Cutting of the living forest near a trade site at the entrance of the National Park, June, 2001

Infringements: Clauses 25 and 27 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus «About Special Protected Natural Territories and Objects» are violated; Clause 43 of «Forest Codes» of the Republic of Belarus; cutting down of a group of live healthy trees on protected territory is violated.

Events, facts, documents and evidences: In May 2001, the new administration of the Property Management Department of the President of Belarus nominates Nickolai Bambiza to be the general director of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park. Bambiza is well known among the Belarussian public after scandalous publications on cutting of unique floodplain Oak forests in the Pripyatski National Park under his supervision.

Literally since the first days of his new position in the Reserve the new director is decided to introduce and to be executed in practice cutting down of the living forest in a manner which is characteristic for territories managed by the forest timber industry. In doing so he completely ignores the established traditions on forest protection in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The first proof of this will or intention is the fact that fifteen vital trees were cut down within the territory of the National Park and close to one of the entrances. It happened in June 2001. The felling of these trees was carried out without a due substantiation and without a specific ticket which may allow to extract timber from a forest. In this way the act is an infringement of the existing legislation. Ostensibly according to the solution of administration, these trees prevented tourists to see a trade site located right of an entrance in the National Park. But as a fact, trade site was well visible. Moreover, during decades none of the previous directors even had in mind to cut down these living trees which were growing nearby the trade site. As a last fat-fetched solution if the administration wished to make space between entrance in the Park and trade site more visible it would have been enough just to set up a guidepost with the sign explaining the reason of the trade site in the National Park. Such sign would indicate the location of trade site for visitors.

Further: Sanitary clear cutting stands of Spruce as a simulation of the struggle with Bark beetle