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 Post subject: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 20th, 2009, 10:56 am 
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Finance minister Ligi blocks protection of eagle nests

Article in newspaper EPL, Eesti Päevaleht, 05. september 2009 08:00
Author: Ulvar Käärt
Translation: Liis

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Photo by Urmas Sellis

This young lesser spotted eagle, photographed near Otepää, South Estonia, hasn’t a nesting place yet, so no worries yet about its protection either.

Ministry of Finance wants to save 7 500 Estonian krooni on the lesser spotted eagles this year.

Finance minister Jürgen Ligi of the Reform or “Squirrel” party will not bless the law proposed by his party comrade Jaanus Tamkivi’s Ministry of the Environment, by which all known nest sites of lesser spotted eagles would be protected.

Jürgen Ligi said, in a letter sent to Tamkivi at the end of August, that if this law would be enforced this year already, the valds [vald = local municipality in Estonia, roughly corresponding to earlier parishes] in whose territories the nests are located, must get compensation for the land tax that they then would lose from these areas.

Only marginal sum missing

“In the preparatory work to the law it is noted that the Ministry of the Environment doesn’t have the means to compensate the local municipalities [vallad] for their reduced income – but no answer is given to the question about from where the needed financing for 2009 would then be found”, is Ligi’s motivation to why he already for the second time this year has said a definite “No” to the proposition about the lesser spotted eagles. Because of this he recommended that the law should not be activated until January next year.

Altogether 174 lesser spotted eagle nest trees and their surrounding areas would become protected in Estonia as permanent nesting places, in a first stage 15 of those. A preliminary estimate shows that for instance Räpina vald in Põlvamaa would lose about 300 Estonian krooni in taxes from land that would become protected, Laeva vald in Tartumaa 832 krooni 35 senti, Mõniste vald in Võrumaa 2300 krooni 50 senti. To the 8 municipalities [vallad] that house nesting lesser spotted eagles government would have to pay altogether less than 7 500 Estonian krooni* in compensation.
The head of the environmental protection department of the Ministry of Environment, Taimo Aasma, says that a delay in activation of the proposed law is not motivated, since all concerned local authorities were informed about the economic consequences. Aasma indicated that changes in preliminary budgets are calculated with in the compensation fund, through which the corresponding sums are paid out fully or reduced, depending on the responsibilities that are set on the local authorities. So it has been for years.
“We must as soon as possible discuss with the Finance Department how to go on with this law proposal now”, Aasma said, unable to comment the absurd situation more precisely.
Kotkaklubi (Eagle Club) proposed already several years ago that the nesting areas of lesser spotted eagles – birds that themselves belong to the highest protection category – should be protected.

Nests are lost because of the delays

•• Kotkaklubi (Eagle Club) member Urmas Sellis said that because the proposed law to protect the nesting areas of lesser spotted eagles already has dragged for some years, several nests have been lost because of tree felling.
•• „There is a 100-m radius protection zone around nest trees but fellings around them have opened up nests to winds and nests have fallen down, or the disturbed birds have abandoned the nest”, Sellis said.
••  The attempt of the Ministry of Finances to save 7 500 Krooni for Government in these difficult times, by delaying the protection for the lesser spotted eagle nests, he saw as a rather poor joke,
••  The lesser spotted eagles, at the moment the most numerous of Estonia’s eagle species, were threatened by extinction during the Soviet period, when all eagles were pursued as “goshawks”
•• Since then their numbers have gone up, from only 30 – 40 nesting pairs to nearly 600 pairs to-day.
•• The main threats to lesser spotted eagles are destruction of suitable nesting areas and disturbances during the nesting period.

* 7 500 EEK = ~703.00 USD, or ~479.00 EUR

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 Post subject: Re: Worry with protection LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 20th, 2009, 11:00 am 
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This topic is for comments and hopefully some ideas what we can do for quicken the process.

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 Post subject: Re: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2009, 1:28 am 
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If we send Kotkaklubi some sums,even small,would that sway the government's decision ? I mean help to raise the sum that is missing.
I am willing to do that. If others could help too,would that make any difference ?
Should we send a petition to the govt.? :soap:

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 Post subject: Re: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2009, 5:28 am 
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The amount of money they are worried about seems small to me ... do you think it is a smokescreen for some other reason?


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 Post subject: Re: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2009, 5:58 am 
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bociany wrote:
The amount of money they are worried about seems small to me ... do you think it is a smokescreen for some other reason?

If it is a smokescreen some kind international chiding might be helpful. Today most countries and business want to be seen as supporting the environment.


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 Post subject: Re: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2009, 8:58 am 
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macdoum wrote:
If we send Kotkaklubi some sums,even small,would that sway the government's decision ? I mean help to raise the sum that is missing.
I am willing to do that. If others could help too,would that make any difference ?
Should we send a petition to the govt.? :soap:


Hello Macdoum!
I´m afraid that giving money is not solution because that sum actually is very small.
I think it is not so much about money but taking new commitment for years.

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 Post subject: Re: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2009, 9:21 am 
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juta wrote:
macdoum wrote:
If we send Kotkaklubi some sums,even small,would that sway the government's decision ? I mean help to raise the sum that is missing.
I am willing to do that. If others could help too,would that make any difference ?
Should we send a petition to the govt.? :soap:


Hello Macdoum!
I´m afraid that giving money is not solution because that sum actually is very small.
I think it is not so much about money but taking new commitment for years.

