Socio-ecological Union

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

Moscow, Russia -- Issue N 11 (45), April 21, 2003

SEU Times is a newsletter devoted to environmental news, events, NGO work within former Soviet Union territory. Currently it is mailed out on special occasions.


MORE NEWS IN ENGLISH FROM SEU-TERRITORY are available on Ecoport - green news project English version at






  Dear friends!
  It seems that breaking point and the last battle comes in the story of Danube reserve defense. (all story is at
  In December Ukrainian President Kuchma said that Council of National Safety and Defense should make a final decision on where the deep water canal Danube - Black Sea should be constructed - inside the Danube biosphere reserve or beyond its limits.
  The Council meeting will happen on Wednesday, April 23. The Ministry of Transportation pushes forward the project that would literary kill the reserve and leave many rare and endangered species without habitat.
  The situation is still very complicated, and your action is urgently needed.
  The Ukrainian authorities are aware of the possible reaction from the international community. Even in the unfavorable draft of the decision there are recommendations to the Ukrainian Embassies to study the international reaction to the possible canal construction, especially in the countries of Danube commission. Also, besides Ukrainian budget, Ministry of Transport hopes to get funding credits from international institutions, like World Bank and EBRD.
  Sending your letters will let them know the reaction.
  Please, send your faxes to Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and to the Chairman of Council of National Safety and Defense Eugene Marchuk. Please, if possible, send or give the hard copies of your letters to the Ukrainian embassies in your country! (Especially in case if office refuses to accept your fax)
  President of Ukraine, Kuchma L. D., 01220. Kiev, Administration of the President of Ukraine, str. Bankovaya, 1, fax +38(044) 291-6161,
  Chairman of Council of National Safety and Defense Eugene Marchuk. fax +38(044) 255-0601
  + 1 309 273 8204 (e-fax in the USA, always on)
  + 49 1212 531 546 051 (e-fax in Germany, always on)

  The Danube Biosphere Reserve Territory Should Remain as it Is!

  Dear sirs!
  Since the end of March Ukranian Ministry of Transport has intensified lobbying for deep water canal Danube - Black Sea construction through Bystroe Estuary, in strictly protected zone of the Danube biosphere reserve. Minister G. Kuchma has stated intention of his Ministry to withdraw all estuaries from the reserve.
  The final decision on the reserve fate is to be taken at Council of National Safety and Defense of Ukrain meeting.
  Relating to that we would like to draw your attention to the fact that biodiversity of the region would be conserved only if reserve territory remains as it is now. The withdrawal of estuaries from the protected area will result in irreversible damage to the unique natural system.
  The deep water canal construction through Bystroe estuary, which is the only reason for the proposed changes to the Danube Biosphere reserve territory, will worsen or even make impossible the nesting of tens of thousand birds. The reserve will lose practically all the places where flocks of waterfowl and near-water dwelling birds congregate seasonally. The natural habitats of birds in these territories will be radically damaged. Just in the proposed zone of the shipping lanes reside 223 species of birds, including 5 on the European Red List and 31 in the Red Book of Ukraine. On the territory also reside or temporarily inhabit many rare and disappearing species of mammals and insects. The normal habitats of many of them are incompatible with what is being planned.
  The canal construction will irreversibly change the hydrological regime of the delta, disturb natural processes of delta formation, inescapable pollution of the ecosystem by oil products, change the habitat for most of the species, decrease of the trade fishery amount, will threaten endangered species inhabiting the area.
  In fact, the only reason for the changes in protection of the area would be is conservation value loss. However, this has not happened yet. If the plans of the Ministry of Transportation are realized, the Danube Biosphere Reserve will actually lose its importance on an international and national level. Biodiversity, natural systems of the area are defining its conservation value and make it internationally important area. This is why, in case of deep water canal construction through Bystroe estuary, Ukraine will loose one of its most valuable natural territories.
  Taking in account all listed above, we consider repugnant the deep-water canal construction through Bystroe estuary within strictly protected zone of the Danube Biosphere reserve. Attempts to change the borders of the biosphere reserve and to withdraw part of its key protected area will have a negative impact on the international image of Ukraine, especially taking in account the fact that Ukraine is hosting European Ecoforum in May 2003.
  We hope that Ukrainian authorities will take all necessary steps to conserve the reserve.


  We ask to send copies of your letters to Pechenegi group at



ARE THESE THE LAST HOURS OF THE Regional Landscape Park "Granite-Steppe Pobuzhya" ??


