NEWS: JANUARY 2007

The Initiative group "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - 21 Century" invites people, organizations and sponsors, who wants or are interested in contributing preservation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, for cooperation.
We will also be grateful for your technical help (computers, hardware, digital camera, scanner, printer, software CDs etc), financial and other kinds of assistance. Even small-sized help will be welcomed.

Please, address your offers to our email pushcha-XXI@tut.by

Your questions, offers and information are also welcomed.

January 31, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Gold Medal in a nomination "Heritage"

was an award to the State Nature Protection Institution "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" at the 2006 Brand Sixth Professional Competition.

The forum was held in Minsk between January 24 and January 26. The best domestic producers competed for the right to be considered the leaders. Both venerable companies and enterprises, and young firms which boldly announced themselves at internal and external markets were among the participants.

In the first opening day a directors' summit was held on which Nikolai Bambiza, director general of the National Park, spoke first. He acquainted the participants with a history and an actual situation in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, told in brief about worldwide importance of the unique natural complex, successes achieved by the staff on preservation of the natural, historical and cultural heritage, and about development of tourism. Last 2006 it has proved to be a record regarding the number of visitors compared with the years since the existence of the Nature Protection Institution – 188,000 tourists visited Pushcha and an Estate of Belarusian Grandfather Frost.

In the National Exhibition Centre "BelExpo" where the competition was holding the participants' exhibits including from Belovezhskaya Pushcha were exposed at special stands. Svetlana Bedok, head of the tourism department of the National Park, who took part in preparation of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's exposition, informed the following:

Among the exhibits exposed for reviewing by a professional jury and ordinary visitors, there were colourful booklets about the Estate of Belarusian Grandfather Frost, a photo album "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", printed outputs, ancient photos of imperial hunts in Pushcha and other materials.

Near a stuffed wild boar, roe deer and wolf the visitors were willingly photographed as a keepsake, while near test-tables designed in the style of national traditions they with pleasure tested cranberry, honey and mushrooms. A traditional drink "Pushchansky" (moonshine) with bacon and salty cucumbers from Pushcha were also liking.

The public warmly welcomed the amateur group "Pushcha's Musicians". They pathetically performed a song about Belovezhskaya Pushcha in Belarusian language, as well as other Belarusian songs. In short, everything including bread, salt, souvenirs and shows were present there…

Last day of competition, on 26 th of January, summation of the 2006 Brand competition and rewarding the winners were held in the Major Palace of the Republic. The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" became an owner of special nomination "Heritage" for the first time. During the ceremony of Gold Medal rewarding the director general Nikolai Bambiza called this high recognition as a merit of all the staff of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

T. Skuratova
January 27, 2007 Website "Bialowieza National Park" Bison, number! (Poland)

A heavy snow fall gives a chance precisely to count up the herds of bison in the Polish part of the Bialowieza Forest. If there will be no warm, the annual inventory of these animals will be done in one or two weeks, Jozef Popiel, Director of the Bialowieza National Park, informed.

According to his accounts, the overall herd totals now about 430 animals. Thus, a new record of the number of the animals in this herd is broken.

The Bialowieza bison are counted up, first of all, in several places where they permanently getting with winter feeding, while the others are surveyed using their tracks on snow. However, because there was no frost and snow, the animals did not want to make aggregation in these places and proceed to be fed all over the forest.

Snow has fallen at last and, if there will be no warm, the animals should be concentrating in the feeding places within 1-2 weeks. Then, in a certain day, they will be counted up in all these areas. The rest of the individually living animals will be found by the Park's workers using their prints. Mr. Popiel noted that the final results of the inventory should be expected in the middle of February.

According to estimation of the Park's workers, in 2006 about 70 bison calves were born and about 40 bison were gone (because of the cases of natural death and selective elimination). Since the herd is too big in relation to the territory they occupy, the Bialowieza National Park addressed to the Minister of Environment in order to get sanction to make the next selection by shooting of forty old and ill animals. The Minister's decision is still absent. The Park is also looking for opportunities to resettle or sale the animals to other breeding centres in the country and abroad.

