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Nord Stream Gas Pipeline - a nature conservation perspective

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  1. Nord Stream Gas Pipeline- a nature conservation perspective Jochen Lamp WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme Warsaw, 28.05.2007

  2. WWF Position • WWF is not against gas pipelines or natural gas in principle • It is possible to construct gas pipelines in the marine environment without major negative impacts • Environmental Impact Assessments are important and necessary • Transparency and stakeholder participation will improve the process and the construction

  3. What can you expect? • A brief review of the current procedures • Major impacts of the pipeline on biodiversity and risks • Information gaps and uncertainties in the current Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) • EIA process and timelines • WWF-suggestions

  4. Major Impacts of the pipeline • Modified seabed • Change of currents/sedimentation and erosion (G. of Finland, Sweden) • Sediment dispersion over large areas • Effects on cultural heritage (shipwrecks)? Concerned biodiversity: • Habitats (sandbanks, reefs, gas vents, benthos and seabird areas) • Protected Areas: Gotland, offshore banks, Finnish Archipelago, Germany landfall, Russia New challenges: • How will latest additional routes (Estonia, north Bornholm) be assessed?

  5. Risks • Pipeline could break due to limited flexibility of steel/concrete pipes in a very divers topography • Pipe-laying techniques at limits in deep water • Non-homogeneous sediment (crystalline rock to mud) is a challenge for safe pipe laying and stable positioning • Water chemistry may cause corrosion of the pipe • Dumped ammunition and hazardous substances: no precise handling concept • Safety Anchorage could conflict with pipeline

  6. Lack of Transparency • Bathymetry and substrate not detected in detail • No data on harmful substances • No sediment data • Out-of-date data (Birds, seals, shipping, fish) used • Handling concepts missing • Disposed material (dredged ridges and fill-up of valleys) • Ammunition handling in detail • No information on inspections during operation • Compensation for damages?

  7. WWF-Suggestions for EIA: procedure • Agree on a joint research standards for the project • Make research results accessible to concerned states and NGOs/public • Agree on final research programme based on results from Espoo-process and implement agreed comprehensive EIA • Revise timeline and secure time for EIA and revision of plans according to the EIA results No permission before critical questions have been solved!

  8. WWF-Suggestions for EIA: content • Detailed mapping • Detailed technical concepts • Alternative routeing • Handling of ammunitions and dumped hazardous substances • Risk assessments • Cumulative effects • Full compensation for losses New route alternative Route alternative? New route alternative

  9. Timelines According to Nord Stream: • Autumn 2007: Presentation of EIA report • 2008: Start of construction • 2010: One pipe in operation Realistic timeline: • Autumn 2007: Agreement on EIA Research Programme • 2008: Field research • 2009: Decision about permit

  10. Thank you! More information: www.wwf.de, www.bsh.de