Svydovets ski resort, Ukraine

A proposal for an enormous ski resort, the largest in Ukraine complete with 60 hotels, 10 shopping malls and an airport, threatens large-scale deforestation in the Svydovets massif and severe disruption of hydrological systems throughout the wider region


An enormous ski resort complex is proposed in the Svydovets massif, which forms part of the Carpathian mountains in Transcarpathia in western Ukraine. Plans for the megaproject - comprising 230 kilometres of ski runs, 33 ski lifts plus hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, an airport and other facilities - first came to light in 2016 and if it goes ahead it will be the largest ski resort in the country, an urban centre in its own right with capacity to accommodate 28,000 visitors simultaneously. The development would cause serious ecological damage to Svydovets, one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in Ukraine. Wild spruce and beech forests are rich in flora and fauna and there are three natural lakes. Government officials have lobbied for approval of the project. The governor of Transcarpathia, Guenady Moskal supports establishment of the ski resort, financed by unknown investors. The project area spans Tyachiv and Rakhiv districts. Three villages are directly affected: Yassinya, Tchoma Tissa and Lopukhovo.

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Basic Data
NameSvydovets ski resort, Ukraine
ProvinceZakarpattia Oblast
SiteTyachiv and Rakhiv districts
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Tourism Recreation
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Deforestation
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Water access rights and entitlements
Logging and non timber extraction
Urban development conflicts
Ports and airport projects
Specific CommoditiesWater
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe proposed total area of the Svodovets ski resort complex covers 1,430 hectares, with about 800 hectares earmarked for housing, commercial, economic and recreational infrastructure, including the area for engineering communications. Reports of project components include:

• 230 kilometers of ski runs[5]

• 33 ski lifts[2]

• 89.9 kilometers of highways

• 5 multi-storey car parks with spaces for 6,000 cars

• 120 restaurants

• 60 hotels

• 390 cottages

• 10 shopping centres

• 17 rental facilities

• 3 bank branches

• 3 fitness centres[5]

• airport[2] [4]

Construction of a new road extending across the massif to reach the centre of the planned ski resort, linking to the districts of Tyatchiv and Rakhiv, has commenced.[1] Construction of several reservoirs with the total volume of 1,260,000 cubic meters is planned, in order to provide water for tourists and artificial snow production. The ski resort would produce up to 5,800 cubic meters of sewage waters daily.[5]
Project Area (in hectares)1,430
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2017
Relevant government actorsTyachiv District State Administration

Rakhiv District State Administration

Regional State Administration of Transcarpathia

Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersFree Svydovets -

European Wilderness Society -

Bruno Manser Fonds -

European Civic Forum -

WWF Global -
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndustrial workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Recreational users
Forms of MobilizationArtistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Groundwater pollution or depletion, Soil erosion, Food insecurity (crop damage)
Health ImpactsPotential: Other Health impacts
OtherLoss of food production - mushrooms and berries

Illnesses causes by pollutants emitted by aircraft
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Loss of livelihood, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
OtherLoss of income from forestry and timber industries and medicinal plants
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Development of AlternativesFree Svydovets supports the development of sustainable tourism and creation of small-scale resorts in certain areas where environmental impact assessments stipulate that the environment will not be harmed.[2]
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.A court decision requiring the Tyachiv and Rakhiv state administrations to provide detailed plans of the mega ski resort was an achievement for environmental justice. The outcome of the more substantive matter of construction of the resort is uncertain. If the project goes ahead it would violate numerous provisions of national and international laws pertaining to protected species and areas.
Sources and Materials

[5] Tymur Bedernichek, Tetyana Partyka, Roman Cherepanyn, Tetyana Kuchma,Vlasta Loya, Myroslaw Kabal, Ruslan Gleb, Environmental impact of the planned ski resort SVYDOVETS: far-reaching Consequences on the ecosystems and Biodiversity, 5th Forum Carpaticum: Adapting to Environmental and Social Risk in the Carpathian Mountain Region, Eger, Hungary, 15-18 October 2018, Book of abstracts
[click to view]

[1] 14.000 hectares of forest in the Carpathian mountains in Ukraine threatened by a huge tourism project: Defend << Svydovets >> !, FREE Svydovets
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[2] Petition to the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine “Protect the Ice Age Park in the Carpathians from Construction Development”, FREE Svydovets
[click to view]

[3] How is Svydovets doing?, European Wilderness Network, 13 April 2018
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[4] Svydovets massif needs our support, European Wilderness Network, 23 August 2018
[click to view]

[6] 8000 signatures for the protection of the Carpathian forests, Bruno Manser Fonds, November 2018
[click to view]

Media Links

Video by Free Svydovets – Svydovets mountain range is a perfect environment for long term tourism – rural and environmental, but unique ecosystems at risk from tourism complex
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Video by Bruno Manser Fonds – Ski resort complex for 28,000 visitors a day threatens fragile Svydovets ecosystem
[click to view]

Video by Bruno Manser Fonds – Biodiversity in the Carpathian Forest, Svydovets is a biodiversity hotspot with 94 endangered animal and plant species
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Other Documents

Svydovets map Detailed plan of the Svydovets ski-resort complex. Source: Ukrinform
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FREE Svydovets campaigners An Appeal court session required state administrations to provide detailed plan of the territory of the meg-resort plan. Source: Irvna Shcoka, European Wilderness Network
[click to view]

Svydovets mountains The Svydovets massif, one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in Ukraine, is threatened by the megatourism project. Source: FREE Svydovets
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorRose Bridger, Stay Grounded, email: [email protected]
Last update28/11/2018