Vladimir Putin, the President of Russian Federation
Government of the Russian Federation on 26.12.2011 approved plans to develop copper-nickel mining in Voronezh region. This venture threatens the whole Chernozem (Black Earth) Region — the key agricultural area in Russia, which also has crucial importance for the global food security agenda.
In the Central Black Earth Region only agricultural production can and should be realized. The local rural population should decide what kind of economic and agricultural production is carried out. Otherwise, ten thousands of small producers and countrymen would be forced to restructure their firms.
Apart from economic losses, the potential damage to the hydrological system of the region will undeniably affect the Azov basin.
The use of water from underground aquifers will lead to the shallowing of Khoper and partial devastation of the floodplain Khoper Nature Reserve. Water diversion for technological purposes is unavoidable: one part of concentrate “consumes” about 50 parts of water in the process of its production. Such plans of a un-sustainable economic development are also putting a threat to the Russian and global water security.
Khoper Nature Reserve is a nature reserve lying 15 km away from the outer edge of currently proved ore deposits. The nature reserve has the status of a key ornithological area of European significance, encompassing the habitats of the rare white-tailed eagle, the peregrine falcon, the golden eagle, and occasional breeding grounds of the great bustard and the little bustard. The nature reserve gained international publicity as the habitat of a relict animal – the Russian Desman. Last year its population has sharply dropped down and the role of Khoper Nature Reserve in its conservation has considerably increased. Scientists of the nature reserve with the help of WWF Russia are keeping specification of count of the animals inhabiting the floodplain of Khoper.
Another natural feature located in close vicinity of the ore deposits is the Telermanovsky Forest – 40,000 ha of relict tree stands dominated by oak, including 200–300-year specimens.
This is a forest area of global importance since it’s unusual for oak forests to cover such large areas at present time.
The situation in the Voronezh region has been highlighted by various Russian non-governmental, political and human rights organizations. Environmentalists unanimously acknowledge the extreme hazards associated with the project; WWF, Greenpeace, Bellona are seriously worried about the decision to mine for non-ferrous metals so close to conservation sites and in such densely populated areas. Scientists and human rights activists have also addressed the Russian President and the Governor of Voronezh region demanding that the bidding results are cancelled and the mining of these deposits is vetoed.
You can read more about this case here http://savekhoper.ru/?page_id=1699
As for now, no legal actions of civil society on this problem was succesfull. Russian government and mining company uses all legal and illegal ways to move civil sociaty out of this problem - here you can see an example of how the russian police helps bandits to threat ecological activists https://twitter.com/GraniTweet/status/334027151714160640/photo/1/large
Now only the world media coverage of problem can help us to stop the disaster and even save ecological activists from the bandits
Please sign the pitition and tell others about this problem, help us to bring it to world level media agenda.