“Protect Kok-Zhailau”, Ile-Alatau State National nature park, Kazakhstan

An exclusive ski resort with infrastructure, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, entertainment centers and playgrounds in the middle of a natural park becomes a threat for environment and local people


Description
The leadership of Kazakhstan made the decision that mountains have to make profit. They decided to construct a world level mountain-skiing complex with all infrastructure, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, entertainment centers and playgrounds in the middle of a natural park.
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Basic Data
Name“Protect Kok-Zhailau”, Ile-Alatau State National nature park, Kazakhstan
CountryKazakhstan
SiteAlma-Ata
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biodiversity conservation conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Urban development conflicts
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Specific CommoditiesLand
Ecosystem Services
Tourism services
Water
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
According to the feasibility report prepared by Ecosign, 77 ski slopes will be constructed stretching 63 kilometers, with 16 lifts capable of carrying 10,150 skiers at a time. In addition, hotels with a total of 5,736 beds will be built. The goal is to attract a million visitors a year from within a four-hour flight radius of Almaty, spanning areas of India, China and Russia.
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Project Area (in hectares)170920,000
Level of Investment (in USD)750 million (from public funds) $2.1 Billion in Private investment sought
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected PopulationInhabitants of National natural park. Residents of Alma-Ata and region.
Start Date17/06/2011
Company Names or State EnterprisesEcosign Mountain Resort Planners Ltd. from Canada - One of two feasibility studies has been conducted by this Canadian international leader in ski resort design
Kok-Zhaylau from Kazakhstan - Owned and operated by Almaty's City hall
Relevant government actorsMunicipality of the Alma-Ata city, Management of tourism, Management of natural resources, Energy division
International and Financial InstitutionsUNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
IUCN
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersProtect Kok-Zhaylau, Green Salvation, Keep a snow leopard
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Recreational users
Local ejos
Social movements
Local government/political parties
Local scientists/professionals
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Religious groups
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Women
Farmers
Industrial workers
Informal workers
Forms of MobilizationAppeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Development of a network/collective action
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Public campaigns
Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Referendum other local consultations
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Media based activism/alternative media
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Street protest/marches
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Strikes
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Air pollution, Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Soil erosion
Potential: Genetic contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
OtherDestruction of the animals and plants which are in the Red List of Kazakhstan and IUCN.
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts, Accidents
Potential: Malnutrition, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Deaths
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Repression
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
Development of AlternativesAccording to a petition from Green Salvation:

It is more logical to develop already existing resorts, which currently are not working at full capacity. In the neighborhood of Almaty in the radius of 50 km there are existing ten ski resorts: "Shimbulak", "Ak-bulak", "Tabagan", "Almatau", "Yelik-Say", "Shybynsay", "Enbek", "Tau-Turan", "Forest tail", "Dinamo", a resort in Kaskelen gorge and other less known resorts .

The main attraction of Kazakhstan for European tourists - pieces of virgin nature such as Ile-Alatau National park. The tourism trend of latest years is popularization of ecotourism - tourism with the minimal impact on the environment. And ecotourism could become a hallmark of Almaty district.

Development of ecological tourism (scientific ecotourism, exploring ecotourism, bird watching, botanical tours, video and photo tours, ethnic tourism, etc.) is the prior task of the National park, which is stated in the General plan for development.

We claim for abandonment of ski resort construction on Kok-Zhaylyao on the territory of the Ile-Alatau National park. Along with that we are not against tourism development in the region. We are for development of ecotourism (that will not damage unique ecosystems of Trans-Ili Alatau), for development of already existing ski resorts and against development of elite tourism sector for public financing (i.e. our taxes) and leave thousands of Kazakhstani citizens with no favorite place for leisure and recreation! For the construction of ski resorts there is a set of the places which don't have the status of reserves.

- Include the Park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

- Resignation of the mayor of Almaty.

- Refusal in carrying out the Winter Olympic Games 2022 in Almaty.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.In 2014 the earth for construction was aloof from the territory of National park and construction of the resort began.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Arhus Convention
[click to view]

Links

Protect Kok-Zailau
[click to view]

Green Salvation
[click to view]

My favourite Kok-Zhaylau
[click to view]

Little citizens of Kazakhstan unanimously oppose barbarous destruction of National parks
[click to view]

Snow Leopard
[click to view]

Petition to Director General UNESCO Irina Bokova
[click to view]

Eurasianet.org Kazakhstan: Green Zone on Slippery Slope
[click to view]

Media Links

Welcome to Alma-Ata.
[click to view]

Kok-Zhailau SOS!!!
[click to view]

Protect Kok-Zhailau
[click to view]

Pray together with us!
[click to view]

Alma-Ata is a zone of ecological catastrophe.
[click to view]

Help us!
[click to view]

Kok-Zhailau
[click to view]

Good morning Kok-Zhailau!
[click to view]

Photo Ile-Alatau
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Photo Ile-Alatau
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Photo Ile-Alatau
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Photo Ile-Alatau
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Photo Ile-Alatau
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Photo Ile-Alatau
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Photo Ile-Alatau
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Photo Ile-Alatau
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Other Documents

World Heritage Centre UNESCO Information request about the project
[click to view]

UNECE Information list Kazakhstan ACCC/C/2013/88
[click to view]

Communication to the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee Communication to the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee
[click to view]

Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee DATASHEET Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee DATASHEET
[click to view]

Petition to Nazarbayev Petition to Nazarbayev included more than 10000 signatures
[click to view]

Petition to Director General UNESCO Petition to Director General UNESCO Irina Bokova has more than 14000 signatures
[click to view]

Letter to Biodiversity Convention Letter to Biodiversity Convention
[click to view]

Statement of the European ECO Forum Statement of the European ECO Forum
[click to view]

Civil Hearings Civil Hearings
[click to view]

Summary of the feasibility report of the project Summary of the feasibility report of the project
[click to view]

View of the sky resort Source: http://www.skiresort.info/ski-resort/kok-zhailau-resort-planned/trail-map/
[click to view]

World Heritage Centre UNESCO Information on the construction project is requested by the secretariat of UNESCO repeatedly. However the government of Kazakhstan keeps silence.
[click to view]

Campaign's pictures
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Campaign's pictures
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Campaign's pictures
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Campaign's pictures
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Campaign's pictures
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Caterpillars in action
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Campaign's pictures
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Campaign's pictures - city trees cut
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Campaign's pictures
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Campaign's pictures
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Campaign's pictures
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Last update29/01/2016
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