TWO REASONS OF HEARINGS
In the very beginning of hearings the organizers mentioned that hearings should have been conducted then, "before passing the state budget"… This statement is extremely interesting in comparison with last statements of Minister of transport G. Kyrpa that the budget funds would not be expended for construction of the canal.
As was found out, the sizeable part of promised amount was not paid to the main executor of bottom-deeping works German firm Mebius. On November 9-10 the Mebius platform was stranded on Ptichya split because of the storm. This platform, covered with sand, continue lo lie there till now. It is interesting, by what means is the Ministry of Transport going to pay Germans their damages?
Director of state owned enterprise Delta-Pilot, the customer of this project, V. Bezdolny has noted that the resolution of public hearings is important for making the complex examination of the second turn of the project (deeping the canal up to 8 meters). Environmental impact assessment, the component of complex examination, is providing now by the collaborators of Kharkiv National University under the leadership by V. E. Nekos.
THE "RIGHT" PUBLIC
Public hearings always presuppose the acquaintance of public with the object and the main points of discussed question in the widest way. The organizers of Izmail hearings have coped with this in accordance to their goals. Three days before starting of hearings, on December 14, nobody outside Izmail knew about the trans-ukrainian problem discussion besides the devoted. The representatives of about 180 organizations, mostly the transport branch workers (that is to say, which are in the long run subordinated to Delta-Pilot administration – Minister of Trasport G. Kyrpa) and scientists, the activity of which is being financed now by Delta-Pilot,
were present at hearings. "Unwanted" were not called…
The organizers have applied the great forces to make the participants of hearings neither to investigate the problem, nor to deep into it at all. For example, the representatives of Ministry of Environment, the Ukrainian Association for Birds Protection, National Ecocenter of Ukraine, and Ukr?inian Hydrobiological Association were taken to hearings by Delta-Pilot’s minibus. At first they were get to Vilkovo and directed to Delta-Pilot office. All canal’s "miracles" were brightly described to them there. Then they were fed and sent to sleep, for to bring them at hearings the next day. On finishing the hearings they were sent to Kiev immidiately.
The project of resolution was handed out to participants just before the end of hearings.
We are very grateful to colleagues who had been spreading information about public hearings: David Conlin (c/o Proact International, Germany, <http://www.proact-campaigns.net/ >) and Victor Roncea (Foreign Policy Chief Department ZIUA/The Day – Romanian National Daily, < [url=http://www.ziua.net/]http://www.ziua.net/[/url] >).
Also we are grateful to all who had applied to organizers of hearings with a request to take into account their opinion: Proact International; Tim Hodge (Kent), Nick and Sandra Carter (ENGLAND); Andrew Rowlands (United Kingdom); John J. Collins (USA); John Farrar (UK); Halvor Sorhuus (Norway); Stefan Henriksson (Sweden); Thomas Brandt; Pierre Leprince (President of the Belgian Ornithological Society AVES); Andy and Helen Pay (UK); Nanette Roland (Germany); Joerg Kaestner (Germany); Alberto Marcone (Italy); Ulrich Mahler (Germany); Simon F. Becker (Germany); Martin Rydberg Heden (Sweden); Mike Elliott (Chagnon, Aumagne); Volker Moritz (Germany); Cyril Schonbachler (Switzerland); Prof. Vera U.G. Scherr; Greg Lambe (UK); Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter Finke (Germany); Jo Seegers (Netherlands); Hanns-Jorg Rohwedder (Germany);
Brian Moorhead; Peter Bringolf and Rene Ehrler; Calle Ljungberg (Sweden); Danny Heptinstall (UK); Per Ole Syvertsen (Norway); Peter Sogaard Jorgensen, Rasmus Huan Olsen, Mads Lou Bendtsen, Kirsten Bendix Olsen, Michael Sogaard Jorgensen & Anne Marie Boesen (Denmark); Klaus-Henry Tauchert (Germany); Claudio Allegrino (Italy); David Camilleri (USA); Kerry Lane (United Kingdom); Dipl. Ing. Jano Topercer (Slovak Republic); Simon Hinrichs (German); Dragan Simic; Jimmy O’ Byrne (Ireland); P.F. van Zwol (Netherlands); Sante Cericola (Italy); Keith Regan (United Kingdom); Bomba Antonietta (Italy) and Luciano Allegrino (Italy).
To say the truth, your opinion has not been taken into account, it has not been even mentioned at hearings. (The many speakers felt sorry for USSR times had gone, when it was possible not to take into consideration the foreign position).
In a whole, the general mood of the speakers was naturally "for" the project. The interesting position was taken by the representative of Ministry of Environment, who stated that "Ministry of Environment, as the component of Government of Ukraine, supports the decision on construction of the water-way…". Nobody hides, that Ministry of Environment does not have its own opinion, but just carries out orders of Cabinet of Ministers and President of Ukraine.
In contrast to general line, speaches of present at hearings NGOs were various. Thus, O. Osadcha (the Ukrainian Association for Birds Protection) has offered:
To publish all the materials about second turn of the project to make the public be familiar with;
To estimate damage which was done and which is going to be done and to provide appropriate indemnities;
To provide scientific conferences on this problem with participation of public;
To propose Delta-Pilot establish a mini-grant fund to make able the public participation in solving of this problem.
The last proposal was supported by the listeners and was included into the resolution.
The chief of Izmail Nature Protection Society supported construction of Bystre canal and admitted that NGOs, which declared against the canal, had founded "for the grants". He said that "these NGO are being managed by some center abroad, and they had received the command to protest as soon as the question about construction of the canal arose". Obviously, that is done to weak Ukraine.
Chernomorskoe Kozatstvo colone?-general was exasperated with the fact, that ecologically directed public (Danube biosphere reserve in particular) had not protested when Moldova started to construct a petroleum terminal near place of the Prut’s falling into the Danube. Also he pointed that Tashlyk hydro-power plant is under the treat of earthquakes of Romanian Karaorman (evidently Romanians must turn out their earthquakes).
Public hearings have indicated the enemy of the Danube workers. Of course, Danube biosphere reserve was found to be one. Exactly it "is hampering the navigation recommencement". Director of Detla-Pilot V. Bezdolny blamed the reserve for commercial activity (not specifying his points), for burning reed and for granting licenses for it’s stocking up. Major of Vilkovo I. Timoshenko blamed DBR for grantiong licenses for visiting the reserve and for capturing 1000 cows from native inhabitants (?). These charges are totally faked.
V. Bezdolny also informed, that Scientific Reserch Institute on environmental problems (Kharkiv), which is the main provider of environmental monitoring of this project, would adress the monitoring results to all interested. Ukrainian Scientific Reserch Institute on Environmental Problems 6 Bakulina Str., Kharkiv 61166, tel/fax (057) 702-15-92, e-mail: [email]email@example.com[/email]
No wonder that in prevalent situation participants almost unanimously voted for further construction of the canal. Only Ukrainian Association for Birds Protection voted against.
COMMENTS TO THE HEARINGS FROM DIRECTOR OF THE DANUBE BIOSPHERIC RESERVE, MR. A.
16. 12. 2004.
To the chairman of working group on public hearings realization Mr. S.P. Repnikov.
It is not clear, why the information about the hearings declared still of 15 November, 2004, has been dispatched to us for 25 days later, just on 9 December, 2004. Taking into account, that on Mondays mail of the Vilkovo city does not work (day off), the given letter has come to us only on December, 14, that is just two days prior to public hearings. In result the overall objective of public hearings appeared unattainable – participants free familiarity with the design documentation (about it in the letter it is not told at all) has not taken place.
Such actions not only infringe the current legislation concerning realization of public hearings, but in general discredit the idea of a free public approach to the information. In this connection the administration of the Danube biospheric reserve can not participate in such formal, illegitimate action.
director of the Danube biospheric reserve A. N. Voloshkevich
I have seen a videoplot about this public hearings, and Mr. I.V. Timoshenko has another time strongly surprised me. In the attitude to Mr. V. Bezdolnij it is possible to admit, that living in far Nikolaev city he simply is not guided in local realities and the nature protection legislation. Our reserve never gave out and does not give out the license for a reed extraction. This kind of activity is not licensed at all! Ministry for Protection of the Environment and Natural Resources gives limits, and on their basis the Regional management (of this Ministry) writes out the sanction. As to burning a reed – we have already won court for slander in our address on this question.
But how to understand Mr. I.V.Timoshenko’s statement, what we " have violently taken away and have not returned to local residents of 1000 heads of large horned livestock? ". Where in general in a reserved zone, on seaside, even theoretically, such quantity of cattle could live? Or the person does not own order of figures? Perhaps, sitting on the press conference next at real "owner" V.Bezdolnnij our mayor is obliged to slander, moreover in such scales?
You see, 10 years ago, when on three reserved seaside places illegally lived on the average only till 50 heads of a cattle, they created there the something like a big feeding base with the thick manure layer. With?local people we could the majority of these run wild animals to expel, however the some animals should be shot. We still had answered to Mr. Timoshenko for his questions, and still in July 2004 (after the European experts leaving) he tell to our collective, that "it is necessary to start to live from a pure sheet". When mayor of our city was sincere?
I accurately collect all documentary certificates of slander and hypocrisy in a "Intrigues of the mayoralty" folder, and I believe that we will come back to this question later…