PAP
Janyary 26, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" A storm has passed through Pushcha

And brought much fire wood in the strict reserve.

Within two days (January 20 and 21) the strong wind from Atlantic stormed in our fields and woods, fallen trees and destroyed roofs. The storm has not bypassed Belovezhskaya Pushcha. As a result, according to preliminary calculations, about 200,000 cubic meters of standing dead wood on the territory of the strictly protected zone, including a World Heritage Site where a significant amount of standing dead wood is concentrated and which never was cut down, were fallen on the area of 30,600 hectares. The figure which covers the entire Pushcha's area will be more impressive.

The impulses of the strong wind have turned roads to continuous windfall which becomes extremely fire-dangerous since the spring will come. Fire in such places reaches the tops of trees and it's very difficult to extinguish it. Besides, the tumbled down trees made entrances close for fire engineering. Before hot days are coming it is necessary urgently to clear away the quarter and half-quarter cutting lines. And as this territory belongs to the strictly reserved, the laying trees will not be taken out from the protected territory. They will be left for natural decay.

In cases when the economic managers plan to make the obligatory clearing of glades within the strictly protected area, like the case above, they conduct works according to the rules of the ecological science. And, in my opinion, this is that case when both parties, the scientists and economic managers, find mutual understanding in the field of protection of forests against fire.
January 26, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" From good seeds

the seedlings are produced in Pushcha for restoration of the relic forest.

The forestry specialists of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" are annually engaged in renewal of native species of trees. Since the spring comes there are plans to plant elite seedlings of pine and oak trees on the area of 400 hectares. In contrast to forest enterprises where clear cuttings are conducted, only selective sanitary cuttings of spruce trees affected by bark beetles are allowed in Pushcha. So, 30 - 40 percent of wood stands remain to be intact on cutting sites. The trees will therefore be planting under a canopy of the forest.

To make future forest plantations all forest unit areas harvest cones from elite pine trees in Pushcha in the winter period. To cultivate a good generation from seeds, 15 tons of cones which need to be drying up in special drying apparatus were already collected.

It's rather difficult in Pushcha to grow small seedlings into large forest, especially it concerns of deciduous trees, because numerous forest inhabitants (in particular, red and roe deer, elks) do like eating young trees. It requires to fence forest plantations with a grid (the tops of pines in the Bialowieza Forest on the Polish side are covered with special frightening substances).

It would seem if spruce has mostly suffered from insect-pests, this species should exactly be returned to the places where it was growing before. However, according to the engineer on forest pathology Grigory Kravchuk, spruce is not a species indigenous for Pushcha. Spruce settled everywhere depending on appearance of free space because it is nearly inedible for herbivorous animals and in this way it has spread all over the Pushcha's area.

If back to the history, after the construction of an imperial path from Pruzhany to Belsk in 1903, there was begun to increase the number of animals in Belovezhskaya Pyshcha, particularly of deer, for imperial hunts. If not to regulate their number, verdure of young trees will not have time to grow and to get stronger, as it becomes food for antler-holders. And the vegetation inedible for ungulates replaces the consumed trees.

The forestry specialists of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, therefore, are anxious with preservation and restoration of indigenous species of trees first of all. The Pushcha's oak, pine, ash and maple stands should bring please and admire for the future generations of the people.

Information is given by the employees of the forest department.
January 25, 2007 Website "The Bialowieza National Park" A workshop to promote the Bialowieza Forest Euro-Region (Poland)

A workshop devoted to development of the districts covering by the Bialowieza Forest Euro-Region was held in the town of Hajnowka on January 18, 2007. Anna Gierasimiuk, representative of the Bialowieza National Park, also participated in the workshop.

The workshop is a final step of a project of partnership devoted to the trans-boundary cooperation between the towns in the field of tourism and development. The purpose of the project was to show the Bialowieza Forest Euro-Region as an area attractive for tourism, to raise interest of popularization of its uniqueness and, finally, to make competitiveness of the region higher.

