The Times On-line of London reports that development for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia threaten to destroy one of the world’s last untouched eco-systems — home to more than 6,000 types of flora and fauna, more than 100 of which are on the â€œred listâ€ of threatened species.
The Olympic organizing committee’s plans are well advanced but construction has not begun on the site in Sochi National Park. Nearly $9 billion of capital investment will be required to build 20 permanent venues and make them accessible to thousands of Olympic visitors during the Games.
The principal objection is that the site borders a Unesco World Heritage Site, including the Caucasus State Biosphere Nature Reserve. Environmentalists argue that the Olympic village, which will accommodate 2,000 people, and a bobsleigh venue seating 11,000, should not be built along the protected buffer zone. â€œIt would be catastrophic. No other area in the world can compare with this one. It a place absolutely untouched until now,â€ Andrei Petrov, Green-peace Russia’s world heritage program co-ordinator, said.
The Times also reports that more than 4,000 people are facing eviction to make room for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, according to campaigners, who say that many will receive little or no compensation.
The authorities have already begun forcibly removing people from areas where Olympic facilities are to be built. Fifteen families of refugees from a war in the neighbouring republic of Abkhazia have been evicted from the outskirts of Sochi where they have lived for 15 years. They have nowhere to go.
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Source: The Times On-line