Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Romanian NGOs alert EU to 'violations' of protected areas


BUCHAREST — Three Romanian environmental organisations filed complaints to the European Commission targetting several "violations" of protected areas in Romania, they said Tuesday.

"We are here to send a very strong message to those assaulting the environment in an irrecoverable way, and to authorities whom, by their passivity, are accomplices", said Gabriel Paun, chairman of Agent Green NGO, in a press conference.

His association, a WWF partner, together with the NGOs Milvus and the Society of Carpatians in Ardeal, alerted Brussels to nine cases, concerning environmental alterations done without authorisation or proper impact study, according to them.

They criticised the construction of a national road to cross two national parks, Retezat and Domogled-Valea Cernei, in a south-western area home to one of the last "intact forest landscape" in Europe, according to Paun.

Another complaint targets the location of a windfarm in a south-eastern area through which 10,000 predatory birds and 20,000 storks pass each autumn, according to Tamas Papp, who heads Milvus.

"Investors, with a few exceptions, don't consider environmental protection laws as an obligation which they have to follow, but they see them as obstacles they need to avoid, by using more or less legal solutions", Paun said.

Contacted by AFP, the Romanian National agency for environment protection declined to make immediate comment on the issue, but said that it was preparing a press conference to address the subject.

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