On Wednesday, Greenpeace published an official statement calling on Russians to sign an online petition against a new parliament bill that could leave their nation’s nature reserves “defenseless” against destruction by “unprincipled” officials.
The bill, which is to be considered next month by the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, will change the federal law on protected national reserves by simplifying the procedures of turning protected forests and other territories into average land lots that could then become recreational areas or used for construction.
It was submitted by Vladimir Kashin, chairman of the Duma’s committee on natural resources, who expects the bill to change the limits of protected areas due to “their loss of special environmental, scientific or other value”.
“It means that if some unprincipled official or entrepreneur wants to build a cottage in a nature reserve, nothing can prevent him from arranging a small fire in the area of his liking and then prove that the area has lost any value,” Greenpeace said in a statement posted on its website. “A legally prescribed ecological evaluation will not solve the problem because it is very unlikely to prevent the exclusion of the land from the list of protected areas.”
Greenpeace calls Russians to sign an online petition pushing for Kashin to revoke the bill and to save Russian unique natural preserves, including world heritage sites.
Author: Julia Alieva