Sochi -2014. Nature is nothing, image is everything!

Press release - 6 June, 2007
May 22nd 2007. Moscow-Sochi. The Press Service of the RF ministry of natural resources tomorrow, on the 23rd of May in Sochi there will be the opening of the forum “Sochi-2014 – a step to the stable development”, associated with the commemoration of the International Biological Diversity Day. Both the representatives of different ministries and departments and the representatives of sociality and science are going to take part in the forum. It is also planned to invite the representatives of United Nations Environment Program, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization, world resources institute, and of other organizations.

Caucasian reserve

According to the description, the forum will become a wide-ranging PR campaign, the main task of which is to approve that there are no more ecological problems in Sochi alongside with Sochi's claim of becoming the site of the Olympic Games. But in spite of the top-ranking ministerial and government officials' announcements, at present day there are no any actual changes in the construction projects of the Olympic buildings, and it doesn't look like it will be made. The only thing that was made was alter the new edit of the Federal Special-purpose Program "Development of Sochi as the mountain climatic health resort" in April - 400 million rubles was allocated to the promotion and the advertisement of the Sochi campaign, seems like the managers of the forum are performing it now.

During the rush period of International Olympic Committee valuation committee the Russian officials were performing numerous assurance concerning the indispensable solution of all the ecological points at issue of the Sochi claim, but for the moment looks so as if they have just forgotten about it. So, on April 13th during the session of the Coordinating Ecological Council concerning the realization of Federal Social-purpose Program, the decision was accepted. It said that the planning of the allocation of the buildings of the FSP in the buffer zone of the territory of the International natural inheritance along the border of the Caucasian reserve is possible only after the agreement of terms and conditions with the International Inheritance Committee.

But according to the information available to Greenpeace already on April, 17th, during the conference in Russia's Ministry of Economic Development and Trade the decision concerning the holding of the projection and construction of the mountain Olympic Village architectural competition was taken. The construction of it is planned exactly at the border of the reserve.

Especially hot dispute was caused by the project of the construction of the sleighing-bobsleigh route. At this very point the Russian officials and those who are connected with them indeed perform the fraud de facto. It is officially known, that according to the International Olympic Committee criteria the route can be built only in one place of the park - exactly at the Caucasian reserve border. But after examining the official criteria of the choice of sleighing-bobsleigh route construction the independent experts of Greenpeace in Russia and Observation Unit "Transparent World" managed to find at about 10 appropriate places out of the territory of the most precious park zones.

At the moment Greenpeace Russia has sent the official claims to the International Luge Federation and the International Federation of Bobsled and Skeleton with the request of the confirmation concerning the question if the alternative variants of the route construction were provided.

It should be mentioned that looks like the irrationality of the forum holding is known to the majority of the international experts that were planned to be invited. According to the information that Greenpeace possesses, some of the experts that were invited, including United Nations Environment Program and the world resources institute, refused to take part in this event. Probably that happened due to the wish not to get mixed up in theses machinations. In this respect one can feel pity for the representatives of community and science that have indeed done a lot for the saving of the Caucasus nature. One can feel pity cause they can allow to be tangled in the venture and that they can allow providing of their names for ecological coverage of the projects that are destructive for nature.

The managers of the forum should understand that these deeds indeed only lower the chances of Sochi in holding the Olympiad. Most probably the main aim of those people who are so strongly opposing the saving of the most valuable nature items indeed is not the holding of the Olympiad but the separation of the considerable amount of the budget money and the taking of the most valuable territory of the park and reserve for construction of the elite golf clubs and beauty spa. "There is less time left before the decision of the International Olympic Committee will be made, but Russia still has the possibility to increase the chances of the Sochi claim, by proving that the Olympiad in Sochi can indeed become "green" "- the Director of the programs of Greenpeace in Russia Ivan Blokov informs. - Making some insignificant for the Olympic Application Book changes in Federal Special-purpose Program and the construction plans of the sports buildings and the infrastructure would let prevent considerable harm to the nature complexes of the national reserve and will considerably increase the chances of Russia in holding the Olympiad 2014.

 For additional information please contact Greenpeace Russia by phone: (495) 626-50-45 the manager of the project of Specially Protected Natural Areas Mikhail Kreindlin and the press secretary Eugeniya Belyakova. 

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