Dismal prospects for Svydovets

A gargantuan ski resort is looming in the Svydovets mountains of Ukraine. The environmental movement Free Svydovets has filed a lawsuit against these plans, but has now been defeated in court.

snow in the mountains

The mountain landscape of Svydovets is still pristine and characterised by a great diversity of species.

© Serhii Ryzhkov
Protest of the conservation movement Free Svydovets

The environmental movement Free Svydovets, which was awarded the EuroNature Prize 2022, is fighting against the planned ski resort.

© Free Svydovets

The Administrative Court of Appeal in Lviv rejected the environmentalists’ complaint and approved the Svydovets development plans. This could soon destroy 1400 hectares of primeval and old-growth forests in the Carpathians of Ukraine. The court’s decision is questionable not least because the skiing area’s developers violated applicable law on several occasions. Among other things, proper procedures for public hearings of the affected population were not observed and access to important information was denied.

Plans for the ski resort in Svydovets became public in 2016. They include building 60 hotels, several restaurants and shops and even a private airport on the mountain range, despite Svydovets being home to many rare animal and plant species, of which 93 would be threatened with local extinction if the gigantic project were to go ahead. By granting the EuroNatur Award 2022 to the Free Svydovets conservation movement, EuroNatur spotlighted this nature-destroying tourism project.

“While thousands of Ukrainians are currently giving their lives for a better future within the community of European countries, the Ukrainian courts are moving in the opposite direction and push the country back into a dark past,” Free Svydovets stated after the court decision. The European Parliament also strongly criticised the plans for the illegal construction of the mega-resort at Svydovets. Free Svydovets has announced that it will file an appeal against the court decision.

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