Granite-Steppe Pobuzhya: High Court rules in favour of the environment:
On 28 April 2010 Ukraine’s High Administrative Court allowed the cassation appeal lodged by the civic organization Environment – People – Law [EPL] and revoked all rulings issued by local courts regarding the hand of reserve land to the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom.
As reported here, back in 2006 the Government handed 27.72 hectares from State-owned regional landscape park “Granite-Steppe Pobuzhya” in the Mykolaiv region to Energoatom for its permanent use. The latter wanted to make this area the tail end of the Alexandrovsky Reservoir, this meaning that a substantial area of what should be national reserve land would be flooded.
The previous court rulings had unwarrantedly found that the decision by the Cabinet of Ministers was of a recommendatory nature despite the fact even that the nuclear energy people had received a State act for the land on the basis of this decision. The High Administrative Court has sent the case for new examination in which we hope for an objective assessment by the courts of our evidence regarding the violation of numerous norms of the Land Code in the handing over of this land to Energoatom.
Unfortunately while the court cases have dragged on since 2006, Energoatom have flooded the 27 hectares which contained numerous types of plants from Ukraine’s Red Book. They are also planning to flood even more reserve territory and this could be possible given recent trends in the Mykolaiv Regional Council which has suggested that President Yanukovych cancel the decision of his predecessor to create a number of reserve areas and national parks.
From a report by Olha Melen, Head of the EPL Legal Section