Jul 16, 2008

Bulgarian eco town 'the biggest mistake of Norman Foster's career', say protesters

They say it will destroy the Black Sea coast's last remaining virgin stretches of beach and will have a devastating effect on the rich biodiversity of an area which has environmental protection status under the EU's Natura 2000 programme, which aims to protect endangered species and habitats.

Biliana Voutchkova, a concert violinist holidaying on Karadere beach with her family, as she has done since her childhood, said: "This has been a magnet for those wishing to spend time away from civilisation and to enjoy nature, but soon it will be lost forever and we'll only realise the consequences once it's too late."

Dimiter Georgiev, an ornithologist from nearby Varna, said the habitats of numerous species would be "directly disturbed and destroyed by this construction", including those of otters, butterflies, woodpeckers, honey buzzards, lesser spotted eagles and red-backed shrikes. "We know from experience that these species don't move elsewhere, they just disappear," he said, citing the demise of several species of lark, shrike and bunting in areas given over to resort developments.

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