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Section 2: New Bill Fails the Forests in Bulgaria




Skim and scan:

Read the text quickly and answer the following questions:

1. For whose benefit was the new bill introduced?

2. Who is Mr. Raev and what is his attitude to the bill?

 

 

Bulgaria risks losing its diverse forests due to legal gaps in a new bill aimed at restoring forest land collectivised in the past to its original owners. «The draft law does not clearly define the responsibilities of the new forest owners... there is no funding mechanism to back the high forest maintenance expenses», said Evan Raev, director of the Academy of Science of Bulgaria.

The forest restitution bill was passed on preliminary reading by parliament but it has yet to pass final approval before becoming law. Raev urged deputies to take into account the institute's recommendations.

The legal gaps in the current bill will cause long-term chaos in forest ownership and responsibilities which will affect the country's rich biosphere, said Raev. The Balkan state has 17 nature reserves and its forests are home to many species of plants, birds and animals.

«What happens in case of massive fire? Who will put it out and who will pay the reforestation costs?.. The bill does not cover these issues», said Raev. One third of Bulgaria's 111,000 square km mountainous territory is covered by woods which are now state-owned. More than 40 per cent of the woods are older than 40 years and need investment to preserve their environmental balance. Many of the former owners or their heirs say they do not know what to do with the forests. Many do not have the means to pay for the protection of the forests from poaching, plant deseases, fire, erosion and the like.

«The new owners may resort to cutting wood and selling it. It is doubtful whether they will re-invest the revenue for forestation», said Alexander Alexandrov, Forest Research Institute's deputy director, quoting foreign advisors. Restitution of property since 1989 has not so far covered forests. Under the bill, former owners whose forests cannot be returned are to be compensated through forests in different regions or through vouchers. Foreigners will be prohibited from acquiring ownership over forests.

Bulgaria pledged earlier this year to set up a functioning land market and the forest restitution bill is considered an essential element.

 

§ Vocabulary notes

 

  diverse [daI'v@:s] 1) иной, отличный; 2) разнообразный, разный
  gap   1) брешь, пролом, щель; 2) промежуток, интервал,
      «окно»; 3) пробел, пропуск
  to restore   восстанавливать, возвращать, возмещать
  draft contract   проект
  maintenance ['meInt@n@ns] содержание
  maintenance expenses   расходы на содержание
  preliminary   предварительный
  preliminaries   предварительные переговоры, вступительные обсуждения
  reforestation   восстановление лесных
      массивов, лесонасаждения
  heir [hE@] наследник
  heir apparent   бесспорный наследник
  heir presumptive   предполагаемый наследник
  to fail heir to smb   стать чьим-либо наследником
to poach   1) браконьерствовать; 2) вмешиваться; 3) перенимать чьи-либо идеи  
plant decease   болезнь растений  
erosion   эрозия, размывание, выветривание, разрушение  
former   1) прежний, бывший; 2) предшествующий  
the former   первый (из двух названных)  
the latter   последний (из двух названных)  
voucher ['vautS@] 1) оправдательный документ, расписка; 2) ручательство, поручительство; 3) путевка  
to pledge   обещать (обычно публично)  
             

 

Words and Grammar

 

aTranslate the following words into Russian:

 

legal gaps............................................................................................................

to define some responsibilities............................................................................

to pass the bill on preliminary reading................................................................

to pass final approval..........................................................................................

the bill does not cover these issues.....................................................................

to be state-owned................................................................................................

to fail the forests.................................................................................................

plant deseases, fire, erosion and the like............................................................

 

b Write out the English equivalents from the text:

 

финансовый механизм для покрытия расходов на содержание.....................................................................

нести расходы по восстановлению леса...........................................................................................................

не иметь средств для оплаты мероприятий по защите леса...........................................................................

реинвестировать доходы в лесное хозяйство...................................................................................................

бывшие владельцы должны получить компенсацию в виде..........................................................................

получать право на владение огромными лесными участками.......................................................................

 

с Explain the meaning of the following words and phrases in English:

 

reforestation to be compensated through

poaching vouchers

quoting foreign advisors to acquire ownership

restitution of property to set up a functioning land market

 

 

d Write down synonyms and/or antonyms of the following words:

 

  synonym (s) antonym (s)
diverse .................................. ..................................
rich .................................. ..................................
massive .................................. ..................................
preliminary .................................. ..................................
  .................................. ..................................
current .................................. ..................................
essential .................................. ..................................
chaos .................................. ..................................
expenses .................................. ..................................
issue .................................. ..................................
to lose .................................. ..................................
to prohibit .................................. ..................................

 



Translating and Speaking

 

e Translate the following sentences into Russian:

 

1 They need investment to preserve their environmental balance.

2 The new owners may resort to cutting wood and selling it.

3 It is doubtful whether they will make reinvestments.

4 Bulgaria risks losing its diverse forests.

5 If the new bill becomes law it will fail the forests of Bulgaria.

 

f Find the answers in the text:

 

1 What are the titles of Mr. Raev and Mr. Alexandrov?

2 Do their points of view on the matter coincide? What words prove that?

3 What do the former owners think about the Forest Restitution Bill?

4 What was the opinion of the foreign legal advisers on the problem?

 

g Sum up what the text said about the Bill. Then answer the following questions:

 

 

h Agree or disagree and substantiate your viewpoint:

 

Every country should have strict environment protection laws, and it especially concerns Bulgaria.

 

Note: Environmental pollution has practically killed all species of fish once caught by Bulgarians in the Black Sea. Traffic pollution in Sofia is twice the medically accepted level, according to the official sources.

 





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