Socio-ecological Union
Projects and campaigns

The letter from Ukrainian environmentalists.

Dear friends and colleagues!

As we already informed, Kiev National University together with Ukrainian Land and Resources Management Center have conducted environmental assessment of the variants of construction of the channel "the Danube - the Black Sea".

In fact this project is the menace for existence of the Danube Biosphere reserve.

The environmental assessment was conducted personally by:

- O.Koshlyakov, candidate of geological and mineralogical science, senior lecturer, Kiev National University - project chairman;
- B.Mandrik, candidate of geological and mineralogical science, Kiev National University;
- Dr. O.Obodovsky, Doctor of Geography, Prof., Kiev National University;
- I.Koslyakova, principal engineer, Kiev National University;
- V.Dyachenko, principal engineer, Kiev National University;
- V.Tkachenko, manager of school laboratory, Kiev National University;
- V.Pridatko, candidate of biology, senior specialist on the projects, Ukrainian Land and Resources Management Center;
- A.Ryabokonenko, technical manager, Ukrainian Land and Resources Management Center.

These specialists made the choice of the variant of the channel through Bystroye estuary - the area of water in especially protected zone of the Danube Biosphere reserve as a place for construction of the channel. The decision threatens with these negative consequences:

1) unpredictable change of hydrological balance of the Danube delta;
2) pollution of the channel with oil and oil products;
3) destruction of habitat of most species of fish living in this area, including 7 species of fish included in European Red List and 16 species - in the Red Book of Ukraine;
4) disturbance of spawning migration and fall of catches of Danube herring, which is the main trade specie in the region;
5) loss of places of mass nesting of birds (including 9 species listed in European Red List and 42 - in Red Book of Ukraine;
6) disappearance of natural plant ecosystems;
7) extinction of most rare and disappearing insects, amphibious and mammals living now in this area.

During preparation of the assessment almost all the principles of environmental impact assessment were violated:

1) the principle of legality - this assessment disregarded current especially protected order of Bystroye estuary;
2) government control - the assessment have ignored the instructions given after previous environmental assessment;
3) scientific foundation - the assessment was conducted by persons who have no necessary expertise (for example, biodiversity was estimated by the geologists), the document contains mutually exclusive statements, the whole series of significant factors aren't covered;
4) objectivity and comprehensiveness - during the assessment only the documents counting in favour of creation of the channel on Bystroye estuary were taken into account. At the same time the documents for alternative variant of the channel were ignored.
5) during the assessment public opinion was neglected.

Given assessment breaks legislation, it is scientifically unfounded, it doesn't take into account public opinion, however it gives permission for realization of the project that threatens with destruction of the reserve. Current situation is dangerous also with another fact. The precedent of destruction of the valuable natural area - the reserve - realized without proper scientific basis and in defiance of current legislation, for the sake of commercial circles, is created now in Ukraine.

By making such biased assessment this group of scientists undermines reputation of the institution, on behalf of which they act.

The channel on Bystroye estuary is the beginning of destruction of the system of reserves of Ukraine.

Dear friends and colleagues, we call you to try to help the reserve: to express your opinion about given assessment to the on the problem to the supervisors of the group of experts who made the assessment.

Taras Shevchenko's Kiev National University
Rector - Dr. Victor V. Skopenko, the academician of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine, Dr. of Chemistry.
64 Vladimirskaya St., Kiev 01033, Ukraine
phone: 8-10 (38-044) 220 86 91, fax: 8-10 (38-044) 224 61 66

Ukrainian Land and Resources Management Center
General manager - Alexander A. Mazurkevich
13 Chokolovsky avenue, Kiev 03186, Ukraine
phone: 8-10 (38-044) 230 22 66; fax: 8-10 (38-044) 230 22 67

Copies of your letters you may send to immediate performers of the project to familiarize them with public opinion at least after they made the assessment.

Kiev National University, Geological faculty, the Department of Hydrogeology and Geologic Engineering

Alexey E. Koshlyakov, senior lecturer
Boris N. Mandrik, senior lecturer
90 Vasilkovskaya St., Kiev 03022, Ukraine
phone: 8-10 (38-044) 266 34 26

Ukrainian Land and Resources Management Center

Alexander D. Ryabokonenko, technical manager

Vasiliy I.Pridatko, senior specialist on the projects

We hope that after your letters on the assessment it will be withdrawn. So, please, send this call forward to all persons and organizations who is anxious about the future of the delta of Danube. Please, send us copies of your letters: e-mail:, "Pechenegi" environmental group

We are ready to answer all your questions about this problem as much as we can.

For more details on the problem of the Danube Biosphere reserve see also the page "Save the Danube Biosphere reserve!" on the website of ISEU:

With the hope for conservation of the reserve,
Sergey Shaparenko, Ukraine Coalition "For Wild Nature"

More information: Ukraine Authorities Try to Legitimize Cutting of Danube Biosphere Reserve Quietly

Back to "Save the Danube biosphere reserve!" page