ACTIONS
2008-09-03 06:29:51

Limited Economic Activity with Unlimited Consequences

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   There is no other way to describe what is going on in Kazakhstan’s specially protected natural territories.  In the Ile-Alatau National Park, aside from the construction of resorts, restaurants, sports facilities and nightclubs, sanitary felling of the forests is taking place in practically all of the gorges. According to the law, this is permitted, but must be conducted in strict compliance with established rules.
    That which we see in the photographs is more like the industrial preparation of timber in the vast expanses of Siberia than of sanitary felling.  Is this really sanitary felling?  Maybe the forest plots are being cleared for the construction of the next private restaurants and cottages?  Or to make money on the sale of timber?  Did the initiators of these clearings consider the environmental and social consequences?  Isn’t the sanitary felling of forests being conducted too widely and uncontrollably in the national parks?
That which we see in the photographs is more like the industrial preparation of timber in the vast expanses of Siberia than of sanitary felling.  Is this really sanitary felling?  Maybe the forest plots are being cleared for the construction of the next private restaurants and cottages?  Or to make money on the sale of timber?  Did the initiators of these clearings consider the environmental and social consequences?  Isn’t the sanitary felling of forests being conducted too widely and uncontrollably in the national parks?

During the course of last year’s verification of the legality of construction in the environs of Almaty, in particular in the specially protected natural territories, the Office of the Public Prosecutor revealed hundreds of violations.  The Administration of the Ile-Alatau National Park and the Forestry Committee do not recognize the conclusions of the Office of the Public Prosecutor.  The Office of the Public Prosecutor, in turn, is not taking any actions.

We demand that changes are incorporated into the Law “On Specially Protected Natural Territories” in order to bring it into compliance with international standards.  We demand that the all felling be limited on specially protected natural territories, in accordance with the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s 1st and 2nd categories of classification (that is, in national parks).  We demand that the controls be tightened for conducting sanitary felling in national parks and other specially protected natural territories.  To limit economic activity in the national parks only to those activities necessary to ensure the preservation and functioning of the park, and services to its visitors.  To ban any activity related to hunting, fishing, and cattle breeding, and the construction and operation of hotels, campsites, museums and other tourism service objects directly on the territories of specially protected natural territories.  We demand that the types of activities described above be shifted to the buffer zones that should be created around parks and zapovedniks in accordance with acting legislation.