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  2. Deputy Oleg Mikhailov warned the authorities against creating a new center of protest in Komi due to land withdrawal in the Yugyd Va National Park

Deputy Oleg Mikhailov warned the authorities against creating a new center of protest in Komi due to land withdrawal in the Yugyd Va National Park

Maxim Polyakov, Denis Strelkov
Deputy Oleg Mikhailov (on the left) at the meeting of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation
Photo by Maxim Polyakov

When discussing amendments to the Law "On Specially Protected Natural Territories" in the Civic Chamber of Russia, deputy of the State Council of Komi Oleg Mikhailov said that the new bill draft could create another center of tension in the Komi Republic, similar to the protests over the landfill in Shies. The correspondent of 7x7 reported this on October 6.

According to Oleg Mikhailov, people in the republic are quite sensitive to any attempts of industrialists to interfere into the region’s environment. He believes that amendments to the law on protected areas may provoke a new wave of discontent and protests in the Komi Republic.

 “By adopting this law as it is, we will definitely create a center of social tension on the territory of the Komi Republic. Moreover, it will be quite serious, because nature protection is currently an urgent issue on the agenda and finding a balance between the industrialization of the territory and environmental protection is always very important for people. But national parks and other wildlife reserves are created exactly in order to preserve existing unique natural objects and to prevent their industrialization,” Mikhailov said at the meeting of the Civic Chamber’s commission.

During the discussion of the bill, most of the participants in the discussion spoke against the provision that allowed boundary adjustment in national parks including Yugyd Va in Komi. Mikhailov believes that even despite this fact, it is too early to relax, because industrialists will continue looking for ways to become richer.

Draft bill "On Amending the Law „On Specially Protected Natural Territories“ and Individual Items of Russian Legislation" contains a provision that allows boundary adjustment in national parks. Environmentalists and concerned citizens fear that this change will allow allocating territories of interest to industrialists from national parks.

The Yugyd Va National Park in Komi, which is the largest territory with intact forests in the European part of Russia, is often used as an example. Part of the park has been of interest to owner of gold mines, who are trying to develop deposits in Chudnoye, for several years. With this in view, about 50 thousand hectares should be allocated from the territory of the national park.


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