Russia: Sochi National Park to become playground for fat cats?

This video from Russia is about the Sochi Olympics preparations.

From the New Zealand Herald:

Pristine park resort for Russia‘s rich

Saturday September 16, 2006

By Andrew Osborn

RUSSIA – Russian ecologists have launched a last-ditch legal battle to save one of Europe’s most pristine national parks from being turned into a sprawling winter sports complex for Russia’s rich.

Greenpeace Russia accuses the Kremlin of putting profits and sport before the environment by approving a £6billion ($17.5 billion) project to turn the area surrounding the Black Sea resort of Sochi into a ski resort fit to host an Olympic Games.

The area includes one of the few large mountain ranges in Europe – the Western Caucasus – that has not experienced significant human impact.

Its sub-alpine pastures have only been grazed by wild animals, many unique to the region, and tourist numbers have traditionally been restricted.

But all that looks set to change after President Vladimir Putin, who famously loves Sochi’s snow-covered mountains for skiing and its subtropical climate for sunbathing, threw his weight behind the city’s bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

In an attempt to edge out rivals Salzburg in Austria and Pyongchang in South Korea, he has sanctioned an ambitious building programme to transform the region and appears set to go ahead regardless of whether Sochi’s Olympic bid is successful.

Update: here.

6 thoughts on “Russia: Sochi National Park to become playground for fat cats?

  1. Some, but not as much as you’d think. You see, there’s a huge stretch of coastland called The Golden Gate National Recreational Area. An area called The Presidio was recently added to that area. The Presidio was a military base, originally built by the Spanish in 1776 and taken over by the US Army in 1849. The base was never very popular with San Franciscans, and I think that the military didn’t like have so many soldiers exposed to a city like SF. When the Presidio was given to the Park Service, it was full of fairly rundown old Military buildings, including a military hospital. It was far from pristine park land. The Hospital was torn down, despite protests from veterans that they would no longer have access to a veteran’s hospital. The Park Service sold the corporate office campus by claiming that the money from the development would be used to finance other Park Service projects. They did then do an enormous wetlands restoration project on the site of the former military airstrip. Then they leased a building on the edge of the wetlands to be used as a sporting goods store. There were also hundreds and hundreds of units of military housing on the base. There was hope that they would be converted into low cost housing for the poor. Instead, a lot of them were torn down. Many of the others are leased to non profit groups. A few of the nicest officer’s houses are rented to politician’s favorites at very low cost. I think most people just gave up and let the “Park” be turned into a corporate and political preserve. There’s a lot of bad feelings but no organized opposition. San Francisco has changed so much in the last 20 years and a lot of the people who would protest, or even remember a time before the privatization of the park have been forced out of the city. That’s the war cry of the right wingers, “Let’s move on and put the past behind us!”


  2. Pingback: Dutch brass band may play ‘YMCA’ at Winter Olympics | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Wetlands & Sochi.

    Environment ‘lost to Olympic steamroller’
    February 4 2014 at 06:00pm
    By Maria Antonova .

    “Ornithological Park” Sochi – but not a bird in sight.”

    “. . the wetlands were a paradise for up to 65 species of birds including vulnerable Dalmatian pelicans that migrated here for the winter. . Today, the former wetlands lie buried under two metres (6.5 feet) of crushed rock . . ”



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