Posted on 30 March 2018
Government officials lobby for construction of an enormous ski resort
The Free Svydovets initiative group - in which WWF is a member - has initiated a petition to the president, the government and the environmental minister of Ukraine to protect one of the most beautiful and valuable corners of the Carpathians from construction and total urbanization.
Svydovets plays an extremely important part in conserving the landscape and biodiversity of the Carpathians. This home to dozens of endangered species of plants is crisscrossed by the migration routes of rare animals. The source of the largest tributary of the Danube, the Tisa River is here too. Svydovets also encompasses fragments of old-growth forests, seven glacial lakes which are unique for Ukraine, and a number of other natural riches.
Government officials are lobbying for the construction of an enormous ski resort, which will host 28,000 visitors simultaneously in 60 hotels, 120 restaurants, 33 ski lifts, 230 km of ski trails, a mall, a bank and an airport. Even though it is among the most valuable ecosystems in Ukraine, Svydovets will be completely devastated. The experts of the initiative group believe that construction and operation of a ski resort of such scale may have catastrophic consequences for the environment and for the local communities which depend on a secure ecosystem.
“The extensive building of the ski resort in the Svydovets massif’s central part will lead to a noticeable loss of water resources in the Tisa River basin as at least 12 million liters of water constitute a daily need for such a number of visitors. Such pressure on the region will result in further pollution of water and littering, increased avalanche activity, and also the dramatic rise in risks of catastrophic floods, erosion and mud floods. The loss connected with such events in the Zakarpattia region of Ukraine has reached the amount of 1.281 billion UAH (almost 40 mln EUR) since 1998”, — says Bohdan Prots from WWF in Ukraine.
While the Free Svydovets initiative group is against building giant resorts, it supports the development of sustainable tourism and the creation of small-size resorts in certain areas where environmental impact assessment stipulate that they will not harm the environment. We also appeal to all concerned organisations, local communities, government officials, politicians, and activists to sign the petition to protect the unique natural ecosystem of the Svydovets massif.
The Free Svydovets initiative group
was formed in 2017 to ensure the conservation of the unique ecosystems of the Svydovets massif and contribute to its sustainable development. It includes the following organisations:
Community Organisation “Ekosphera”
The Ukrainian Council of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta
International Charitable Organisation “Information Center “Green Dossier”
Forum Civique Européen
Coopérative Européenne Longo maï
«Deyl center for alpine studies»
Community Organisation “The Community of Zakarpattia”
Eco-Halych: Wildlife Rehab
Community Organisation “Zakarpattia Association of Local Development”
Western Ornithological Society
and WWF in Ukraine.