Left MPs Anita Sowińska and Andrzej Szejna notified the prosecutor’s office about changing the boundaries of the Świętokrzyski National Park. According to the parliamentarians, the next ministers responsible for the environment – Michał Woś, Michał Kurtyka and Anna Moscow – allegedly broke the law by cutting out a fragment of Łysiec from the national park. This is the hill where the Oblate monastery is located. Earlier, irregularities were pointed out by the government’s NIK auditors.
Left-wing deputies Anita Sowińska and Andrzej Szejna submitted a notification to the District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw on suspicion of committing a crime by three successive climate ministers – Michał Woś, Michał Kurtyka and Anna Moskva. According to the parliamentarians, they were supposed to contribute to “issuing an illegal regulation of the Council of Ministers” and not to comply with opinion of the Supreme Audit Office on changing the boundaries of the Świętokrzyski National Park.
At the beginning of 2022, from the top of Łysiec, where the monastery of the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate is located, three plots of land were excluded from the area of the national park. The decision was made despite the protests of activists, the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Scientific Council of the ŚPN. In the autumn, the NIK inspectors did not leave a dry thread on the government regulation, according to which “it constituted a violation of Article 10(1a) of the Nature Conservation Act”. Supreme Chamber of Control asked for the changes to be withdrawn. Unsuccessfully.
Liquidation or reduction of the area of the national park takes place only in the event of irretrievable loss of natural and cultural values of its area.
Szejna: a national park plundered by PiS
The monks are trying to buy plots of land at the back of the monastery. The media coordinator of the Polish Oblate Province, Father Paweł Gomulak, in an interview with tvn24.pl, emphasized that this was “historical justice”, because the buildings located in the area excluded from the national park were historically part of the monastery. The application for the sale of real estate belonging to the State Treasury with a 99% discount was sent by the Oblates to the district office in Kielce. As Agnieszka Madetko, spokeswoman for the county office, informed us in November, this application “is at the stage of analysis in terms of the possibility of its implementation”.
– Starost of Kielce, Mr. Stanisław Gębski z PIS he is still proceeding and is trying at all costs to transfer this part of the Świętokrzyski National Park to the Oblates for next to nothing. We will send him a letter in which we will inform him that his actions are unlawful, now said MP Andrzej Szejna. – If we allow the Świętokrzyski National Park to be plundered by PiS for the benefit of the Church, it will be possible to do so throughout Poland – added the politician.
Representatives of the Left believe that if the application for the sale of plots is processed, it is “insolence on the part of the starosty”. – The church is also impudent that it accepts such expensive gifts and before the elections. What else to call it, if not a bribe before the elections – assessed MP Anita Sowińska.
Kielce starost Mirosław Gębski does not want to refer to the case. He only pointed out that during the conference the politicians of the Left addressed “Stanisław Gębski”. – They should at least check the name of the mayor of Kielce. I will not comment on this speech – the local government official told PAP.
Member of the Scientific Council of the ŚPN: a dangerous precedent
After the publication of the NIK report, Professor Jan Urban from the Institute of Nature Conservation of the Polish Academy of Sciences, a member of the ŚPN Scientific Council, emphasized in an interview with tvn24.pl that the regulation of the Council of Ministers changing the border of the national park is a “dangerous precedent, completely inconsistent with the spirit of the nature conservation act”. The scientist pointed out that “protected areas cannot be chopped up and replaced with one another”.
The answers we received from the Ministry of Climate and Environment after our questions show that the government does not intend to withdraw from the illegal – according to NIK auditors – change of borders.
“The properties excluded from the area of the Park are located in the vicinity of buildings and structures in Święty Krzyż. Only developed plots with a high degree of anthropogenic transformation have been excluded” – the ministry informed us in response to the question why the decision was made to exclude disputed plots from park area.
Neither the representatives of the Ministry of Climate and Environment nor the Chancellery of the Prime Minister directly addressed the critical conclusions of the NIK auditors.
Representatives of the ministry point out that, in accordance with the regulation, other areas, so far under the management of the State Forests State Forests, located in the Waśniów commune, have been included in the ŚNP borders – in exchange for the excluded plots of 1.35 hectares on the top of Łysiec. Their total area is 62.5 hectares, which is why the government believes that the law has not been broken, because the area of the entire national park has not been reduced.
– If it were considered lawful, Kasprowy Wierch could be carved out of the Tatra National Park and its slopes completely dedicated to skiers, in return including the Niepołomicka Forest near Krakow, as long as the area included in the park was not smaller than the area excluded – Professor Jan Urban commented on the Ministry’s arguments for tvn24.pl.
Main photo source: TVN24