23 May 2019, Thursday, 15:11
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Ecologists Of Three Countries Unite Against Belarusian Authorities’ Water Venture

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More than 20 environmental organizations issued petitions against the water route connecting the Baltic and Black seas.

A joint petition against the construction of the E40 waterway was published by more than twenty environmental organizations from Belarus, Poland and Ukraine. Everyone can sign it, the media-polesye.by site writes.

Such public organizations as Ahova Ptushak Batskaushchyny, Bahna, Ekadom, Green Network (Belarus), the World Wildlife Fund (its representative offices in Poland and Ukraine), the Ukrainian Bird Protection Association and others are among the authors of the petition.

"The purpose of the petition is to draw the attention of the public, authorities and potential investors to the negative consequences of creating a new transport artery and to stop the development of this project," – the organizing committee of the campaign Stop E40! Preserve Our Rivers Together informs.

Ecologists of the three countries are concerned that the project envisages a serious change in the hydrological regime of the rivers forming this waterway: the Visla, Mukhavets, Pina, Prypiats, Dnepr rivers and the Dnepr-Bug canal. New dams may appear on our rivers, their waterways might be straightened, and the banks enclosed in concrete. Such human intervention threatens to change these rivers forever, destroying the existing ecosystems. In particular, irreparable harm can be done to more than seventy specially protected natural areas in all three countries, where a lot of rare species of animals and plants live.

Environmentalists urge national governments and investors to abandon plans on building the E40 waterway and suggest focusing on other projects in the transport sector that will not carry such a threat to nature and that guarantee a positive economic effect in the short and long term.

The participants of the 5th Forum of Public Environmental Organizations of Belarus, which took place in Raubichy (Minsk region) on July 21-23, 2017, welcomed the initiative to stop the development of the project. Several dozen environmental organizations of the country joined the forum’s resolution.

You can sign the petition here.