Socio-ecological Union
News

The Newsletter of
the Socio-Ecological Union
A Center for Coordination
and Information

Moscow, Russia -- Issue 2 (02), February, 1999


IN THIS ISSUE:
 

SOS!!! HUMAN RIGHTS ARE HEAVILY VIOLATED: GRIGORY PASKO - EMERGENCY HELP NEEDED

THE FOREST CASE - THE STORY AND THE OUTCOME

MARCH FOR PARKS 99 - THE FIFTH YEAR IN A ROW

NGO - GOVERNMENT HIGH LEVEL NEGOTIATIONS - FOR THE FIRST TIME IN RUSSIA

THE SEU CHEMICAL SAFETY PROGRAM

SOS! RUSSIA - NUCLEAR ATTACK FROM INSIDE

JAPAN LOBBYING RUSSIAN LEGISLATION CHANGE

A PERC REPORT: THE GREAT ECOLOGICAL GAME: WILL CASPIAN SEA OIL LEAD TO ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER?

SEN PROJECT COMPLETE

D

BIOM - KYRGYZSTAN NGO NETWORK DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT

NOVGOROD "ECOLOGIA CLUB":BURBOTS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN CAR RACES!

"SIBERIAN STURGEON" - INSPECTION HELD BY STUDENTS' NGO

PUBLIC ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW REGISTERED IN KARELIA

LIVING FOR THE FUTURE


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HUMAN AND EVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS
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SOS!!!
HUMAN RIGHTS ARE HEAVILY VIOLATED
GRIGORY PASKO - EMERGENCY HELP NEEDED
    Grigory Pasko is suffering serious health problems and is denied relevant 
medical aid, we learned from reliable sources. On Thursday, March 11, 
Pasko had a heart attack before the trial, but was considered "healthy enough" 
to continue the trial. Shortly before he was examined by prison doctor, and 
was recommended to remain seated while testimony before the court, because 
of high level blood pressure. Apparently this is a result of 15 month long custody 
retaining. Despite health problems, Grigory is firm to testify personally in the 
court - the only way to restore his reputation, as he thinks. But lately environmentalist 
could not even get any decent sleep - as at night every 1,5 - 2 hours heavy bang 
comes on the chamber door and loud voice is calling out something like "Pasko - 
are you still there? Are you alone?" To put it plain, Pasko is tortured by insomnia.

    Currently campaign for Pasko release from custody, vouch for Pasko have already 
signed Alexey Yablokov (SEU Co-chair), famous writers Fazil Iskander, Anatoly 
Pristavkin, Daniil Granin, academic Dmitry Likhachev, human rights defenders 
Sergey Kovalev and Larisa Bogoraz. 
Your letters of support for Grigory Pasko and protest letters on the way 
environmentalists case is handled will help greatly.
Please send them to: 

    Andrey Kubanin "Eco-Logos", Vladivostok, Russia 
    t/f. +7 (4234) 31-49-24
    Naum Nim editor of "Index/Dosie na tsenzuru" journal
    t/f. +7 (095) 201-50-86


THE FOREST CASE
    In February the appeal handled by Ecojuris Institute, initiated by SEU and 
other concerned organisations and citizens on illegal first group forests 
transfer into non forest areas by Governmental decrees was considered in 
Supreme Court. The Court found decrees on thousand forested hectare transfer
 in 31 region illegal.

    Moreover, Supreme Court issued a notification to the Russian Federation 
Government on these illegal decrees stating that violations found - no state 
environmental review, no public hearings, several other - are to be eliminated,
 and the law is to be observed in future. The Prime Minister is to be informed 
about this note, actions to restore justice are to be taken, and Supreme 
Court is to be informed about these actions in a month.

    This was second time when Supreme Court considered the first group forest case. 

