Georgia has turned “green” because of Sochi-201418.02.2010 | 09:11
The 2014 Olympic Games are facing an ecological catastrophe. In the opinion of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the construction process in Sochi has got from under the environmental groups' control. The ecological experts were supported by the Georgians who have got their own bone to pick with the Russian government. The experts try to forecast the outcome of the confrontation.
The Georgian MFA has made a special statement in respect of the ecological situation concerning the building of the Olympic facilities in Sochi. He supported the apprehension of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russian representative office.
The Fund experts refused to perform the so-called "ecological maintenance" of the activities of the Olympstroy state corporation, so long as they do not see any sense in it. The nature has already been "irreversibly damaged; still, there is a chance to minimize further negative effect", - their statement says. However, the notes and suggestions made by the ecological experts are consistently ignored, while the fighters for nature are not allowed to the construction sites, being arrested and fined.
According to the specialists, by its refusal WWF shuns the responsibility for the ecological crimes allowed in the course of the Olympic construction.
Thus, the Georgians and the ecological experts have got a common purpose, that is, to prevent the construction process.
Russian figure-skater, Olympic winner Ilya Averbukh has called these statements "lot of fuss about nothing" which does not deserve any comments. "There are always some grounds for the ecologists' protest, and Georgia certainly cannot miss the chance to bite Russia", - he said in his interview to GeorgiaTimes.
However, Georgia assured us of having sufficient grounds for concern because of the environmental disruption, although the indignation of the oppositional Georgian Greens party seems to be aroused mostly by the use of the Abkhaz natural resources, which Tbilisi claims to be its own property.
"We are against the Olympic Games because the Georgian resources are used for the construction. They are destroying the nature of Abkhazia", - an active oppositionist, Secretary General of the party Georgiy Gachechiladze has stated in his interview to GeorgiaTimes.
"Besides, we are worried about the fact that the facilities being constructed damage the unique national park of Sochi and the Caucasian natural park which is put on the list of the most valuable protected zones of the world. That is the reason. One should also say that the Russian government infringes Article 13 of the Olympic Charter. Every ecological standard has been infringed, and the Olympic Games should not be held", - Gachechiladze says.
In the opinion of the Georgian oppositionist, it is not yet late to stop the Olympic construction project. "The fight goes on. The European non-governmental organizations, the European Greens party, the Georgian Greens party and, I believe, the Abkhaz non-governmental ecological organizations should demand that the Olympics should not be held because they are breaking the ecological balance not only in the territory of Russia but in the territory of Georgia as well. Let them pick another location in Russia", - Gachechiladze advises; in his opinion, it is still possible to change the Olympic construction project within the remaining four years.
Unlike the Georgian ecological experts and politicians, the members of the Russian ecological movement realize that the decision to transfer the Olympics to Sochi is purely political. That is why, they are insisting upon the minimization of the damage.
"Some of the Olympic facilities are already built; significant damage has been caused to the natural complexes of the Sochi national park in Krasnaya Polyana near the Psekhako ridge, where the Gazprom facilities were built. Serious damage has been also caused by the illegal construction of a joint Adler-Krasnaya Polyana road that has been going on for one year and a half already; a river was seriously harmed there. Besides, the damage has been caused by the current construction of the Olympic sports and infrastructure facilities in the Imeretinskaya lowlands", - Deputy Coordinator of the Ecological Watch in the North Caucasus Dmitriy Kaptsov described the situation in his interview to GeorgiaTimes.
As he underlined, it is not yet late to stop the construction of the joint road. "This is the largest facility in terms of the budget and construction volumes and it is one of the most dangerous facilities for the environment of the Sochi national park. It is also dangerous for the Games, for it is built along one of the main rivers of Mzymta: it supplies water for more than a half of the city. There is a great danger of socio-ecological catastrophe for the city of Sochi", - the ecological expert explained.
When asked about the alternatives offered by the "greens", Kaptsov responded that the existing road may be just expanded on the right bank of the river, which will reduce the damage and the budget and the modern road will be built in time.