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  Main arrow Baikal Discovery Digest arrow Lake Baikal Ecology arrow Environmentalist's Campaign to Protect Lake Baikal  

Environmentalists’ campaign to protect Lake Baikal

Aug. 11, 2003:    #7284 

IRKUTSK. Aug 11 (Interfax) - Greenpeace activists on Monday unveiled a monument at the entrance to Baikalsk in the Irkutsk region, which they hope will help force the authorities to convert the Baikal pulp and paper plant. They said the monument symbolizes the former Soviet and current Russian government's "empty promises."
The monument consists of two stone blocks and two wooden boards with inscriptions of promises to stop making cellulose issued by the authorities at different times.
Ten years have passed since the first such promise was given. But, judging by all accounts, the plant will keep working for the next ten years until Russia repays its World Bank's credit, the plant's deputy- director Yuri Shmayev told the press on Monday.
Head of Greenpeace's Russian bureau, Ivan Blokov, said that back in 1987, the government pledged to stop dumping wastes into Lake Baikal by 1993. But in 1993, the authorities made the decision to keep the enterprise in operation for another three years.
"Plans to convert the plant have remained on paper, however. If these plans had been fulfilled, the enterprise would have been converted into an environmentally friendly production complex a long time ago.

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