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Highway threat to peatland

THE CONSTRUCTION of the D1 highway between Turany and Hubová threatens the Rojkovské rašelinisko / Rojkov Peatland Natural Reserve, which was ranked among the most seriously endangered peatlands in the world by the International Mire Conservation Group. Ján Topercer, a researcher at the Botanical Garden of Comenius University in Blatnica, relayed this information at the second public debate on the additional environmental impact evaluation of the highway, held in Kraľovany.

Topercer in the Rojkov peatland.(Source: Sme- Ján Krošlák)

THE CONSTRUCTION of the D1 highway between Turany and Hubová threatens the Rojkovské rašelinisko / Rojkov Peatland Natural Reserve, which was ranked among the most seriously endangered peatlands in the world by the International Mire Conservation Group. Ján Topercer, a researcher at the Botanical Garden of Comenius University in Blatnica, relayed this information at the second public debate on the additional environmental impact evaluation of the highway, held in Kraľovany.

Topercer also informed the SITA newswire at the end of November that the evaluation of the environmental impacts of the highway conducted by the Natura 2000 team was inadequate.

He added that European Commissioners - for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, and for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, received a report from 20 renowned and well-respected international experts on mires and peatlands.

“These summarise the best knowledge available about the 17,000-year-old Rojkovské rašelinisko, and the threats it faces with the ‘surface alternative’ of the D1 highway,” Topercer said.

Michal Hájek of Masaryk University in Brno opined that the impacts of this proposed highway alternative on the peatland would be very negative and that even the most recent proposals would probably not reduce them.

“International experts agree on this... Our data show markedly negative impacts of the D1 on the biotope of linden-maple debris forests at the foot of the northern slopes of Kopa, as well as on the species of huchen, or Danube salmon (Hucho hucho), and the European otter (Lutra lutra),” Topercer added.

The National Highway Company and the ministries have already known about the study for two years, he explained. It compares the technological and economic indices of the three alternatives of the D1 highway in Turany-Hubová.

“Including the expenses for the repair of the Kraľovany landslide and the expenses for reducing the environmental impact, the final price for the ‘surface alternative’ comes to close to €820 million, while the alternatives including tunnels would not exceed €500-600 million,” construction designer and the first author of the study Ján Snopko said, as quoted by SITA.

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