Except for the representatives of the majority of the local districts of the Bialowieza Forest Euro-Region and the representatives of the Bialowieza National Park, the Forest enterprise "Hajnowka", the Association of Museum and Centre of Culture in the town of Hajnowka, the House of Culture of Hajnowka, the houses of culture of Narewka and Dubiczy Cerkiewny, the representatives of the towns of Pruzany i Kamenetz from Belarus were also the participants of the workshop.

At the end of the workshop, its participants, on behalf of the represented state departments, organizations and institutions, have signed a declaration of partnership to continue joint actions which contribute to development of the Bialowieza Forest Euro-Region. It is quite possible that a new project will soon be initiated in order to advertise this land to a wider and closer extent, in this way contributing to the economic development of the area.

Anna Gierasimiuk

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The news is put in the short-cut form, the BP-21 Century website editor's note.
January 24, 2007 The Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center Wolf should be listed in a Ukrainian Red Data Book

This is the name of a press conference held in Kiev on January 24, 2007 which was organized by the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center and the NGO "Eco-Right-Kiev". Ju.Vasidlov, head of the Association "Our House" of the city of Ivano-Frankovsk, V.Lovchinovskiy, ecologist-businessman from the city of Kharkov, G.Pristinskaya, B.Vasilkovskiy and O.Listopad, representatives of the "Eco-Right-Kiev", V.Boreiko, director of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center, and the representatives of 15 mass-medias including 6 TV-channels have taken part in the press conference.

The organizers of the press conference have acquainted the journalists with their appeal to V.Dzharty, Minister of Nature Protection of Ukraine, in which a requirement to enter wolf on a Red Data Book of Ukraine is stated.

The ecologists explained their position that the total extermination of wolf as a species ruling by the State Forest Committee of Ukraine is conducted in the country. There are no restrictions regarding terms, places, sex, age and means to soot the wolves. The number of the wolves goes down. According to official statistics, there are now 2,500 wolves in Ukraine, while according to informal one their number is about 1,000.

At the same time, wolf is already extinct in many European countries. In the neighboring Poland this species is under protection of a Data Red List. Wolf is also protected according to a European Red List, Bon and Bern international conventions ratified by Ukraine. By the way, such animals as ermine, badger and otter are listed in the Data Red Book of Ukraine although their number is much bigger than the wolf's one.

The organizers of the press conference are also preparing a suit to bring it in a court against the State Forest Committee of Ukraine in connection with its orders on extermination of the wolves which conflict with the rules of the recently adapted Law of Ukraine "On protection of animals from severe treatment" (this law forbids to shoot of pregnant females and kids which are not capable for independent existence).

The Press-Center of the KECC
January 20, 2007 The Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center Spirit of murder is hovering over the ancient forest of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The present management of the Belarusian National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has recently boasted of achievements of development of the hunting tourism (read below "Trophies to the hunters while currency to the exchequer"). The message makes clear that hundreds of rich misters from Russia and Europe have arrived to the National Park in 2006, not to touch by heart its ancient beauty and secret but to kill! Or it's more correctly, to get pleasure from murder of wild animals which, in the theory, should be under strong protection there.

This approach more closely resembles to me the practice of the poorly advanced African countries which trade in their unique wild animals like elephants, giraffes or hippopotamus, calling this the hunting tourism, and in their girls, calling this the sex-tourism. However, the situation regarding Africans is clear because many of them very recently began to join to the civilization since the liberation from colonial dependence. As to Belarus, the country which is located at the centre of Europe, it's just ashamed to take the Africans for a model. After the development of the hunting tourism got great achievements, the matter is now also to officially begin the development of the sex-tourism in the Belarusian national parks. If the getting a profit is considered the main parameter of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park's activity, the sex-tourism will ensure its level not lesser but even bigger than the hunting tourism. This is because it can be provided all the year round, not only during a certain season.

Vladimir Boreiko,
Director of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center,
Specially for the Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21 Century Website
January 18, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Belovezhskaya Pushcha is a participant of a competition

The State Nature Protection Institution "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" will participate in a competition "The Brand of Year" for the first time. Although the Park is a multi-functioned enterprise, the basic purpose of its activity is preservation of unique natural complexes and objects of a virgin forest, and of biological and landscape variety within the area, restoration of natural complexes with a special ecological, historical and cultural value.

