- Organisation of public discussions on the harbour building projects in the
Eastern Baltic sea
One of the intrinsic elements of the modern liberal democracy is active participation of the public in the political decision making. In Russia this mechanism of taking decisions has just started.
The Green Line Information Centre perceives the organisation of public discussions on the building of new harbours in the East Baltic basin as one of its priorities. Since the early 1990s, various organisations and politicians has taken part in projects on the Baltic sea environmental protection. All projects differed in the estimation of the possible freight traffic in the future harbours, in their financial sources, and results. What united them was the lack of professional expertise on the environme
ntal, social and humanitarian effects of the realisation of the projects and the lack of public involvement.
This is especially true for the Primorsk harbour project since in its implementation political concerns overrun the economic ones.
The Primorsk oil harbour project started developing since 1993. It is a part of a large project of the building of a Baltic pipeline sysmem realised by Transneft, a Russian stock company. The Primorsk harbour is viewed by the Russian politicians mainly as a way to increase the profit from the oil sale. At the same time the prospects of harbour building excite apprehension in Russian and foreign evironmentalists. The reseach done proves that the building of pipelines and oil terminals in the coastal re
sort zone which is moreover situated near by preservation parks( the Viborg's and Birch islands) would be extremely dangerous for the environment. As a result the unrest among the population, affected by these building projects, increases.
Despite the enforcement of environment protection laws and the desire of the Transneft officials to work with the people of the region, cooperation between them has not taken place so far. It can be partly explained by Russia's insufficient experience in public policy and the lack of a series of documents in the environment legislation. To this moment Green Line has at its disposal a large database of both newspaper publications and technical documents about the Primorsk harbour. We also cooperate with
the firms which ordered and designed the project, local and regional government officials, Russian and international environmental organisations. At the same time, we constantly work with the population, regularly organise public opinion polls and inform the people of the environmental situation and dangers.
We plan to publish a special informational and analytical paper( that we are determined to publish regularly in the future), in which we will develop and systematise in popular language the current information on the project, discuss different points of view, provide professional opinions, photomaterials, and many others.
At present we are preparing to open a full-time working centre on the problems of harbour building in Primorsk. The Centre will also coordinate the work on the public discussions' organised according to the Russian laws.
The Vysotski chemical project was started to organise the building of a specialised terminal at the western coast of the Big Visotski island. It is designed to carry fluid ammonia and methanol from the railway station to the sea harbour--1 million tons of each product a year. The chemicals would come to Visotski in special cisterns, then they would be transferred to reservoirs of 5 to 20 thousand cubic meter volume, and then to tankers. A new pier is planned to be built especially for the shifting of th
e chemicals. The project is sponsored by Balthimeksport.
The Vysotski harbour was designed to be the first and so far the only specialised chemical port in Russia. However, the environmental aspects of the project rise certain apprehension. The danger of fluid ammonia is well-known, but methanol is even more dangerous: the national commettee on standards considers it poison of third category directly affecting the nervous and vascular systems. The harbour is planned to shift from 75 to 87 cisterns a day, plus 115 to 165 cisterns of fluid ammonia. On the oth
er hand, the Vyborg and Birch island national parks, in which rare plants, fish, and animals live, are adjacent to the harbour.
Two other projects, the building of fluid gas shipment terminal in Ermolovskoi bay and wood shipment port on the Lisyi island, are still in the first phase of their implementation and possibly would not be realised. Nevertheless, they even now present a certain danger for the environment, for example, during the preparation period the Baltia ship of 1745 ton volume was drowned, and it did not enhance the environmental situation of the Vyborg bay.
The whole complex of harbour buildings can hardly be incorporated into the idea of the development of the Baltic coastline as a recreational area. Certainly, the main danger for the people and the environment can rise in case of breakdown, still, in the normal work of the harbours is planned environmeantally dangerous leakage of the transported chemicals.
Research and diminishing of the distracted pollution and enhancement of
the Vyborg bay environment
The Green Line centre cooperates with the local government and the state environment control commettee as part of the Rus finnopoint project. The project which is financed by the EU TASIS programme, is directed towards the enhancement of the Vyborg bay environmental situation.
At present we gather and summerise the data on distracted polution in the Baltic sea, and estimate its influence on the environmental stability. After that, the teams will prepare recommendations towards the population and for legislative changes towards the government. The purpose of this is to decrease the distracted polution in the Vyborg bay. The Green Line centre provides all the needed information on russian side.
Participation in the Protection of the Rare Fish Spawning,
preparation and publishing of papers for fishermen
The Green Line centre cooperates with the Vyborg intercity federal fish inspection. The centre participates in raids against poachers, and prepares information matereals. Right now takes place the preparation on the publishing of special papers for amateur fishermen.
Publishing of environmental newspaper on the Karelia straits
Since the last May Green Line cooperartes with the Gardarika design
studio and with international electronic list of ENWL, publishes the
Environmental News from the Karelia Straits monthly which is broadcasted
on e-mail and internet. The monthly is based on materials taken from local
newspapers, official information, our own analytical writings, etc.
You can subscribe for the newspaper
at the electronic address of the site is firstname.lastname@example.org
See the last issues:
July 1999 English/Russian
August 1999 English/Russian
September 1999 English/Russian
Compilation and Placement of maps on the environmental situation in the Karelia
straits in Internet
We started preparing the maps on the environmental situation in the Karelia straits that will soon enter the Internet.
Cleaning of the coast and the bottom of the coastal area of the Vyborg bay
Together with the Vyborg sea club and children environmenta; groups, the Green Line centre prepares the cleaning of the bottom of the Vyborg bay and its picturesque coastlines.