PRESS RELEASE 22th JULY, 2010

Agent Green blocks 66A national road

Press release by Agent Green – Câmpușel, Hunedoara county – July, 22 2010

 

The environmentalists have set up a resistance camp to stop the road construction

 

This morning 20 environmentalists blocked the 66A national road at Câmpușel for an undetermined period, to protect the Last Intact Forestry Landscape in temperate Europe. It is expected that tens of organizations and hundreds of volunteers will join the camp in the next few days. In this place where the road ends and nature begins, volunteers dressed as bears hold a banner that says “MR BORBELY, DN66A – END OF THE ROAD” and ask the minister to stop the road construction, based on scientific criteria. While a bear hit by a car lies dead on the road, an angry one holds up a banner stating “STOP DN66A, THIS IS MY HOME!”. 10 metres above the road, another banner says “SAVE THE RETEZAT MOUNTAINS – THE LAST INTACT FORESTRY LANDSCAPE IN TEMPERATE EUROPE”. At 47.6km, “Câmpușel, Intact Forestry Landscape 1 Km”, was written on a boundary mark and the symbol of a dead end road was drawn on it. The boundary mark is blue to show that the road should be a county, not a national one. Other volunteers dressed as bears climbed up trees which are in the way of the road construction and have tied themselves to them. All the banners are also in English.

 

The controversies around the 66A national road have been going on for last 4 years now, the second road section being illegally constructed, without the Environment Protection Agency’s approval and the Retezat National Park Administration’s notification. The environmentalists have succeeded in the last 3 years to stop the third section of the road which would pass through fully protected areas in Domogled National Park and thus destroy the Intact Forestry Landscape (IFL). The Park Administration approved the road construction and was sued by Agent Green. The National Environment Protection Agency didn’t approve the project because the impact study issued by the beneficiary was poor quality and lacked the devastating effects of the road construction. Agent Green started a biodiversity counter-study to show these effects and asked the National Environment Protection Agency not to approve the project. The agency didn’t answer and the mayor of Uricani, who approved the construction, recently announced that the money for the road will be transferred in July 2010. More over, the commission appointed by the Environment Minister decided that a reservation from Domogled Park should be moved and make room for the road. This is why, environmentalists have invited the relevant authorities (the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Tourism, the National Environment Protection Agency, the Uricani Mayoralty and the Presidency) to a round of discussions three weeks ago. To this date, they haven’t answered the invite.

 

“We’re blocking the 66A national road to convince the Environment Minister, Mr. Borbely that he should immediately stop the construction. In spite of the fact that there isn’t any money for highways, the national roads are full of holes, the country is being plunged into poverty, there is still money left to construct this road through a National Park. It’s the hypocritical action of those who take an interest in DN66A which is destroying nature, on which the lively-hoods of the local communities depend on. We’re ready to stay here until the Minister puts an end to this project”, said Gabriel Păun, Agent Green President.

 

“The preliminary results of the counter-study already show the biodiversity here is much higher than stated in the beneficiary’s study. For example, until now we have registered 109 distinct points where large and medium mammals crossed the road, unlike the beneficiary’s which discovered only one bear trace. We found 26 bat species. The beneficiary said that there are no bats here. We found 34 breeding places for reptiles and amphibians. They only found out 2. There are significant differences that can’t be ignored by the National Environment Protection Agency”, said Luminiţa Tănasie, WWF Programme Director.

 

Agent Green, Milvus, Carpatina Ardeleană, WWF and the Romanian Society of Herpetology ask Mr. Borbely, the Environment and Forests Ministry to stop the construction of 66A national road.

 

For the original version of this press release (in Romanian) visit Agent’s Green website, at: http://www.agentgreen.ro/new/index.php?id=196

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