Czech environmentalists and Hyundai clash over trees

Tomáš Fránek
16. 4. 2008 15:00
Hyundai doesn´t observe the contract conditions
Technici až z daleké Koreje přijeli namontovat výrobní linky.
Technici až z daleké Koreje přijeli namontovat výrobní linky. | Foto: Ondřej Besperát

Czech environmental activists are in dispute with the South Korean motor works company Hyundai.

The issue this time is not the plant itself that is being built in the mountainous Moravian region Beskydy but the selection of tree species that will surround it.

The exact looks of the plant and surroundings have been determined by a unique agreement among the environmental organizations, regional and national politicians as well as Hyundai representatives.

And it is the environmental activists now who believe that Hyundai is breaking even the least controversial part of this agreement by refusing to plant only regional tree species. 

Chinese maples, American oak trees

Based on a new analysis by Environmental Law Service Hyundai is planning to plant trees and bushes that do not origin in the region, for example Chinese maples, American oak trees, red haws and red hazel trees.

The spokesperson for Hyundai Petr Vaněk said that his company has already purchased 1600 trees and more than 5000 bushes.

"Hyundai bought local plant species that are perfectly adapted to the regional clima like maples, ashes, alder-trees and bird cherries," Mr. Vaněk said explaining that most of the landscaping work will be done next year.

Environmental organizations, however ,say that Hyundai does not respect recommendations which the company promised to follow in order to minimize the impact of the plant for the local environment and nature.

Doing it their way

Breaking the recommendations, Hyundai plans to plant trees also on the Southern part of the administration buildings and by the parking areas and it will also found a tree alley along the local paths around Nošovice, the village where the plant will stand.

Ecologists already asked the Korean company to alter the planned project, Hyundai is currently putting together its reaction.

There is no easier way for Hyundai to show that they take their motto "environment comes first" seriously than by preparing a high quality park project," Jiří Nezhyba from the Environmental Law Service said.

The influence of Hyundai on the Moravian landscape was one of the reasons why the Nature Preserve Administration Beskydy did not agree with the planned factory.


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