February 26, 2008

Environmentalists lodge new complaint in Brussels over Natura 2000

The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) announced it has alerted the European Commission about infringement on the Europe-wide network of protected sites Natura 2000, the organisation said in a statement on February 25 2008.

The complaint claims that unique natural habitats in the north-eastern Kaliakra region have been destroyed in the process of building a wind farm. It has been backed by 12 other environmental and civil non-governmental organisations. The environmentalists believe that Kaliakra “is emblematic of how innovations and investment are used to mask criminal encroachment on bio-diversity”. The complaint package includes documents, photos and maps showing the damage that the wind farm projects have done to nature.

The past few weeks alone have seen the mounting of 29 new wind generator blades along Via Pontica, a major bird migration route, BSPB said. All of these are part of a wind farm project that is being built by Bulgarian construction firm Inos 1. The project is located entirely on what should have been Natura 2000 land.

BSPB go on to explain that Kaliakra was one of the areas whose inclusion in Natura 2000 was first delayed and then shrunk down to a third of the original proposal, in order to make room for the wind farm.

In their previous complaint to the European Commission over Natura 2000, in July 2007, the environmentalists accused the Government of designating too few sites and delaying the list of areas for inclusion in Natura 2000.

There are a total of 196 projects for the construction of wind-parks in the Kaliakra area, located on the Bulgarian northern Black Sea coastline. Investment plans in the region include the construction of hotels, holiday homes, golf courses and new roads. None of these projects have received environmental impact assessment or assessment for compatibility with Natura, BSPB representatives claim. If, and when, those projects are completed, they would cause environmental damages to 17 per cent of the already trimmed zone Kaliakra Natura 2000 area.

Desislava Leshtarska

Sofia Echo

26 February 2008

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2008/02/26/environmentalists-lodge-new-complaint-in-brussels-over-natura-2000/