TODAY’S – Council of State annuls protection of valley

Council of State annuls protection of valleyThe Council of State has annulled an earlier decision by the Trabzon Cultural and Natural Assets Protection Board that designated the Papart Valley in Artvin province as a protected areaThe reversal was made on the grounds that the board had made its earlier decision to protect the valley based on the recommendations of two experts from the same university, the Milliyet daily reported on Wednesday.According to the report, residents around the Papart Valley, located within the borders of the IavIat district of Artvin province, applied to the Trabzon Cultural and Natural Assets Protection Board on July 5, 2008, demanding that the valley be declared a protected area The residents wanted to protect the valley from the possibility of being affected by one of the many hydroelectric power plant (HES) projects in development around the area The valley was declared a protected site on Aug.

4, 2008.According to initial statements made by the Council of State on Wednesday morning, the court annulled the board’s earlier decision on the grounds that the two experts were from the same university and thus could not be considered to be looking at the issue with balanced viewpoints.

Criticizing the decision of the Council of State, the Turkish Foundation for Reforestation, Protection of Natural Habitats and Combating Soil Erosion (TEMA) Ankara representative Nevzat zer said the Papart Valley is an area that should once again be put under protection as soon as possible.“The Papart Valley is home to speckled trout.

Building a hydroelectric power plant would be signing a death warrant for all the living creatures in the area Moreover, the valley is known for its cultural, historical and geological features, as well as its speckled trout and century-old boxwood trees, which would be negatively affected by the HES projects,” he noted.Lawyer Berna BabaoIlu said that hydroelectric power plants are popping up across Anatolia as private investors work together with the government in an effort to decrease Turkey’s dependence on foreign sources of energy.

BabaoIlu told the daily that the plants may do more harm than good.“If the facilities utilize too high a percentage of the water in rivers and streams, the electricity production can result in disaster for the many forms of life that depend on those same waterways to survive.

They must leave enough water flowing naturally to prevent the death of any organism The presence of valuable species of fish in the river should lead the government and construction companies to think twice about killing them off for electricity,” she said..

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman