The embodiment of the idea of stability or stable socio-economic development not destroying the environment and oriented to the needs of the present and future generations can happen at all favourable conditions at a distant enough prospect. The transfer to the stable development itself should take place in the current XXI century, in its first half. The International Summit in Johannesburg (2002) affirmed that the world community goes on moving according to the unsustainable development scenario. In the UN organization documents it is emphasized that it is necessary to charge oneself with the strengthening and consolidation of the sustained development foundations - economical, social development and environment protection at local, national and regional levels. At that, every country should observe a variety of principles, implement certain imperatives and take into account the indicators established by the UN organization on the characteristics of economy, ecology, social sphere in their interaction.
In 1996 the Concept of the RF transfer to sustainable development was accepted. The sustainable development is defined there as the development "guaranteeing a balanced solution of socioeconomic problems and the problems of the environment and natural-resources potential preservation for the purpose of the present and future people generations´ wants satisfaction" (1). In the Ecological Doctrine of the RF (2002) it is underlined that "the sustainable development of the Russian Federation, the high quality life and heath and also national security can be guaranteed only on the conditions of natural systems preservation and the quality conforming environment maintenance" (2).
The transfer of the RF to the sustainable development is possible only in the case of the sustainable development provided in all its regions. That is why the regional imperative of the sustainable development is in defining goals and regional development mechanisms by means of sustainable development strategy working out, that helps integrate the social, economical and ecological policies.
The regional model of sustainable development should be based on the scientific paradigm of social evolution in the eco-compatible form and involve the body of principles and requirement (imperatives) for the economy system and structure, the mode of functioning and interaction of its subsets providing the harmonization of relations in the triad "human being - natural environment - economy".
Therefore, while working out regional concepts of socioeconomic development, it is necessary to proceed from the principle of observing the main imperatives of the economic systems´ stability. Among Russian regions, the Republic of Buryatia excels as the one most fully meeting socioeconomic and ecological imperatives of sustainable development. The Republic of Buryatia takes a special place due to the lake of Baikal and natural specifics in Russia. The ethno-cultural features of the folks living in the territory of the Republic are unique. In the XXI century the Republic of Buryatia will play the role of a natural geographical socio-cultural bridge connecting becoming integrated Europe and the quickly developing Asia-Pacific Region. The lake Baikal and the Baikal natural site have a special status fixed not only at the federal butt also at the world´s level as the Region of the world´s environmental heritage of UNESCO.
The Uniqueness of the lake Baikal sets a number of environmental requirements including the Baikal natural site ecological zoning carrying out. In the Baikal natural site there are 3 ecological zones marked:
- the central ecological zone - is the territory, which includes the lake Baikal with the islands, the contiguous water conservation zone and also natural areas of preferential protection;
- the protective ecological zone - is the territory beyond the central ecological zone including the water-collecting area of the lake Baikal within the bounds of the Russian Federation;
- the ecological zone of atmospheric effect - the territory outside the watershed of Baikal within the bounds of the Russian Federation up to 200 km. wide to the north and northwest of the watershed where there are economic units with activity that has a negative influence on the unique ecological system of Baikal.
Depending on the sustainability of the natural complexes to man-made burdens, the ability of the environment to self-cleaning, and also the peculiarities of the formed economy and the natural environment´s corresponding pollution and violation, it is supposed to introduce different water, forest utilization and farming systems in every of these zones. The limits of general maximal admissible effect of the economic complex on the natural environment are set for every ecological zone.
Proceeding from a special position of the Republic of Buryatia, to define how stable the economical system as a whole and within every ecological zone is, is very important. Unfortunately, in numerous publications devoted to the stability assessment the regional aspect of the given problem doesn´t tell.
From this point of view, the works of Bobylev S.N. (4, 5), who offers to introduce the factor of environmental capacity as an effective economic sustained development criterion, which can also be used at the regional level, are of the greatest interest. The environmental capacity of economy describes the type and level of economic development very well. The environmental capacity figures can be measured at the macrolevel and branch level as well. The main advantage of the given factors is that they can be measured in dynamics or compared with other countries, regions, economical structures, technologies, etc.
The key figures computation of the environmental capacity of the economy of Buryatia on the offered method showed that for the period from the beginning of the 90-s of the last century up to the present time the natural resources costs, the contamination and waste contents per unit of GRP (Gross Regional Product) have grown, and it testifies that the ecological component of the regional economic development doesn´t stand the basic requirements of stability.
The determination of natural (ecological) and production potentials comparison criteria of the territory is also referred to complex problems. In the work of Akimova T.A. and Khaskin V.V. (3) the concept of the given potentials comparison as the limitation of the production environmental capacities sum in a certain territory for a certain time and the ecologic technological capacity of the corresponding economic complex territory has been offered. The ecologic technological capacity - is the utmost endurance towards damaging technogenic effects; a generalized characteristic of the territory reflecting the self-restoring potential of the natural environment system and quantitatively equal to the maximal development pressure, which all the recipients and eco-systems of the territory can stand for a long period of time without violation of their structural and functional properties. At that, the main balance criterion is the production complex environmental capacity non-exceedance over the ecologic technological capacity of the territory. Both values can be in energy or money terms.
Lately, while comparing different countries and regions, the estimated figure "ecological trace" has been widely used. It is used while comparing territories on their economies´ environmental capacity degrees and allows defining the human pressure on the regional eco-systems expressed in "territorial units".
For the regional level the factor of "true savings" offered by the World Bank is of great interest. The "true savings" - is the accumulation rate of national savings after the appropriate depletion accounting and the environmental pollution damage. In terms of practical application of the given factor as an economical imperative the ecological deprivation computation is a complex problem. It is accounted for a variety of causes. First, it is impossible to measure quantitatively a part of negative effects and give an adequate pecuniary valuation. The biological diversity disappearance can serve as the sample. Second, very often the environment pollution backlash is manifested in a long period of time and far from the emission source. Third, sometimes it is difficult to determine the true source and the polluter. All this makes the ecological deprivation computation rather approximate. For the Republic of Buryatia bearing high ecological costs compared to other regions, one of the real methods allowing estimating the size of the applied ecological deprivation, at least partially, is the definition of extra expenses, casualties and losses of opportunity due to environmental restraints applied by a special economic regime.
Thus, the existing approaches to the regional socio-economic development sustainable level determination and assessment need to be corrected and adapted to the realia of concrete territories. At that, the economic, social and environmental demands should be observed for the purpose of revelation and solution of the main priority problems of stability.
- The Concept of the RF transfer to sustainable development // The Collection of the Russian Federation legislation. 1996. №15.
- The Ecological Doctrine of the Russian Federation. Approved by the Russian Federation Government order from August, 31, 2002 № 1225 - р.
- Akimova T.A., Khaskin V.V. Economics of Nature and Man / Akimova T.A., Khaskin V.V. - M.: CJSC "Publishing House "Economics", 2006. - p. 334.
- Bobylev S.N., Khodzhayev A.Sh. Economics of Nature Use: Textbook. - M.: INFRA-M, 2007. - XXVI, p. 501.
- Indicators of sustained development of Russia (ecologo-economic aspects) / Under the editorship of Bobylev S.N., Makeyenko P.A. - M.: CPRP, 2001.
The article is admitted to the International Scientific Conference « Social-economical development problems of regions », China (Beijing), November 26 - December 4, 2007, came to the editorial office on 25.10.07