Save Stara Planina

The Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted Decree of mountain tourism development program in the area of Stara Planina Mountain (Official Gazette of Republic of Serbia: No. 85/2007) in September 2007. That led to violation of at least 6 Serbian laws and decrees and more than 10 international conventions on nature protection that Serbia signed and ratified and has an obligation to obey them!




The Flora of Stara Planina

The diversity of the vascular flora on the Serbian side of Stara Planina (the other part is in Bulgaria) is at least 1742 plant species and sub-species, of which 160 (9.3% of all recorded species and sub-species) are local or regional endemics. The diversity of the vascular flora on the Serbian side of Stara Planina (the other part is in Bulgaria) is at least 1742 plant species and sub-species, of which 160 (9.3% of all recorded species and sub-species) are local or regional endemics.On Stara Planina, up to now, 344 species of mosses have been recorded (Bryophytes), among which are a large number officially under various regimes of protection. Especially threatened are species which live on rotting tree trunks in bogs. A great threat to these species represent hydrogeographic constructions, resulting in significant changes of water balance in the habitats of these species. Buxbaumia viridis, a species protected by the Bern Convention and Habitat Directive in entire Europe since only a small number of micro- habitats remain (rotting tree trunks) on which this species thrives. A similar case is with the species Dicranum viride which is also protected by the Bern Convention together with the white bog mosses Sphagnum ....more



Arguments for signing the petition

The Natura Park Stara Planina Mt. is the biggest protected area of Serbia. The first category Nature Park “Stara planina”, of exclusive importance for the Republic of Serbia, is situated about 300 km SE from Belgrade (capital of Republic of Serbia) and around 70 km from town Nish. The Government of Republic of Serbia is planning to construct a “mega ski resort” in the heart of this mountain. The Government initiated preparation of a Spatial Plan of the tourist region and nature park Stara Planina Mt. During the preparation of this document, the Serbian legislation was violated because of the fact that the official position of the Serbian Institute of Nature Protection was ignored. Ministry of Economy and Regional Development which hired Canadian company “Ecosign” and company “Howath Consulting Zagreb” to construct Master Plan for tourism development on Stara planina with pre-investment study with physical and technical characteristics of ski center. During their work, they completely ignored necessary legal procedure to contact Institute for Nature Protection for it’s official opinion and by that ignored environmental protection law. These violations of the legal procedures broke Law for protection of natural environment by articles No. 34, No. 49, No. 51 and No. 127 (Official Gazette of Republic of Serbia: No. 66/91, No. 83/92, No. 53/93 and No. 67/93). Company Ecosign, from Canada (and their partner Horwath Consulting) didn.t behave professional because of the fact that they didn’t make any contact with the Institute for Nature Protection of Serbia and P.E. “Srbijasume” which is a manager of the Stara Planina Nature Park, ignoring the fact that the planned ski resort is situated in the heart of Stara Planina Nature Park. Therefore, Master plan is illegal catastrophic for biodiversity and habitat conservation of the mountain. The draft Spatial Plan for the tourist region and nature park Stara Planina also, doesn’t respect the fact that the plan is about an protected area and it’s completely directed towards ski tourism and Stara planina landscape According to those plans, inside the Nature Park “Stara Planina” will be constructed about 40 ski lifts, nearly 30 ski tracks (in total length of more then 100 km) and 2 large tourist complexes on locations which are of exceptional significance for conserving the biodiversity. This huge tourism center will have capacity for up to 40.000 people (according to Master Plan) and is situated on the shoulders of the highest parts of the mountain - peaks Midzor (2170m), Babin zub (1758m), Tupanar (1964m),...more


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Photos by:
Aleksandar Simovic