Friends of Baikal 2007 awarded to - Crystal Well

green leavs
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photo: Baikalwave

On Thursday, 27th September - World Tourism Day, a press conference was held in the offices of the NGO Baikal Environmental Wave, at which the results of the competition "Friends of Baikal - 2007" were announced. The competition for tourist centres in the central "ecological zone" of Lake Baikal was launched, for the first time in the region, in May this year. The aim of the competition is to advance sound environmental practices for nature conservation in the tourist sector.

The award ceremony was held in the conference hall of the hotel "Pribaikalsky" where all participants received a participant’s diploma. The competition's winner - the small tourist village - "Crystal Well" was awarded the title "Friends of Baikal - 2007" and three 'green leaves'. Crystal Well made a positive impression on members of the jury by its attention to the natural environment, promotion of cultural traditions in architecture, and by the fact that it is a local family business in accordance with the spirit of social responsibility.

'Green leaves' were awarded to another four participants. The hunting and tourist centre Talovskoye, one of the Grand Baikal Company tourist centres, received two 'green leaves' for the accordance of its architecture with Siberian cultural traditions and the fact that it has installed its own biological wastewater treatment equipment. Two 'green leaves' were awarded to the Bencharov Homestead on the Island of Olkhon for its social responsibility and work to clear the island of rubbish. The Family Guesthouse "B&B" (for its use of environmentally friendly detergents, Port Baikal) and Farmstead "Over the River" (for its development of horse touring, Buguldeika) each received a 'green leaf'.

Baikal Environmental Wave received applications throughout the summer and in August the expert committee made visits to the participants. The committee included Vitaly Ryabtsev and Maya Tropina (Pribaikalsky National Park), Tatiana Zabortseva (Institute of Geography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences), Natalia Nosova (Irkutsk House of Architects), Evgeny Usov (Greenpeace Russia), Christoph Pasel (Russian-German project “Creation of a conception for waste disposal on the Island of Olkhon, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany).

Crystall well
This years winner!
photo: Baikalwave

Vitaly Rybtsev said that the idea of holding a competition arose because the development of tourism at Lake Baikal has taken on threatening proportions. In his opinion, tourism had become the biggest destructive anthropogenic factor on the western shores of the lake.

Criteria for choosing the winners were: observance of the water protection zone, measures being taken for energy-saving, use of locally sourced produce, organisation of foot, cycle or horseback trails, information on the significance of Lake Baikal and rules on what should and should not be done in the vicinity of the lake, provision of boardwalks, architectural suitability and involvement of local inhabitants. The jury paid special attention to questions of waste and wastewater management, waste being one of the biggest problems at tourist locations around the lake.

This year was only the first step. It is proposed that the competition be held on a yearly basis and will lay the foundations for voluntary environmental classification of tourist centres at Baikal. The idea of the competition is to indicate the more environmentally and socially responsible tourist centres by green leaves, just as stars are allocated to hotels according to their level of comfort and service.

This year’s winner:

The small tourist village "Crystal Well" surrounded in trees on the banks of the river Angara, not far from Baikal, is a homestead of log houses with simple interiors of natural materials in the Cossack style, hunters cabin or Russian peasants’ log home - 'izba'. The complex includes a timbered well of pure water with a wooden winch, as the name would suggest. A Russian banya bathhouse with wooden foot bridge into an inlet of the river is equipped with sunken concreted and metal septic tanks. Rubbish bins are disguised in tree stumps. Liquid and solid waste is removed regularly in special trucks. Formerly damaged vegetation has been restored with local species and feeding and lodging boxes for wild birds and other animals are arranged amongst the trees. A moderate recreational load is observed.

contact: phone in Irkutsk +8(3952)38-06-26

two green leavs
Talovskoye - hunting and tourist centre | contact: Grand Baikal company
Nikitas Homestead | more

one green leav
Imeniye Zarechnoye - Homestead over the River | contact:
Family Guesthouse B&B | contact: phone +8(3952)67-77-21


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