Greenpeace isn’t agree with decision of state expertise to approve the Olympic constructing in Sochi.

Feature story - 21 August, 2007
On April 18,2007. The Russian nature inspectorate declared yesterday about completing the state ecological expertise of the Federal Goal Program (FGP)”Development of Sochi city as a mountain-climate resort till 2014”. Its realization can destroy reserve nooks of the Sochi National Park and place in danger the Caucasus reserve unique territories, recognized by UNESCO the world natural heritage. Despite that, the program received positive conclusion of the expert commission: from the 19 members included in it only Greenpeace expert, the candidate of geographic science, Andrei Petrov, wasn’t agree with such antiecological conclusion.

Caucasian reserve

In the official expertise conclusion there are recommendations concerning just insignificant changes of some program points, which in case of general positive conclusion don't have obligatory power, and there aren't any guarantees that they will be realized.

But for all that, the most ecologically dangerous projects remained untouched were left without any changes, namely:

Hydroelectric power station cascade building on the river Mzymta, express railway building Adler-Grushevaya Poliana, sleigh-bobsleigh road and mountain Olympic village constructing on the Caucasus State Natural Reserve front.

 The Greenpeace expert Andrei Petrov expressed his disagreement with approving of the FGP in especial opinion. Its content corresponds absolutely to the public organizations position presented in December 2006.

It's necessary to note that during the working process the moral pressure was put upon the expert commission members, particularly upon the Greenpeace representatives. This fact makes one suggest that position change of some experts towards positive estimation of FGP has happened for particular reason.

Let you remind that according the IOC (International Olympic Committee) Evaluative commission announcement, Mr Xhikharu-Igaya, one of the main problems of Sochi application is pendency of ecological problems.        

"The perseverance, with which the Russian officials prevent from any changes in FGP and create conditions for sooner start of constructing on the most valuable natural territories as objects related with the Olympiad, as well as non related, may become the main reason of probable loss of Sochi in the battle for right to become the Olympic capital 2014." - declared Andrei Petrov, the head of World Heritage Project. - We'll be obliged to inform IOC and UNESCO about permanent threat for valuable nature complexes, including those which are a part of world heritage object and its buffer zones.      

Because of the happening the Greenpeace consider necessary to claim:

1.     The Economic Development Ministry, responsible foe elaboration and realization of FGP did nothing for decision of ecological problems connected with preparing to probable holding of Olympiad 2014 in Sochi city. The past state expertise also didn't favor its decision.    

2.     The building of objects foreseen by FGP should be realized out of natural territories, inviolate by economical activity at present, as well as out of key habitats and vegetation places of rare species of animals and plants. Among such territories particularly are those belonging to reserve and particularly secured zones of the Sochi National Park before zoning changes by order of Russia Natural Resources Ministry (NRM) from 09.10.2006 №239, also all territories situated closer than 1km from the Caucasus State Natural Biosphere Reserve frontiers, sleigh-bobsleigh road with proper infrastructure, spring-board, mountain Olympic village, express railway Adler -Grushevaya Poliana, Hydroelectric power station cascade on the river Mzymta, which constructing is planned on the indicated territories, must be transferred into less valuable ones.

3.     The order of NRM №239 09.10.2006from should be cancelled, according which the Sochi National Park territories, allotted to sport objects building, are excluded from reserve and particularly secured zones.  

4.     The order of Russian Nature Inspectorate №355 from 27.09.2006 about approval of conclusion of the expert commission of the state ecological examination of materials "The substantiation of Sochi National Park functional zoning".    

For the additional information you can apply to Russia Greenpeace by number(495) 626-50-45 to the chief of the particularly secured natural territories project Mikhail Kreindlin, the chief of World Heritage project Andrei Petrov or to press secretary Eugenia Belyakova.  

The additional information:

1.    According the low about ecological expertise Russia Greenpeace organized and carried out the public ecological expertise of FGP, which finished on April 10, 2007. At the end of its work it conclusion was made about FGP realization impermissibility and necessity of its updating (you can find the conclusion text on the Russia Greenpeace web-site).

Legally the results of the public ecological expertise were presented to the state expertise commission and were examined by it. Unfortunately they weren't factored into.

2.   The IOC Evaluative Commision report about the results of inspection of the candidate cities to the title of winter Olympiad 2014 capital must be published on June 4, 2007.

3.   The definitive decision about which of three cities-pretenders will become the Olympiad 2014 capital, will be accepted in July 2007 in Guatemala.