SOME HISTORY OF THE FOREST CASE
    Today CIS countries and Russia have to face severe violations of environmental
 rights by state and business representatives due to different causes, major of 
which are the following: the totalitarian heritage, depriving citizens rights to defend 
themselves against state, treating justice and court only as tool for Government to
 impose the regime. The other is "wild" capitalism, treating environmental issues 
as annoying obstacle of no real importance for profit making. The overall state policy 
treats environmental problems as secondary to economic and social problems, at 
the same time attempting to solve the problems of weak economy through selling off 
countries nature resources. On the other hand, Russia is known to be one of the most
 important worlds "storehouses" of nature resources. For example, it has about 1/5
 of the world forests situated on its territory, along with tropical forest of South America
 known as "lungs of the Earth". 

    Unfortunately, the forests are considered to be one of the most easily extracted and 
sold raw resources, that is why we may face the problem of quick extermination of the 
unique forest ecosystems. According to the officially accepted system, forest is 
classified by groups according to their importance and value. The most protected
 forests are the first group forests, for example, near the cities or watershed sanitary 
zones, or for their uniqueness. Of course, the first victim and target for cutting are the 
forests near the cities. In Russia, the forest owner is state, so all operations with the 
forests are done by state or on state government approval. And recently government 
started the practice of transfer of these forests into so called "non-forest" areas, as the 
legislation do not allow the cutting of the first group forests. The land was given for
 non-forestry purposes - markets, city dumps, parking lots, cemeteries etc. Of course 
the forest was clear cut there and sold off. In less than 2 years of such illegal practice
 the square equal to the square of Malta was logged. The protests of local people to 
their local authorities led to nothing, as the authorities would defend their actions
 referring to the governmental decrees.

    The Ecojuris Institute President Vera Mischenko always followed closely forest-related
 legislation, decrees and problems. The series of strange and illegal Governmental 
decrees on first group forests caught lawyers and environmentalists eye. At the same 
time people started to call her telling that city parks and forests are being logged for 
some need that could be easily met without these actions. Vera made a quick study 
and discovered the tremendous scale of the process as well as outstanding legal 
violations and violation of people environmental rights. So she decided to come up 
with the appeal to court that these Governmental decrees should be found illegal and 
thus to be abolished.

    This decision was rather risky for several purposes. First of all, as described above,
 in many cases court is still considered to be a governmental tool, not an instrument for
 justice protection. For the same reason, the conflict with government result was always
 predictably favourable for Government. On the other hand, many state, especially 
municipal structures are corrupted, and so is the forest management system. In Russia,
 where the business and money come in, every mean, up to assassination is used. Vera 
knew it well as defending environmental rights she received threats several times.

    Getting the first forest case to court was a tough business.
    The Government representatives attempted to press the Supreme Court and to influence
 the decision through media, for example, Federal Forest Service head stated in the "Forest
 Newspaper" that he hopes Supreme Court will not go for green hysteria and support the
 policy of the Government and Federal Forest Service. (For reference - Forest Service
 (including entities in the region) is not allowed to do any commercial logging, but despite
 this last year they were among the largest amount loggers).
    Having a detailed study of the case done, visited and consulted with local suffered 
communities across the country, Vera Mischenko and her colleague Olga Yakovleva 
represented the peoples interests in the Supreme Court.  And despite Governmental 
representatives attempting to press the jury, after 9 month since Ecojuris first reference
 to Supreme Court judge made decision that the Decrees were illegal and thus to be abolished. 

    The case was supported be wide public campaign against this forest decrees: Ecojuris 
and SEU CCI launched a lot of fax campaigns, attracted the attention of mass media and 
state authorities to the case.

    This case created a precedent within the country and other NIS countries, that even 
Governmental decisions, if illegal and violating people and environmental rights, can be 
stopped. This also shows that peoples interests must prevail over Governmental interests, 
while for almost a century in Russia it was different, and illustration of this are cases of 
environmentalists Alexander Nikitin and Grigory Pasko, prosecuted for their work. 

   The next significant step was the second case and the issue of the notification to 
Government calling on it for law observation after it.


