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(E) LASTOVO - ROCK QUARRY - voice your opinion
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  07/5/2002 | Opinions | Unrated
(E) LASTOVO - ROCK QUARRY - voice your opinion
Vanja Jurica
Eko Zone - Save Lastovo
20290 Lastovo
Tel: 385-20-801-167
Tel: 385-20-801-122

July 2, 2002

Dear friends,

My name is Ms. Vanja Jurica and I am the president of "Eko Zone - Save
Lastovo", a non-profit environmental agency registered in Lastovo.

We are kindly asking you to help us stop our local authorities from
opening a Rock Quarry on our beautiful island. Please write a letter to
Croatian Ministry/authorities (names and e-mail addresses are detailed
below) to voice your opposition to this project. Time is of the essence
because the Croatian Ministry is expected to approve the "Lastovo Zoning
Plan" this week, and the Rock Quarry Project is "buried" in the fine
print of this plan which was submitted to the Ministry without first
going through the required public hearing and comments process at the
local level.

The Rock Quarry project would allow Microlastovo, a local company, in
cooperation with an Italian company, to purchase, excavate and transport
rocks to Italy, from the southern shore of Lastovo, called Nagojna, which
years ago Lastovo people proposed to be the Nature Park. This will have
a negative environmental/economic impact on the entire island which
measures only 5 by 7 kilometers. If allowed to proceed, the Rock
Quarry Project will:

- create dust and noise pollution which will negatively affect the health of people, and sea and land animals, including a large number of protected species,

- pollute drinking water which is so scarce on the island that water has to be taken from the ground through a desalinization process,

- negatively affect tourism, fishing and property values,

- leave a permanent ugly scar on the island, and

- pollute surrounding islands, including Korcula and Mljet due to constantly changing winds. 

The planned Rock Quarry is only about 1 mile from several of the most
beautiful bays on Lastovo and the world, including for example, Skrivena
Luka, where, ironically, only a few years ago, local authorities parceled
the land around the bay, and invested money for a new road, electricity
and telephone service, so that existing and new residents would enjoy
their lives in paradise. Today these residents enjoy living just like
their ancestors have done for centuries, breathing clean air, fishing in
pristine waters, farming on unpolluted land, and making some income
renting their rooms to tourists who are willing to take a 5-hour ferry
ride to enjoy the unspoiled beauty of Lastovo. The peace, quiet,
cleanliness and beauty of Lastovo will all be ruined by opening a Rock
Quarry. This is at a time when other Croatian islands and mainland
locations are shutting down rock quarries.

The following is a short history of events regarding the Rock Quarry, as
the Lastovo people understand it:

- After representatives of an Italian quarry company were turned away by
Korcula and Mljet, they came to Lastovo to request permission to
purchase, excavate and transport rocks to Italy. 

- Meanwhile, one of Lastovo's 7 supervisors, Mr. Jancic, registered a
private company, Microlastovo, in his name, in order to work on the Rock
Quarry Project. He also continued working as a City supervisor, and
voting at the City Council meetings which is against the law due to
conflict of interest. Microlastovo asked the City for permission to open
a rock quarry and the majority of the City supervisors rejected the idea.

- In June 2001, Microlastovo asked the City to allow them to do a
feasibility study to determine if the project would be suitable for
Lastovo; the City supervisors approved this request (4 yes, and 3 no

- At every subsequent monthly City Council meeting, the mayor would not
allow discussion or voting on the Rock Quarry Project, even though some
of the supervisors wanted to discuss it.

- Meanwhile, the mayor of Lastovo submitted the final "Lastovo Zoning
Plan" (which included the Rock Quarry project just recently voted down
by the city council, but somehow no longer includes the Nature Park which
people proposed to be at the same place years ago) to the Croatian
Ministry in Zagreb for approval, without the People of Lastovo's
knowledge and without the required public hearing and comments.

- In June 2002, Microlastovo presented the feasibility study to the City
Council , and City supervisors voted "no" on the "Rock Quarry" Project (5
no, and 2 yes votes, 1 of the yes votes by Mr. Jancic who has an economic
interest in the project).

- More recently, the People of Lastovo found out that the Zoning Plan
includes the Rock Quarry Project, they immediately circulated a Petition
and more than one- half of the Lastovo population signed against the project.

- Various Environmental Agencies and other organizations also are
supporting Lastovo people to stop the "Rock Quarry" project.

- Our organization, "Eko Zona - Save Lastovo" has been writing to the
Ministry asking them to throw out the Rock Quarry Project from the
Lastovo Zoning Plan for the reasons stated above. 

Again, the Ministry is supposed to make a final decision and sign the
Lastovo Zoning Plan at the beginning of July 2002. Because time is
short, we kindly urge you to send your e-mail as soon as possible to the
following organizations:  ministarstvo gospodarstva  ministarstvo poljoprivrede i s<caron>umarstva
  ministarstvo pravosudja i lokalne samouprave
  ministarstvo za zas<caron>titu okolis<caron>a
  Zavod za prostorno planiranje
  ured zupana dubrovacke neretvanske zupanije


Thank you for your support,

Vanja Jurica
Eko - Zona Lastovo

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