Russian Railways takes additional environmental measures in Sochi

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Russian Railways is continuing its environmental protection efforts while building infrastructure for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

In line with national environmental laws, Russian Railways has drawn up and is implementing measures to compensate for the impact of the federal-level Olympic infrastructure project “Combined road/rail link between Adler and Alpika-Service mountain resort.”

To protect the unique habitat of the local box plants (buxus colchica), a decision was taken, in line with Russian Railways’ proposal, to build a highway overpass on the section of the Adler – Krasnaya Polyana combined road, between the first and second tunnels.

This architectural solution enables the re-cultivation of a major part of the land between the overpass support structures using planting stock of box plants and other rare types of removed trees and plants.

This also allows the largest possible box-growing area to be left intact, and substantially reduces the risk of erosion in the surrounding territory.

The decision to build the overpass was taken jointly with environmental organizations including Greenpeace Russia and the World Wildlife Fund. A study of compensatory planting has shown that the survival rate of replanted box is currently around 70%, which is a good result.

To date, with the involvement of specialists from the Gorlesekol federal research institute for mountain forest protection, planting has been carried out on sections 30 and 31 of the Veselovsky forest area of rare plants and trees including: cladodes (ruscus aculeatus), box (buxus colchica), ruscus colchicus, staphylea colchica, walnut family (juglandaceae), and conifers (taxus baccata).

Compensatory measures and the planting and growing of plants will continue throughout the period of construction.

Russian Railways is taking all possible measures to protect plants on the IUCN Red List, taking into account the views and recommendations of Russian environmental experts. This policy allows optimal decisions to be taken to protect the environment during the construction process.

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