HABITAT AND SPECIES PROTECTION MUST
NOT BECOME VICTIMS OF NATURAL RESOURCE EXPLOITATION
By electronic mail (staff please forward personally) to:
Mr Jirko Malcharek
Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic
and Minister for Economy
Production and Network Industries Section
Info copy for attention of:
Prof. Dr. László Miklós
Minister for the Environment
It is with great dismay that I/we have learnt of proposals to change the Slovakian
mining law, giving priority to exploitation of natural resources over conservation, nature protection and local recreational
Since joining the European Union in 2004 Slovakia
has researched and nominated Specially Protected Areas (SPAs) as part of the Natura 2000 programme and the proposals have
been accepted in Brussels. It now rests with the Slovakian
Government to confirm these sites and afford them the required protection.
Planned mining operations in the neighbourhood of Kremnica, Kosice
and Dubnica nad Váhom, are either planned within proposed SPAs or sufficiently adjacent as to adversely affect protected bird
species and their habitats and, in the case of Kosice, could
represent a hazard to human life or health.
At threat are important European populations of endangered bird species, and their
breeding habitats, such as the Eastern Imperial Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, and Ural Owl. Other species threatened include
the Black Stork, Black, Three-toed and White-backed Woodpeckers, Capercaillie, Pygmy Owl, Hazel Grouse and other species of
community concern according to SPA designation criteria.
Passing the new mining law in its present form, ignoring conservation and local
recreational interests, would undermine the Slovakian Natura 2000 programme and offend against national nature protection
laws, the Slovak Constitution and the European Union Birds and Habitat Directives.
I/We urge you to accept the advice of your national non-governmental organisations
(e.g. SOSNA, SOVS, and VLK/WOLF) and remove all controversial clauses which would lead to contravention of Slovakian and EU
legislation and this could lead to legal sanctions being imposed by the EU if SPAs and SCIs are not designated ad planned.
We will be writing separately to Mr Stavros Dimas, EU Commissioner for the Environment to bring the matter to his attention.
In the hope that you will once again take account of legitimate international interest
and concern in our common European natural resources I/we remain,
(Name and address)