Opening the session, the Head of the region reminded that the Forum would beheld within the framework of the Year of Ecology and the Year of SpeciallyProtected Areas, and in honor of the 80 th anniversary of the Irkutsk region.According to Sergey Levchenko, the Forum must become the communicationplatform for a constructive dialogue between representatives of the government,business and society in the field of solving environmental problems related topreserving water resources of Lake Baikal.The Governor stressed that the main goal of the Forum is to convey the message toall stakeholders that Lake Baikal is not just a World Heritage site and one of themost beautiful places on Earth. The uniqueness of this territory is vulnerable andrequires our attention and protection. It is not enough therefore to just admire thebeauty of Lake Baikal; it is necessary to take care of its safety for futuregenerations.The Minister for Natural Resources and Ecology of the Irkutsk region AndreyKryuchkov reported that 16 foreign states had already confirmed their participationin the Baikal International Ecological Water Forum. They are Bulgaria, GreatBritain, Germany, India, Canada, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Korea,Mongolia, Poland, Turkey, Finland, France, Switzerland, Sweden. More than 350people had already registered for the Forum on the official website. Among them isthe Special Representative of the President for Environmental Protection, Ecologyand Transport Sergey Ivanov, the Special Representative of the President in theSiberian Federal District Sergey Menyailo, the Minister for Natural Resources andEcology Sergey Donskoy, The Chairman of the State Duma's Committee forEcology and Environmental protection Olga Timofeeva, as well as a number ofother dignitaries and representatives of local authorities of 17 regions of theRussian Federation.Currently, the Forum’s program is being finalized, however, it is already knownthat the event will feature two plenary sessions that will include 145 speakers. It isplanned that within the framework of the Session such issues as internationalexperience, ecological standards of water resources usage, issues of sociallyresponsible tourism, the role of municipalities in facing environmental problemswill be discussed.The forum will start with the Plenary Session of the establishing CommonwealthLake Regions Association for ecological safety, innovative technologies, science,art and education. The meeting will be held on September 13. The Association iscreated at the initiative of the Irkutsk region. According to the organizers, themembers of the Association should have the opportunity to work in the format of
direct interaction and cooperation, quickly share news and experiences throughdirect contacts, round tables, scientific conferences, forums and festivals. Inregions it is supposed to build infrastructure as well as cultural and economic basefor tourists attraction and solving environmental problems.The main subject of the Baikal International Ecological Water Forum must bewater purification. In the context of the forum, there will be an exhibition whichwill showcase the most modern and effective technologies in this field. At theinitiative of Sergey Levchenko, the focus will be on the environmental education.In the framework of the youth sector of the "ECO-Generation", business games,discussions on this subject are planned. Environmental workshops and games forchildren starting from preschool age will be organized in the special area. TheMinister of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia Sergey Donskoy is suggestedto give a lesson for young people.