Development of ski resorts in Sochi shall be postponed
ARPF is a coalition of civic and political organisations, created in 2011 in accordance to Vladimir Putin's proposition. Now experts of this organisation executed their part of instruction, made by Russia's president on minimization of environmental damage during expansion of recreational area in the region of Krasnaya Polyana.
ARPF sent its resolution to the Administration of the President. Experts` main propositions are: to create a system of comprehensive monitoring over ecological state in the area of Krasnaya Polyana, including Mzyta River basin, and implement a planned expansion of UNESCO World Heritage Caucasian Conservation Area territory.
It should be reminded that last June State Duma adopted an amendment to Federal Law “About Protected Areas”, which allows allocation of biosphere polygons (practice grounds) within nature reserves, where it would be possible to rent land and construct resorts. “Roza Khutor” and “Gazprom” companies have declared their plans on expansion of ski area, located on the territory of the Caucasus nature reserve (world heritage site). In march 2017 “Rosa Khutor” and related companies already got lands for lease within the territory of Sochi national park and Sochi natural preserve, located on northern hill-side of the Aibg Range over area of 1.16 thousand ha. Leased territories borders directly to UNESCO World Heritage Site «Western Caucasus» and were supposed to be integrated with the Caucasus nature reserve.
ARPF experts express concerns, that the plan established
by the Russia's Minister of Nature Recourses and Ecology in 2012 (“Plan of actions aimed
at recreation of river Mzmyta ecosystem, comprehensive ecological monitoring
and preparation of compensational actions in the framework of environmental
support of XXII Winter Olympic Games and XI Winter Paralympic Games - 2014 in
the Sochi City”) was implemented for only one third.
According to specialists, it is necessary to conduct a qualified inspection of ecological state of Krasnanya Polyana recreational area, as the environmental damage made by Olympic Games–2014 has not been compensated.
“We fully support ARPF proposition on expansion of Caucasus nature reserve and the object of UNESCO World Heritage “Eastern Caucasus” through integration of Sochi Federal refuge and Sochi National Park lands, as it has been promised in the course of Olympic Games preparation” – says Igor Chestin, WWF Russia Director. According to him, WWF also shares opinion that educational ecological tourism is the only possible way to minimize negative environmental consequences within this area. “We expect that the president will adopt decision in accordance to ARPF conclusion and the question of ski resorts expansion in the area of Krasnaya Polyana will be closed”, - concludes Chestin.
We shall remind that in 2016 Russia withdrew it's application,
that was earlier submitted to UNESCO, regarding expansion of object of UNESCO
World Heritage “Western Caucasus”. The object “Western Caucasus” was included
to the UNESCO Natural World Heritage list in 1999. It consists of Caucasian
State Conservation Area, Natural Park «Bolshoy Tkhatch», natural monuments
“Buynyi Range”, “Tsitsa River Upstream”
and “Pshekha and Pshekhashkha Rivers Upstreams”. The total area of the object
is 300 thousands ha.