**********************************************************************
UPCOMING EVENTS
**********************************************************************

MARCH FOR PARKS 99 - THE FIFTH YEAR IN A ROW
    The SEU Biodiversity Conservation Center has launched year 99 March for Parks 
campaign. Information kits and other support stuff had already been sent out to the 
main action participants - zapovedniks, national parks and environmental NGOs.

    The March for Parks days themselves are scheduled for April 23 - 26, weekend after the
 Earth Day. This years slogan is "For the Earth beauty sake", as this year the issues of 
nature spiritual and cultural value are to be brought up. In Moscow, main events are to 
happen around children creativity exhibit, located within Darwin Natural History Museum. 
The Children Arts for Nature exhibition will open on March 22 and will be available until the
 end of March for Parks days.

    BCC has intitiated these days of simultaneous nature protected areas support actions in 
1995, and since then March for Parks has changed form all-Russian to transboundary
 international action.
In 1998 more than 180 local Marches with overall 600 000 participants were held in Russia, 
Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan and Turkmenistan, gathering
 $200 000 aid for zapovedniks and parks, more than 200 voluntary troops doing work for 
protected areas. The events were widely covered by the media.

    In five years March for parks has become an outstanding yearly event within conservation
 and environmental activities. The March for Parks leader Irina Chebakova has received Rollex
 award for her work, and the whole action also received a Ford award.


**********************************************************************
SEU PROGRAMS
**********************************************************************

NGO - GOVERNMENT HIGH LEVEL NEGOTIATIONS - FOR THE FIRST TIME IN RUSSIA
    Chemical Weapon Destruction Safety issues brought up by NGOs at the meeting with
 President Administration head scheduled for Interdepartmental Commission on Environmental
 Safety of Russia Safety Council consideration for 1999 fall.

    On February 3 1999 Lev Fedorov, leader of the SEU Chemical Safety Program, Union for 
Chemical Safety president at the meeting with Nikolay Borduzha, President Administration
 head, Russia Safety Council Secretary handed over Statement by 79 NGOs from 38 Russian 
Federation subjects.

    It reads " For efficient chemical weapon destruction is responsible authority that matters, 
even more than money does". According to the statement, this is social and environmental 
responsibility that lacks in today's military-driven closed-up chemical weapon destruction 
policy failing open dialog with people.

    The issues of general approach to chemical weapon destruction in Russia, ways of public 
control over the process including technology and places for weapon destruction selection, 
technical review of the related documents were discussed. Creation of efficient interaction
 mechanisms between authorities and people, problems of still pertaining secrecy and local 
population information increase were also negotiated.

    The Union for Chemical Safety submitted numerous proposals on issues listed above that 
would improve the process of chemical weapon destruction significantly and provide for 
people and environmental safety.
    "We are committed to collaboration on the problem with authorities, but with no trade-offs
 in population safety" - stressed Lev Fedorov.
    The answer is to be expected in approximately month and a half, after related governmental 
departments consider issues raised.

THE SEU CHEMICAL SAFETY PROGRAM
    The program idea emerged in 1996-97 soon after the Union for Chemical Safety joined SEU. 
In general, Program aims on chemical contamination by two kinds of origin.

    First it is contamination of so called peaceful origin - as the result of industrial, transport, 
agricultural activities, and here such issues as dioxin and PCB contamination, persistent 
organic contamination, pesticide contamination, heavy metals contamination became key ones. 
They are are complemented by projects on air, water and food chemical contamination problems.

    The other part is aimed on chemical contamination problems caused by military activities and
 thus reveals information less known to public, at the same time this work puts at certain risk 
activists involved. It includes problems caused by chemical weapons, armed rocket weapons
 and preparations for biological war.

    The program principal position is to provide for today practically unobserved people 
environmental rights, that is, right for chemical contamination free, safe environment, as well 
as interests of people suffered from chemical contamination protection and protection of 
prosecuted environmental activists rights.

    Development of the independent public chemical safety information network is considered 
crucial tool for efficient work serving for expedient information and experience exchange. 
Significant part of it is Chemical Safety Problems electronic bulletin tackling different aspects 
of the chemical safety issues.

