Gazprom is exploring the possibility of laying down ski slopes near a place under the protection of UNESCO

The corporation intends to lay the ski slopes next to the place under the protection of UNESCO.
"Kommersant" learned about Gazprom's plans to expand the skiing cluster in the Caucasus, which will take the leading positions among Russian mountain-tourist resorts and put it "on a par with the most prestigious year-round resorts in the world." We are talking about the construction of a mountain and tourist infrastructure on the territory of the Sochi National Park and a reserve, in particular more than 70 km of new ski slopes. Among the sites Grushevy ridge, from the construction of Olympic facilities, it was decided to refuse on the instructions of Vladimir Putin. On the inadmissibility of building a "World Heritage" near the UNESCO World Heritage site, "especially in sensitive areas such as Grushevy Ridge," the UNESCO committee said. In Gazprom, they say that there are no decisions on the development of this territory at the moment.

In December 2017, Gazprom's structure, Gazprom Sotsinvest, LLC, announced a tender for adjusting the master plan and performing forest management work on the Gorno-Tourist Center of OAO Gazprom in the village of Estosadok, Adler District, Sochi, the third phase of construction. The cost of the works was estimated at 128 million rubles. The purchase was made from a single supplier (therefore the publication of a tender protocol is not required).

Meanwhile, at Kommersant's disposal was the document "Adjustment of the master plan for the object" Gorno-Tourist Center of PJSC Gazprom in the village Estosadok of the Adler district of Sochi, the third phase of construction ", developed by SPDM Ltd. (according to, belongs to Zinaida Ilyina). The document says that the master plan originally intended to develop, in particular, the territory of the Caucasus Reserve, but these plans of the company can not be realized because of the "strict regime of special protection" and "the uncertainty of the timing of the adoption of amendments to environmental legislation."

In this regard, it is proposed to build a tourist infrastructure in the territories of the Sochi National Park and the zakaznik "within the following boundaries: cordon Psluh - southern slope of the Aishkha Ridge - Grushevy Ridge". "The territory from the cordon Psluh to the ridge Grushevy is located at a comfortable altitude and involves the resort resort year-round use (mountain skiing, golf, cycling, mountain tourism, mineral springs), - the document says .- In this case, if the construction on land from the territory of the reserve will remain impossible, "Grushevaya Polyana" will be the central resort of the mountain cluster and the link between the mountain tourist center of PJSC "Gazprom" and the ski complex "Rosa Khutor".

Pear ridge is a valuable natural territory, located between the rivers Mzymta and Psluh (Purshonok). Previously, the Pear Mountain Range was part of the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve. Now it is the zone of the national park, the so-called buffer zone, adjacent to the reserve.

Recall, in preparation for the Olympics in Sochi on the Grushevy Ridge planned to build part of the infrastructure facilities - sledge-bobsleigh track, mountain Olympic village and water intake. Against Greenpeace Russia and WWF. The need to prevent the construction of Olympic facilities in the immediate vicinity of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Western Caucasus", especially in sensitive areas such as Grushevy Ridge, was also mentioned in the decision of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee from 2008. Then, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced the need to transfer the objects of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics to another location. Despite the already spent part of the funds for design, he noted that "when determining the importance of the criteria" money - ecology "we make a choice in the direction of ecology".

The adjustment of Gazprom's plans will increase the length of the mountain-skiing routes of the company's mountain-tourist complex from 39 km to 112 km, "which will put it in this component in first place in Russia and on a par with the most prestigious year-round resorts in the world." "The entire planned infrastructure provides for minimal impact on nature and on the natural surface of the terrain," the document says. "This means a minimum amount of cutting down trees, skiing on the natural surface of the slopes of mountains, optimizing the use of artificial snow making systems, roads, the organization of the planned infrastructure according to the highest environmental standards. "

Mikhail Kreindlin from Greenpeace Russia pays attention to: "Pear ridge is the link between the northern and southern parts of the Caucasian reserve, there are ways of migration of animals." "In addition, these are valuable forests that are not affected by economic activity right on the border with the reserve, and the ridge itself refers to the reserved and specially protected zone of the Sochi National Park, which does not allow the construction of tourist facilities there," the environmentalist continues. Igor Chestin, head of WWF Russia, adds that it is possible to prevent the development of unique territories, including the Grushevy Ridge, only by fulfilling the Olympic obligations, that is, including part of the lands of the Sochi National Park and the reserve as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Western Caucasus".

In 2014, Russia submitted a request to UNESCO to expand the boundaries of the World Heritage site, but later it was withdrawn. At the same time, for some of the lands of the national park adjacent to the existing borders of the "Western Caucasus", the nature protection status was reduced - this allowed construction near the World Heritage site.

Mr. Chestin also recalls that "after the construction of the Olympic facilities, up to 60% of the forests on the mountain slopes in the Mzymta valley valley were lost": "The river valley is now unsafe, the risk of landslides and mudflows is high. New plans by Gazprom will only worsen the situation. "

In the information department of PJSC Gazprom, when asked by Kommersant about the plans for the development of the Grushevy Ridge, they said that "at the moment there is no such decision in Gazprom." The Ministry of Natural Resources declined to comment.

In the Ministry of Natural Resources of Krasnodar Krai, Kommersant reported that the allocation of land for ski slopes on the territory of the Sochi National Park and the department was not discussed and agreed. Nevertheless, it is unofficial in the administration of the region that the decision to build the third stage of the ski resort owned by Gazprom is under discussion. "Vacationers sometimes have to queue for three or four hours to get on the lift, in this regard, the idea of ​​building new routes," explained "Kommersant" on condition of anonymity source .- On the other hand, the initiators of the project analyze the risks, including high costs and weak loading of the ski infrastructure in the off-season. "