It is logical that the National Park will represent itself in the competition as a nature protection and tourist unit which makes an image of the country successfully competing at the national and foreign markets of the tourist business.

Mts. G.V. Zaburianova, manager of the Sector of Development of Tourism at the Property Management Department of the President of the Republic of Belarus, has told that before the competition, which purpose is promotion of development of competitiveness of the national enterprises, and creation and advancement of the national brands at the international level, a serious preparation work should be done. The participation in this prestigious event gives ample opportunities to the participants to show new goods, technologies and export capacities of the various branches of manufacture of the goods and services and to expand internal and foreign communications".

The competition will be organized by the National Exhibition Centre "BELEXPO" and the Staff of Professional Competition "The Brand of Year" between January 24 and January 26, 2007 at support of various ministries and departments.

Among other exhibits, the stands with information about Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be placed at the exhibition. They will inform the visitors about the achievements in the field of nature protection, development and introduction into the practice of scientific methods of preservation of a biological variety.

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The news is put in the short-cut form, the BP-21 Century website editor's note
January 17, 2007 Website "TUT.BY" The fifth part of oak stands and two thirds of ash stands of Belarus require improvement

The experts of the Ministry of Forestry of Belarus have revealed that more than 20 percent of oak stands and two thirds of ash stands require realization of sanitary-improving measures, Ruzhena Novitskaya, press-secretary of the Ministry, has informed the BelaPAN News Agency.

She said that the institutions of the Ministry have carried out a complete inspection in hardwood forest stands. It was found out that after stabilization of the forest-sanitary situation in spruce stands, the condition of oak and ashen forests was essentially broke in the country. The area of these valuable tree species make more than 260,000 hectares in the country. The most of them are oak stands of the area of 235,000 hectares. In order to learn the condition of the trees, over 100 plots for permanent monitoring were set up.

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The news is put in the short-cut form, the BP-21 Century website editor's note
January 17, 2007 Website News Service Which awards are important for a national park?

The news called "Different awards are important" (read below) has been recently publishing at the website of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". It was informed that the Park was recently awarded with an Exhibition's Diploma for contribution to development of the hunting and ecological tourism and that the Park has received a Diploma "For creation of the national project "Belarusian Grandfather Frost's Estate" in 2006. The Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21 Century Project's Group joins congratulations regarding this occasion.

Any award is a pleasure and satisfaction for the work done and successes achieved. It is when these successes are deserved, obvious and indisputable … However, if are they arguable or doubtful?

The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" was surely notable for its high level to serve the hunts for high-ranking state and party officials as far back as the times of a State Protected Game Ground of 1957 to 1991. After the reorganization into a National Park, Belovezhskaya Pushcha became to specialize in serving foreign hunters. Then, as many as Rusians and Belarusians got rich, they became the welcomed visitors, not less than the foreigners. It is necessary to admit that the level of hunting service in Belovezhskaya Pushcha was traditionally and deservedly one of the highest in Belarus.

However, another time is now. The civilization has made a progressive step in its development and what was yesterday a subject of pride, today is considered doubtful. According to a modern concept of national park accepted all over the progressive nations, a hunt within a protected territory of the national park is not only atavism, it is simply immoral. This is because it contradicts an ideology and ethics which should be in the national parks as the NATURE PROTECTION institutions. It is impossible simultaneously to develop ecological tourism (that means to carry on propaganda of preservation of a nature, plants and animals including those species which are traditionally considered the hunting targets) and hunting economy (that means to carry on propaganda of murder of those animals which were just now under agitation to be protected and to be conserved). This is the paradox of the present nature protection policy of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

Another paradox is connected to a residence of Grandfather Frost. On the one hand, the residence constructed in the fantastic style and much adverted has raised interest to Belovezhskaya Pushcha and has increased a flow of the tourists coming to Pushcha and financial earnings. But, on the other hand, the residence placed at the heart of Pushcha has considerably intensified the anthropogenic pressure to protected forest ecosystems which was strong before as well. Many buses, exhaust gases, noise and disturbance for animals, trampling down of plants and soil, asphalting the roads are the consequences of the residence. A substitution of the idea of natural wilderness by the man-made show-entertainment and inculcation this idea into consciousness of the general public has been done. Besides, the residence was constructed with very serious infringements of national nature protection legislation.