I wonder if a lump sum -- for the whole amount linked to people from around the world might be embarrassing. It does seem very odd. I went to a money conversion site and my response was :puzzled: :puzzled:. It seems a statement against wildlife.


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 Post subject: Re: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2009, 10:16 am 
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It is of course an absolutely ridiculous sum (7 500 Estonian krooni), for a Ministry in a developed and industrialised country, EU member at that.

Nice headline for newspapers: "7 500 Krooni missing in Government purse - LSE lose protection"

Come New Year, new budget – will there be another more or less laughable excuse?
Or are other things expected to happen before New Year (or whenever budget year starts) to block the law?


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 Post subject: Re: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2009, 12:09 pm 
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I don't get this matter.. how can it be that the fate of the nest trees of LSEs depends on one person? What does the Finance Minister want?

He seems not to appreciate the values that underline the protection of the Estonian Nature. What does he appreacite? Does he know how much work it has been done during years to protect endangered birds? To make it legal to fell those trees will have consequences for generations to a fearful trend tendency: a world without Lesser Spotted Eagles, and propably some other birds and animals too.

These nests cannot be bought with money! LSEs cannot be asked to fly some other place.. can they?

I think, it's almost the same as to destroy Lesser Spotted Eagles of future, not only to allow to destroy the nests of this generation of LSEs. For what?

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 Post subject: Re: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2009, 2:21 pm 
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Such an amount (7500 Eesti Krooni) is actually nothing for a government. At the same time they give millions and millions of Dollars/Euros/Eesti Krooni to insolvent banks and so on.

Actually a single person would be able to pay those 7500 Eesti Kroons!
They (the government) could easily spend this tiny tiny amount of money on LSE protection - but for some reason they don´t WANT to. And so the easiest solution for them is to say: "We don´t have enough money to spend 7500 Eesti Kroons on LSE" :rant: :argue: :soap: :vangry: :rant:

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 Post subject: Re: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2009, 4:50 pm 
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Thre is of course the facteur of the WOOD-LOGGING industery.. They surely do not want to loose the rights to sell their trees. :argue: Everywhere in the world they are a powerful lobbying group.
I can understand the landowners..if they can gain money from the trees on their land ? I understood that the 'missing' monay was for compensating those people ?
I will read the extract posted by Liis again later.
:rant:

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 Post subject: Re: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2009, 6:00 pm 
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macdoum wrote:
Thre is of course the facteur of the WOOD-LOGGING industery.. They surely do not want to loose the rights to sell their trees. :argue: Everywhere in the world they are a powerful lobbying group.
I can understand the landowners..if they can gain money from the trees on their land ? I understood that the 'missing' monay was for compensating those people ?
I will read the extract posted by Liis again later.
:rant:

Macdoum, it wasn't an extract, it was a translated newspaper article, and to be honest, not crystal clear. We really need Urmas, or someone else from Eagle Club to explain more, please?
Looduskalender / Kotkaklubi described the proposition (law?) briefly here. I think the protection area already in force (?) for some nests (?) will be extended, and be more strict.
A very important point is: if not now, will the law be set in force on Jan 1, 2010, with no further excuses or delays?
Can there be any way of making sure of this, politicians these days having the morals that they have (= none at all, for far too many)
If, just if, it is activated on Jan 1, will there be a rush of tree-felling before that? Even nastier thought, has someone with connections a piece of forest that they dearly love to fell?
To be honest, I can see some grounds for discussions with small-area forest owners who suddenly cannot use a large part of their forest, but I certainly haven't any understanding at all for large-scale - very highly profitable - logging companies destroying forests for people, birds, animals, plants. Doing it unlawfully is not unheard-of, either.


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 Post subject: Re: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2009, 5:39 am 
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Sorry, I'm very busy with a report to European Commission, that should be ready by the end of Sept. And here is a harvesting time in my farm, etc.

These 7500 EEK could be some mistake in calculation, as the process itself with this decree takes probably more. Think this is a sum what will be not compensated to the municipalities where nests are situated (because there are no such rules). These compesnsations are about land taxes, what land owners are not obliged to pay on stricktly protected areas (to state and partly to muncipality).

But anyway, we prepared the paper for to protect LSE nest sites (about 170) decribing and zoning site protection sites (=micro reserves). There is no progress with these, though we put couple of months work with these papers...

From other side, the timber market is not very active now and logging is not reasonable at the moment (hopefully for a year or more in the future too). But some land owners log first and then look around, if there is the possibility to sell these logged trees...

Protected by law, the cycle with radius of 100m is anyway valid after registering of every LSE nest, but that is not enough in most cases. The problematic case is about additional protection, ie further as 100m.


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 Post subject: Re: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: September 24th, 2009, 2:09 am 
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So, Urmas what can we do to help ? Petitions ?
We cannot organize a march in Tallin (a pity) but do tell us if there is any way we could help. :nod:

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 Post subject: Re: Concern over protection of LSE nests in Estonia
PostPosted: October 14th, 2009, 10:23 am 
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Any news?
Is it correct that a new general environmental protection strategy plan for Estonia is in the making? - Can that possibly affect this question (not directly, but make officials unwilling to take decisions. Or be an excuse not to)?
As I understand it a general policy for the period up to 2035 was prepared, and nearly approved in 2006. Before final approval however there were elections, and now a new policy is being drafted, to go up to 2020.
Any guesses about more or less power to environmental protection in practice, and why it is done over again? - True, directives going 25 years into future are - well, daring.


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