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Media Advisory: DRI hosts Russian, Mongolian history-making delegation as part of Tahoe-Baikal Institute workshop

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 11, 2004

Reporters and Editors, Please Note:

WHO: DRI in cooperation with the Tahoe-Baikal Institute

WHEN: 4-5 p.m. - tour of DRI; 5-6:30 p.m. - reception at DRI, Monday, August 16

WHERE: DRI's Northern Nevada Science Center, 2215 Raggio Parkway (US 395 North to Parr/Dandini Exit, right on Dandini to Raggio Parkway)

WHAT: As part of a 10-day workshop sponsored in part by DRI, the institute will host a history-making delegation of Russian and Mongolian government, academic and non-profit leaders for a tour of DRI and reception. The workshop marks the first time officials from the two countries have worked cooperatively to protect the trans-boundary Baikal watershed since 2000, and it is the first time Lake Tahoe has been showcased to such high level delegates from Russia and Mongolia . The events at DRI conclude the workshop, called "Promoting Trans-boundary Water Cooperation in Russia and Mongolia 's Selenga River : Lessons in Regional Watershed Management."

BACKGROUND: The workshop is aimed at identifying cooperative watershed management lessons that can be applied in the Lake Baikal watershed. The Baikal basin is split between Russia and Mongolia and is roughly the size of France . With a population of more than four million people, the region includes Lake Baikal , the world's oldest, deepest and most voluminous freshwater lake. Lessons learned in current efforts to revise regional management thresholds at Lake Tahoe , led by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, will be shared in the workshop. The mission of Russia 's Baikalpriroda is nearly identical to that of the TRPA.

About Tahoe-Baikal Institute
The Tahoe-Baikal Institute focuses on achieving excellence in resource management towards the preservation of mountain lake watersheds around the world through the creation and support of innovative, multi-disciplinary watershed-based education, leadership and partnership development, international exchange and science-based research.

Funding for DRI's work with TBI and the delegates was made possible by U.S. Sen. Harry Reid. Co-sponsors for the workshop include: Open World Leadership Center, Library of Congress; Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, Committee for the Protection of Lake Baikal; Trust for Mutual Understanding; U.S. Forest Service Office of International Affairs; Initiative for Social Action and Renewal in Eurasia; University of Nevada, Reno and the California Tahoe Conservancy.

About Desert Research Institute
A nonprofit, statewide division of the University and Community College System of Nevada, DRI pursues a full-time program of basic and applied environmental research on a local, national, and international scale. Nearly 500 full- and part-time scientists, technicians, and support staff conduct some 150 research projects at DRI annually. More than 85 percent of DRI's annual $37 million operating budget consists of research grants and contracts obtained by its scientists. The balance is received from the state of Nevada for administrative costs.