Danube Delta`s Future in Deep water
Conservationists in the Ukraine and Russia have been campaigning intensively for over 2 years to prevent the dredging of a channel through the core area of the biosphere reserve. For reasons which are unclear to many, but are probably allied to internal power struggles, corruption and self-serving motives, the Ukrainian Minister of Transport has tried to force through the opening of a navigable passage through that part of the delta where the most irreparable damage to nature and local economic resources will occur. An on-site investigation and subsequent report by the Ramsar Secretariat and UNESCO made quite clear that not only was the option (one of 3 possibilities) the worst case for nature, it was not the most feasible or cost-effective choice.
Despite this, and detailed negative assessments by Ukrainian experts, the Ministry of Transport is determined to go ahead and ignore local, national and international appeals.
After a Dutch company got cold feet after campaigners got wind of their possible involvement, a German dredging company, Josef Moebius of Hamburg, is now poised to start dredging in the critical Bystroye channel. The hi-tech dredger Josef Moebius, the pride and joy of the company`s owner, is now poised at the entrance to the Delta ready to drive through the first sandspit where once the now extremely rare Slender-billed Curlew was seen in years gone by. Other birds, most of them on the Ukrainian and international Red Lists breed and nest on the route that the dredger will take through the reserve. A catastrophe is in the making ? can it be prevented?
Conservationists and campaigners
are asked to go urgently to http://www.proact-campaigns.net/ppsi/id48.html to lend their support in a last-ditch attempt to avert
this illegal and irreprehensible action being forced through by the Ukrainian government. Our targets are the German dredging firm
and the responsible of the ministries (Foreign Affairs, Environment and Overseas Aid) of the German socialist/green coalition
David Conlin - Proact
Created: 18th May 2004