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New, Urgent Motion For Recommendation
Unforeseen Threats to Danube Biosphere Reserve and Its Director

Adopted by IUCN World Conservation Congress, Nov. 23, 2004

ALARMED that threats of death and personal injury have been made against the long-time Director of Ukraine's Danube Biosphere Reserve, Oleksandr Voloshkevych since the beginning of October 2004;

DISTURBED that computer equipment, records, and means of access to operating funds of the Reserve were seized on 2 November 2004, by the Danube Transport Prosecutor's Office at the request of Ukraine's Ministry of Transport;

CONCERNED that these actions appear to be in retaliation for the outspoken positions taken by Director Voloshkevych against the construction of a navigation canal through the core of the Reserve's most strictly protected area;

RECALLING that Resolution 2.37 of the 2d World Conservation Congress in Amman, Jordan, called upon the Director-General to speak out publicly and forcefully when environmental advocates are threatened and to discourage harassment or persecution of environmental advocates using all appropriate means;

RECALLING FURTHER that Resolution 19.28 of the 19th IUCN General Assembly in Buenos Aires, Argentina, called for "inclusion in law of provisions for meaningful public participation in the EIA process and full public access to relevant information" and that laws should insure "that EIAs that are found to be inadequate are rejected";

CONVINCED that managers of protected areas who bring ecosystem threats to the attention of the public and national and international authorities should not suffer retaliatory actions directed against them personally or against their means of operation;

INSISTENT that projects significantly affecting protected areas should go forward only after full environmental assessment meeting international standards, with sufficient opportunities for broad and effective participation by the public prior, during and even after to decisionmaking;

The World Conservation Congress at its 3d Session in Bangkok, Thailand, 17-25 November 2004 RECOMMENDS to:

1. ASK the Government of Ukraine to provide adequate replacement operational equipment and means so that Reserve officials can perform their duties to protect the Reserve.

2. URGE the Government of Ukraine and others to respect and warranty the human rights of Reserve officials and individual who advocate for protection of Reserves, and to ensure that they can perform their conservation and advocacy duties without fear of retaliation.

3. ENCOURAGE all concerned to cooperate with international environmental institutions, conservation organizations, and governments in further measures to ensure proper public participation and assessment of impacts of projects involving the Danube Biosphere Reserve.


Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental (Peruvian Environmental Law Society) (SPDA) (Peru) (by Jorge Caillaux)

Co-Sponsors up to 17 November 2004:

Center for Russian Environmental Policy (Russia) (by Alexey Yablokov, President)
St. Petersburg Naturalists' Society (Russia) (by Roustam Sagitov, Vice-President)
Environmental Educational Centre "Zapovedniks" (Russia) (by Natalia Danilina, Vice-Chair of WPCA)
National Ecological Centre of Ukraine (by Volodymyr Maltsev, Deputy Head)
Centro de Derechos Humanos y Ambiente (Center for Human Rights and Environment (CEDHA) (Argentina) (by Victor Ricco)
Centro Ecuatoriano de Derecho Ambiental (Ecuador Center of Environmental Law) (by Alegria Corral Jervis, Executive Director)
Macquarie University Centre for Environmental Law (Australia) (by Michael Jeffrey)
Instituto O Direito por um Planeta Verde (Institute of Law for a Green Planet) (Brazil) (by Antonio Benjamin)
Corporacion de Gestion y Derecho Ambiental (ECOLEX) (Ecuador) (by Manolo Morales)
Instituto de Derecho y Economia Ambiental (Institute for Environmental Law and Economy) (IDEA) (Paraguay) (by Sheila Abed de Zavala, newly elected Chair of IUCN Commission on Environmental Law)
Pace University Center for Environmental Legal Studies (USA) (by Nicholas Robinson)

(and two other co-sponsoring organizations)

Reviewed and assented by the Steering Committee of the IUCN Commission on
Environmental Law, 15 November 2004

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