Poland: road construction destroys nature reserves

Greater spotted eagle

From BirdLife:

Road to ruin for Polish wildlife


Proposed road construction in Poland threatens to destroy valuable wildlife and habitats protected under European law.

The developments form part of the Helsinki to Warsaw international transport corridor called “Via Baltica”.

More than 150,000 people in Poland have already signed a petition against the road construction, but now campaigners are calling for more people to express their concern through an e-petition.

OTOP, the Polish partner of BirdLife International, WWF Poland and the CEE Bankwatch Network are asking the Polish government to stop work immediately on four projects and await the results of a Strategic Environmental Assessment. …

“The Polish government is getting a reputation for disregarding European law and its own natural heritage.

We ask people everywhere to sign the e-petition and speak out in favour of Europe’s priceless green areas.”

The current road development proposals cut through Augustow and Knyszyn Primeval Forests, the Biebrza Marshes National Park and skirt Narew River National Park.

All four are recognised as IBAs by BirdLife and are Special Protected Areas (SPA) under the Birds Directive and proposed as Sites of Community Interest (SCI) under the Habitats Directive—Europe’s strongest laws for the protection of natural environments.

The sites host a magnificent array of threatened wildlife, including wolf, lynx [see also here] and Lesser-spotted and White-tailed Eagles Aquila pomarina and Haliaeetus albicilla.

Biebrza Marshes is the most important breeding site in Europe for two globally-threatened bird species; Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola and Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga.

“Developing roadways through the centre of this pristine environment is nothing short of a crime,” said Anna Roggenbuck, Polish National Coordinator of CEE Bankwatch Network. …

The web petition is posted at: www.viabalticainfo.org/en/petition and the signatures will be presented to the Polish government on 16 November 2006.

Update: here.

And here.

And here.

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