Old threat returns
Almost exactly 5 years ago Proact ran its first ever campaign, at the request of NGOs in Slovakia, to prevent exploitation of natural resources by foreign mining companies and have the Slovak Karst declared a National Park. This aim was achieved after considerable lobbying of government ministries, parliamentary bodies and members of parliament. Proact had won its spurs and continued to lend support to local initiatives striving for protection of birds and their habitats.
Back to Slovakia. Since 2001 conservation efforts were actively pursued and nature protection legislation was put in place. As part of the Natura 2000 programme the Slovak government agreed to the designation of SPAs and SSSIs and these were submitted to the EU in Brussels. Before however the planned areas could be finally confirmed, and afforded the required protection, the spectre of the exploitation of Slovakiaís natural resources has again emerged. The mining lobby have persuaded the Ministry for the Economy to draw up a new draft law which will give mining operations priority over nature protection in selected areas. Once again short-term gains threaten to take precedence over conservation of natural landscape, community recreational needs and jeopardize the breeding habitats and key populations of large raptors and other endangered bird species (See details in the draft letter below).
For orientation, maps showing planned mining activities for uranium and goldmining activities are shown on the Canadian Tournigan Gold Corporationís website: http://www.tournigan.com/s/Uranium.asp and http://www.tournigan.com/s/Kremnica.asp
The Slovak NGOs are preparing a legal case to challenge the most dangerous clauses in the new law and have them removed. They have the support of their Environment Ministry. They are now appealing for a public expression of support by international conservationists and nature lovers.
Proact is going back to its roots to mobilise support for this campaign. You can assist by going to http://proact-campaigns.net/slovakia2006/mining_operations.html
David Conlin - Proact International
Created: 09th Mar 2006