Kok-Zhailau defenders to hold a press-conference

Adamdar news Kazakhstan

Kok-Zhailau defenders to hold a press-conference

October 30, 2018

Almaty, Kazakhstan

What? press conference on “Why a resort cannot be built in Kok-Zhailau”
Where? Kazakhstan Press Club (Almaty, Kazakhstan)
When? 12 p.m. Thursday, November 1

This Thursday a press conference on “Why a resort cannot be built in Kok-Zhailau” will be held at the Kazakhstan Press Club.
Environmental experts, lawyers, economists and journalists are going to manifest their position against the construction of the ski resort in Kok-Zhailau — ahead of public hearings on the construction project (the hearings will start at 10 a.m. on Sunday, November 4, at Kazakhstan hotel) as there is a concern that there will not be no opportunity to do that at the hearings. 

Speakers:
Azhar Zhandossova, head of Tauasar public foundation
Vadim Nee, chairman of Kazakhstan’s Public Organizations Eco-forum
Sergey Kuratov, head of the Green Salvation environmental society
Vadim Boreiko, journalist

Address:
Kazakhstan Press Club
Satti business center, 7th floor
58 Samal-2 (Nazarbayev av. — Al Farabi av.)
Almaty


Background information:

Kok-Zhailau (translated from Kazakh as ”heavenly pasture-land”) is a unique 1000-hectare natural landmark between the Small and Large Almaty gorges in upper Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan and the country’s cultural capital. Kok-Zhailau is the habitat of many rare and relict animals and plants, including snow leopards, mountain tulips, Malus sieversii (wild apple), Tyan-Shan spruce, Schrenk's spruce and other unique species. Apart from Kok-Zhailau’s ecological uniqueness, many representatives of Kazakhstan’s culture and society, including legendary writer Herold Belger, claim it has a sacral status and therefore requires special protection by the society and the state.

Kok-Zhailau in winter time
Image by Malika Autalipova
The road to Kok-Zhailau is one of the most popular trekking paths in Almaty
Image by Timur Nusimbekov

As a result of Kok-Zhailau tract’s withdrawal from Ile-Alatau state national park and the plans for constructing a ski resort in its place, the unique biodiversity of the area as well as the environment of Almaty and the region are now at risk. 

The view from Kok-Zhailau — of Almaty and the smog covering the city
Image by Timur Nusimbekov

The Compliance Committee under the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) found that the authorities had failed to comply with a number of articles of the the Convention, e.g. ensuring public participation in the decision-making in relation to the construction of a ski resort in the Kok-Zhailau area. 

Kok-Zhailau in the fall
Image by Timur Nusimbekov

The threat of destruction of the unique nature of Kok-Zhailau caused the movement of environmental activists and organizations who stood up for canceling the construction plans, banning deforestation in that zone and returning Kok-Zhailau tract to Ile-Alatau state national park.

The petition in defence of Kok-Zhailau had over 30 thousand signers (as of Nov 21, 2018).

#savekokzhailau

Published: October 30, 2018