  4. To organize a mass action of cleaning up the coast of Lake Baikal and neighbouring tourist camps with active participation of the tourists and local inhabitants.
  5. To initiate together with "Berkut" a primary processing of plastics by means of special device for compressing plastics waste.
  6. To take out collected and sorted-out waste to Irkutsk for further reprocessing and utilization.