GreenMind Project: About the natural environment of the Estonian-Russian transboundary Peipsi/Chudskoye Lake region

About the Project

This website was developed by NGO “Lake Peipsi Project (Pskov)” (Russia) in cooperation with the Peipsi Center for Transboundary Cooperation (Estonia) in 2020 as part of the project “Raising Environmental Awareness in Estonian-Russian Border Area” (ER101 GreenMind).

The main purpose of the website is to consolidate information about the unique nature of the Peipsi region, an area covering Estonian and Russian lands around Peipsi/Chudskoye lake.

The website operates in 2 languages — Russian and Estonian in parallel and tells about the biodiversity of the region, the state of the environment, environmental organizations, current environmental challenges, nature protected areas and environmental initiatives implemented on both the Russian and Estonian sides of the lake.

Use the available language of the website to read more: RUS, EST.

About the Peipsi/Chudskoye lake

Peipsi/Chudskoye lake is one of the largest freshwater bodies of Europe and the biggest transboundary lake of the continent. In the list of European water bodies it is the fifth by the water-surface area (3 555 km2) and the water mass volume (25.1 km3). The bigger ones are the Ladoga (18 390 km2) and Onega (9 840 km2) in Russia, Vänern (5 545 km2) in Sweden and the Saimaa Lake system (4 400 km2) in Finland (although Saimaa is not one lake, but rather a chain of several linked lakes.).

The common Russian name for Peipsi/Chudskoye Lake is Chudskoye. The name derives from the word “chud”, that is, the Old Slavic name of the Finno-Ugric tribe residing on the lakeshore.

The water area is shared by Estonia (44%) and Russia (56%). The lake plays a big role in the economies of the two countries. Yet, it is not merely used for fishing purposes, but also as an energy resource, a waterway and recreation asset. Geographically, most of the Russian share belongs to the Pskov Region and a part to the Leningrad Region.

About 240 rivers, streams and brooks are tributaries to the lake, with just one river — the Narva (77 km) — having it as its source, and connecting the lake to the Gulf of Finland. The area of the lake watershed comprises 47800 km2,and is oblong and elongated, stretching north to south for 370 km. About one third of the watershed belongs to Estonia and two thirds to Russia. The territory includes around 45 00 lakes — all of them small (under 1 km2) — except for the Võrtsjärv, connected to the Peipsi Lake by the Emajõgi river. The largest waterways in the basin are: in Russia – the Velikaya (430 km long) and the Zhelcha (107 km), and in Estonia – the Emajõgi (101 km) and the Võhandu (162 km), inflowing into the Tyoploye Lake.

The lake bed can be conventionally split into 3 parts: the northern – the Chudskoye or Peipsi (from Estonian) Lake of 2 680 km2; the southern – the Pskov Lake (Pihkva järv) of 716 km2 and the Tyoploye Lake (Lämmijärv) connecting them like a strait, with the area of 170 km2. The total length of Peipsi/Chudskoye Lake is 152 km, and the maximum width is 47 km.

This website has been produced with the financial assistance of the Estonia–Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020. The content of this website is the sole responsibility of NGO “Lake Peipsi Project (Pskov)” (Russia) and the Peipsi Center for Transboundary Cooperation (Estonia) and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the Programme, Programme participating countries alongside with the European Union.

Estonia-Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 aims to foster crossborder cooperation across the borders between the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation to promote socio-economic development in the regions on both sides of the common borders. The Programme web-site is

© NGO “Lake Peipsi Project (Pskov)”, 2020-2021
Tel/fax: +7 8112 720688; Address: Yana Fabritsiusa 2a, office 18, 180017 Pskov, Russia; Web:; E-mail:; Facebook: