The public concerned by the condition of ancient settlement Talgar are addressing the International University Sports Federation

The public and the Ecological Society “Green Salvation” concerned by the condition of the World Heritage property – ancient settlement Talgar, are addressing President of the International University Sports Federation with a request to assist in preserving the ancient settlement Talgar and stopping its destruction. Sports shall develop in the name of creation, not destruction.

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October 3, 2016.

To: President of the International University Sports Federation
Matytsin Oleg Vasilyevich
Maison du Sport International
Av. de Rhodanie, 54
Lausanne, Switzerland, CH-1007
Tel.: +41 (0) 216130810
Fax: +41 (0) 216015612
E-mail: fisu@fisu.net
Website: www.fisu.net

Copy:

To: Head of the State Fund  “Directorate for Preparation and Conducting
of the 28th World Winter Universiade of 2017 in the city of Almaty”
Nurov Nail Faridovitch
050013 Almaty, 280 Baizakova st.,
Tel: +7 (727) 313-23-56 (ext. 217)
E-mail: office@almaty2017.kz

Dear Mr. President, dear members of the Federation!

The 28th World Winter Universiade will take place in the city of Almaty on January 29 through February 8, 2017.  Alatau Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon Stadium will be one of the locations for the Universiade (http://almaty2017.com/lyzhno-biatlonnyy-kompleks-alatau/). Competitions in biathlon, cross country skiing, and Nordic combined skiing will take place here during the games. Alatau Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon Stadium is located 50 km away from the city of Almaty, near the Akbulak Mountain Ski Resort in the Gorge Soldatskoe, Talgar District of Almaty Oblast.

Ecological Society “Green Salvation” welcomes and supports development of sports, but we are sincerely concerned by the situation which arose around one of the sites of the Universiade –  Alatau Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon Stadium. At the present time, an auto road “Birlik-Almalyk-Ryskulov-Bereke-Akbulak” is being constructed to this site. Some segments of the road and a bridge across Talgar river are already built. According to the project proposal, the road will pass through archeological monument  of the Republic of Kazakhstan – medieval settlement Talgar (Talhiz), which in 2014, was included into the UNESCO World Heritage List (http://whc.unesco.org/ru/list/1442#top). Talgar settlement is a component within the serial World Heritage property Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor. There are 33 of such components in this corridor from central China to Kazakhstan. 8 (eight) of these components are located on the territory of Kazakhstan, and 3 are on the territory of Kyrgyzstan.

The auto road will “cut Talgar settlement into two parts”, which will, naturally, cause irreversible damage to the medieval settlement – a World Heritage property.

This threatens to lead not only to an international scandal, but also to a loss of trust and authority which Kazakhstan is eager to strengthen on the international arena.

The 40th session of the World Heritage Committee took place in Istanbul on July 10 through 20. A decision about Kazakhstan’s compliance with the Convention requirements was adopted during a meeting on July 13th. (http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6699/), according to which, it was recommended “to stop immediately the road construction through the settlement, explore other routes outside the boundaries of the Talgar site and its buffer zone, and to dismantle the parts of the bridge that have already been constructed”.

But till the present moment, these recommendations have not been implemented! Construction of the road across the ancient settlement is being conducted in accelerated rates, the bridge has not been dismantled.

The facts indicated above make it evident that some public authorities do not welcome, nor support “responsible approach to environmental protection issues”, do not promote “ecologically sustainable development of sports”, do not contribute to a positive heritage from sports development by the city of Almaty and Kazakhstan in general.

Participants of the Universiade – people who are already becoming members of the Olympic movement, must strictly follow the principles of the Olympic Charter of the International Olympic Committee: “to encourage and support a responsible concern for environmental issues, to promote sustainable development in sports, …to encourage and support initiatives blending sport with culture and education”.

The public and the Ecological Society “Green Salvation” concerned by the condition of the World Heritage property – ancient settlement Talgar, are addressing you and the International University Sports Federation with a request to assist in preserving the ancient settlement Talgar and stopping its destruction. Sports shall develop in the name of creation, not destruction.