Lake Elton Biosphere Reserve (Russian Federation). The 207,340 hectare Biosphere Reserve bordering Kazakhstan contains a lake in an otherwise semi-arid and arid area whose history of salt mining and intensive agricultural exploitation, has raised issues concerning water availability and water pollution. Close 5,900 people live in 14 rural settlements and herder posts in the Biosphere Reserve, with seasonal variations almost doubling human presence in the area. The lake is important to nomads and their livestock, the only remaining agricultural activity in the Biosphere Reserve, and to numerous mammals and birds, including cranes, some of which belong to threatened species. The Biosphere Reserve aims to improve water management in the context of climate change, and develop ways to render agriculture and livestock-keeping more sustainable. Tourism development is also being planned to address the dual challenges of skilled labourer shortages and unemployment.