Operation "Recreation": where Bitsevsky forest disappears to

Operation "Recreation": where Bitsevsky forest disappears to
Operation "Recreation": where Bitsevsky forest disappears to
23 November 2021, 13:57City
Another "recreational zone" will soon appear on the map of Moscow in the Bitsevsky forest area. After such "development" of the protected natural area with another forest on the map of the Russian Federation, it may become smaller.

The scandal on this issue went far beyond Moscow: the consequences of the reduction of protected areas are recognized as one of the factors of climate change.

Irina Mishina

It's the end of November, but there is almost no snow in Moscow. Natural anomalies have recently been repeated from year to year: it is almost tropical heat, then hurricanes, then floods. Winter in the capital has become significantly warmer and has become snowless, forecasters state this as a fait accompli. What are the reasons?

“The climate in the Moscow region is now close to the semi-deserts of Kalmykia and Northern Kazakhstan. And this is extremely harmful to the health of residents born in the Middle Lane. All this is due to the systematic reduction in the area of forests, meadows, and protected natural areas. Despite the fact that the Moscow region is located in the zone of coniferous-deciduous forests, its average forest cover now does not exceed 40%, and the forest cover of the near Moscow region is no more than 15%. At the same time, water bodies in the region are heavily polluted, and the authorities plan to ease the conditions for building a sanitary protection belt for drinking water supply sources in Moscow. The consequence of this rampant urbanization of the region is almost irreversible climate change, not for the better. Residents of the region are increasingly seeing smog hanging over urban and suburban areas. Moscow and the Moscow region in the warm season are increasingly faced with such uncharacteristic phenomena for our natural zone as wind gusts and floods. Such a climate is not typical for an inhabitant of the middle zone, "- said to" NI " ecologist, member of the coordinating council for environmental well-being of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation Anton Khlynov.

Today in Russia the total area of specially protected natural areas (SPNA) is 255.6 million hectares - 13.52% of the country's area. In the Moscow region, the total area of these territories has decreased to 5% of the area of the region, according to the press service of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Moscow Region. There is no official information about Moscow. But there are facts. There is a known case with the exclusion of the Mnevnikovskaya floodplain from the Moskvoretsky Natural Historical Park for the construction of its multi-storey blocks (construction is already in full swing there), and construction is underway on the Tushinskoye field. Close to the unique and largest urban forest in the world - the Losiny Ostrov National Park, the Fairy Forest residential complex has approached; The construction of a giant residential complex is planned right next to the largest nature reserve within Moscow, the Setun River Floodplain. After the start of traffic along the Northeast Expressway built across the Losiny Ostrov in the urban part of this national park, there was practically no place left where the noise of highways would not be heard.

Так выглядит Битцевский лес сейчас.

But that’s all. A few days ago, a competition from the Moscow Department of Competition Policy appeared on the public procurement website for "design and survey work to bring territories in the areas of Chertanovo Yuzhnoye, Yasenevo, Chertanovo Severnoye, Chertanovo Centralnoye of Moscow to a standard state" with an initial price of 256.58 million rubles. Despite the indefinite name of the purchase, it follows from the terms of reference that we are talking about large-scale construction work on 112.4 hectares of Bitsevsky forest. And this is just the beginning.

Так будет выглядеть Битцевский лес после "благоустройства".

According to the competition documents, 150 km of linear structures should appear in these territories in the future, including 16 km of "park roads" with bike paths and sidewalks, 55 km of power grids, 38 km of lighting, rainwater drainage, as well as 344 CCTV cameras, 500 points of local radio broadcasting, 13 large sports grounds, four tennis courts, three pump tracks (this is a track with obstacles for cyclists) and the same number of skate parks, as well as a sports complex of 3000 square meters and a climbing wall, 600 benches, 150 gazebos and 150 rock gardens, 30 pavilions for "economic activities", etc. The customer of the work is the Moscow state institution for the overhaul of apartment buildings "UKRIS", subordinate to the Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov. 350 days are allotted for the completion of the contract.

"It is enough to read the list of objects planned in Bitsevsky forest and the list of necessary equipment to understand the apocalyptic scale of this action. Even after the implementation of the first stage of work, the Bitsevsky forest will cease to exist in the form we know, it will be lost as a unique natural territory and ecosystem”б - wrote Mikhail Silayev, head of the public organization “Protection of the Bitsevsky Forest” on Facebook.

The consequences of such "development" of natural areas are quite predictable. Birds and animals living in protected areas, as you know, cannot stand the noise and constant presence of people. They either die out or migrate. Since surrounded by chords, highways and LCDs there is no place to migrate, the first thing happens. Plants have the same problem. “If the paths are sealed in concrete and curbs, we will deprive the soil of natural processes, it will already be a waterproof surface. Many plant species will die out, including rare ones. Small forms will also die out - frogs, mice - voles, newts: after all, they are used to moving on natural soil. Biological chains, in which many animals, plants and birds participate, will also be destroyed. A natural question also arises: why is a sports complex inside the forest, if people have come to relax in nature? There are a lot of sites in the city for this”, - says Anton Khlynov, ecologist, member of the coordinating council for environmental well-being of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.

