Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Siberia contains the world's largest undeveloped open space. It comprises one-tenth of the world's land mass, contains one-fifth of the earth's forest cover, is home to some of the largest herds of reindeer, and contains Lake Baikal, which holds twenty percent of the world's fresh water. However, the long-term integrity of Siberia's rich and beautiful environment is in serious jeopardy because the very natural riches that give Siberia its environmental significance also invite exploration and exploitation. The Article examines some of the historical inadequacies of the Soviet legal and regulatory systems, the current economic concerns of the local Siberian communities, and the danger that joint United States-Soviet economic ventures pose to these communities and the environment. Finally, the Article concludes with proposals for preserving the Siberian environment through the implementation of economic and political decentralization and the adoption of regulatory schemes based on American models.