GNF - Environmental Education in the Barguzin River Valley

Environmental Education to protect the Barguzin River


The Barguzin River Valley lies between the Barguzin Mountains and the Ikat-Mountains, in the Northeast of the Republic of Burjatien. The Barguzin River is the third largest feeder river of Lake Baikal. The Barguzin River, which is navigable for 204 km above its estuary, has a catchment area of about 21,100 sq. km.


Unique natural formations can be found within the Barguzin River Valley. It is home for numerous rare birds and mammals, such as the Black-capped Marmot (Marmota camtschatica), Caribou (Rangifer tarandus), Black Storck (Ciconia nigra) and others.

 Barguzin Valley

A considerable part of the population (64 %) consists of indigenous ethnic groups such as the Burjaten and Evenken. Over the centuries, the indigenous people occupied themselves with the traditional use of the environment. The conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the Barguzin Valley, the integration of young people and the reestablishment of the environmentally sound traditions will advance the socio-scientific development of the region.


Project Ideas and Objectives

The aims of the project are the sustainable development of the Barguzin River Valley area via the involvement of young people into the formation of a system using traditional environmentally sound cultivation methods and the conservation of natural and cultural heritage sites.


The project “Integration of Youths into a Sustainable Development and Conservation of the Heritage in the Barguzin River Valley in the Baikal Region” was started in March 2007. The initiative was continued in May 2008 with a second project phase "Education of Youth, Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development for the Preservation of the natural and cultural Heritage of the Barguzin Valley in the Lake Baikal Region".


Project Measures

The Youth-Environment Camp started on the 29th June 2007 in the Baikal region within the framework of the Project “Integration of youths into the development and the conservation of the heritage of the Barguin River Valley in the Baikal region”. The project is supported by the Anton Ehrmann Foundation and is implemented in collaboration with the Global Nature Fund.


The main objective of the Youth-Environment Camp is the promotion and development of the ecological movement among the local teenagers. The Youth Camp is organised by the Russian Living Lakes partner organisation “Club Firn” and the administrations of the Kurumkansky and Bargusinsky regions of the Burjaten Republic. The participants are between 14 and 20 years old from both regions. The Environment Camp programme has three components: education, practical conservation exercises and recreation. The volunteers will help repair camping facilities, plant an eco-park, put up new signs along hiking trails and clear sick trees. Additionally, the young people will attend various seminars.


During the project, further education seminars are conducted for young people, in which necessary knowledge in areas of conservation, the leading of a company and business planning is imparted to more than 50 youths from the region. 


Other project measures regard the organising of a Summer Camp in order to collect rubbish and to improve the important nature reserves within the valley. The Camps also have the function to help implement a festival and a competition to consolidate support for youths collecting sustainable land cultivation methods, as well as cultural and ethnic traditions.


In July 2008, an ethno-ecological camp was organised and conducted for youth of the Barguzin River Valley. The main purpose of the camp was to stimulate the conservation of traditions of the indigenous people of the Barguzin Valley. 20 young people from the Barguzin Valley attended the camp at the Garga River, which is one of the main inflows of the Barguzin River.

 Summer Camp in the Barguzin Valley.

In May and October 2008, environmental workshops for youth of the Barguzin Valley were held on the following subjects: environmental management, ecotourism, alternative energy resources, conservation work in special environmental protected areas. The workshops were attended by 30 young people from different settlements in the Barguzin Valley.


More than one hundred pupils from the Barguzin Valley participated in a waste collection activity in the territory along the main routes leading to the Barguzin Valley.


In August 2008, a film expedition was held to create an environmental education documentary movie, which is called “Barguzin Valley – the Legacy of the Holy Land Baikal”. There the unique nature of Barguzin Valley, multicultural features of indigenous peoples (Evenki, Buryat and Russian) were presented, as well as the importance of traditional environmental management for sustainable development in the region.


An environmental information center in the Barguzin Valley has been opened in Kurumkan in February 2009.


The Project Partners

The environmental organisation “Club Firn” and the travel agent “Firn Travel” collaborate with the local governments of the affected regions of the Republic of Burjatien Barguzinky and Kurumkansky, in order to implement the project.


The project is put into action in collaboration with the Global Nature Fund and the support of the Anton & Petra Ehrmann-Stiftung (Anton & Petra Ehrmann Foundation).

Further information about Lake Baikal you find on a separate page on our website.


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Project Duration:


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Integration of Youths into a Sustainable Development and Conservation of the Heritage in the Barguzin River Valley in the Baikal Region


March 2007 – December 2008




Anton & Petra Ehrmann Foundation