President János Áder discussed the environmental impact of the development on Lake Fertő, in north-western Hungary, where the government is funding the development of sports and touristic facilities.
In Áder’s Blue Planet (Kék Bolygó) podcast, Béla Kárpáti, director of the state-owned company tasked with the region’s development (Sopron-Fertő Turisztikai), said the project would cover 60 hectares and include upgrading the beach, building a yacht port and a 12-hectare eco-centre for education about nature conservation and training purposes. A campsite, a sports centre, apartments and a 2,500sqm hotel with fewer than 100 rooms will also be built, Kárpáti said. Commenting on press allegations that the project violated environmental and nature conservation interests, Kárpáti said the site had always been used for touristic purposes. “It has been an artificially filled land area with the Fertőrákos beach built in the 1960s, the condition of which has deteriorated over time,” Kárpáti said. He noted that a huge amount of illegal waste found in the area had to be removed. Áder noted that the investment would affect 0.7% of the lake’s Hungarian area, adding that the project complied with Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat, according to an analysis of the supervisory board overseeing the international treaty’s implementation.