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Siberian Lake Baikal named World Heritage Site
In 1996 Lake Baikal in Siberia was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in recognition of the area’s exceptionally diverse flora and fauna and its value to scientific research. Over twenty-five million years old and with a depth of 1,642 meters, Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest lake on Earth. Due to its special geological character, the lake contains twenty percent of the world’s total unfrozen freshwater reserves. The numerous endemic species in the lake contribute significantly to Siberian and Russian biodiversity. Some two-thirds of the approximately fifteen hundred animal species and thousand plant species can only be found in the Baikal Lake. The area’s biodiversity and water quality, however, are endangered. International and Russian environmental protection movements and the Russian administration have begun to fight factors endangering the lake’s health.
- Bruno, Andy. “Russian Environmental History: Directions and Potentials.” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 8, no. 3 (2007): 635-650.
- Josephson, Paul R. Resources Under Regimes: Technology, Environment, and the State. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005.