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Author Topic: UN report no green peace for Sochi Olympics  (Read 1893 times)

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UN report no green peace for Sochi Olympics
« on: March 18, 2010, 11:55:10 PM »

Russian ecologists' outcry about environmental damage to Sochi has received the backing of the United Nations' Environmental Program, critical of the construction work for the 2014 Games.

The UN watchdog also said authorities were slow to alleviate the impact of Olympic construction, such as expanding the Sochi National Park and creating new protected areas along the Black Sea.

The UN report, released on Tuesday March 16, 2010, "entirely proves the problems we had pointed out," said Andrei Petrov, head of Greenpeace Russia's World Heritage program. "Of course, due to political correctness, it's not as crushing as it might be. But we hope the authority of the UNEP will help us to fight for nature conservation from now on."

Road and rail link

NGOs' main concern is potential damage to flora and fauna along the route of a planned road and railway link from Adler to Krasnaya Polyana, going near the bank of Mzymta River and through ancient forests.

Ice-skating facilities and ski slopes  are affected by the construction.

"Unfortunately, very little can be done about this road, but we still hope to make its construction ... less disastrous," said Petrov. "We are looking for some decent compensative measures to be carried out and more conservation zones to be created."

Russian NGOs say environmental guidelines worked out by ecologists together with Olympstroi, the state corporation in charge of all Olympic construction, remain only on paper.
"Olympstroi can't force subcontractors to eliminate ecological risks, as all the green rules are not compulsory under current legislation," said Igor Chestin, head of WWF Russia.

"Members of Ecology Watch trying to view the road construction, including renowned scientists, were arrested for trespassing and made to pay administrative fines," said Yevgeny Shvarts, director of nature preservation for WWF Russia. 

The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee has denied the allegations, saying officials are working hard to introduce new "green standards" on the project.

"The Organizing Committee will continue to work closely with the UNEP on problem areas to ensure that the unique natural environment of the Krasnodar Region is not only protected, but also enhanced throughout Games delivery," the committee said in a statement.

UN report no green peace for Sochi Olympics
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 09:31:39 AM by Mariria »

 


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