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Rescue of the Danube Biosphere Reserve (1 Viewer)

Greg L

Registered user
(This is a long mail that I have copied and pasted. If short on time read the first few paragraphs and contact embassies as requested)

Ukrainian coalition "For Wild Nature"
___________________________________________________________

Since May 1 to November 15, 2004 in protection Danube biosphere reserve has acted 51,024 organizations and separate citizens from 90 countries of the world (details on http://www.petitiononline.com/RomDelta/petition.html).
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Dear friends!
As you will see from this issue of news, the situation around the Danube reserve gets worse than ever. Intervention of international bodies is urgently needed. We want to ask you to help us in getting this issue to the media in you country. And also, please keep urging you MEPs, EU comissionars, international organizations to ask Ukrainian government tough questions on the situation around the Danube reserve.
It is also important that you tell you opinion to Ukranina Goverenment - please use this Embassy list.
List of embassies is here, http://www.seu.ru/projects/eng/dunay/embassy.htm

EU Enlargement Commissioner Gunther Verheugen
[email protected],
EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom:
[email protected]
UNESCO MAB [email protected]
Thank you in advance!!!

NEWS OF CAMPAIGN ON RESCUE OF THE DANUBE BIOSPHERE RESERVE

1. Criminal repressions against the Danube reserve: the thirteenth day.
2. Is the Danube biosphere reserve the mirror of the Ukrainian authorities' attitude to natural reservations in common?
3. S. Коmarchuck has received a reprimand. The truth, not for corruption.
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1. CRIMINAL REPRESSIONS AGAINST THE DANUBE RESERVE: A DAY THIRTEENTH.

November 2nd, 5 policemen led by investigator of the Danube transport Office of Public Prosecutor presented the Danube biosphere reserve's administration the Decree on institution proceedings of criminal case concerning the officials of the DBR and withdrew 3 computers and 340 volumes of the documentation, including the book-keeping.
The actual reason of instituting these proceedings consists in firm disagreement of Ukrainian National academy of sciences (of whose authority the DBR is currently under), concerning with the civil-engineering project of construction a shipping canal Danube - the Black sea through the Bystre estuary. The Ministry of transport - lobbyist of this project - being almost all-mighted in Ukraine, has reckoned pressure through fiscal bodies to be a decent way to use in controvercy.
The criminal case has considerably approached the realization of Mintrans's purpose, having both paralised activity of the reserve and weakened it with fiscal pressure. Now it directly threatens the very existence of the reservation establishment.

For example, because of the Danube reserve's specific character, it's officials,
while working on an island deep in the delta, can use the watch method only.
Therefore their work demands large amounts of fuel being now unattainable for the reserve. If the blocking of the conserving service proceeds, tens of thousands ha of the biosphere reserve's territory will in the nearest future appear totally unprotected of poachers.
On the other hand, now judicial process concerning withdrawal from reserve all arms and inland waters goes: the Vilcovo city council together with the Ministry of transport's officers considers the reservoir grounds not belonging to the reserve already. Such attitude increases threat of poaching still further. And the blocking of activity doesn't allow the reserve to assert it's interests in court.
Following the Office of Public Prosecutor, other supervising organizations have begun to press on reserve. November 11, department of state exchequer in Chilia region obliged the reserve to pay the taxes urgently and to execute the budget. The reserve is not capable to fulfill that, however, as far as it's activity is actually stopped. Also, it is to be especially emphasized, that blocking the budget fulfilment is prerogative of the special bodies only, to which Office of Public Prosecutor (furthermore the transport one) just cannot be ascribed.
And there's still the urgent necessesity to pay the employees their wages, to purchase fuel for heating the office, to pay telephone services, electric power and other utility...

November 11, the deputy chief of the Department of control-inspectioning
administration of the Odessa region V. Е. Rеnzаk (analyzing withdrawn accounting documents) required from the reserve's chief accountant to give explanations of the very documents, what the chief accountant, naturally, can't comply with, having no papers on her hands.
V. Е. Rеnzаk said, that in case of default from cooperation with investigation the reserve's chief accountant will be called for a week to a mission for working with the documents. Thus, infringing the legislation the reserve's chief accountant, being one of the witnesses, is put pressure upon, having had to testify against herself. Besides, withdrawal the reserve's documents as was specified in the Act was made to prevent their destruction. And if any document is lost when being worked with
by the reserve's employee the latter can easily be accused of loss...

