ul. Kommunalnaia 46-55
Lake Peipsi (Chudskoe in Russian) occupies two-thirds of the Russian-Estonian border region and is the fourth largest lake system in Europe. Commercial fishing and recreational activities on the lake have historically played an important role in the economic and social life of local communities, which are an ethnic mix of Estonian, Russian, and Setu (a unique cultural mixture of the two).
Estonian independence and new border regulations have interrupted old norms of cooperation between government agencies, economic enterprises, and local communities in Russia and Estonia regarding the lake and its environs. Unemployment and deep economic recession are now major problems on both sides of the lake, and fishing rights have become a point of contention.
In 1993, a group of environmental activists, scientists, and community leaders from Tartu, Estonia, St. Petersburg, and Pskov met to discuss the environmental, social, and economic problems of the Lake Peipsi region, forming a citizens' group called The Lake Peipsi Project. The project works to foster communication and exchange between specialists, local authorities, and interested citizens of Russia and Estonia on the future of the lake and its surrounding communities. It also promotes environmental protection of the lake and watershed, and regulation of its natural resources.
In 1996, LPP organized a series of seminars and conferences in both countries, including the program Civil Forum in Pskov. Civil Forum involved the preparation of discussion brochures targeting specific local problems for distribution to Pskov residents. The project also established the Pskov Information Center in 1996 with assistance from Transboundary Education and Information Agency in St. Petersburg, Volny University, and St. Petersburg University. The center provides Internet access to six NGOs in Pskov.
LPP publishes a bulletin, The Lake Peipsi Quarterly, containing Russian and Estonian essays and news reports on the lake's environment and communities, available on the project's Web site. LPP's main office is located in Tartu, Estonia: Lai 24, EE2400 Tartu, fax: (372) 7 441-481.
Last updated: February 1999
A print version of much of the information contained in this NIS Third Sector Organizations section can be found in the The Post-Soviet Handbook (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1999).