- Title: RUSSIA: Ecologists fear Sochi Olympics impact on environment
- Date: 28th May 2010
- Summary: CAUCASUS NATIONAL NATURE RESERVATION, RUSSIA (MAY 26, 2010) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) VIEW OF CAUCASUS NATIONAL NATURE RESERVATION FROM HELICOPTER HELICOPTER PILOT HELICOPTER CONTROL PANEL ECOLOGISTS INSIDE HELICOPTER VARIOUS VIEWS OF CONSTRUCTION SITE FROM HELICOPTER HELICOPTER ON GROUND ECOLOGISTS WALKING THROUGH FIELD VARIOUS OF CONSTRUCTION ON BANKS OF MZYMTA RIVER (SOUNDBITE) (English) IGOR CHESTIN, WWF RUSSIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SAYING: "There is a serious accession of concentrations of very dangerous elements like arsenium, like phenol and various oil products. Phenol and oil products are probably coming from ongoing construction and a lot of vehicles which are almost in the water." VARIOUS OF MZYMTA RIVER CONSTRUCTION ON BANK OF MZYMTA RIVER . (SOUNDBITE) (English) IGOR CHESTIN, WWF RUSSIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SAYING: "This spring we are analysing satellite images and are comparing them with the satellite images of the area taken a year ago to monitor the clearing of the forest and we see already some signs that it is likely that the clearance which is happening are exceeding the areas which are necessary for the Olympics which means that those who do it probably plan some other developments in that area." VIEW OF FIELD AND MOUNTAINS HORSES IN FRONT OF PILES OF CUT DOWN TREES VARIOUS OF FELLED TREES CARS DRIVING PAST "SOCHI 2014" SIGN
- Embargoed: 12th June 2010 13:00
- Topics: Environment / Natural World,Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAKZOL11EU7Q0YGTLQZMZ6XMMC
- Story Text: WWF Russia has warned that the environmental impact of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics will be much greater than official predictions.
After a tour of the site on Wednesday (May 26) Igor Chestin, head of the pressure group, said there was a build up of dangerous elements, including phenol and arsenic, in the River Mzymta.
The river is the main source of drinking water for the nearby Krasnaya Polyana settlement and for Sochi itself.
WWF Russia has repeatedly raised concerns over the impact the construction of Olympic sites will have on the Caucasus National Nature Reservation and the Sochi National Park.
In February WWF said the borders of nature reserves had been altered to suit the Olympic site construction, access for non-governmental organisations had been restricted, and its calls for closer monitoring of the environmental impact had gone unheeded.
Wednesday's visit failed to allay those concerns and Chestin said: "There is a serious accession of concentrations of very dangerous elements like arsenic, like phenol and various oil products. Phenol and oil products are probably coming from ongoing construction and a lot of vehicles which are almost in the water."
Chestin also says forests are being destroyed in areas not allocated for the Olympic venues, revealed in satellite images.
"It is likely that the clearance which is happening are exceeding the areas which are necessary for the Olympics which means that those who do it probably plan some other developments," he said.
In March the top U.N. environmental watchdog published a report in which it criticised Russia for ignoring the effects that several construction projects for the games will have on the region's unique wildlife.
But the IOC Co-ordination Commission for the Sochi 2014 Games which visited the Olympic sites in mid-April said it was happy with the progress made by Russian hosts.
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