IN ANY CASE, THE FORECASTS CONCERNING DEVELOPMENT OF THE SITUATION FOR RESERVE ARE DISAPPOINTING.
Presumably, or Office of Public Prosecutor rendering illegal pressure on the
reserve's service persons, now being witnesses and having no right to resort the attorney, will find "infringement", and the "witnesses" will transform to "accused", either other fiscal bodies will find out violations resulting from the forced break of reserve's activity that is but again a direct consequence of withdrawal the reserve's documentation and equipment. Actually this is what the state exchequer in Chilia region doing. The the probability cannot be avoided of reserve having no possibility to accomplish it's functions because of forced inactivity, in particular struggling down the poaching is impossible with no constant guard. Also, the reserve wil not be able to pay different services, what in no time will lead to stop it's administration's activity. Moreover, the employees will begin to leave.
In any case, current reserve's administration will be replaced with that of
Mintrans would prefer, and the very problem with constructioning the canal will vanish.

In our opinion, OBJECTIVE DECISION ABOUT THE SITUATION AROUND THE DANUBE BIOSPHERE RESERVE, AS WELL AS IT'S FUTURE, NOW DEPENDS FIRST OF ALL ON ACTIVE POSITION OF EUROPEAN COMMUNITY.

The highest officials of Ukraine have already repeatedly proved readiness to satisfy their interests through destructing the biosphere reserve, infringing the national legislation and international obligations of a state and completely ignoring the public opinion... Naturally, under the cover of democratic promises.

November 11, the director of the Danube biosphere reserve А. Voloshkevich lodged the General prosecutor of Ukraine and the Prosequtor of the Odessa region a complaint about the Decree on institution proceedings of criminal case against the DBR. The criminal case being instituted with no reference to the criminal-remedial legislation, А. Voloshkevich asked to close it.

2. IS DANUBE BIOSPHERE RESERVE THE MIRROR OF UKRAINIAN AUTHORITIES' ATTITUDE TO NATURAL RESERVATIONS IN COMMON?

October 18, the Ukrainian President signed the Decree " About the statement of borders" [edit. En.G. "Pеchеnеgy "] of the Yalta mountain forest natural reserve, thus defining it's new area - 14176 ha.
Yalta mountain forest natural reserve was created in 1973 for conservation the unique old woods of Crimea mountains, and is known to have the richest biodiversity of vascular plants (1363) among all Ukrainian reserves. 27 plant species and 5 animal species found there are brought in the European Red list; 79 plant and 36 animal species are in the Red Book of Ukraine.
Also, there is more than 40 archaeological monuments on it's territory. It is worth to be mentioned, however, that till October 18 the area reserve
involved 14521 ha... Who therefore took for his own 345 ha of highly valuable
reserve's territory? To our regret, illegal construction of the highest Ukrainian
officials' cottages has been successful in the Yalta reserve for years.

November 11 the Ukrainian President signed the Decree " About urgent measures on ensuring observance of the legislation in borders of territories and objects of the natural-conservation fund of Ukraine ". In particular, there are given special instructions for the Ministry of Ukraine to ensure the ESTABLISHMENT IN NАТURЕ (ON THE SPOT) BORDERS of the Shatsky National Natural Park... " [accentuation - En. G. " Pechenegy "]. The park was created in 1983 to conserve the unique lacustrine complex of the Ukrainian Polissya. 28 plant and 33 animal species found there are brought in
the Red Book of Ukraine.
Among other indications, the Decree includes these one: " to ensure during 2004 - 2006 ESTABLISHMENTS IN NАТURЕ (ON THE SPOT) AND MAPING THE APPROPRIATE SCHEME-CARTOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS OF BORDERS OF TERRITORIES AND OBJECTS OF THE NATURAL-CONSERVATION FUND OF UKRAINE, as well as producing and distribution to the natural and biosphere reserves, national natural parks, botanical gardens, dendrologycal and zoological gardens the documents, certifying the right of possession the territories given them. " [accentuation - En. G. " Pechenegy "].