    Independent chemical contamination assessment is also a cornerstone of the Program. This
 includes region "chemical portraits" compiling, dealing with pesticide and supertoxicant 
contamination consequences, regions suffered from chemical and biological weapon construction.
 Joint work with other programs concerning environmental health conditions assessment is also done.

    Program uses various set of work methods. These may vary from negotiations with authorities and 
legislative work to direct actions. Media and own publications are used widely for information 
spread into society.
___________________
YEAR 1998 OUTLINE
ACTIONS
    The Chemical Safety Day was held on April 28 for the second time, special events held in Dzerzhinsk, 
Pochep, Chapayevsk and some other places especially suffered form chemical contamination. 
Expert support for "Rainbow keepers" (radical environmental movement) action series against 
unsafe electronic waste processing plant construction in Kasimov (near Ryazan) provided.

INFORMATION ACTIVITIES
    152 issues of Chemical Safety problems bulletin were published through electronic network, 
becoming a "speakerphone" for different chemical safety issues. Wide central and regional
 media discussion on chemical contamination and safety issues, including cyanide disaster
 in Kyrgyzia, environmental situation in Ukraine, military activity consequences throughout CIS.

    An environmental and medical consequence of heavy pesticide use study was prepared for 
publication. It is a unique and honest information source on the history of pesticide-caused
 disaster in different agricultural regions of the former USSR. People and Earth are still suffering
 from irresponsible decisions made by government, tells the book.

SOCIAL WORK
    Russian State Duma adopted draft law "On social security for workers employed in chemical 
weapon treatment". This document was prepared as an alternative to the one proposed by 
government without enough social provisions for the population.
    The Statement and proposals on chemical safety concerning chemical weapon destruction 
were brought up to Government - see above.
    The Program participated actively in two referendum setting - in Udmurtia on environmentally
 unsafe hardfuel rocket engine treatment plant and in Chuvashia - on lead accumulator treatment plant.
     Program is eager to contact and cooperate with different NGOs working on issues in different 
ways relating to chemical safety problems.

    Contact: Lev Fedorov, e-mail: lefed@glasnet.ru

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GLOBAL (UN)SAFETY
**********************************************************************

SOS! 
RUSSIA - NUCLEAR ATTACK FROM INSIDE
    "State Duma and Minatom turning Russia into world nuclear waste facility" said press conference 
held by SEU on February 8, 1999. Initiated by SEU Nuclear Safety Program leaders, it revealed plans
 of State Duma member to amend Russian environmental legislation in order to allow nuclear 
waste import and storage in the country. This outraging shameless proposal was initiated by 
Minatom, attempting to preserve itself from complete bankruptcy through Tatarstan MP and was
 hastily supported by other Duma fractions representatives except "Yabloko". Minatom is already
 negotiating with Switzerland, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Japan and USA to open Russia 
environment for tons of radioactive garbage. These countries would be happy to get rid of, 
reminded SEU. Today Minatom will do anything for nuclear industry survival, even if it costs 
people's health and threatens country future safety. It's a shame that Duma members elected
 to protect people interests are betraying them.
    SEU called on all NGOs for joint protest campaign. Using Russia as a trashcan for nuclear 
waste will not make this world any safer, in fact it will only promote environmentally unsound 
practices posing threat on global safety.

    You can support us by letters of protest. Please, say that you don't want your unsafe 
garbage to be stored and treated in Russia!!!

    Fax numbers for protest letters: +7 (095) 124-79-34, Center for Coordination and Information 
of Socio-Ecological Union

    As we learned from Bellona, our Norwegian member, countries interested to get rid of 
radioactive waste they have created, are not only looking to Russia as potential storing facility,
 but are actively lobbying changes in Russian legislation as we described above...

