The concept of the Second Baikal International Ecological Water Forum (BIEWF) was discussed at the meeting of the working group on preparation of the event under the chairmanship of the Governor of Irkutsk region Sergey Levchenko. Opening the meeting, the head of the region noted that the first BIEWF has become an efficient platform for a constructive dialogue between representatives of government, business and society in the field of solving problems of saving and rational use of water resources of Lake Baikal, the press service of the regional government reports.
Participants of the Forum discussed many important topics, many joint solutions, the implementation of which has already begun, were developed. For example, technical specifications for the implementation of a comprehensive approach to wastewater treatment in the Baikal natural area are being developed, expertise of the project is to be organized soon. There are interesting proposals for waste management for landfill remediation. All this will contribute to the preservation of the unique ecosystem of the lake. The first Baikal International Ecological Water Forum fully met our expectations and made a significant contribution to solving environmental problems related to the preservation of Lake Baikal. The second Forum has to become not less effective, – Sergey Levchenko emphasized.
It was decided last September to hold the BIEWF annually. In 2018 the Forum is also scheduled for September. It is planned to present a new scheme for wastewater disposal for the Irkutsk region, the Republic of Buryatia and the TRANS-Baikal territory at the Forum. Participants will discuss how the project on the creation of the UNESCO Baikal Geopark will be implemented. The ECO-Generation program will be further developed, as well as the activities of the Association of the Commonwealth of lake regions on environmental safety, innovative technologies, science, art and education.
One of the objectives of the second Forum is to draw public, official and business attention to the close interrelationship between the quality of the water environment and human health. A model of development of the Baikal region "Water – Health – Quality of life" will be suggested. The event will include an international competition on the theme "Baikal is a source of life" with the involvement of young scientists, as well as a competition of educational programs within the framework of the "ECO – Generation" project. The winners will have the opportunity to present their developments free of charge. There also will be sum up of the results and award of the winners of the competition "National Environmental award" for 2018.
Plenary sessions and work of thematic sections are planned in the Forum program. Among cultural events – exhibition and demonstration of films about Baikal as well as a concert in the framework of the world paramusical festival will be performed. Charity basketball game will take place as at the first BIEWF. The Forum will be preceded by the international conference "Freshwater ecosystems – actual problems" on the basis of Limnological Institute SB RAS.
The first Forum brought together more than 800 participants from 20 countries and more than 20 regions of Russia. In 2018 it is planned to significantly expand the geography of the participants of the BIEWF. Representatives of Federal and regional executive bodies, upper and lower chambers of the Federal Assembly, environmental public chamber, international environmental and medical organizations operating on the basis of UNESCO, UNEP, World Health Organization, ICID, IWRA, WHO, HABITAT and other international organizations are invited to the event. Also among the participants there will be scientists, experts, social activists, representatives of project organizations, international environmental organizations, heads of Russian and foreign business structures.