An open public petition with a demand to prohibit construction of a mountain ski resort in Kok-Zhailau valley located in Ile-Alatau National Park was published on the web-site of the Ecological Society Green Salvation in December of the last year. The petition was addressed to the state authorities: Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Ministry of Finance, Akimat (Mayor’s Office) of Almaty, political parties of Kazakhstan, and also to the President and members of the Parliament.
Signatures of support came from the residents of Almaty and other cities and towns of Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Germany, United States, Canada, Holland, Sweden – people who love mountains and know first-hand about their meaning for physical and spiritual health of the humanity. In the end of August we received a signature which became number three thousand. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to those who openly expressed their opinion and did not hide under pseudonyms and nick-names.
Some might say: “Three thousand votes isn’t much!” And will be right. Yes, it isn’t much! And if we count votes only from Kazakhstan, there would be even less. But for the country lacking democratic traditions where the laws change like seasons, where court decisions are not implemented for years, where public opinion has never been taken into consideration, where the state authorities are paralyzed by the corruption – thousands of votes from our fellow countrymen is already a significant number. It shows that the people start to realize that by expressing their opinion they do not do anything reprehensible, but realize their legal rights by protecting the nature of their motherland.
Some would say: “It is a useless idea, nobody will hear you!” This can be answered by the words of Paul Eluard: “Those who keep silent – lie; – speak out”. Nobody will hear if we keep silent. And if everybody speaks out, our voices will not sink in the stream of the sweet talks about universal benefits of private resorts. Speak out, demand compliance of your constitutional rights, international conventions, defend your right to live in a favorable environment and enjoy the beauties of the national park and Kok-Zhailau valley. It is impermissible to keep silent!
In violation of the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Aarhus Convention, the state authorities responded to the petition with their regular runarounds. The presented information confirms once again that legality and public opinion are not respected in our country. The replies which were received are insufficient for decision-making, have neither full, nor reliable information, do not let the public to participate in the process of decision making.
Therefore, we will demand compliance with the Constitution, laws and international conventions again and again.
We continue to collect signatures under the petition and will send out the petition, other requests, demands, and appeals till the destruction of Ile-Alatau National Park and Kok-Zhailau valley, in particular, ceases!
One of the songs of Vladimir Vyssotskiy says: “These are our mountain, they will help us”.
But right now, we need to help them!