ASIAN NUCLEAR WASTE TO RUSSIA?
By: Thomas Nilsen
1999-02-19
    Researchers from Russia and Japan are drawing up a joint proposal to ship 10,000 
tones of spent nuclear fuel from several Asian countries and store it in Russia for 20 years.
    Experts from Russia's Kurchatov Institute and the University of Japan recently designed
 a proposal for shipping spent nuclear fuel from civilian nuclear power plants in Japan, 
South Korea and Taiwan to Russia. The spent nuclear fuel could stored in Russia for several 
decades or reprocessed at a planned RT-2 processor near Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. 

    According to the February edition of Nuclear Engineering International, Russia would make 
$1 billion in the deal; a tremendous amount of money for the bankrupt Russian nuclear industry, 
while much less than Japan spends shipping spent fuel to reprocessing plants in Europe. Japan, 
Taiwan and South Korea are among the few countries in the world still building new nuclear 
power plants. Japan operates 52 reactors.

    Japan's shipments of spent fuel to La Hague (operated by COGEMA, France) and Sellafield 
(operated by British Nuclear Fuel, BNFL, United Kingdom) are reported to be near an end. 
The two European reprocessing plants have accepted a combined 7,100 tones of spent fuel 
from Japan. The proposed deal with Russia amounts to 10,000 tones.

    But current Russian environmental law forbids the import of spent nuclear fuel, although
 this may change. The Russian State Duma, minus the Yabloko fraction, signed a proposal 
in January to amend the Law on Environmental Protection and lift the ban on radioactive 
imports, even if the radioactive waste stays in Russia. 

    Bellona Web has learned from sources in Moscow that Japanese citizens have been 
among the more effective lobbyists for lifting the ban. Minatom is said to have negotiated
 with Japan for several years to ensure the latter would benefit from an early shipment 
contract once the ban was no more. 

    Such information doesn't surprise the anti-nuclear movement in Russia. The Japanese
nuclear industry is said to have hired Minatom to lobby the Russian Duma, helping ensure
 Japan could shed its nuclear waste; something the best scientists in Japan have not been 
able to do. Should Russia's laws be changed, Japan will be among those responsible for
 turning Russia into the world' nuclear waste dump, says Vladimir Slivyak, a co-ordinator 
for the anti-nuclear campaign with the Social Ecological Union in Moscow.

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SEU MEMBERS AT WORK
**********************************************************************

A PERC REPORT: THE GREAT ECOLOGICAL GAME:
WILL CASPIAN SEA OIL LEAD TO ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER?
    A new report by environmental organization Pacific Environment and Resources Center, 
The Great Ecological Game, critiques the current international interest in Caspian oil as a 
threat to the ecosystems and communities of the Caspian Sea, the Caucasus region, the 
Black Sea, and Istanbul, Turkey. Using the newly-opened Azeri Early Oil pipeline as a case 
study, the report offers an analysis of all the stages of oil extraction and transportation from
 the Caspian. It calls into question the risks that the international oil consortium Azerbaijani
 International Operating Company, and the tax-payer supported international financial 
institutions that back it, are placing on the region-s communities and environment. 

    The Azeri Early Oil pipeline runs from Baku, Azerbaijan to Supsa, Georgia. This relatively 
small pipeline is projected to carry 2.5 million tons of oil in 1999 from the oil-rich Caspian 
Sea to the Georgian port of Supsa, where it will be transferred to tankers and shipped to 
world markets--and set a precedent for future oil development in the region. At its inaugural 
ceremony in Georgia on January 8, oil executives celebrated this landmark opening by 
smearing oil over their faces. While these oily exec's personal hygiene may be laughable,
 does it reflect the environmental values they will impose on this region--and the world?

    Through a review of Environmental Impace Assessments and other sources, The Great
 Ecological Game concludes that in the rush for Caspian oil, AIOC overlooked and neglected 
key factors in its construction of oil drilling and transport facilitites. As well, international finance
 institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have failed in their 
pledge of demanding the best international practices in the financial backing of Caspian Oil development.

