Socio-ecological Union

The Newsletter of
the Socio-Ecological Union
A Center for Coordination
and Information

Moscow, Russia -- Issue 10(32), December, 2002



Statement of the environmental NGOs

  November 13-19, 2002. The coast of Spain has become the site of another large-scale environmental disaster. The tanker "Prestige" operating under the Bahamas flag and managed by a Greece company broke in two and sank resulting in spilling over 20 thousand tons of heavy fuel oil into the sea. Environmental and economic losses are enormous. Just 3 years ago an accident at a similar tanker, "Erica", that also resulted in a huge oil spill, took place near the coast of France. The latest "Prestige" disaster proves that the issue of preventing accidents of this type and scale on European Union seashores has not been resolved.
  It is our special concern that the old, single-hulled "Prestige" was used for transportation of Russian oil being exported through the Baltic Sea. In the near future, the volume of these exports is expected to increase substantially. For this purpose both already existing Baltic Sea oil terminals in Tallinn-Muuga (Estonia), Ventspills (Latvia), Klaipeda (Lithuania), and newly constructed ones in Butinge (Lithuania), Primorsk and Vysotsk (Russia) will be used.
  In the environmentally very fragile, semi-closed and small-size Baltic Sea an oil spill comparable in size with the "Prestige" and "Erica" accidents will lead to completely disastrous consequences affecting not only seashores of the countries directly involved in Russian oil exports (Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), but also many other countries with access to the Baltic sea or its straits to the North Sea (Finland, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Denmark and Norway). Such accidents can trigger serious strains in relations between Russia and the European Union.
  Non-governmental organizations that have signed this Statement, are convinced that the following measures must be implemented:
  1. International Environmental Impact Assessments of the Baltic Sea oil projects including the transportation stage. The assessments should be carried on in an open transparent way and create opportunities for effective participation of all stakeholders. Risks assessments must be based on the potential maximum-scale accident, including complete destruction of facilities and installations.
  2. Companies engaged in Baltic Sea oil projects must commit themselves to implementing measures necessary for preventing serious environmental accidents and provide maximum transparency in this regard.
  3. Development of a Plan for transferring all oil and petroleum products exports through the Baltic Sea to using only double-hulled tankers in shortest possible time.
  4. Creation of the Information System covering movements of oil tankers in the Baltic Sea, first of all, for old and single-hulled vessels regularly suffering from accidents or having operational problems. There should also be an information system for accidents that have resulted in oil spills or created conditions for such spills, and their environmental consequences.
  5. Development of plans and regular trainings to prepare personnel for large (more than 10 thousand tons of oil) spills, comparable in size with the "Prestige" and "Erica" accidents.
  6. Funding of rescue and clean-up operations dealing with large oil spills in the Baltic Sea.
  7. Implementation of measures improving transparency and access to information about environmental problems of Baltic Sea oil projects and implementation of measures necessary to enhance their environmental safety.

  Subscribed by:
  Socio-Ecological Union International
  Greenpeace Russia
  World Wildlife Fund for Nature

