Vladimir Putin’s environmental envoy has said Russia must limit the number of tourists visiting Lake Baikal, by volume the world’s largest freshwater in the world.
Sergei Ivanov, the president’s special representative for nature conservation, ecology and transport, told a congress on water resources on Tuesday that “rubbish is increasing at an unbelievable pace” on the shores of Baikal.
“Sooner or later we will have to artificially limit the flow of tourists to Baikal, as sad as it sounds,” Mr Ivanov said. “If we want to preserve Baikal’s uniqueness and keep it clean, we need to do something with the flow of people.”
He noted that tourists must receive permits to visit some nature reserves in Russia.
The governor of the Irkutsk region later said the tourist flow should be restricted in certain areas on the lake but increased in others through infrastructure development. MP Mikhail Schapov said measures must be taken to create jobs for locals if tourism is cut.