So, not all is very perfect in the "kingdom of ours". However, these awards (diplomas) are not only the characteristic of successes of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" but also an indicator of the level of the progress of our state (the Republic of Belarus) and the policy provided by its present government…

Heorhi Kazulka
Specially for the website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21st Century
January 14, 2007 Website News Service An International campaign "Freedom to the environmentalist Andrei Zatoka" arrested in Turkmenistan

The environmentalist Andrei Zatoka was arrested in Turkmenistan. Nongovernmental organizations and the citizens of Russia and other countries of CIS have begun a campaign for his discharge from the prison. You can learn more information and materials about the campaign at the website of the International Social-Ecological Union by clicking http://www.seu.ru/projects/zatoka/ (in Rissuan).

The source is the dispatch "Green_Mov" <Green_Mov@seu.ru>
January 13, 2007
January 13, 2007 Website "Saint Nickolai's Orthodox Parish in Bialowieza" Lesser amount of tourists visited the Bialowieza National Park (Poland)

Almost 225 thousands of tourists visited the oldest in Poland Bialowieza National Park last year. This is by 10 percents lesser than in 2005. Jozef Popiel, director of the Park, explains this result that July was very hot month and the tourists chose the rest to have near water than in forest. The Bialowieza National Park is famous both in the country and abroad as a center of bison keeping.

The sourse: www.wspolczesna.pl
January 12, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" "Bison illegally to shoot by foreigners and to eat by Belarusians"

This and the similar headings of publications that two Swiss hunters have had a sanction on shooting wild boar but have shot two bison by mistake have been appeared at the turn of the last year in the national press. Now all are worrying about a question of what is the punishment for the foreign hunters.

The position of our readers, not indifferent to protection of wild nature, is clear. Once, back nearly 88 years, the last living she-bison was killed in by a poacher. The primeval forest has lost the sovereign of its fauna. However, due to long-term efforts of the people, bison was returned to its environment and, moreover, were settled in parks of Europe. More than 300 bison are now totaled on the Belarusian side of Pushcha and about 400 ones are on the Polish side. But it doesn't mean that nothing threatens bison, Alexei Bunevich, research employee and expert on mammals of the National Park, says. As before, this rare species is listed in a Red Data Book. The animals should be under permanent human care. It is not surprising that the general director of the State Nature Protection Institution "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Nickolai Bambiza opens each weekly work-meeting by stating a question about bison - whether is a forage sufficient to the animals, how are young ones feeling – and by listening to rangers and hunting managers.

Unfortunately, there are also very annoying cases. For example, in the summer two bison got stuck in the mud of a bog and they could be lost if there would be no help from forest wardens with cords. At the last year-end, a she-bison butted a hayloft's gate and has got a fatal trauma. Or another episode – leaders of several local wild herds do not want to come back "home", despite the people very "asking" them, after they tested winter rye grown like in spring on nearby collective-farm fields.

The case on the hunt, which was under newspapers' attention, has come to the end with the fact that the foreign hunters have not had sanctions to soot bison and were very seriously punished. They compensated the damage caused to the Park at a rate of 17.5 billion Belarusian Roubles (~8,300 USA $), while a German firm which has arranged them to the hunt has paid to the National Park the penalty for everyone killed bison. A criminal case was instituted proceedings against the hunters. Releasing on bail and paying 12,000 euros, the foreigners have went back home where they also got into troubles – they were deprived of a right of life interest in hunting as the punishment for the killed animals listed in the Red Data Book. As to bison roast meat, it seems this phrase is simply for witticism. Actually, the meat should not vanish, if this was happened.