Департамент природопользования и охраны окружающей среды поблагодарил "НИ" "за неравнодушное отношение к природе города", переадресовав в департамент капитального ремонта г.Москвы.

Biological chain disruption is not just a scientific term from biology. When was the last time you saw a flock of pigeons or sparrows in Moscow? When did you hear a nightingale or a starling? The massive thoughtless felling of trees and the total systematic mowing of the grass led to the fact that the birds simply had nowhere to live, and they flew away from the city. The result of this was the spread of insects, including harmful ones, which began to eat green spaces. But the infestation of mosquitoes during the warmer months is not the worst thing. This summer, for example, encephalitis ticks appeared in Moscow, which attacked people and domestic animals, carrying a deadly threat. What else can happen as a result of thoughtless development and destruction of protected natural areas, no one can assume. But the fact that nothing good is worth waiting for, many experts admit.

We turned to the Department of Nature Management and Environmental Protection of Moscow with a request to explain how the "improvement" of the nature protection zone - Bitsevsky Forest will affect the future of this protected area, as well as how this "development" relates to the current environmental legislation. The response we received specifically states:

Employees of the relevant structural unit subordinate to the department of the environmental institution - State Pedagogical University“ Mospriroda ”on an ongoing basis keep records of animals and green spaces that live and grow in this protected area. According to the results of daily surveys, the facts of extinction of certain species, previously registered in the territory of the natural-historical park “Bitsevsky Les”, have not been established”.

Not yet installed. Because, according to the stories of ecologists, it usually happens like this. After the "development" and "improvement" of the nature protection zone, the arrangement of sports and children's playgrounds, radio points and restaurants on its territory, the "Red Book" animals and birds usually leave such places. The check states that there are no rare species in this area, therefore it is subject to removal from the list of protected ones with subsequent development. “Whole pieces are being removed from protected areas. Due to their transformation into recreational zones, along with the influx of people, the anthropogenic load increases, the territory loses its natural value, the animals leave, the territory loses its protected status. This is a well-known practice", - Moscow City Duma deputy Yelena Yanchuk confirmed to Novye Izvestia.

And now let's ask ourselves a question: who, apart from the recipient of the coveted multi-million dollar state order, benefits from the transformation of a protected area into a recreational zone. “Residents go to the territory of protected areas, to the forest, to the meadows, not in order to see man-made landscapes. There are studies that prove that people go and go to nature in order to see it in its original form, that is, the eye of a city dweller enjoys wildlife more. And there are other places for recreational areas in the city. A natural question arises: why is a sports complex inside the forest, if people have come to relax in nature? There are a lot of sites in the city for this, ”says ecologist Anton Khlynov.

Moscow City Duma deputy Yelena Yanchuk agrees with him: “In the EU countries, forests have long been returned to their original form - first of all, to preserve the health of the nation. With us, the opposite is true. Any scientist will prove that PAs need to be expanded in order for the city to "breathe" and live a normal life. There are a lot of places in the capital where you can apply all this landscaping with tiles, borders and playgrounds. A lot of not well-maintained yards of new buildings, adjoining territories in a state of disrepair. But landscaping for some reason strides into the woods. As a result, we lose thousands of green spaces a year. Many natural complexes have already been withdrawn for renovation, but we are destroying the latter. At the same time, the city does not have any environmental program, in the mayor's office there is not a single person who would lobby for environmental programs, and this is a question of the survival of the entire metropolis!"

There is an interesting fragment in the response of "NI" of the Department of Nature Management of the Government of Moscow: "Considering the fact that the design documentation for the development of the territory of the Bitsevsky Forest Natural Historical Park, indicated in the appeal, was not developed by the department... your appeal has been sent to the Department of Overhaul of Moscow"...

It is perplexing that the department of capital repairs and housing and communal services is solving issues related to nature protected complexes in Moscow today. With complete non-interference from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. Having rummaged in the documents, we nevertheless found a solution to this paradox. As the analysis of the procurement documents has shown, 22 hectares of the specified territory belong to the protected area, where any economic activity is generally prohibited. In total, for the construction and placement of all the objects listed in the terms of reference, it will be necessary to destroy 12.83 hectares of vegetation cover. “First of all, this purchase violates the legislation of the Russian Federation, which prohibits such activities on the territory of specially protected natural areas (specially protected natural areas), and therefore the Constitution”, - said Mikhail Silayev, head of the public organization “Protection of Bitsevsky Forest”.

But the main problem is that all decisions related to nature protection zones are made somehow painfully secret. “In the absence of legislative norms providing for a state environmental examination of projects for the improvement of Moscow PAs, it is urgently necessary to create, with the participation of the public, including the expert community, a special commission under the Department of Nature and Environmental Protection of the city of Moscow, which would openly consider the projects for the recreational development of these territories. would develop scientifically grounded recommendations, give conclusions. And, of course, it is high time to improve the legislative framework for the management of the natural complex of the city in conjunction with urban planning decisions”, - says Anton Khlynov, a member of the coordination council for environmental well-being of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, the principle of observance of environmental priorities must be unquestioningly observed when making any urban planning decisions. This is already a matter of survival.

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