The Svydovets massif is home to some of the last primeval beech forests of Europe
Svydovets includes two sites of the Emerald Network of the Bern Convention and critical parts of ecological network of the Transcarpathian region (Zakarpatska Oblast). The massif provides the hydrological regime of the region and contains the source of the international Tysa river which is a main tributary of the Danube river.
Plans for building a gigantic ski resort
The map of Svydovets ski resort project
The promoters therefore plan to create large reservoirs high up in the massif with a total volume of 1,260,000 m³. This would clearly have a considerable effect on the ecosystem. According to the public notice, the planned ski resort will dispose of up to 5800m³ of sewage daily into the Chorna Tysa river.
One of the less-known problems in this context is that water retained in artificial lakes does not have the same properties as pure rain or snow and therefore would alter plant composition in the areas where artificial snow is added. At the same time, the massive logging necessary to clear the ground needed for the construction of the resort and the cementing over of large areas would result in serious erosion and increased risk of flash-flooding.
On 18th April 2018, the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, which had been involved in the investigations concerning the devastating 1998 and 2001 floods in the region, raised concerns regarding the expected impact of the planned ski resort on the water regime and biodiversity in the region. The WSL warned that irreversible mistakes made in this unique mountain region could have a massive negative impact on the catchment area of the Chorna Tysa and seriously impair its protective functions.