T.Skuratova
January 12, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Belovezhskaya Pushcha – to a Grandfather Frost

Click to enlarge in the new window
Click to enlarge in the new window
The winter vacation for the pupils has come to the end and a Grandfather Frost can take breath a bit. But he doesn't think of rest.

Together with his assistance Snow Maiden and Winter Mother, they assort mail in the evenings. Reading naive children's letters, the Grandfather Frost groan with pleasure because they have so much kindness, joy and hope that every plan will come true. He personally looks through all the letters, re-reading a few times the most of the affecting ones and necessarily answering to all of the guys.

Over 13,400 letters were delivered to the Estate for the period between November and January. The Grandfather Frost has already sent back the messages to many of the addressees. Other girls and boys will also receive the answer from the tale-teller.
January 12, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" A diploma as an estimation of the work

Click to enlarge in the new window – A European Diploma for the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park
Click to enlarge in the new window – A Belovezhskaya Pushcha Biosphere Reserve's Diploma (in English)
Click to enlarge in the new window – A Belovezhskaya Pushcha Biosphere Reserve's Diploma (in Russian)
The labor collective of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is proud of all awards which were given for the proper contribution to preservation of a World Heritage Site. A variety and riches of flora and fauna admire everyone who visited this natural corner. The majestic forest attracts with its mystery and unique beauty. The task of the collective is to save these riches.
January 12, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"
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A peak of visiting is in 2006

A record amount of the tourists of 188 thousands has visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha last year. This is the best parameter since the nature protection institution has been established. The Estate of Belarusian Grandfather Frost, an interesting project initiated by the President of the Republic of Belarus has played a considerable role for this. Over 75 thousand tourists have visited the residence last year.
January 12, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" The tourists choose Belovezhskaya Pushcha

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These awards (it means the diplomas, see below, the note by the BP-21 Century website's editor) testify that the tourist business becomes one of the priority activities in the National Park. More and more tourists both native and foreign ones prefer to have a rest in open air. The travelers choose Belovezhskaya Pushcha, first of all because of its worldwide popularity and the opportunity to visit many objects closed in the Soviet times which were accessible only to close sections of the public. This is a very old relic forest. There are the habitats of rare birds and animals. There are hunting towers high-ranking officials only shot the game. There are the hunting houses in the governmental residence "Viskuli" which remained to be an object of top-secrecy for a long time, while they can now be used to have a rest. There are other interesting places as well.
January 12, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"
Click to enlarge - an Exhibition's Diploma for contribution to development of hunting and ecological tourism
Click to enlarge - a Diploma For creation of the National Project The Estate of Byelorussian Grandfather Frost
Different awards are important

At the XIII International Tourist Exhibition "2006 Tour-Business" which held between November 7 and 10 last year in Minsk, the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" was awarded with an Exhibition's Diploma for contribution to development of hunting and ecological tourism. Earlier in April of 2006, the Park's collective has received a Diploma "For creation of the National Project "The Estate of Byelorussian Grandfather Frost" from the 9-th Spring Fair of Tourist Services "2006 Rest" which took place in the Belarusian capital.
January 12, 2007 "Narodnaya Gazeta" (The People’s Newspaper) Newspaper, No 8-9 At a gate to Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The owners of twelve village houses located in the vicinity of Belovezhskaya Pushcha have obtained small-sized grants at the rate of 1,000 to 2,000 US $ to reconstruct their houses and to create the modern household conditions for serving the tourists. The financing is carried out within the framework of the UN Program's Project "Environmentally Sustainable Development of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Trans-Boundary Region: Nature Protection and Sustainable Development Combining".

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection of Belarus as a Project's national executive agency has informed that the basic task of the Project was to stimulate development of ecological and rural tourism in the region. The owners of village houses who wished to engage in or were already engaging in making rural and ecological tourism's services have become a target group of the Project. The selection of the most perspective farms was done with regional and local authorities and the Ministry of Sport and Tourism by taking their advices and during working visits of the Project's experts to the region.

