On April 16, information space of capital, the inhabitants of which were already choking with smoke by that time, stirred up photos of charred animals who died in a large-scale fire in the territory of the Holosiivskyi National Park. UA-Times trip to area showed that the interests of influential developers may be behind the fire.
Large fire in national park
On Thursday afternoon, April 16, on official page of Holosiivskyi National Nature Park, information appeared about a large-scale fire in the reserve.
According to leadership of National Park, cause of the fire could be arson of dry grass on the territory that borders the reserve. Also in the National Park noted the rapid spread of fire, which greatly complicated its location and greatly delayed the process of put out fire.
The flame was so strong that smoke from the fire covered a significant part of Holosiivskyi district in capital. People could not open the windows of their own houses during the day, and some fires continued till morning of April 17th.
As a result of the fire, several dozen hectares of protected lands were damaged. The exact losses caused to nature as a result of the fire disaster are still being specified. However, another fact is indisputable – they are irreparable. Dozens of species of “IUCN” Red List animals that lived there, turned into charred bodies.
Unfortunately, that the middle of spring is a period of breeding in animals. Therefore, most likely, that these are not all victims of fire. The most revealing is the story of a little beaver who, in the hope of escape, greatly charred and without eyes, crawled out of forest to people. but, veterinarians who arrived failed to save him.
Fire site check
On morning of April 17, UA-Times reporters, along with public activists and government officials, decided to visit the place of fire in order to find out all details of the terrible fire, and most importantly, to understand the exact cause of it.
“All the time, calls:“ We have a fire, ”but we say,“ It’s not on our duty place, ”but we need to go. And in the fire place they say:“ It’s not yours, ”Vyacheslav Potapenko, director of Holosiivskyi National Nature Park, begins to explain the problem, According to him, the fire in this part of the reserve is not the first time, but the leadership of the National Park cannot take preventive measures (for example, to create a fire ditch), because the buffer zone of the reserve, which is a migration corridor of many of these animals, has recently become private property!
Land plots, which in due time managed “handed out” to the Khodosovsky Village Council, whose jurisdiction extends to these territories have inconspicuous language for their intended purpose like mowing and grazing and for individual gardening.”However, as you know, the devil is in details. In our case, in sales ads.”
A place for perfect life !
So, for the second year in a row, a certain company AVM DEVELOPMENT GROUP, offers everyone to invest in “a place for your perfect life!”
Today, entrepreneurs today proudly call “New Koncha-Zaspa” (“New Koncha-Zaspa CRYSTAL”, to be exact), a cozy corner for, not otherwise than “ideal life”. The cost of housing here starts from 1.46 million UAH. For this amount, the developer offers a “European-quality highway”, “kindergarten, school, playgrounds and sports grounds” and, most importantly, “breathe clean, forest air every day!”
Regarding the latter development company whose authorized capital reaches only UAH 1000 !, even cites exact figures: “650 species of trees – which you will see regularly while walking around Holosiivskyi Park.” It is a pity, however, that these data have been irrelevant for several days already – fire destroyed not only part of the territories of the future housing, but also turned a considerable territory of the adjacent protected lands into ashes.
Second turn to be!
“It burns out all the time, and here the peat bogs. Here – they drained it, there – burn out.All together they want to equalize and fall in asleep and build cottages. And we have a conservation area, ” – Vyacheslav Potapenko emotionally comments on the situation with frequent fires in the forest. The main cause of fires, in his opinion, is precisely the desire of the “local” businessmen to build up forest areas adjacent to the territory of National Park.
For example, the same company, “AVM DEVELOPMENT GROUP”, is actively developing the buffer sections of the reserve, which most conveniently stretched around the national significance highway “Kyiv – Znamenka” (the continuation of Dnieper highway). However, this is far from the end of ambitious plans of the developer. “There they already built up on the other side, since from that highway, They put up a fence and that’s all … And here everything has been distributed for a long time. For us, this is a big problem, because we can’t affecte them in any way, ”director of NPP explained.
The tactics of entrepreneurs is quite simple – occupying more and more new sites, the developer, as if in a vice, covers the territory of the holosiivskyi NPP. As a result, the construction is funded by investor owners of the cottages, and the park is funded by the state. The fact that wild animals do not have a cadastral map and do not know anything, where exactly the border of the reserve passes, the builder is a little embarrassed. This is not a particular concern for the state, which, since the National Reserve was founded, could not make its borders in kind, and also did not take care of granting special status to the buffer (transitional) sections that separate between human environment and wildlife.
According to environmentalists and activists, such frivolity of officials is only in the hands of developer. Realizing that the negligence and irresponsibility of power ranks is not eternal, he is already trying to “clear the way” for new construction, while destroying elements of the ecosystem that may be protected, and therefore the basis for granting special status to the territory. Moreover, the “clearing” in the direct understanding of this word is to burn, cut, dry.
This opinion is shared by public eco-activist Mikhail Pogrebisky. He is sure that the fire that occurred the day before at the Holosiivskyi NNP is a deliberate arson. “All these arsons are undoubtedly artificial in order to burn this land with trees, vegetation and to develop these plots for building cottages,” ecologist said.
Pogrebisky considers deliberate arson only “side” phenomenon, the primary basis of which was the illegal privatization of land, that are part of the reserve’s ecosystem.
Together with Mikhail and the assistant to the people’s deputy from the political party “Servant of the people” in the ashes we also managed to find dredger that worked simply among the charred remains of trees and scorched earth. According to miners, the City-O company carries out its activities here, which, as the workers assured us, works by order of the Pleso utility company (hereinafter – KP Pleso) and is engaged in nothing more than … beautification the lake, however, workers could not remember it name.
The legitimacy of the activities of entrepreneurs, as well as the observance of the boundaries of KP “Pleso’s” own powers regarding the improvement of the lake outside the city, was transferred to deputy control.
We risk losing the most valuable
Wandering through the vast expanses of lifeless ashes, into which a flowering forest turned yesterday, we managed to see several of local fauna. The white-tailed eagle, which is officially listed in Red Book of Ukraine, as a rare endangered species in the middle Dnieper region, hovered over the charred logs of yesterday’s trees, as if searching for something with its sharp eyesight. Nearby, in the lake “Shaparnya”, which, fortunately, is still partly included in Holosiivskyi park, a small swan (Cygnus bewickii Yarrell) found shelter. These bird species have conservation status: rare.
Nature seemed to seek salvation from silence of the fiery darkness, which firmly bound her here. However, he will find it, because the fires in Holosiivskyi park have begun to be systemic, which even his leadership does not refute. And most importantly, how she, nature, can be helped in this, because she, the land, has already been handed out in private hands and is only waiting for her new landlord.
According to Mikhail Pogrebysky, there is only one way out – wide publicity of the problem on the part of environmental public and international environmental organizations, and most importantly, the intervention of authorized law enforcement agencies, primarily the prosecutor’s office. After all, the root of the problem is far from surface, the eco-activist is sure, he lies deep in the legal plane. In particular, this concerns issues of the legality of obtaining the land plots mentioned above in private ownership, as well as their systematic transition through a series of third parties to a potential developer. “Without proper public outcry and interference by the state’s authorized bodies, we risk losing one of the most valuable parts of “Holosiivskyi NPP,” Pogrebisky noted.