We examine four stages of research into the Baikal natural territory (BNT) accomplished by the V. B. Sochava Institute of Geography SB RAS. The research efforts have been made in the form of combined observations at permanent and semipermanent stations, different-purpose field expeditions and scientific generalizations as well as by orders of administrative bodies and economic entities; results were published in the form of books, papers and maps. The methodology of landscape planning is adapted to the special conditions and restrictions for nature management around Baikal. An important development was official approval of the ecological zoning of BNT that was developed in the Institute. Territorial planning documents and tools furnished a clue to determine criteria for assessing the ecological admissibility of siting facilities used for economic and other activities in the central ecological zone of BNT, and to prepare scientifically grounded recommendations for governmental authorities and municipal bodies regulating the inclusion of results of this assessment in territorial planning schemes. Particular emphasis has been placed on the spatial patterns in the formation of the ecological situation throughout the territory of Baikal’s water area and drainage basin as represented in the “Ecological Atlas of the Lake Baikal Basin” thus providing a possibility of substantiating the directions of an ecologically balanced and sustainable territories development of Russia and Mongolia in the future. Furthermore, the studies revealed a need to take into consideration the existing contradictions and differences in the Baikal policy priorities between the global, regional and local levels of territorial organization of society.Keywords: ecological zoning and mapping, territorial planning, nature management priorities, sustainable development, environmental protection, regional policy.