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Dam construction on Uldza river threatens Torean lakes

24 may 2021
WWF-Russia proposed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Rosvodoresurs to demand from Mongolia to freeze the construction of the dam until an assessment of the environmental consequences has been carried out. Ecologists hope to find a solution to preserve the unique lakes located on the UNESCO World Heritage Site

WWF-Russia made an appropriate statement at the XII International Forum "Ecology", which started in Moscow today. The proposals voiced by WWF-Russia will be included in a public resolution on environmental protection and ecological development of the Russian Federation - the main final document of the Forum.

(c) Oleg Goroshko / State reserve "Daursky

The construction of a dam in Mongolia on the Russian-Mongolian Uldza River began in July 2020. “The Uldza River is the main source of food for the Torey Lakes located in the Daursky State Reserve, on the UNESCO World Heritage Site“ Landscapes of Dauria, ”says Oksana Nikitina, lead coordinator of projects for the conservation of freshwater ecosystems at WWF-Russia. “The dam will disrupt the natural hydrological regime of Uldza, and this will lead to irreversible changes in the ecosystems of the Torey lakes, a significant decrease in the number of dozens of species of waterfowl and near-water birds of East Asia”.

According to ecologists’ opinion, the serious harm can be prevented only by stopping the construction of the facility.
“The declared socio-economic and environmental grounds for construction do not correspond to the real possibilities of the project,” says Oksana Nikitina. - In order to prevent the disruption of the natural hydrological regime of Uldza, it is necessary to prevent the appearance of obstacles that may cause  disruption of the natural hydrological regime of the river”.

WWF-Russia’s specialists note that a decision that will allow stopping the construction of the dam and preserving the Torey Lakes is impossible without cooperation with the Mongolian side.

Photo in the intro and announcement: (c) Oleg Goroshko / State reserve "Daursky"

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Lead Freshwater project coordinator