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The Public Organization “Saving Taman!” Holds Its Second Conference

On June 11, 2008 in the Cossack village of Taman (Temriuk raion, Krasnodar Krai) the Temriuk raion public environmental organization, Saving Taman! held its second conference.

Fifteen members of the organization from Temriuk, Taman, Volna, Chushka and Ilyich participated in the conference.  The geography of the participants coincided with the geography of the most severe environmental problems of Temriuk raion.

The conference was organized in cooperation with Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus and Crude Accountability.  Andrey Rudomakha and Kate Watters, the leaders of these organizations, participated actively in the conference because they are also members of Saving Taman!

The main theme of the conference was the issue of official registration of Saving Taman!  Russian legislation allows public organizations to operate without official registration, but their opportunities are limited.  The opinion of the conference participants was split on the issue of registration.  Some of the members of Saving Taman! felt that it was necessary to start the registration process now; some felt that the process of official registration should be delayed a bit.  After long discussions, a compromise was found—for now the registration process will not be completed, but registration officials will be notified of the existence of the organization and creation of all necessary documents for formal registration of the structure and attributes of the organization will be started.

Initial directions for the organization’s activities were also discussed at the conference.  The agenda included a discussion of decision making for three of the more critical environmental problems on Taman—the construction of the oil and chemical port, “Taman” (Zheleznyi Rog); a project on the exploration and extraction of oil on the shelf of the Sea of Azov, the initiator of which is the company “Priazovneft”; and the environmental and social disaster in the village of Chushka (Port Kavkaz). Initial plans for first steps of an action plan for each of these activities were established.

Saving Taman! co-representatives Alla Nikonorova (Temriuk) and Igor Golubenkov (Taman) were re-elected, representing, accordingly, Temriuk and Taman-Volna divisions of the organization.  In addition, because of the intensification of Saving Taman!’s activities in defense of the rights of the residents of Chushka and the fight against environmentally dangerous activity connected with the transport of oil and chemicals through the Port Kavkaz and the number of transportation complexes in the Strait of Kerch, the decision was made to include a third co-representative who represents the members of the organization from the villages of Chushka and Ilyich.  Irina Gridina was elected.

In addition, the Board of the organization, Saving Taman! was elected and is made up of eleven people, among whom are represented well-known people from Temriuk Raion, including Natalia Voropaeva, Deputy to the Temriuk Raion Council and Vadim Novopashin, Deputy to the Temriuk City Council.

The conference had a comfortable feeling to it.  A benevolent atmosphere prevailed, even though the opinions of the participants were quite divergent.

The first conference of Saving Taman!, during which the organization was created, took place ten months ago, in August 2007.  During this short period of time, Saving Taman! has become a widely known public organization, has participated in many processes, focused on the resolution of environmental problems of the Temriuk Raon.  And, although in many ways, it is an organization in the making, it is already possible to say that a sustainable community of committed people has formed on Taman, which understands the sharp necessity for concrete activity in order to change the critical environmental situation on their small homeland.

Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus
Information Distribution
June 13, 2008