Author Topic: Save Planinsko Polje  (Read 5833 times)

Offline Neil

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Save Planinsko Polje
« on: April 03, 2006, 05:59:27 pm »
I have had an e-mail from a good friend,  please do support them, see below:

Dear colleagues and friends,

Some of you might never have heard of Planinsko polje in Slovenia, some of you might have read about it and some of you might have seen it, even if only once. If you have heard of it, or seen it, you will know that, arguably, it is the best-preserved example of a large karst polje in the Dinaric Karst region of Europe. During the past year or so, an apparently highly aggressive international consortium has been pressing ahead with plans to erect a monstrosity of a building that will form a blot on the pristine landscape at the most environmentally sensitive point in the entire polje. This juggernaut venture is steaming forward as part of the seemingly innocent aspiration of providing a European Museum of Karst. Whereas provision of such a museum can only be seen as an exciting and worthwhile prospect, the potential effects on the polje's landscape and ecology really are unjustifiable, doubly so as a more environmentally acceptable and economically viable location for the planned complex could readily be found elsewhere within the Slovenian karst.

The Speleological Society of Ljubljana has launched a campaign that will attempt to gain statutory protection for Planinsko polje and its close neighbourhood, from this and from any future such initiatives. We would feel much stronger if we could demonstrate international concern about the issue, and attract the support of cavers, speleologists and all like-minded people who value and wish to preserve the natural environment. If you are interested in helping us, please, click http://emk.speleo.net/index_eng.php or just http://emk.speleo.net and follow the instructions provided to register your support. Furthermore, it would be even more helpful if you can take the time to forward this message to any individuals or organizations that you suppose might be willing to add their support and encouragement to our cause.

Thank you in advance!
On behalf of the Speleological Society of Ljubljana,
Yours sincerely,    
France Sustersic
 france.sustersic@ntfgeo.uni-lj.si

Offline AndyF

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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2006, 07:35:08 pm »
Yes, absolutely.

Franc runs the Speleocamp Laze, very close to the polje. It is a beautiful place, and needs protection from incremental development.
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2006, 07:37:17 pm »
Without knowing a lot more about the background to this isn't there a chance of just blindly taking sides. Is there a conflict of interest?

Offline Les W

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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2006, 08:37:01 pm »
Quote from: "cap 'n chris"
Without knowing a lot more about the background to this isn't there a chance of just blindly taking sides. Is there a conflict of interest?


Just for clarification Franc is the owner of speleocamp in Laze.
France Sustersic is a highly regarded professor at the Karst Institute.

With regard to Planinsko Polje, I know the area well and agree it is very beautiful.
I don't necessarily believe that a sympathetic development would be harmful and in a small country like Slovenia it could significantly help the local economy, however I think the main concern is that the proposed development is anything but sympathetic and that the two proposed locations are not only unsuitable but could seriously damage the ecology and asthetics of the area.
I also understand that there is concern that the construction plant could cause damage to the floor of the polje and also possibly pollute the drainage. Planinsko Polje is the home to some fairly unique fauna (Proteus - http://www.arkive.org/species/GES/amphibians/Proteus_anguinus/more_info.html ) which are only found in the immediate area and nowhere else in the world. The small population of these rare creatures could suffer serious damage in a polution incident, they are so specialised that in Planina Jama they only live in one branch of the river.

With regard to your comment about a possible conflict of intrest you are right. If you view the list of names on the website you will find that they read as a who's who of international cave science. The conflict is that these people all have the best intrest of the area as their first priority and believe that what is possibly the best example of a "polje" in the world is under threat.
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Offline AndyF

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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2006, 08:46:14 pm »
Quote from: "cap 'n chris"
Without knowing a lot more about the background to this isn't there a chance of just blindly taking sides. Is there a conflict of interest?


I think I take the stance that all green-field development is bad unless it can be proved otherwise. This particualr area I have visited a number of times.

There are alreadya bunch of show caves in the area, as well as fantastic wild caves. I'd not be surprised if this develpment isn't aimed at developing Planina Jama back into a show cave.

As the home of proteus, one of the rarest animals on the planet, I can only see this as bad. Numbers won't go up as a result of development....
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2006, 08:54:18 pm »
I'm totally confused (no change there, then).