While the Project was under realization, the offers and recommendations to improve the national legislation in the field of rural and ecological tourism have also been prepared. A booklet “Rest in a village house at a gate to Belovezhskaya Pushcha” describing the possibilities of the tourism development in the region in Russian and English and an advertising compact disc has been issued. A Project's website (www.belregion.active.by) was launched. The Ministry acknowledged that the village tourism is a very perspective direction of the industry of tourism. An active rest in the rural houses near a wood, river or lake promptly wins popularity among the inhabitants of the large and noisy cities. Belarus has all chances to become one of the leaders in providing this kind of tourist services, as a richest historical, cultural and natural heritage of the country, an abundance of ancient traditions and ceremonies, a unique architecture and style of the life create a unique colour of paramount importance of the rural and ecological tourism.

At the same time, for the purpose of bigger progress of this kind of tourism in Belarus, package of measures targeted creation of the favorable conditions for the suppliers of rural and ecological services is necessary to be carried out, the experts of the Ministry of Nature Protection consider.
January 12, 2007 Website " TUT.BY" An electronic version of the Red Data Book of Belarus to be appeared in the cyberspace

The work on creation of the website of a Red Data Book of the Republic of Belarus is complete. The work had been supported by a project of the UN Development's Program and the Global Ecological Fund called "Creation of the Conditions for Sustainable Functioning the System of Protected Swamped Areas in the Belarusian Polessie", intimately in interaction with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, both the Institutes of Zoology and Botany of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus and the "MediuM" company.

The web-version of the Red Data Book of the Republic of Belarus - http://redbookbel.net - includes two parts - plants and animals. One can find the detailed information on 477 species of the rare and threaten animals and plants at the web-resource, also added by photos, pictures and maps. Information on distribution, biology, number, reasons for changing the quantity and the natural habitat and protection measures, being done or required, are given for each species.

Both the lists of the extinct animals and plants ("the black list") and of animals and plants which require preventive protection are also placed on the website. The web-resource has no analogues regarding the volume, the topicality of the data, the convenience of navigation and the practical value - no one other CIS country has yet put the electronic version of a Red Data Book. Belarus is first to be dared using the innovational means of the cyber space for the purposes to increase of ecological culture of the population.

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It seems that the last sentence is too brave for expressing because, at least, the Russian web resource "Rare and disappearing animals of Russia" - http://www.nature.ok.ru/ - is available in the cyber space for already a long time.
The "BP - 21 Century" website editor's note.
January 12, 2007 Website "Podlasie Gate" The weather badly affects Bialowieza bison

Nearly 500 tones of forage have been stored by the Bialowieza National Park to artificially feed up bison.

For needs of the herd of the Bialowieza Forest, the supplies of hay, grain, vegetables and acorns have been accumulated. The basic task of the Park over the many years is to feed up these largest in Europe mammals. The employees of the Park usually conduct the feed in 15 special spots.

To our regret, the behavior of the bison is a little different than usually, being under influence of the present unexpectedly warm weather, the director of the Bialowieza National Park Jozef Popiel says. They are distributing throughout all the territory of the Bialowieza Forest and are not concentrated, as it's usual, in the feeding places.

Not only feeding is under the weather's influence. It is also impossible to begin the field counting of these animals in the Bialowieza National Park. It is usually going on in December or in earlier January. Bison are also counted up by using their snow tracks. The Park's workers therefore are compelled to wait for cold precipitation. The herd of the Bialowieza Forest makes today about 400 bison.

This makes the number of 150 specimens extra than it is optimal. The Park's employees predict that the herd has increased for some tens of young bison in 2006. The Bialowieza National Park has now expectation for getting the sanction of the Ministry for shooting some tens of bison.
January 09, 2007 Website "The Bialowieza National Park" Bison to be again under assistance (Poland)

