Read the text “On the Coast of Baikal” and answer the questions after it.
ON THE COAST OF BAIKAL
For 50 kilometres along the Baikal coast the reservation earth is spreading.
The reservation is situated on west slopes of the Barguzin chain. The total surface of the reservation is about 263,000 hectares.
There is a strong influence of Baikal on season changes of climate, on fauna and flora composition. In summer and autumn the lake cools the coastline, in winter and autumn it warms. Among the trees of the coast taiga a larch is mainly dominating. On the trees nearby the lake "white-tail" eagles and ospreys are making their nests.
The taiga occupying more than a half of the reservation territory, dresses in velvet the slopes of the Barguzin ridge. And in its value for the life of animals the taiga takes the main place. The mountain taiga is a kingdom of cedars and firs, of a dark Barguzin sable. The lives of many inhabitants of the taiga is connected with cedars which give them food and shelter.
Forests protect slopes of the mountains from floods, they accumulate moisture of rains and snow and give it slowly to Baikal.
Steep rocky sides of high mountains are covered with large thickets of cedar dwarf. Below, along the wide plain valleys of rivers and springs spreading are sparse growths of trees, mostly of stone birch and fur and more rarely – of spruce and poplar.
The reservation winter is cold, snowy, but rather mild, by Siberian judge. Almost for half a year it lasts on the Baikal coastline. And it is usually getting calm, sunny and frosty only after Baikal is frozen up.
The summer in the reservation is cool, cloudy with mists, frequent rains.
Summer begins here only in the second half of July. In summer time reservation inhabitants are busy with the cares of their young generation, with the preparations for winter. In August, the warmest month, berries ripen, mushrooms appear, the autumn flying of birds begins.
In September the time of the golden autumn is coming. Colours of the golden autumn are fading away under wind and rain. The taiga is getting dark, from day to day the net of the larches crowns is getting more transparent. At the end of October snow covers all the earth till the spring comes.
► 1 What adjectives are used to describe: the taiga, seasons, mountains?
2 What words are used to describe the beauty of the Barguzin reservation (reserve)?
3 In which parts of the world can you find the following trees: larch, birch, cedar, fir, spruce, poplar?
4 What is a hectare equal to?
5 Is a lake: a) bigger than a pond c) the same size?
b) smaller than a pond
6 What is the opposite of steep?
7 Give the definitions of flora and fauna.
8 Give the synonyms of mist, frequent, dominate, ridge.
8.12 Which of these descriptions best fit Lake Baikal?
1 large, beautiful and interesting
2 deep, huge and popular
3 unique, ancient and great
8.13 Read the text “The Sustainable Development of Eco-tourism in the Baikal Region” below and answer the questions after it.
THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
OF ECO-TOURISM IN THE BAIKAL REGION
The Baikal region covers the Irkutsk region and the Republic of Buryatia, which surround the lake Baikal from the west and the east side. In the north the region is extended over parts of Mongolia and, further east, up to the Chita region. Why does eco-tourism have to become one of the priority practices in the Baikal Region?
Lake Baikal is located in the legendary land of Siberia, which is known all over the world for its special history and its special climate. For many years it has remained irresistible to tourists and researchers. It is a unique place with extraordinary characteristics: beautiful nature, special history and, it has never been a battle field or experienced at war, even Chingiz-Khan did not dare to invade the holy Baikal ground. Baikal preserved its original beauty mostly due to a large number of specially protected areas, parks and natural reserves.
Tourists who are interested in eco-tourism trips are seeking for a temporal departure from civilization. There are places in Baikal, where the unique feeling “being one with nature” can be experienced. Its strong energy, its mystic aura, and also many natural mineral hot springs make people visit Lake Baikal to find health, strength and a complete harmony with nature. The main characteristic and attraction of this unspoilt region for ecotourists is its originality, authenticity, the variety of nature, wild flora and fauna and in a way, the lack of civilization.
The development of eco-tourism is an extraordinary opportunity to improve the living conditions of people living in the Baikal region. It is the best alternative to the industrialization of the Baikal land and to the building of oil and gas pipes which, despite the arguments of the government in favour of energy business, represents a threat to the nature and to the future.
Tourism business in the Baikal region started developing after the issuing of new laws and regulations about tourism in the new economic conditions of Russia in 1995. That underlines the fact that tourism in Baikal is still at the beginning of its growth. The main obstacle to the efficient development of tourism in Baikal is the lack of basic knowledge and experience in organization of tourism, as well as the lack of basic tourism ethics in the Baikal society. Yes, we know that experience is gained through mistakes, and people learn from their mistakes. However, when it comes to nature and its preservation, it is very hard – almost impossible – to correct these mistakes, because people are dealing with the delicate world of nature.
The main condition to sustainable development of ecotourism in the Baikal region is to make local people, not only those who work in the tourist business, but all other citizens as well, to make them understand that it is vitally important to stick to the principles of sustainable development and the ethics of eco-tourism.
► 1 What kind of information can be found in the first paragraph?
a) sustainable development of eco-tourism
b) geographical position of the Baikal region
c) characteristic features of lake Baikal
2 Look at paragraph 2 and match the following adjectives with the nouns in the text:
legendary special irresistible unique
extraordinary beautiful holy original
3 Look at paragraph 3 and say whether these statements correct or incorrect:
● Lack of civilization is important for ecotourists.
● People visit lake Baikal to experience a complete harmony with nature.
● Wild flora and fauna irritate ecotourists.
● Nature in the Baikal region is completely spoilt by civilization.
4 Look at paragraph 4 and say which words have the same meaning as:
chance area in spite of
5 Look at paragraph 5 and answer the questions:
● What proves that tourism in the Baikal region is at the beginning of its growth?
● What prevents the efficient development of tourism in the Baikal region?
● Why is it difficult to correct people’s mistakes speaking about nature?
6 Look at paragraph 6 and explain the phrase sustainable development. Use a dictionary to help you.
8.14 Work in groups and discuss the following.
The main principles of a sustainable development of tourism in national parks and protected areas are as follows:
● employing people from the local community to work in the park’s tourist facilities;
● gearing these facilities to tourist demand and making them profitable;
● informing the local authorities, community and tour operators of the park’s plans and projects for the development of tourism;
● involving regional and national tour operators in tourism management activities;
● training the local population to work with the park’s visitors;
● relying on local councils when introducing the sustainable exploitation;
● coordinating activities connected with sustainable exploitation of the park through public coorditation centres.
Sustainable exploitation depends on the shared interests of people in business, conservation and the local community.
8.15 Work in a group of three or four and discuss the following:
What has changed in our country or in the world as a whole, (either positive or negative points)? Think about:
traffic green space pollution
motorways climate tourism
8.16 Project work. Discuss the following items:
● Are there any endangered species in our country?
● What can be done to protect endangered species?
● Why is it important to protect all species?
● Have you ever taken part in a conversation project? Would you like to?