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Youth and Service

18th Lake Baikal Environmental Project Completed in Siberia

Russia-2019-08-31-Baikal Project Completes 18th Season in Siberia

Irkutsk, Russia—The Baikal Project organized by UPF-Russia, in which volunteers restore natural areas around Lake Baikal, completed its 18th season in the summer of 2019.

Five consecutive programs drew a total of 87 participants, including 10 children. Participants came mainly from central Russia, but also from Kazakhstan and Vietnam.

Among the achievements of this year’s Baikal Project were the building of a 670-meter-long section of the bicycle path known as the "Tea Road," an entryway to the trail, and one observation deck. Additionally, during expedition and research trips, 210 kilometers (over 130 miles) of strategic routes were explored to create ecological paths in the future.

Within the framework of the project, videos were made for a documentary and a reality show showing the personal growth of the volunteers during the project. Until now, over 450 videos have been posted on the YouTube channel “Baikal Project.” The new channel received 9,200 views and 105 subscribers over a two-month period.

The project was funded by contributions from the Slyudyansky District administration, the partner Trakstop38 project, as well as a new partner, the St. Petersburg company Sea of Tea.

The new Tea Road trail became the main occasion for an eight-day expedition in June called “The Tibetan Lama Trail” in which the head of the Slyudyansky District of the Irkutsk Region and the head of the tourism department of the Tunkinsky District of the Russian Republic of Buryatia took part.

In June 2020 the trail will have its grand opening with the participation of the Ministry of Tourism of the Irkutsk Region, regional media and officials. The regional newspaper Glorious Sea already has published a series of articles about the new trail. Georgy Dronov, a Russian theater and film actor, praised the project in a video message.

The project competed in the semifinal of the All-Russian contest Volunteer of Russia, which was visited by the special envoy of the president to the Siberian Federal District. He expressed his interest during personal communication with the Baikal Project organizers.

In 2020, the Baikal Project will expand its scope and conduct a volunteer season near the city of Baikalsk. This is a very significant place for the development of tourism in the South Baikal area, and we plan to build the first ecological path according to international standards. For this, we will need the support of specialists on the organizing committee, outreach to international participants, and information support at various levels.