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Will the EBRD Support Further Danube Delta Destruction?

Despite international condemn, Ukrainian Minister of transport made scandalous statement on the possibility of EBRD, EIB and EU financial support of Danube - Black Sea navigable canal construction thorugh the Danube reserve.

"We talk about hundreds of millions grivnas (Ukranian money, one USD = about 6 grn) worth investments" - Chervonenko said - " the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and The European Invetment Bank (EIB) have shown interest in the project." He also claimed that Director General of the EC Directory on Energy and Transport Francois Lemuorier supported the idea of EU counries' transport tarnsit through the canal.

Minister of Transport Chervonenko made this statement on June 4, shortly after the second meeting of the Parties to the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters - the Aarhus Convention, which took place in Almaty (Kazakhstan) on 25-27 May 2005. Over 30 countries-parties to the Convention took a decision on political sanctions against Ukraine because of violation of main requirements of the Convention during the construction of the Danube-Black Sea canal. Sanctions adopted include an obligation to submit a strategy, not later than end of 2005, including a time schedule for transposing the Convention's provisions into national law and developing practical mechanisms for its implementation.

On June 8 came the news that Minister of Environment Pavel Ignatenko signed an order to stop all the works at the Bystroe estuary - until the assessment of the canal construction and functioning influence on the unique Ramsar site territory is done and principal decision on the canal fate is made.

However, it seems that Ministry of Transport continues traditions of the Kuchma regime - neglecting public opinion and destructing of the unique Danube reserve ecosystems. Having no money to pay to German Moebius (its vessel left the site late fall) and still owing the ocmpany a large sum, state company Delta Lotsman continued work with Ukrainian sadsucking vessel "Prorvin" during the fish and bird breeding time this spring.

The last year work, which killed at least two bird colonies and unknown number of fish youth, has, in fact, gone down the drain, as Mr. Chervonenko admitted: " The canal has become shallow (oh, this "unexpected" sedimentation all sane people were warning about!) and the damb has been ruined. This why the EU investment is needed"!

Unfortunately, Minister did not mention how much millions of euros are needed to clean away the pulp that covers unique wetlands of the Danube reserve, and how much time it is needed for the ecosystem restoration.

Dear friends!
Now the Ukrainian Ministry of Transport want millions of euros to continue the Danube delta destruction!
Let's not give them this pleasure!
Please ask your MEP's to make inqueries about that!
And also write the letters of inquery and protes to EBRD and EIB!

Olga Zakharova, Sergeuy Shaparenko

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