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To everyone who cares about the fate of National Parks! (10.07.2009)

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    The people of the Republic of Kazakhstan express great concern for the planned “Moinak Electricity Transmission Project”, prepared by the joint stock company “Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company” (KEGOC). According to this plan, construction is proposed for two 220 kV overhead transmission lines (OHTL), which will connect the Moinak Hydro Power Plant on the Charyn River (Raimbek District, Almaty Oblast) with acting electricity grids.  It is planned that OHTL will cross through the territory of the Charyn and Altyn-Emel national parks.  KEGOC has applied for project financing from the World Bank.
   An open letter with the demand to make changes in the project in order to move OHTL away from the borders of national parks, was supported by 85 citizens and different organizations in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, who care about the fate of these unique corners of nature. The Ecological Society Green Salvation thanks everyone who supported the letter!
    On May 19, the letter was sent to the President, the Parliament, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Forestry and Hunting Committee, and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
    On June 1, the Minister of Agriculture, A. K. Kurishbaev, responded to an open public letter regarding the Moinak Electricity Transmission Project.  According to the Minister's letter, published on the official blog, “the Forestry and Hunting Committee proposed that “Energostroiproekt” Ltd., which is selecting and coordinating the route of the overhead transmission lines (OHTL), consider the possibility of constructing OHTL outside the boundaries of the Altyn-Emel and Charyn national parks” (letter #25-02-09-25/2611 from 05/20/2009).
Letter from the Chairman of the Forestry and Hunting Committee (# 25-02-09-25/2710, June 1, 2009) (doc, 21 KB).

Letter from the Committee for Environmental Regulation and Control of the Ministry for Environment Protection (# 06-03-01-6/6337, June 12, 2009) (doc, 23 KB).

Letter from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (# 07-03-5221, June 12, 2009) (doc, 21 KB).

Letter from the Ministry of Agriculture # 14-1-2-4/656 (June 15, 2009) (doc, 21 KB).

Letter from the Committee for Agrarian Issues and Environmental Protection of the RK Senate # Jur-231 (June 19, 2009) (doc, 21 KB).

June 19, 2009 CEE Bankwatch Network, partner of the Ecological Society Green Salvation, received the World Bank response, stating that the Bank proposes revising the Moinak Electricity Transmission Project and placing the OHTL outside the territory of the national parks.

June 22, 2009 CEE Bankwatch Network, partner of the Ecological Society Green Salvation, sent letter to World Bank regarding threat of legal actions by KEGOC.




President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Ministry of Environment Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Forestry and Hunting Committee of Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan

OPEN LETTER

Dear Sirs!

The people of the Republic of Kazakhstan express great concern for the planned “Moinak Electricity Transmission Project”, prepared by the joint stock company “Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company” (KEGOC).

According to this plan, construction is proposed for two 220 kV overhead transmission lines (OHTL), which will connect the Moinak Hydro Power Plant (HPP) on the Charyn River (Raimbek District, Almaty Oblast) with acting electricity grids.  It is planned that OHTL will cross through the territory of the Charyn and Altyn-Emel national parks.  KEGOC has applied for project financing from the World Bank (http://www.kegoc.kz/page.php?page_id=625&lang=1).

According to the July 7, 2006 Law “On Specially Protected Natural Territories”, “any activity not in accordance with their designated purpose is prohibited on the grounds of specially protected natural territories” (Articles 23, 45 and 48).  The June 20, 2003 Land Code (Articles 122 and 123) and other normative legal acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan also forbid the non-purposive use of the grounds of specially protected natural territories.

Planned OHTL will cut across the Charyn Canyon—a specially protected natural territory of nationwide significance, which is part of a list of land plots that hold special environmental and scientific value, in accordance with the June 30, 2005 Government Decree #657.

In 2002, the Government included the Altyn-Emel national park in the tentative list of objects nominated for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List (http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/1682/).

The implementation of the KEGOC “Moinak Electricity Transmission Project” will lead to violation of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s legislation on specially protected natural territories, threatening the environmental integrity of the national parks.  The construction and use of OHTL will have a negative effect on the habitats and migration paths of the wildlife of these territories, which includes species contained in the Kazakhstan’s Red Book.  Moreover, the construction significantly threatens the visual uniqueness of the mountainous and plains landscape of these territories, which are highly attractive to tourists.

To date, there is no report that the Forestry and Hunting Committee—a special authorized state body, whose jurisdiction includes national parks and other natural territories—has coordinated this project (Forestry and Hunting Committee Letter # 25-02-09-25/651 from 02/25/2009).  Thereby a new request was sent to the Committee.

We demand strict compliance with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which prohibits the construction of OHTL on the grounds of specially protected natural territories, in particular on the grounds of national parks.

We demand that changes be made to the plan for the “Moinak Electricity Transmission Project” in order to place OHTL outside of the borders of the Charyn and Altyn-Emel national parks and their protection zones.

We demand that the public receive timely, detailed information on the development and coordination of the project.  We demand that the public be brought into the decision-making process on issues regarding the construction of OHTL in strict accordance with the Aarhus Convention (Article 6 and Annex I, Point 17).



The Ecological Society Green Salvation.


This letter was supported by 85 citizens and different organizations in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.