Via Baltica, Rospuda River:
- podpisz protest!
- sign a petition!
Via Baltica is a proposed north-south expressway, planned to connect Helsinki with Warsaw. Some European Union countries want to route it through Poland; offering us the financing of its construction in exchange. Two options for its course are being considered:
* The Białystok option is being promoted by the local authorities. The expressway would cross the Augustów Forest, the Rospuda River Valley, the Biebrza National Park and probably the Knyszyn Forest Landscape Park. It would also run through the Biała Forest (the Bug River Valley Landscape Park), along the edge of the Wigry National Park and the Narew National Park, and would cross migration routes of large mammals. These areas have been proposed for inclusion in the Natura 2000 European network of protected areas, the protection extending beyond the boundaries of the current National Parks and Landscape Parks. The sites are also recognized by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Areas. Moreover, the Valley of Biebrza River is included in the list of wetlands of the Ramsar Convention.
* Łomża option, which is endorsed by ecologists, would avoid most of the above mentioned negative effects of the Białystok option. Moreover, it is much shorter.
Via Baltica in Poland would bring irreversible destruction of national parks and areas of the European Natura 2000 network. Many rare and even endangered species of animals and plants live there. Therefore, construction of the expressway using the Białystok option is a violation of EU law. Moreover, the decision to route Via Baltica through Białystok, made in January , was taken without a strategic assessment of its possible impact on the environment and with no respect of the environmental protection principles of the European Union. This could preclude financing of the construction using EU funds. The decision approving the route has subsequently been revoked as the implications of the absence of an Environmental Assessment have become apparent to the authorities and the conclusion will now take months or even years to reach. Its positive impact on the development of the areas in Poland through which it would be constructed is doubtful - only owners of land along the route and certain lobbies, particularly those involved in construction of the expressway, will profit from this project.
By signing the list below you are protesting against routing Via Baltica through unique nature areas, such as the Augustów Forest along with the Rospuda River Valley, the Biebrza National Park and the Knyszyn Forest, and thus you are expressing your disapproval for the Białystok option of this road.