  The Government of Ukraine has a plan to build Tashlyk Hydro Accumulation Power Station (HAPS) and to fill Alexandrovsky reservoir in the Southern Bug's river-bed.
  To carry out this plan, it needs to reduce the territory of a unique nature reserve - the regional landscape park "Granite Steppe-Pobuzh'e (GSP)". Immediate consequence of this action is extinction of valuable animal and plant species and in the future it may cause a disaster equal to Chernobyl in scale.
  The final decision on park reduction will be made at Nikolaev city council session on 25.04.03. Under a great pressure of South-Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant, deputies are ready to reduce the territory of the Park. After this step, the Nuclear Plant will start filling the reservoir which will be used for cooling Nuclear Plant reactors. Building of the Tashlyk HASP will destroy the Southern Bug river down stream from the HAPS. According to Yuriy Shelyag-Sosonko, an Academic of the Ukrainian National Academy of Science : "...unique nature of the landscape park which has no similarity and analogy in the world, especially, the endemic populations of flower plants, will die." In addition, it will flood the soil where the Nuclear Plant is built, thus increasing seismicity of the region. Ukraine has to take responsibility for preservation of the nature park GSP according to International Conventions which Parliament of Ukraine has ratified. The population of the Region and Ukraine protested during the last decade against the Tashlyk HAPS and the filling-up of the Alexandrovsky reservoir on the Southern Bug's river-bed, though with no result.
  Please visit our official web site - for history of the dam construction, Regional landscape park general information and ecological problems, photo gallery of GSP.
  The only way to prevent this is to launch a massive fax attack, starting today. Ukraine wants to become a member of European Union and NATO - so the environmental community should show there is no way for government to violate its own legislation and international agreements.


  Look over attached pictures - these unique landscapes will be under water shortly, if we remain silent....
  We ask you to support us and to protect the nature of Pobuzh'ye nearby our river.
  Please, send an appeal (you can use attached MS word file, or create your own), to one of following fax numbers (nearest to you):
  + 1 309 273 8204 (e-fax in the USA, always on)
  + 49 1212 531 546 051 (e-fax in Germany, always on)
  + 380 44 495 29 72 (regular fax in Ukraine).

  We will forward the faxes received from you to the President of Ukraine (L. Kuchma), Prime Minister of Ukraine (V. Yanukovich), Chairman Of the Verkhovnaya Rada Committee of Ukraine on National Safety and Defense (G.Kryuchkov), Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine A. Zlenko, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources (V. Shevchuk), Minister of Economy and European Integration of Ukraine V. Khoroshkovsky, Chairman of Committee on Border Control (N. Litvin), Nikolaev region Administration Head (A. Garkusha) etc.
  We really appreciate your time and help in this matter!
  President of Ukraine L. Kuchma:
  fax: +380-44-291-61-61;
  Prime Minister of Ukraine V. Yanukovich:
  fax: +380-44-226-20-77,
  Speaker of Verhovna Rada, V.Litvin
  Minister of Energy of Ukraine S.Yermilov:
  fax: +380-44-268-22-02
  Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine A. Zlenko:
  fax: +380-44-253-94-93,
  Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources V. Shevchuk,
  fax: +380-44-229-83-83,
  Minister of Economy and European Integration of Ukraine V. Khoroshkovsky:
  fax: +380-44-253-06-83.
  Nikolaev region Administration Head N. Garkusha
  Head of Nikolaev Oblast Counsel Moskalenko M.N.

  Dear Sirs
  We have learned that construction of Tashlyk HAPS and filling of Alexandrovsky reservoir on the Southern Bug's river-bed will cause a huge damage to the river and will flood a large part of nature reserve - the Regional Landscape Park "Granite Steppe-Pobuzh'ye".
  The state authorities are planning to reduce the park's area. It will destroy unique nature and landscapes. Ukraine is responsible before the international society for preservation of unique landscapes according to the International Conventions the Parliament of Ukraine has ratified.
  We have learned also that for the last decade inhabitants of the region and Ukraine have protested against the Tashlyk HAPS and the filling-up of the Alexandrovsky reservoir on the Southern Bug's river-bed though with no result.
  We ask YOU to stop the building of Tashlyk HAPS and filling of Alexandrovsky reservoir and other actions which encroach upon the World and European Strategy of Human Protection and International Conventions ratified by Ukraine's Parliament. We have to know that Ukraine will conduct the European Conference of Nature Protection Ministers in May 2003 in Kiev.
  Destruction of nature landscapes will have a big negative effect on Ukraine.

  Name and Address

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  This issue was written and complied by
  Sviatoslav Zabelin - the SEU Council Co-Chair,
  Olga Berlova, Victoria Kolesnikova, translated by Alla Kapoustina
  Previous Issues of The SEU Times may be found at
  "The Online Gadfly" at