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Opposition To Lake Baikal Deforestation Plans

MOSCOW

A new Russian law that allows deforestation and construction near the shores of Siberia’s Lake Baikal has sparked backlash among environmental activists who say the law threatens protected natural areas. Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake, has been plagued with environmental problems caused by industrial pollution, mining and agricultural run-off. The new law, signed on Friday, effectively permits deforestation in specially protected natural areas through 2024 in order to build or upgrade transport infrastructure and suspends requirements for state environmental impact evaluations to be carried out ahead of transport construction and modernization projects.

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