Last seeds of hope for Pavlovsk

Last seeds of hope for Pavlovsk

31 August 2010

Bioversity International and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have jointly written to the Russian Minister of Agriculture and the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment urging them to save Pavlovsk from property developers. This comes as a final decision is awaited from the final Arbitration Court hearing.

Emile Frison, Director General of Bioversity International and Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP, have written to the two ministers asking them to exert their influence and authority to conserve the station’s historic collection: “for the sake of the future of Russian agriculture and in recognition of the global importance of agricultural biodiversity”.

But as the decision time gets close, signs are not looking good. Russian news agency Novosti reported this weekend that scientists have been barred from entering the site by the housing developers while an Associated Press story published on National Public Radio reports that the first land auction could take place as early as September 23rd.

President Dmitry Medvedev has promised to scrutinize the decision, and continued pressure by individuals and international organizations and further media coverage may make a difference to the final outcome.

Download copies of the letters: