Russia: Massive Illegal logging project in Krasnodar region

Krasnodar regional authorities are turning a blind eye to a massive,
illegal logging project in a nature reserve on the Black Sea, local
environmentalists say, in what could be an attempt to open the
protected area to commercial tourism.

A local forestry official
confirmed that logging was being done in the park, but denied that the
project violated federal or local environmental protections.
Officially, the project is a four-kilometer fire safety road bisecting
the Bolshoi Utrish reserve, connecting an existing road on its border
with the Black Sea. But officials admitted that the road would be used
for recreational development of the coast, and environmentalists said
the construction would irrevocably damage the park, which is on track
to receive the federal government’s most protected status. Converting
pristine areas along the Black Sea into resorts has been a lucrative
business for the Russian construction industry, particularly since
investors started flocking to the region after Sochi was chosen to
host the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Bolshoi Utrish reserve is located
about 250 kilometers up the coast from Sochi and just 15 kilometers
south of the resort city Anapa. Loggers have already cut into the park
from both sides by more than a kilometer, chopping down thousands of
trees that are in the Red Book of endangered species, said Andrei
Rudomakha, coordinator of the North Caucasus Environmental Watch, an
organization based in Maikop, the capital of the neighboring Adygeya
republic. The dry, subtropical forest in the reserve is unique in
Russia and is the northernmost such forest in the world,
environmentalists said. “Judging by the impudence and the scale of work, some big interests are involved in this project,” Rudomakha said. “Everything about this construction is illegal from start to finish, and nobody is doing
anything to stop it.”

Posted via email from Deane’s posterous

Comments (2)

JuliaJanuary 27th, 2010 at 8:52 am

so terrible! Once again Russian President is proved to be careless and Russian system corrupt. This story once again highlights the fact that democracy in Russia is not working and the wishes of a small minority are put above the rights of the majority!

JuliaJanuary 27th, 2010 at 8:57 am

Many thousands of people in Russia, Ukraine and the wider world have expressed their disgust at this present project to build a ‘summer house’ for the President and his crew at the cost of destroying the amazing nature of Utrish. However, those organising the project are still going ahead.

Leave a comment

Your comment