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Stop the destruction of the oldest Slovak national park

Petition form for the signatures is at the bottom of this site.

to the Slovak Government
Stop the destruction of the oldest Slovak national park
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We, the undersigned,
having regard to the fact that the Tatra National Park, despite its tumultuous history, still remains an area with one of the highest concentrations of natural values, with one of the most specific animal and plant communities harbouring many endemic species and is the oldest national park not only in Slovakia, but also in the former Czechoslovakia,
Observe with great concern the process of zoning of Tatra National Park.
The submitted proposal of zoning was prepared using a biased methodology that
  • Ignores IUCN guidelines
  • Was produced in a non-transparent way without any expert review and without any regard to public comments
  • Allows intensive development even in the most sensitive parts of the area
  • Assumes interventions even in the no-take area (zone A).
  • Ignores the fact that nature conservation is a primary management objective in the Tatra National Park according to Slovak legislation, and ignores also the fact that Natra National Park is a part of European network of protected areas - Natura 2000
If approved, this proposal of zoning would greatly contribute to the destruction of fundamental conservation values of the area and to deterioration of its conservation status. In particular it would:
  • Destroy the most important breeding sites of Chamois and Marmot in West Tatra Mts
  • Destroy the most important breeding grounds and leks of Black Grouse and Capercaillie in West Tatra Mountains, while the numbers of grouse decline sharply elsewhere in Slovakia except for Tatra Mountains
  • Lower the protection of the most valuable avian and mammalian habitats in the National Nature Reserve (NNR) Bielovodská dolina, NNR Javorová dolina and in the site Surový hrádok and allow their degradation
  • Allow tourist infrustructure developments in currently undisturbed areas that were designated as priority areas of nature conservation, including areas closed to development even before 1989 under the totalitarian regime
  • Spoil the positive trend toward favourable conservation status in the no-take area of forests affected by windstorm and other habitats in the lower part of Tichá Dolina Valley.
Therefore the members and supporters of nature conservation societies in the whole Europe urge the proponents, the competent regional environmental authorities, the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic and the Government of the Slovak Republic to withdraw the submitted proposal of zoning of the Tatra National Park placed at https://lt.justice.gov.sk/Document/DocumentDetails.aspx?instEID=-1&matEID=2586&docEID=108988&docFormEID=-1&docTypeEID=1&langEID=1 (In Slovak). We also request that a new proposal of zoning in compliance with the international guidelines [1,2] will be prepared involving experts and the public and that this zoning will permit the development of tourist centers only if nature conservation requirements are met, so that further generations of Slovak citizens, Europeans and people from all around the world can visit the Tatry Mts and enjoy the widest variety of their unique natural heritage.
Finally we authorize the following members of the petition board to act in this matter in the sake of nature conservation according to Slovak constitution article 27.
Ing. Ján Topercer, PhD, senior scientific worker, Comenius University, Botanical Garden at 315, 03815 Blatnica
Mgr. Jozef Ridzoň, nature conservation manager, Slovak Ornithological Society/BirdLife Slovakia, Mlynské nivy 41, 82109 Bratislava
Ing. Erik Baláž, Forest Protection Movement WOLF, Komenského 501/18, Liptovský Hrádok
Prof. RNDr. Mikulas Huba, CSc., Spoločnosť pre trvalo udržateľný život v SR/ Society for Sustainable Living in Slovakia, Staroturský chodník 1, 811 01 Bratislava
Ing. Juraj Lukáč, Forest Protection Movement WOLF, Osadné, č. 65, 06734
Mgr. Juraj Smatana, EKOFORUM Service Center, Nábrežná 999/13, Považská Bystrica
Ing. Frantisek Guldan, creative artist, Prostredná 47, 90021 Svaty Jur
Doc. Zuzana Kronerová, actress and philantropist, Dankovského 14, 81103 Bratislava
Jozef Chavko, Raptor Protection of Slovakia, Kuklovská 5, 84104 Bratislava
Further information:
Tatra National Park lies in the Tatry Mts (north Slovakia). The National Park covers an area of 738 km2 on the border with Poland and is dominated by the highest peak in Slovakia, Mt. Gerlachovský štít (2655 m a. s. l.). The primary purpose of the park is to conserve the valuable high-mountain ecosystems such as near-natural mountain forests, alpine habitats, mountain lakes and streams as well as glacial and rock relief.
Due to the specific location, highly isolated from other high mountains, unique flora and fauna has evolved here with many endemic taxa such as the subspecies of Chamois and Marmot and other endemics (e.g. Tatra Pine Vole Microtus tatricus). The native forests, dwarf pine scrub and alpine meadows above the upper treeline are home also to many rare declining bird species whose abundances, unlike the other sites in Slovakia, show no decrease (e.g. Capercaillie).
However, the proposed zoning of the Tatra National Park would allow the destruction of the most valuable areas that play a key role in the conservation of animals, which are part of the identity not only of Tatry Mts, but for the whole of Europe.
For example the sole proposed zone of tourist development in Salatínska Dolina Valley would lead to the destruction of important breeding sites of Chamois, at least seven Marmot colonies and important leks of Black Grouse.
We attached several pictures from Roháčska and Salatínska Dolina Valleys and surroundings that were proposed as a part of the tourist development zone (particularly the ski resort) and thus are directly endangered by the proposed excessive development of tourist activities.
Map of current zoning proposal:
http://www.wolf.sk/files/Zonacia_TANAP_2010.jpg („zóna A“ - scientific proposal of delimitation of the zone with the most strict level of protection from the year 2006, „zóna Cr“ – the part of the national park where it is proposed to reduce the of level of nature protection due to plans for development of ski resorts, „úbytok zóny A“ – extent of the most valuable areas with strict nature protection according to the scientific proposal, which should be excluded according to recent proposal)
Map of current zoning proposal in the most endangered parts of West Tatras Mts.:
Photogallery and video from the central part of Tatra national park – from Tichá dolina valley (where zoning will allow more intensive forest management)
[1] – Bishop K., Dudley N., Phillips A. & Stolton S. 2004: Speaking a Common Language. The Uses and Performance of the IUCN System of Management Categories for Protected Areas. Cardiff University, IUCN & UNEP, Gland, 192 pp.
View at ridge of Roháče in the West Tatra Mts.
Actual photo of marmot from the site, which should be open for development of ski resort.
Actual photo of chamois from the site, which should be open for development of ski resort.
Actual photo of Golden Eagle from the site, which should be open for development of ski resort.
Actual photo of Black Grouse from the site, which should be open for development of ski resort.

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