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Appeal - Ecological Catastrophe in the Black Sea

22.08.2008
Appeal, Ecological Disaster in the Georgian Black Sea Littoral Zone

Georgian Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Embassies of the Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Russia
Local and International Organizations
Permanent Secretariat for the Protection of Black Sea Pollution
Secretariat of Ramsary Convention
Independent Experts of Environment
International Community

Appeal

Concerning the ecological disaster resulting from the spillage of a vast amount of oil after Russian forces bombed the area of the Black Sea in Georgia

Russian occupation forces blew up and sank Georgian ships in the port Poti, and consequently a substantial amount of oil (diesel and petrol), were spilled directly into the Black Sea.

Occupation forces did not allow local environmental organizations to assess the situation and to estimate the exact amount of spilled oil. Experts assessed that nearly 50-70 tones of oil has been released into the Black Sea. Such a vast amount of oil released into the Black Sea is unprecedented.

At the moment of the incident, responsible port authorities were not allowed to make use of containment and emergency response procedures to keep the oil spill from increasing in size. This is the normal procedure order to reduce the amount of the environmental damage as much as possible.

Because of the nature of the water current for the Georgian coast of the Black Sea the oil was carried away in the Northern direction of Poti. The littoral sector of the Kolkheti National Park is located 5 kilometers away from the scene of the oil spill incident. The National Park is famous for its unique biological diversity, and it is located within a wetland territory designated of international importance (Ramsari territory).

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and environmental organizations are not allowed to work in the area, and as a result they are unable to fully estimate the exact damage. However, based on the scale of the spillage without corresponding evidence-base we can estimate that the seaside sector of the Kolkheti National Park and surrounding territory face an environmental disaster and it might have a long-term negative impact on the eco system of the Black Sea.

We appeal to the above-mentioned institutions and organizations to involve the catastrophic situation and demand Russian authority to allow the Georgian government and environmental organizations to localize the oil spilled into the sea and reduce the impact of a regional ecological disaster.

Signatures:

Association Flora and Fauna
CENN Caucasian Environmental Network of NGOs
REC Regional Environmental Center of Caucasus
Georgian Association for Support of Nature


 

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