The "Baikal Geopark of UNESCO" was launched in the Tazheran steppe and on the island of Olkhon. This is reported by the press service of Rosnedra.
Geopark is a specially protected area, where its geological history, the processes of formation of local landscapes, rocks and deposits, as well as valuable archaeological objects and materials devoted to prehistoric animals are visible.
"Organizational works on the creation of the "Baikal Geopark of UNESCO" in the Tazheran steppe and on the island of Olkhon in the Irkutsk region was launched. The "Baikal Geopark of UNESCO" shall include several centers according to different directions of activities, for example, Buguldeika will become a center for geophysics and geology. Elantsy will become a center for geographers," the press service reported. In addition, the center of geology will be opened in the village of Chernorud, the center for archaeological research - in the Sahurty area, the center for the study of water and hydrobionts - on the island of Olkhon, in the village of Uzury, located near the deepest place of Lake Baikal.
According to Rosnedra, the work of the geopark will be organized in cooperation with the Institutes of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk State University and the Irkutsk National Research Technical University, as well as through international cooperation and the exchange of experience with France.
It is planned that the project will eliminate traces of unfavorable anthropogenic impact on Lake Baikal, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and will also give impetus to the development of cognitive and educational tourism.
Geoparks have been established in various countries around the world since the 1990s, and since 2002, a special UNESCO program has supported a worldwide network of geoparks, in which 24 States are now participating. The decision to recognize the territory as a geopark is made by UNESCO on the basis of six criteria: geology and landscape, the management and supervision structure, the availability and level of descriptions and explanations to natural objects, geotourism, the potential for local economy development and the convenience of travel.