    The Great Ecological Game provides a comprehensive overview of the region, and the many
 factors which could effect the impact of oil development on the environment. It provides an 
assessment of the flora and fauna in the area, a historical context of the environmental damage
 left by past oil extraction, the danger that local conflicts pose on the integrity of the overground 
pipelines, and the self-serving use of environmental concerns by politicians with geopolitical 
ambitions. It finds that environmental decisions are being undermined by political and economic
 arguments, instead of being judged on a scientifically sound basis.

    According to co-author Doug Norlen, this report brings up many concerns that the oil industry
 and the international finance industry must account for in their future development of the 
Caspian region. By exposing harmful aspects of the Early Oil project, The Great Ecological
 Game provides a critical jumping off point for all future Caspian development. It is meant to foster 
discussion between the oil industry, the media,  the interested government agencies, and citizens
in assuring that if oil extraction from the region occurs, it be done so with the highest regard paid 
to local communities and the environment.

    For a copy of The Great Ecological Game, please call Rory Cox at Pacific Environment and 
Resources Center, or view it on the internet at
www.pacenv.org/caspian.html.
Rory Cox
Pacific Environment and Resources Center
Fort Cronkhite, Building 1055
Sausalito, CA 94965
Tel: 415/332-8200 

SEN PROJECT COMPLETED
    The Sacred Earth Network has completed its main mega-project "Telecommunications for 
Environment". The project, started in 1989, providing CIS NGOs with equipment for e-mail 
access, gave start to now sophisticated and well-developed NGO information network, enabling 
fast information exchange and cooperation. Today this network participants are more than 400 
organizations from more than 60 cities of 15 former USSR republics. SEU CCI, ISAR and PERC 
supported the ETP.

    Last year ETP project parts covered Kamchatka, Southern Siberia, North-West Caucasus, 
Tyan-Shan, Transcaucasia. These regional components were complemented by two issue-targeted 
projects - "Environmental Law" and "Biodiversity Conservation".
    SEN ETP regional components activities gave start to regional NGO "Councils", gathering people
 for specific common problem discussion and solution, thus promoting NGO networking and cooperation.

    The Sacred Earth network has future plans for telecommunications and cooperation development 
in Siberia, Transcaucasia and Kamchatka. Special issue-projects are "Environmental Law", 
"Environment-friendly-housing and Sustainable Development". The last Project has two components
 - "Environmental Settlement Network Development" (jointly with Global Ecovillage Network) and
 "Indigenous People Sustainable Development Problems".
    All these projects are providing for NGO technical support and further network and cooperation
development.

BIOM - KYRGYZSTAN NGO NETWORK DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT
    Young but eager NGOs' movement in Kyrgyzstan today is experiencing different problems
conserning networking and information exchange. To overcome these difficulties BIOM environmental 
youth movement in 1998 has intitated "Kyrgyzstan NGO network development support" project.

    The project aims on local environmental grasroots network support. Within the project framework 
active environmental groups received 3 days training in public involvement into "green" activities, 
learned worldwide examples of various environmental work. Kyrgyz environmental legislation and
 international environmental agreemtns were also an issue. The last training part was a hand-on practice
in environmental actions planing and development.
For year 1999 BIOM has planned to publish five broshures on public participation in environmental
 decision making processes.
    All these activities are to support work and development of Kyrgyz NGO network.

NOVGOROD "ECOLOGIA CLUB":
BURBOTS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN CAR RACES!
    Another attack on Valday National Park was successfully repulsed by environmental NGO network.

    This time threat came from the regional sport committee and local government head - they 
considered beautiful nature reserve and Lake Valdaysky frozen surface in particular the most 
suitable place to have a car-racing contest. As it turned out, for 4 months preparations for the event 
were going on, but somehow none of the participants even had an idea of asking for permission for 
such activities, which is actually foreseen by Russian legislation.

    Th SEU member organization, Novgorod club "Ecologia" was outrageous having learned about the
 plans and preparations. Formal appeals were sent out to all relevant departments, and also information
 on the case was sent out through SEU network to NGOs and media.
    Local authorities, first considering environmental arguments "non-persuasive" suddenly had to face 
protesting international NGO community on one hand, and legal restriction pointed out by environmental 
prosecutor and Valdai National Park head on other. There was nothing left but to agree to the alternative
 place out of the park proposed by the environmentalists.
    Joint NGO efforts preserved Valdai nature from technical intrusion, and no car roaring will disturb
 burbot spawning under the ice of Valday lake.


