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August 20, 2012

First Environment Marathon in Protection of Lake Baikal Held in Ulan Ude

On 17 August, the First Environment Marathon “Let’s Preserve Baikal Together!” was held at the Central Stadium in Ulan Ude as part of the Day of Baikal. The Marathon was organized by the Fund for Protection of Lake Baikal and the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Republic of Buryatia with the assistance of the AutoRadio radio station. METROPOL Group of Companies, Titan Group and OJSC River Port were the partners of the marathon.

Although the weather was cool, about 5,000 people came to support the marathon participants and make their own contribution to the protection of Lake Baikal.
The marathon was opened by President of the Republic of Buryatia Vyacheslav Nagovitsyn. Then the participants and guests of the event were addressed by Sergey Yeroshchenko, Governor of Irkutsk Region; Mikhail Slipenchuk, Deputy of the RF State Duma, Deputy Chairman of the RF Duma Committee for Natural Resources, Environmental Management and Ecology and Chairman of the Guardianship Board of the Fund for Protection of Lake Baikal; Matvey Gershevich, Chairman of the People's Khural of Buryatia; Lyudmila Berlina, Chairwoman of Irkutsk Region Legislative Assembly; Aleksandr Lbov, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources of the Republic of Buryatia; Bair Tsyrenov, Vice President of the Fund for Protection of Lake Baikal, and other public officials.

All the speakers noted the importance of such events aimed at promoting environmental education, organization of effective measures to save the nature of Lake Baikal, development of tourism and recreational activity and highlighting environmental and social concerns of the region. Bair Tsyrenov stressed that “everyone who comes to the purest lake in the world should always have the purest intentions”.

The concert arranged as part of the Marathon featured Olga Zhigmitova, Chengiz Radnayev, Seseg Ayusheeva, Rinchin Dashitsyrenov, Namkhai Munkhzul, GB Corporation, Hathur Zu, Temujin and other popular Buryat artists and bands.
The audience enthusiastically welcomed their countrywoman Lyubov Volosova, who won the bronze at the 30th Olympic Games in London in freestyle wrestling.

The Fund for Protection of Lake Baikal awarded special Defender of Baikal diplomas to representatives of volunteer environmental organizations cleaning the shore of the lake from garbage every year. These organizations include The Great Baikal Trail, Save Baikal, International Baikal Shore Volunteer Service, Regional Non-Governmental Organization Ecoliga, Regional Non-Governmental Organization Baikal Information Center Gran and others.

The diplomas were also awarded to participants of the scientific expedition organized by Lomonosov Moscow State University’s Faculty of Geography and to Sergey Sablin, the leader of the Around Baikal expedition organized by the Russian Geographic Society.
An environmental quiz on Lake Baikal was the culmination point of the Marathon and its winners received valuable prizes from Metropol Express and MegaFon.

The festivity ended with an hour-and-a-half concert of People’s Artist of Russia Oleg Gazmanov and Eskadron band. The singer addressed the residents and guests of Buryatia from the stage to join forces around the central idea that is the preservation of Lake Baikal for future generations.

More than 700,000 rubles has been collected during the Marathon. This money will be spent to arrange and improve recreational areas in Pribaikalsky District of the Republic of Buryatia. It is planned to create an environmental infrastructure based on the latest technologies, to organize regular shoreline cleanups and to arrange garbage collection and sorting stations on the shore of Lake Baikal.

The participants of the Day of Baikal are greeted by (left to right): Mikhail Slipenchuk, Deputy of the RF State Duma and Chairman of the Guardianship Board of the Fund for Protection of Lake Baikal; Matvey Gershevich, Chairman of the People's Khural of Buryatia; Vyacheslav Nagovitsyn, President of the Republic of Buryatia; Sergey Yeroschenko, Governor of Irkutsk Region; Lyudmila Berlina, Chairwoman of Irkutsk Region Legislative Assembly.

Let’s Preserve Baikal! Project Coordinator Maksim Tokarev

Volunteers of the International Baikal Shore Service

Awarding quiz winners.

Performance by Oleg Gazmanov

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