If I understand things correctly, a panel of international cave scientists are opposed to the building of a European Museum of Karst since the intended location is in a sensitive area.

If this is true then surely the best people in the world to argue successfully against the building, on the grounds of environmental impact to subterranean fauna (for example), are the scientists themselves.

Offline Les W

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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2006, 09:18:34 pm »
Which is what they are trying to do!

You're right, you are confused :D
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2006, 09:20:46 pm »
Aha! Well, in that case this begs the obvious question (which is why I got confused to begin with).....

Why didn't the f**king developers ASK the scientists WHERE they would like to have the freakin' museum built in the first place?

Offline AndyF

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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2006, 09:24:50 pm »
Quote from: "cap 'n chris"
I'm totally confused (no change there, then).

If I understand things correctly, a panel of international cave scientists are opposed to the building of a European Museum of Karst since the intended location is in a sensitive area.

If this is true then surely the best people in the world to argue successfully against the building, on the grounds of environmental impact to subterranean fauna (for example), are the scientists themselves.


I think you are assuming that a decision will be based on logic and reason. That is rarely the case when it comes to commercial ventures. Ususally it will be based on vested interest, frequently with backhanders and bribery thrown in. The people there need to marshal all avenues of opposition, hence the multilingual web site. Make a government think they have international opposition, rather than a few nimbies and you have a better case.
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2006, 09:30:08 pm »
Quote from: "AndyF"
I think you are assuming that a decision will be based on logic and reason


This is what I used to think. Then I took up caving. Nothing makes sense to me anymore. There doesn't appear to be any logic or reason behind anything to do with caving. "I don't see any method at all, sir".

Offline Les W

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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2006, 09:52:19 pm »
Slovenia is no different to any other Western nation.
Vested intrests propose a development, scientists and informed people oppose, (possible brown envelopes are exchanged), protesters are ignored, development occurs, problems follow and its all too late, the only thing left is the I told you so's.

If you saw the debate about the proposed transpark to be built on the sinkhole plain in Kentucky near Mammoth Cave, then you would see the same thing there.

Also the british governments failure to tunnel under St Catherines down with the M3 in Winchester and now  trying to wriggle out of a Stonehenge tunnel because of cost, prefering instead to trash the environment to save money. (Not that I am accusing them of any impropriety in these two projects, but I wouldn't be at all surprised. Its always money that oils the wheels not concern for the environment.) People who are concerned for the environment always find themselves opposing projects and big buisness is always the driving force.

This is repeated again and again. The only recourse is for people to cite these planning disasters when opposing other proposed developments, even then the proposers say things like "we have taken these lessons on board" and "we have made provisions for all possible eventualities" (except the unforseen one that crops up soon after completion when it's too late.

Expert opinion is always ignored when it stands in the way of somebody's "quick buck"
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Offline SamT

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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2006, 09:53:13 pm »
Hey - my dad was on about this today. Freekey deeky.

He has a lot of dealings with the national parks and stuff in slovenia.

I'll forward him a link to this.

more tomorrow

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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2006, 02:34:25 am »
Quote from: "cap 'n chris"
Without knowing a lot more about the background to this isn't there a chance of just blindly taking sides. Is there a conflict of interest?


Indeed it is after all a bunch of academic cavers arguing over where to put their museum.

Reading the news section of the EMK site suggests that far from being hell bent on a particular plan they are considering several options still.

Personally I don't think anywhere deserves the misfortune of 100,000 tourists a year but both sides seem to be agreed on building it somewhere in the area.

Offline graham

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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2006, 08:57:54 am »
I know France Sustersic and doubt that he would worry unduly, but do wonder that Franc Facija is not on that list, neither do I see any names that I recognise from the Karst Institute in Postojna.

I think I need to hear more before deciding to take sides in this debate.
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Offline graham

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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2006, 03:37:44 pm »
Ok, I have now heard from the Karst Institute in Postojna. They, too are protesting, but they are also suggesting that the scheme be moved to a new and more suitable site near Postojna. It might be a good idea to mention that in any personal comments made about the issue.
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Offline Judi Durber

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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2006, 05:13:25 pm »
This looks like a worthy cause to put one's name to, it looks like they could do with all the help they can get.
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