Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill Goes into Liquidation

Feature story - 18 September, 2013
The management of the Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill (BPPM) has started laying off its employees. Alexander Ivanov, the competitive manager of the enterprise, reported that right now the procedure of documents signing about layoffs due to the sides’ agreement.

15 August 2011

Байкальский ЦБК

There remains practically no apprehension that this “Dirty history” which lasted for nearly 60 years is doted. It is the indubitable victory of hundreds of thousands people in different countries of the world: ordinary citizens, scientists, cultural workers and staff of different nongovernmental and governmental organizations. It doesn’t matter who made the final decision about closing of the “dead” mill. It is necessary to understand that it was “prepared” by society: by protest signatures and meetings by official and private appeals to the Russian authorities; by protest actions and researches as well as by many other activities that passed during decades.

Greeting the decision about BPPM closure Greenpeace considers it necessary to pay attention on the fact that due to the inexplicable position of the country leaders, the favorable moments, when it was possible to solve the old BPPM problem, had been lost repeatedly.

Last time it was in 2008 when the mill work lost any sense and it was closed by its owners. Instead of taking advantage of this situation and to start decision of social and economic problems of the city of Baikalsk in the conditions of rather favorable financial position of the country, the head of the Government decided to re-open it again in 2010. More than 4 years were lost and now the country will need to make up for the lost time in much more complicated political and economic conditions connected with the serious crisis phenomena in management and economy.

Nevertheless, realistic possibilities for the mill’s closure not to affect lives of its former workers and their families still remain. For this to happen, those who are to manage the phase-out, should not forget this vital demand of those who have all these years struggled for the civilized closure of the Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill.

With mill closure one of the main targets of Greenpeace Baikal Project (which started in 1994) was reached. But on Baikal there still exist a lot of problems. Among them: continuing possibility of Kholodninskoye deposit; uncontrolled mass tourism and construction of tourist complexes ; forest cuttings and others. Besides the attempts to revise legislation concerning Lake Baikal protection are not stopped.  These attempts are connected mainly with removing of obstacles for realization of the environmentally dangerous projects.

“We would like to hope that long-awaited closure of BPPM will become critical in authorities’ relation to this World Heritage site, and we soon will be the witnesses of making the necessary decisions on other Baikal problems. At least we intend to obtain this using all possible means” – Arkady Ivanov, Greenpeace Baikal Program coordinator, said.