A LAST CHANCE TO SAVE DESPOILATION OF THE DANUBE DELTA?
The Ukrainian Parliament’s National Safety Committee meeting which is to decide whether or not to route a deep water canal through the Danube delta biosphere reserve has been postponed to the end of May. This may be because the 5th Pan-European Environment Ministers Meeting of the “Environment for Europe” process is to be held in the capital of the Ukraine, Kiev, from 21. – 23. May 2003.
This gives us all an opportunity to lobby European Union Environment Ministers, the responsible Commissioner and national MEPs.
For in-depth arguments against and information about the Danube Delta biosphere reserve see:
ADD YOUR SUPPORT NOW!!
Send an email or telefax to responsible EU ministers, commissioner and MEPs.
Use the draft text below (or write in your own words here are the key pointsto include).
The full contact addresses for EU environmental ministers, Commissioner Wallström and national MEPs are here
Email addresses in text:
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org@minambiente.it email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org@vgt.mma.es email@example.com@defra.gsi.gov.uk Margot.Wallstrom@cec.eu.int
and the SEU
THE INTEGRITY OF THE DANUBE DELTA BIOSPHERE RESERVE MUST BE PRESERVED
The news reaching us from scientists and conservationists in the Ukraine is dismaying.
For a year and a half now the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, together with environmental NGOs, have been resisting the attempts of the Ukrainian Ministry of Transport to construct a deep-water ship canal through the Bystroe Estuary within the strictly protected zone of the Danube Biosphere reserve. In December 2002, more than 300 organizations from 64 countries also sent letters of support to the Ukrainian President. Sadly it appears as though this widespread and informed opposition is having little effect on the transport planners and lobbyists even though an alternative, environmentally more acceptable deep-water route is available.
The facts are that:
- The canal construction will irreversibly change the hydrological regime of the delta and threaten the habitat and survival of protected and endangered species in the reserve
- The deepening of one of the central branches of the Danube for shipping lanes will irreversibly eliminate a total of 5.600 hectares of channel, lake and coastal shallow waters. This will destroy the nesting and staging sites of tens of thousands of birds including 5 species on the European Red List and 31 in the Ukraine Red Book. The habitats of many rare and disappearing species of mammals and insects are also threatened.
- The proposed construction project breaches both national legislation and Ukrainian international obligations in the field of conservation.
The latest information received from the Ukraine is that the Ukrainian authorities plan to officially accept only a 3.000 hectare area as part of the MAB Biosphere reserve; ignoring the facts that 3.570 hectare are already recorded in UNESCO records with a further 38,779 hectare under protection as an important buffer zone.
We urge you, as responsible commissioners and environmental ministers of the European Union, to use the occasion of the fifth Pan-European Environment Ministers’ Meeting in Kiev at the end of May to raise this matter with your Ukrainian hosts and persuade them to review their stance in this matter.
In the context of an ever-expanding politically unified Europe it is more than ever important to use such windows of opportunity to rescues what remains of our common but shrinking natural heritage.
[Name and Address]