torstai 25. maaliskuuta 2010

The Bitsa forest park: the air and life of Moscow

The agenda of the Urban Forest Movement is not only to preserve any urban forest in Helsinki, as the issue is common to all urban forests, not only in Finland but indeed of global importance. This is confirmed by the words of a Russian urban forest preservation activist, legitimizing his agenda for participation in preserving the Bitsa forest park in Moscow, Russia:

“This park is our air, our life. All Moscow depends on this air… for the majority of local inhabitants this is a unique health resort. Other resorts are usually inaccessible, therefore Bitsa is the main place for relaxation and healthy activity. The logging of this forest park would change the whole environment in the southern part of Moscow. The population would be deprived of clean air, and finally it would have a great effect on the health of up to 500 000 people who live here. Here we can do something to protect ourselves. It is impossible to destroy such a beauty as this forest park. The care and need to preserve the wood, the understanding that it was necessary for many people led me to this group. The pleasure of taking part in social activity is very important too. The leading group was formed of such people. Besides this, you have the moral satisfaction, when you see the results of your work. For me the most rewarding part of my activity is the thought that it will result in a better ecological situation for me, my children and my grandchildren to enjoy. This is why I became an elected representative, to help people in my constituency. My life is difficult but I feel a moral satisfaction. For me it is very important – to help people (Perepjolki, Lev and Figatner, Yuri 1997, 219-220)”

(source: Perepjolkin, Lev and Figatner, Yuri: Environmental movements in Moscow. In Environmental and Housing Movements. Grassroots Experience in Hungary, Russia and Estonia (1997). Edited by Katy Láng-Pickvance, Nick Manning and Chris Pickvance. Avebury, pp. 198-254)

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