It is necessary to add, that the Project of organization the Danube biosphere reserve territory, being presented by the Ukrainian authority at the 18th Session of international coordination council of the UNESCO "Man and Biosphere" Program, provides, as does the President's Decree concerning the Yalta reserve, exception from the reservation valuable natural territories.

3. S KOMARCHUK WAS REPRIMANDED. THE TRUTH, NOT FOR CORRUPTION.

One of most conspicuous persons in the case of DBR is the deputy chief of State service of reservation of the Minecoresourses of Ukraine S. Komarchuk. That is he who usually representates the Minecoresourses on abovementioned matter at international level.
Thus, he himself presented at the 18th Session of international coordination council of the UNESCO "Man and Biosphere" Program the project of DBR territorial planning.

In April 2003, General Office of Public Prosecutor of Ukraine checked up the
realization of anticorruption legislation demands in the Minecoresourses's activity. In the final analysis it was specifically pointed out that: In the Deсember of past year the Ministry appropriated 450 thousands grn. of budgetary funds to carry out special actions preventing the enviromental pollution and natural complex destruction of the parks-monuments of the landscape architecture of the State importance "Myschorsky", "Lyvadiysky" and "Massandrovsky". The State service of reservation organized and performed a number of tenders on realization of the works, concerned
with stated actions performance.
Nevertheless, during the preparation process and the very procedure of carrying out the tenders a number of violations of the law took place, and above all the Law of Ukraine "About purchasing goods, works and services at the expense of the State".
This way, despite of the law the tender committee chairman Komarchuk S.S. invited to participate in realizing the tender 3 commercial structures of Yalta city, founded by the same persons and identical office addresses.
In his turn, as if having no information of appropriated funds and the necessary building and repair efforts, and having not performed any inspection of the park terrytory, one of the commercial structures presented the written propositions showing exact sum, consilient with the dedicated one, and with enumeration of the works, supposed to be done at this sum.
In this way, "Stroydesign" 4 times turned to be the winner of the tenders,
having took for foregoing works more than 400 th.grn.
Noteworthy is the fact, that the commercial structure was transferred to an account at December, 2003 and at February, 2004 "Stroydesign" gave a report about performed work.
As it was revealed by examination, the acquired funds were transferred to cashand used not on mission. It has also uncovered the absence of any papers on performedwork. And more, for performance of works mentioned "Stroydesign" completed anagreement with commercial srtructure ООО "Stroymаrkет", that also took part in the tender(!?). In fact, on the day of examination, the complex of works at the Yalta parks remained unfulfilled."

May 8, 2004 Ec. G. "Pechenegy" sent an inquiry to the Minister of ecology and natural resourses of Ukraine S.V. Polacov about the actions, accepted secundum to the General Office of Public Prosecutor of Ukraine examination.
In response to this, deputy minister V.S.Lucko informed, that the experts of control-revision department of the Ministry started to test certain questions of financial and economical activity of the State service of reservation.
November 8, 2004 V.S.Lucko informed Ec. G. "Pechenegy", that "for offence against the Law of Ukraine "About purchasing goods, works and services at the expense of the State" by order of the Minister of 14. 09. 2004 N 350 S. Komarchuk is reprimanded."
What a severe punishment...(contact: the Ministry of ecology and natural resources of Ukraine, ph. 8-10-38 044 206-31-18; fax 8-10-38 044 206-3115)

DETAILS of the COMPANY: www.seu.ru/projects/eng/dunay

CONTACTS:
Danube Biosphere Nature Reserve: Director. Alexander Voloshkevich;
Ph. \fax: (04843) 4-46-19 or 3-11-95; <[email protected]et>
Environmental group "Pechenegy" (Kharkov): Sergey Shaparenko;
Ph. (0572) 52-27-71, <[email protected]>

Prepared by the Environmental group "Pechenegy"
The Ukrainian coalition "For the Wild Nature"

We are grateful for the help in search of the information O. Мelеn (Ecopravo-Lviv)
and for translation of materials M. Shevchenko ("Green Future", Kiev) and
O. Zakharova (International Socio-ecological Union).
 

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