Kazakhstan: Local people & NGOs raise environmental & health concerns over construction of Kok-Jailau ski resort

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Company response
30 January 2013

[CaspiEcology response regarding Kok-Jailau ski resort concerns

Author: CaspiEcology Environmental Services, LLC

…While issues of this nature can be controversial if not emotional, there should be evidence of effort to present information within the framework of relevant available studies as opposed to inflaming misunderstanding. This is especially of concern when referring to the environment and the health and safety of people. In this regard and rather than belabor issues we wish to respond by affirming our support for our colleagues (Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners Ltd.) reply letter to you of January 28, 2013 which was written in response to identical data you sent us. We value our environment, have devoted our lives to it, and promote its use in a manner that best supports the people on our earth.

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Company response
28 January 2013

[Ecosign response regarding Kok-Jailau ski resort concerns

Author: Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners Ltd.

Over the last 40 years, Ecosign (ECOlogical-deSIGN) has firmly established itself as a world leader in the design of successful, award winning, environmentally responsible and profitable mountain resorts completing over 380 resort development projects of various scales and purposes in over 38 countries spanning 6 continents as well as the design of 4 Olympic Winter Games...Ecosign has reviewed the petition to ban the construction of the mountain ski resort in Kok-Jailau, Защитим Кок-Жайляу...and... the...Feasibility Study...[T]he petition contains numerous inaccuracies...We are concerned that the petition appears to present a largely unsubstantiated and subjective view of the proposed Kok Zhailau ski resort. As the petition does not address any of the technical merits of the proposal...we are unable to respond further. Please note that Ecosign has responded on behalf of the Design Team sub consultants listed in the Executive Summary including: KPMG, Horwath HTL, CaspiEcology, Engineerisk, ARUP, and GeoData Plus.

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Company response
28 January 2013

[Engineerisk response regarding Kok-Zhailau ski resort construction concerns

Author: Engineerisk

Dealing everyday with a natural phenomenon, subjectivity is a big risk to avoid for us, unfortunately as it can be when evaluating the complexity of a whole project through only a few simplifications. For instance for what concerns our topic, we are sorry to read a sentence like ‘’ Slopes of Kumbel above Kok-Jailau valley are extremely dangerous due to avalanches’’: it is given as an evidence but it is obviously a simple view of a more balanced reality! About that, you could have also better noticed that this work have provided an exhaustive inventory of all avalanche paths in this territory, compared many slopes with other parameters to contribute to classify the ‘’best’’ areas, listed different mitigation possibilities to optimize the compromise between safety and environment…

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Article
1 January 2013

[Petition to ban the construction of the mountain ski resort in Kok-Jailau] [Kazakhstan]

Author: Защитим Кок-Жайляу (Zashchitim Kok-Jailau)

...The topic of construction of the new ski resort in Kok-Jailau valley was first raised in 2007...The project includes construction of an international resort with...ski tracks...construction of ski tows, hotels, restaurants, retail and entertainment centers, and golf fields; development of infrastructure – auto road, auto parking, electrical, natural gas, and water supply facilities...Construction of the new resort inside the national park does not only contradict the national legislation...but also international legislation...Any mountain ski resort brings a significant negative impact on ecosystems – soil and vegetation, topography, water sources, and atmosphere. And the new resort is not going to be an exception...The resort water supply and golf fields irrigation systems will require hundreds of thousands cubic meters of water per year...[I]t should be remembered that the city [Almaty] is under a shortage of water for a long time already, and many water intakes for the city are located in...the park...We demand to ban the construction of the mountain ski resort in Kok-Jailau on the territory of Ile-Alatau National Park. [The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners Ltd., Arup, CaspiEcology Environmental Services, Engineerisk, KPMG and ТОО «Горнолыжный курорт «Көкжайлау» to respond. ТОО «Горнолыжный курорт «Кoкжайлау» did not respond. Other companies’ responses are below.]

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