“To Let Nature Remains in Bulgaria” Coalition of 17 nature conservation organizations together with jurists presented new scandal facts on the illegal construction of ski zone near Panichishte and Sedemte ezera in the Rila National Park on November 20th 2007.
Toma Belev from the Association of Parks in Bulgaria, Konstantin Dichev from Green Balkans, Tzveta Hristova from For the Earth, Svilen Ovcharov, a lawyer from the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and Katerina Rakovska from WWF DCP attended the press-conference.
Data and proof for the following violations were revealed:
- 20 dka of the area of Rila NP misappropriated /comparison of the maps shows that 10 dka are misappropriated from the road Panichishte – Pionerska and other 10 dkas - from the area of the Panichishte resort/
- Despite the sanctions imposed by RIEW for the proven violations, it is obvious that the Panichishte – Ezerata – Kabul resort is still being constructed. Vacation apartments are being sold even though they are not built yet.
- The ski-tracks under construction are disguised as “fire prevention cuttings”, what makes the construction legal while forest areas are indeed being felled for the ski-track construction. In addition to that, they perfectly match the fire prevention cuttings provided for in the general structure plan.
- A great deal of the land near the Rila NP has been pre-categorized as municipal ownership and then sold by the Municipality of Sapareva Banya to the investor – Rila Sport through doubtful deals and in complete contradiction to the public interest.
- A nature-lover suffered slight injury while a German journalist was threatened with murder during the civic actions in support of Rila and against the illegal constructions.
The Panichishte case is only an emblem of what is happening in Rila and the other Bulgarian municipalities. The scheme is one and the same and has already been applied along the Black Sea Coast and Bansko, according to the nature-lovers. Our common natural heritage is threatened by investors and municipalities proposing 12 projects for ski resorts in our national and natural parks.
The coalition has sent a 1000-page-report on the violations and evidences to Europol.
For further information:
Documents and maps: http://forthenature.org/documents/2