Activists of Greenpeace of Russia brought the petition, which was signed by more than 105 thousand people, to the presidential administration. Environmentalists from Greenpeace collected signatures on the petition for the preservation of the existing form of the Yugyd Va National Park in Komi. On November 15, the press service of the environmental organization reported this.
Petition entitled "Nature is more valuable than gold" and with the motto «Save the Yugyd Va National Park from gold miners» attracted more than 100 thousand signers on November 7. The appeal from the petition was brought to the presidential administration.
The need to collect signatures was justified in Greenpeace by the fact that the authorities had a project to transfer 50 thousand hectares from the protected area in favor of industrialists. This area is home to rare species of plants, animals, and hiking trails. According to environmentalists, the search for gold can destroy well-preserved ecosystems in the Kozhim river basin — it risks turning into "quarries and elutriators".
"If these areas are excluded from the park and gold mining begins there, the value of the entire Northern part of the park will be lost. Russian citizens will lose one of their favorite places of tourism and recreation. This means that the right of all Russian citizens to a favorable environment provided in Article 42 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation will be violated," the environmentalists wrote in the appeal to President Vladimir Putin.
Experts of the Russian Greenpeace recalled that in 2014, Putin had instructed the government to strengthen the protection of national parks, in 2018, the withdrawal of national parks from federal ownership had been banned. Environmentalists believe that the withdrawal of lands from Yugyd Va even under the guise of expanding the protected area (due to the accession of neighboring forests) is contrary to the law.
Mikhail Kreindlin, the Head of the Greenpeace program for specially protected natural areas, explained that the plans of gold miners remained and were put on paper:
"Despite the laws and court decisions, thievish companies continue to encroach on the world heritage site. Gold mining lobbyists have not yet abandoned their plans for Yugyd Va, because they are very influential people who are ready to ignore the law or to achieve its change for their own benefit. But we do not intend to give up and we are going to fight till final victory."
According to Greenpeace Russia, specialized Russian authorities have extended the license of the Cyprus Gold Minerals company for the Chudnoye deposit in Yugyd Va until 2021.
Greenpeace Russia launched a petition for the preservation of Yugyd Va in August 2019. That is how environmentalists decided to prevent the actions of gold miners around the deposits of non-ferrous metals in the protected area. The license for the development of the Chudnoye deposit belongs to the Gold Minerals company (Cyprus).
The government of Komi tried to implement a project for gold mining in Yugyd Va several times, despite the ban of industrial works in the reserve.
In September 2019, Minister of natural resources of Komi Roman Polshvedkin spoke in favor of conducting any activity in the national park exclusively by law, in compliance with all norms. But at the same time, he admitted the presence of a political component in the problem of preserving the national park.