End Pollution of Lake Baikal

Target: Sergey Donskoy, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection

Goal: Stop polluting Lake Baikal with sewage and farming chemicals.

Lake Baikal is the world’s oldest and deepest lake, holding one fifth of all fresh unfrozen water on earth. This wonder of the natural world contains over 1,500 animal species, approximately 80 percent of which are found nowhere else on the planet. Once famous for its pristine waters, Lake Baikal is now experiencing a pollution crisis.

Untreated sewage and chemical fertilizers from neighboring towns are leaking into the lake, causing excessive growth of algae. These algae blooms are incredibly harmful to the plants and animals that make their home in Lake Baikal. The algae use massive quantities of oxygen, effectively suffocating the other inhabitants of the lake. Pollution may also kill the amphipods that are an important food source for Lake Baikal’s fish species. Because Lake Baikal is so large, pollutants dumped into the lake may remain there for up to 400 years before draining out into the Angara River. Thus, polluting Lake Baikal in the present may poison the flora and fauna of the lake for centuries to come.

Although Russia began a cleanup program in 2012, it has had only limited efficacy. Sewage treatment plants are still inadequate, allowing high levels of phosphorus, nitrogen, and fecal bacteria into the lake. Immediate action must be taken to protect this valuable UNESCO heritage site. Sign this petition to urge the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection to end the pollution of Lake Baikal.


Dear Mr. Donskoy,

Lake Baikal is one of Russia’s most beautiful and unique ecosystems. It is home to hundreds of species that live nowhere else on Earth. The pollution of Lake Baikal must be stopped immediately if this ecosystem is to be saved. Pollution of the lake with sewage and chemical fertilizers is dangerous to the animals and humans that live in and around the lake. Lake Baikal is not only an important biodiversity hotspot, it also has great economic value. Pollution threatens Lake Baikal’s plants and animals, but also the fishing and tourism industries that the people in the surrounding region depend on.

Pollution of Lake Baikal can be stopped by building better sewage treatment facilities and devising strategies to prevent chemical fertilizers from flowing into the lake. It is imperative that pollution is stopped before Lake Baikal’s ecosystem is destroyed. I ask that you do all you can at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection to end the pollution of Lake Baikal.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Honza Soukup

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