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World Heritage lands sold out at contractual price
February 14, 2007 15:48

The National Park at Baikal has for a long time encountered the problem of buildings on the lake coast. Active trials over the buildings illegally set on the costs of Baikal within the parks territories are still in process. Notwithstanding this fact, newspapers and websites teem with stead sale offers. The main popularity is given to ground areas at Baikal, especially on the lake coasts. The administration of the National Park has already notified potential customers what problems they may face if buy a stead on the territories belonging to the park. However, the number of offers still hasnt decreased.

For instance, in one of the offers presented on the website an organization sells a ground area at Lake Baikal. It is said the offered stead is a legal property of a physical body and the price is mentioned as contractual. The very same ground area is also sold by the International Fund of Social Charity Socium from St. Petersburg. The advertisement contains a detailed map with photographs of the described area. Data based on documents of state registration implies that the ground area was privatized, while the law On extra guarded territories prohibits privatization of ground areas located on territories of national parks.

There are several functional zones in the park, including an agricultural zone, which is a former property of Soviet collective and state owned farms. The agricultural areas belong to both the National Park and the local administration, which both are obliged to follow the nature guarding regime prohibiting privatization of the parks territories. Here it is allowed to hold agricultural works only while building anything is strictly prohibited. Therefore, the ground area described above cannot be used for any, including building and tourist, purposes except for agricultural ones.

While recording a licence of registration of parks ground areas the local administration has to notify the future owners about the restrictions of using such areas and coordinate the possibility of a stead `s conveyance with the park. At the moment the western coast of Baikal within the National Park is a place of uncontrolled development of tourism, without taking into account various consequences of human interference in natural processes.

This causes worries over the future fate of the many rare plants and animals dwelling on the territory of the park. If the situation with buildings construction in the Baikal area continues, this may lead to disappearance of some kinds of flora and fauna. The uncontrolled tourism development also results in pollution of the waterside parts of the lake with waste, and with oil products in the places of auto parking. In this way, year by year, the stable state of natural complexes breaks.

Nature preservation in the National Park at Baikal is an extremely hard task for the park with two owners. In December 1996 the park was included to the list of the World Heritage of UNESCO as a part of the natural object Baikal Lake. However, this fact has not influenced much on the ecological situation of the lake.


Translation:Lavrentyeva Natalya


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