The Government of Republic of Serbia adopted the Decree of mountain tourism development program on Mt. Stara Planina (Official Gazette of Republic of Serbia: No. 85/2007) in September 2007. That led to violation of at least 6 Serbian laws and more than 10 international conventions on nature protection that Serbia signed and ratified and has an obligation to obey them! This Decree opens a path to degradation of the most valuble habitats and landscapes of Nature Park Stara Planina – the biggest protected area in Serbia. Mt. Stara Planina is one of the most important areas in Europe considering plant diversity (at least 1742 species and subspecies on 115000 ha), with 160 local and regional endemic species and subspecies. Many plant species from that list are on the European Red List, World Red List, Serbian Red List, CITES list, IUCN list of threatened species, Bern Convention and are protected in various ways by the national legislature. There are also 205 bird species, 60 mammal species, 134 butterfly species, 26 fish species, 18 species of amphibians and reptiles from which many are protected by various international and national legislatures and conventions. Beside enormous irreversible damage over fragile ecosystems, the Decree of mountain tourism development program on Mt. Stara Planina will cost citizens of Serbia 56.700.000,00 Euros only during 2008. Mentioned funds will be invested in infrastructure of the planned ski-resort. Such public money spending is based on superficially conducted analysis and without participation of local communities in designing their own development. Also, this project is considered as absolutely unsustainable and ecomicaly ungrateful due to climate changes, terrain characteristics and great competition in the region. The implementation of this Governmental program would have, as a final result, only severe degradation and loss of the Serbian, European and World biodiversity, and therefore it is our moral obligation to stop this attempt of our Government and the „ski lobby“
Therefore, we are asking You to carefully read the lower part of this letter and get acquainted with the background of this Decree and its program, together with all potentially resulting consequences which could happen if our government enforces this „Mega Ski Resort“ project.
If You share our concerns and our decision to STOP this illegal act of Nature destruction, we appeal to You to support our pettition and demand together with us that the Decree of mountain tourism development program on Mt. Stara Planina to be put out of force.
Also, please send this info to all your friends because we need as big pressure possible!!! This is just the first way how we are beggining our fight to preserve this magical mountain from concrete, buildings and unreversible degradation. We are currently also building a website concerning this subject so there you can also see a lot of photos of the mountain and first steps of destruction which needs to be stoped!
Marko Sciban, Serbia