  Agentstvo Volzhskoi Ekologicheskoi Informatsii - I.Fufaeva, Russia, Nizhnii Novgorod
  Amur Socio Ecological Union - S.Titova, Russia, Blagoveshchensk
  Assotsiatsiia zelenykh Karelii - D.Rybakov, Russia, Petrozavodsk
  Baikal Environmental Wave - M.Rikhvanova, Russia, Irkutsk
  Baltiiskii resursno-informatsionnyi tsentr - A.Koroleva, Russia, Kaliningrad
  Biuro regional'nykh obshchestvennykh kampanii (BROK) - A.Lebedev, Russia, Vladivostok
  Volgodonsk regional department of SEU - V.Shalimov, Russia, Volgodonsk
  WWF RPO - I.Chestin, Russia, Moscow
  Grazhdanskii Tsentr iadernogo nerasprostraneniia - V.Mikheev, Russia, Krasnoiarsk
  Greenpeace Russia - S.Tsyplenkov, Russia, Moscow
  Dal'nevostochnaia Koalitsiia organizatsii - A.Semenov, Russia, Vladivostok
  Zelenyi mir - O.Bodrov, Russia, Sosnovyi Bor
  Initsiativnaia gruppa "Molodezhnyi vek" - I.Nevrova, Russia, Vladivostok
  Kaspiiskaia programma ISAR - A.Knizhnikov, Russia, Moscow
  Kol'skii Koordinatsionnyi tsentr "Geia" - E.Kruglikova, Russia, Apatity
  Kostromskoe oblastnoe obshchestvennoe ekologicheskoe dvizhenie "Vo imia zhizni" - T.Dobretsova, Russia, Kostroma
  International Socio Ecological Union - S.Zabelin, Russia, Moscow
  Mezhregional'noe obshchestvennoe dvizhenie "Za bez"iadernyi Don" - I.Reznikova, Russia, Volgodonsk
  OO ecological club "Rostok" - L.Samchinskaia, Russia, g.Partizansk
  OO ecological club "Raduga" - A.Kaminskii, Russia, g.Artem
  OO ecological studio "Rodnichok" - S.Dovbysh, Russia, g.Vladivostok
  Public Environmental Organization "Zelenaia volna" - N.Zhilkin, Russia, Volgodonsk
  Parusnaia akademiia - V.Nazarenko, Russia, Taganrog
  Proekt-Perekrestok Tsivilizatsii - L.Savel'eva, Russia, Volgograd
  Newspaper "Bereginia" - T.Selivanovskaia, Russia, Nizhnii Novgorod
  Respublikanskii pravozashchitnyi tsentr - E.Kislov, Russia, Ulan-Ude
  Sibirskoe ekologicheskoe Agentstvo - A.Toropov, Russia, Tomsk.
  Sotsial'no-ekologicheskoe obshchestvo "Zelenaia Dubna" - A.Sumbaev, Russia, Dubna
  Soiuz "Za khimicheskuiu bezopasnost'" - L.Fedorov, Russia, Moscow
  Ul'ianovskoe gorodskoe otdelenie VOOP - A.Bragin, Russia, Ul'ianovsk
  Biodiversity Conservation Center - A.Zimenko, Russia, Moscow
  Tsentr ekologicheskoi politiki Rossii - A.Iablokov, Russia, Moscow
  TsKI Lipetskogo SoES - A.Fedorov, Russia, Lipetsk
  Chukotskoe obshchestvennoe ekologicheskoe ob"edinenie "Kaira-klub" - G.Smirnov, Russia, Anadyr'
  Ekozashchita! - P.Malyshev, Russia, Kaliningrad
  Sakhalin Environmental Watch - D.Lisitsyn, Russia, Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk
  Ekologicheskoe dvizhenie molodezhi Chuvashskoi Respubliki - E.Osmelkin, Russia, Cheboksary

  Assotsiatsiia "Nash dom" - Iu.Vasidlov, Ukraine, Ivano-Frankovsk
  Institut problem rynka i ekonomiko-ekologicheskikh issledovanii - A.Krisilov, Ukraine, Odessa
  Molodezhnyi ekologicheskii tsentr im. Vernadskogo - T.Chernaia, Ukraine, Odessa
  Natsional'nyi ekologicheskii tsentr Ukrainy - Iu.Urbanskii, Ukraine, Kiev
  Obshchestvennaia ekologicheskaia organizatsiia "Vozrozhdenie" - I.Vykhristiuk, Ukraine, Odessa
  Obshchestvo toksikologov Ukrainy, - L.Shafran, Ukraine, Odessa
  Odessa Regional Academy of Sciences - V.Degtiarenko, Ukraine, Odessa
  Odesskii "Memorial" - T.Bulat, Ukraine, Odessa
  Odesskoe gorodskoe obshchestvo prav potrebitelei - E.Kulinenko, Ukraine, Odessa
  Odessa department of the International Socio Ecological Union - A.Shevchuk, Ukraine; Odessa
  Odesskoe otdelenie Soiuza nauchnykh i inzhenernykh obshchestv - Iu.Romanov, Ukraine, Odessa
  Skoraia zapovednaia pomoshch' - O.Listopad, Ukraine, Kiev
  Ukrainskaia ekologicheskaia organizatsiia "Zelenyi Svit", Odesskoe otdelenie - V.Iankovskii, Ukraine, Odessa
  Ukrainskii nauchnyi tsentr ekologii moria - V.Mikhailov, Ukraine, Odessa
  Ukrainskoe obshchestvo okhrany prirody, Odesskoe otdelenie - A.Derboglav, Ukraine, Odessa
  Fond "Prirodnoe nasledie" - I.Rusev, Ukraine, Odessa
  Chernomorskoe Regional Department of Ukrainian Environmental Academy of Sciences - V.Stepanov, Ukraine, Odessa
  Ekologicheskaia gruppa "Pechenegi" - S.Shaparenko, Ukraine, Khar'kov

  Paricipants of the 4-th Ekoforum of NGOs of Kazakhstan (50 NGOs) - Kazakhstan, Almaty
  EO "Zelenoe spasenie" - S.Solianik, Kazakhstan, Almaaty

  NGO Karvan (Center for independent social investigations) - Fuad Akhund-zadeb, Azerbaijan, Baku

  Ecoclub CATENA - T.Berkeliev, Turkmenistan, Ashkhabad
  Dashkhovuz ecological club - A.Zatoka, Turkmenistan, Dashkhovuz

  Respublikanskii detsko-iunosheskii tsentr GUTTA-CLUB - N.Kravchuk, Moldova, Kishinev

  For more information:
  Alexey Grigoriev, SEU


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  This issue was written and complied by Sviatoslav Zabelin - the SEU Council Co-Chair,
  Olga Berlova, translation by Alla Kapustina