EPL environmentalists perceive the recent developments on the Kerch Peninsula as a threat of man-made disaster. Until recently, the Kerch Peninsula remained the least developed part of Crimea. Mostly it consists of natural steppe areas, cliffs and other natural landscapes, richly filled with monuments of history and archeology, as well as the culture of Crimean Tatars. In the 1980s, scientists proposed to declare the entire peninsula as Biosphere Reserve.
Currently the eastern edge of Crimea suffers from new threats that were unknown in Ukraine since it gained independence. The most notable among them are now the consequences of the military exercises in Karadah regional landscape park. In the past the area of the regional landscape park was a military ground, but in recent decades, this negative effect did not occur. Currently, on the “ground” there was renewed a military airfield.1 Violation of vegetation and landscape, soil contamination with remains of explosives and incredible trouble factor completely levelled protective status of the territory of the regional landscape park.
In the Opukskyi Nature Reserve (it is also located on the Kerch Peninsula) and in its vicinity, Russian troops have established a big military ground, including for the bombing. There were full-fledged military trainings in the ground2.
It is impossible to imagine further breeding of endangered steppe steppe species – crane and bustard – in conditions of constant bombing.
Moreover, the territory of the regional landscape park is used as waste dump for the Kerch city, which is also incompatible with the protection status of the territory.
The biggest, fortunately yet unfulfilled threat, to the nature of the Kerch peninsula remains the intent to construct the Kerch bridge. EPL experts believe that the construction of the bridge will lead to the transformation of the Kerch Peninsula into a transit zone and will cause massive development of infrastructure (including storage facilities, transport depots, etc.) along the planned transport routes, because the bridge designers see the Kerch bridge as “eastern gateway of Crimea.”3
International charitable organization “Environment-People-Law” encourages Crimean biologists to participate in the study of the negative impacts of the planned construction for the nature of the Kerch Peninsula.