1. Compare Siberia and the Far East with the European part of Russia in terms of natural conditions and natural resources. Make a conclusion.
These regions have much in common, especially in contrast to the European territory of Russia. They are dominated by mountain areas, but there are vast lowlands. In Siberia, the lowlands are greater than in the Far East. The mountains of Siberia are older than the Far East. They were formed in the Paleozoic time, however, were revived and elevated by the Neogene – Quaternary movements. The Far Eastern mountains are mainly related to the Mesozoic and Cenozoic folding epochs. Both Siberia and the Far East are characterized by increased seismic activity, while active volcanoes exist only in the Far East.
Both Siberia and the Far East
Siberia is allocated fuel and energy resources, they also exist in the Far East, but have not yet fully mastered them. The Far East is distinguished by diamonds and ores of non-ferrous metals. Many deposits of copper and nickel, polymetals, and gold have also been discovered in the mountains of South Siberia. In 1954, diamonds were found in the central part of the Siberian platform, but similar tectonic structures and regions with a similar geological structure exist in Eastern Siberia.
Most of the territories of Siberia and the Far East have a temperate climate, in the northern parts of the subarctic and the Arctic. Only Siberia belongs to the regions of the continental and sharply continental temperate climate, and the Far East is sharply continental, monsoon and marine.
All the rivers of Siberia belong to the basin of the Arctic Ocean and have mainly snow feeding. Some of the rivers of the Far East belong to the basin of the Arctic Ocean, some have rainwater, and the rivers of the interior regions of Kamchatka are even underground. The rivers of Siberia are famous for their hydropower potential, but the mountain rivers of the Far East are not inferior in performance to anything.
Thus, Siberia and the Far East, despite significant differences, are very similar in terms of natural conditions and resources. But the main similarity lies in equally difficult conditions for the development of these resources.
2. Regions of the Asian part of Russia, despite the differences, have common features of geographical location, economic development. What is the similarity and difference?
The main similarity of the geographic location of the regions of Asian Russia is the remoteness from the economically more developed European Center. The differences and similarities in the physico-geographical position and resources are described in the previous question. The similarity of economic development is manifested in the one-sided and raw-oriented orientation of the economy. Differences in the main resource used. The regions of the Asian part unite the small population of the northern territories and the insufficient development of crop production, the export orientation of the economy. Exporting mineral resources and forest, the regions import food and consumer goods.
3. Why, with a general lower level of economic development and less population density in some regions of Siberia and the Far East, acute environmental problems?
Environmental problems are often the result of a low level of economic development and a low ecological culture of production. Another important factor in the emergence of environmental problems is the concentration of production. With a general low population density, production in the Asian part of the country is very crowded. An example is the oil producing Middle Ob area, the Kuznetsk coal basin, the Kansk-Achinsk fuel and energy complex.
Thus, in some regions, very acute and even critical ecological situations have really formed. However, it is important to understand that for a wide range of parameters, Russia, and especially its Asian part, is among the ecologically safe territories of the planet. Most of the Asian region is almost untapped, wild land. This is the most important ecological and recreational resource of the country.
Our agriculture is quite competitive in terms of environmental cleanliness of products. In most developed countries, for example in Western Europe, in principle, it is impossible to obtain organic food because the fields are saturated with mineral fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and other “representatives of agricultural intensification” that are alien to nature. Therefore, in the world market very highly valued agricultural products obtained without the use of these funds. Because of the crisis in the 1990s. On Russian plowed fields, mineral fertilizers and pesticides were almost never used, and Russian food products can and should take their rightful place in the global agricultural market. The north of European Russia and the Asian part are especially clean, “virgin” territories of Russia, therefore, the agricultural development of these spaces becomes particularly important. In addition to obtaining environmentally friendly products, the agrarian development of the North will be supported by its indigenous small peoples, and also partially improves the existing demographic distortions.
Relatively the ecological well-being of Russia, its modest role in the global degradation of the biosphere and its huge spatial and ecological potential are important geopolitical factors that can and should be used to strengthen the position of the new Russia in international relations. The weight of these factors is growing due to the inevitable increase in the role of environmental aspects in international relations, as well as the fact that Russia has lost a significant part of its international influence in the military, political, economic and other spheres.
It is possible and necessary to develop foreign tourism more actively as a highly ecological export industry. Possessing huge recreational potential, Russia still serves only 1.6% of the world tourist flow, while the world leader, Spain, is 10.6%. An example here is Poland, which, having intensified recently, is already served by 3.4% of tourists.
4. Why does the level of social infrastructure play a special role in Siberia, which is characterized by complex natural conditions? Which industries are part of the social infrastructure?
The social infrastructure includes housing and communal services, public health services, consumer services, public catering, retail trade, cultural institutions, education, recreational facilities and financial services. It is from these industries, which are called the sphere of services, that people’s living conditions depend. Providing people with comfort under difficult natural conditions is possible only with a high level of development of social infrastructure. If comfort conditions are not created, people will not want to live here, suffering difficulties, or they will work inefficiently. Qualified same professionals will quickly find a different place of work and life. Thus, the development of social infrastructure indirectly affects the development of other branches of the economy.
5. How do you see the prospects for the further development of Siberia and the Far East?
In the coming years, Siberia and the Far East are likely to maintain their export orientation. However, for sustainable operation, it is necessary to develop manufacturing industries and social infrastructure, environmentally friendly mining technologies. It is necessary to develop foreign economic relations and establish trade and scientific cooperation with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region.
To preserve sovereignty, it is very important to resist the demographic pressure of East Asia.