"SIBERIAN STURGEON" - INSPECTION HELD BY STUDENTS' NGO 
    Siberian sturgeon was in 1998 put on the list of rear and endangered species (Red Book) and thus
 all use of this specie is to be stopped.
    The Tomsk Environmental Students Inspection (TESI) took up the control upon the process, and for
 the last 3 winter months inspections in three regions were held. As the result more than 10 thousand
 of illegal catching gadgets were found and confiscated. Inspections of Tomsk markets were also 
undertaken and over 20 illegal sales were stopped.
Winter months in Tomsk are the time of large amount fish sales, many salespersons are not qualified
 to distinguish between permitted and not permitted for sale fish species. Especially for that case 
TESI press service compiled and published instruction for fish sellers with simple prompts allowing
 to tell the difference.


PUBLIC ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW REGISTERED IN KARELIA
    It took a lot of writing and law citing for Dmitry Rybakov, Karelian Greens Association coordinator,
 to make Petrozavodsk Administration head register public environmental review. The whole case was
 described in the previous SEU Times issue. It is all about uranium mining project near Onega Lake, 
threatening to disrupt local nature system and to cause radioactive contamination of significant area.

    Local authorities were eager to issue the mining license without any state review, despite local and
 international opposition to the project. And that was the point where karelian Greens Association 
brought up the idea of public environmental review of the documents backing up the license. About 
a month Petrozavodsk administration without saying "yes' or "no" kept on trying to persuade 
environmentalists that they are not competent to register the public environmental review as this
 is a local business, and that possible environmental harm will not affect the republic well-being at whole.

    But finally under overwhelming and obvious arguments brought up by Karelian greens authorities 
had to surrender and in the last February decade official answer came about the formal registration of
 the public review. After the documents are handed over, the public expert board consisting of geologists, 
biologists, hydrogeologist, toxicologist, agriculture expert, economist and sociologist will start its work. 


LIVING FOR THE FUTURE
(Written by Children of the Baltic leader Olga Senova)
    January 31 in Lomonosov town NGO "Baltic Children" jointly with Lomonosov's Center for children's
 and youthful environmental tourism have lead traditional environmental seminar for schoolchildren and
 youth, which this year was named "We are to live in 21 century". 

    The seminar participants were the schoolchildren and teachers from Lomonosov, Ropsha,
St. Petersburg, Russko - Vysotskoe, the experts of Biological Institute of SPb State University, 
Local authorities.

    The children's reports were devoted natural territories and objects, which have special value 
for them and need the protection. NGO "Children of the Baltic" try to protect and control the Ancient 
oaks of Peter the First epoch in Lomonosov province, sources and coastal zone of the river Karasta, 
Batareynaya bay and "Bird's lake" on the cape "Kamenny" . 

    The Russko - Vysotskoe school's ecological group has taken under the supervision water spring 
on outskirts of a settlement, part of the Strelka river coast in upper Strelka.

    On the seminar was told about experience of the environmental group of school N 7, Sosnovy Bor,
 which has organized, the public micro-reserve in a forest-park zone on outskirts of city. The senior 
young eco-activists told about their own practical ecological researches of a condition of natural 
reservoirs of a southern part of a Gulf of Finland.

    One of the most interesting works was devoted to influence of various types synthetic detergents 
means to the contents the phosphorus combinations in the wastewater drains and eutrophication of 
natural reservoirs. The guys are ready to inform with the inhabitants: what detergents can harm more 
to our environment- this information will be published in local mass media

    "Children of the Baltic" plan to support international bycicletour, organized by Norwegian cyclists for 
propagation the "ecologically clean" transport and style of life for the next century. In the summer this 
round will pass on a Gulf of Finland shore


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