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Letter of support to Save Kresna Gorge and BALKANI Wildlife Society

Answering to the request of Bugarian SEENET member BALKANI Wildlife Society on behalf of the Save Kresna Gorge coalition, 12 SEENET member organizations and members of coalitions belonging to the SEENET network have subscribed a letter addressed to the Bern Convention Secretariat and the delegates of the 39th meeting of the Bern Convention Standing Committee, supporting the Save Kresna Gorge coalition appeal to open a case file on the construction of Struma Motorway in Kresna Gorge

In the context of the "Support to SEENET network and members", our colleagues from the Bulgarian SEENET member orgaization BALKANI wildlife society, on behalf of the Save Kresna Gorge coalition, asked SEENET network members to support their campaign "Save Kresna Gorge" and spefically their appeal to the 39th Bern Convention Standing Committee meeting, taking place 3-6 December, for opening the file related to Kresna Gorge and the motorway -segment of the Trans-european transport corridor n.4 and financed by EU commission- planned through the protected natural habitat Kresna Gorge.

The complaint "2001/4: Bulgaria: Motorway through Kresna Gorge" was submitted by the "Save the Kresna Gorge NGO coalition" several years ago, and after continued allegations it still remains in the status of a "possible case file". In the current situation it would be very positive for Kresna that this complaint is finally opened as Bern Convention's case file.

The Save Kresna Gorge coalition is also presenting to this year standing committee a report and demands which you can check out on this link.

Letter to Bern Convention 39th Standing Comittee

TO:
Secretariat and delegates of the 39th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention

FROM:
NGOs - Members of the South East Europe Network on Natural Resources, Energy and Transport (SEENET)

19th November 2019

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

We, the undersigned NGOs, members of the South East Europe Network on Natural Resources, Energy and Transport (SEENET), appeal to you to vote and support the opening of a case file on the construction of Struma Motorway in Kresna Gorge.

This is a very old case that is discussed in the Bern Convention since 2002. And right now, the Kresna Gorge needs your active intervention. If it doesn't happen this natural sanctuary - as the Kresna Gorge was called by Swiss experts visited the site in 2002 with a facts finding mission from the Bern Convention - will be irreversibly destroyed.

We want to remind you that in December 2018 the 38th Standing Committee adopted a decision to keep the Kresna gorge case as possible file and to await the application package for funding the construction of the Kresna gorge section of Struma motorway to be evaluated by the European Commission.

Now the European Commission already made this evaluation and assessed that the Bulgarian Government have failed to implement Article 6.3 of Directive 92/43 when approving the construction of the Struma highway through the Kresna Gorge. This finding means that not only nature protection EU directives are violated – but also the provisions of the Bern Convention .

Most of our organizations come from EU candidate countries but members of the Council of Europe. The Kresna case, as well as other similar cases involving EU Member States, is very important in enhancing the role of the Bern Convention in all our countries.

To make sure the place needs your active support - you can watch this video (https://vimeo.com/367594757) prepared by a group of white water rafters this autumn in Kresna Gorge.

Sincerely yours,

Centar za ekologiju i održivi razvoj (CEKOR), Subotica, Serbia.
Centar za životnu sredinu (CZZS) - Friends of the Earth Bosnia-Herzegovina, Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Ekološko Društvo “Bistro”, Vitez, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Ekološko-humanitarna udruga "Gotuša", Fojnica, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Eko element, Bugojno, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Еко Правда, Valandovo, Macedonia.
Qendra EDEN, Tirana, Albania.
NVO Green Home, Podgorica, Montenegro.
Сдружение за дива природа БАЛКАНИ, Sofia, Bulgaria.
Shoqata e bujqesise organike (OAA), Tirana, Albania.
Young Friends of the Earth Macedonia, Macedonia.
Zelena akcija - Friends of the Earth Croatia, Zagreb, Croatia.

27.11.2019.