The Bialowieza National Park provides a Humanitarian fund in 2007. On the Hajnowka town's website (www.hajnowka.pl), an auction titled "Bialowieza Bison's Honourable Godfather" will be announced. In this way we give a chance "to christen" two bison. We will sell by auction a right of choice to give the names for two bison which will be born first in the bison nurseries of the Bialowieza Park in 2007. An initial price is 1,000 Zlotys. All income gained from the auction will be granted to the Bison Found. "The Honourable Godfather" will receive a memorable diploma and books as the awards from the Bialowieza National Park and will be authorized to name the bison under warship. On a fence of the enclosure where a bison live, there is a shit with information about a Honourable Godfather. Let's remind that the bison which are born in the nurseries of the Bialowieza Forest are getting named that begins from the letter "P".
January 09, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" A hot season

The first week after a New Year became a hot season for a Grandfather Frost from Belovezhskaya Pushcha. He is nearly all time on a porch of his house meeting the numerous visitors from all over the country and abroad. Many tourists from various regions of Russia (St.-Petersburg, Moscow, Voronezh, Astrakhan, Volgograd, even from far Sakhalin) were there. The most of the Russian tourists are from Moscow.

In total, 188,000 people has visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha last year, among them 75,000 tourists have traveled in a Grandfather Frost's estate.

The excursions proceed these days. Pupils, businessmen who are now on the winter vacation, Russian groups of tourists and families are also the numerous visitors. The holiday proceeds.

Information is from the Museum of Nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha
The website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"
January 09, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Trophies to the hunters while currency to the exchequer

Belovezhskaya Pushcha was famous for hunts in all times. Due to it and thanks to the presence of such rare animals as bison, the primeval forest has been preserved. The first mention about a hunt by Great Prince Lithuanian Jagiello belongs to the early XV Century.

In 1409, after a congress in Brest where Jagiello and Witowt have sworn to protect each other from a common enemy - Order of Knights Teutonic, Jagiello stored up provision of food in Pushcha for the one-hundred-thousand army, which then participated in the Grunwald Battle.

The hunts of the Polish kings were of particularly splendour. In 1558, a law on protection of royal hunting lands was issued. Since 1577, bison has begun to be under care.

In 1705, after Belovezhskaya Pushcha became part of the Russian Empire, Catherine II has permitted to carry out any hunts in the forest, except for shooting bison.

In 1888, Belovezhskaya Pushcha has passed in the ownership of the imperial family. Alexander II, Nikolai II and Grand Dukes hunted there.

In 1939, Pushcha has become part of the Byelorussian SSR and has got a status of State Reserve. Then, 50 years ago, Nikita Khrushchev initiated changing its status to a State Protected Game Ground. High-ranking officials, heads of the states and secretaries general continued to hunt in the reserved wood…

The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", because of development of tourism in the country, became now a very popular place for the tourists. This area of wild nature mentioned as far back as in the Ipatievskaya Chronicles of 983 is also attractive for hunting tourism which brings quite good revenue. The hunters from Germany, Russia, France, Czech and other countries visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha according to the contracts with the foreign partners. The selected animals are eliminated in Pushcha in order to regulate their amount. Over the last year, 110 foreign and 400 Belarusian hunters had an opportunity for hunting in the places specially designed for this purpose.

The hunt in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, frankly speaking, is a rather expensive pleasure for the foreign tourists. But the hunters say that the wandering with a gun on the paths where, probably, the kings and secretaries general went and the feeling the hunting passion is the non-comparable sensation. And it is necessary to pay for pleasure.

Information presented by I.I. Batan,
leading expert for control and conducting the hunting actions of the State Protection Institution "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha""
The website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha""
January 09, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Meat is not scattered all over the forest

While the numerous tourists admire the beauty of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, some hunters follow the path of poaching and ruthlessly exterminate the inhabitants of the ancient forest.

For example, on the eve of the New Year, a six-year-old deer with beautiful branch-antlers weighing about 200 kg was killed by a poacher. The deer-male was shot in the Novodvorskoe forest area of the Svisloch district. The forest rangers have found an already cut carcass of the animal at Vasiliy Usyukevich's home who is a member of the hunting society and a quite well-to-do inhabitant of the village of Novyi Dvor (New Yard).

He explained that he found meat of the deer and brought it home. However, according to the hunting rules, it is necessary immediately to inform militia and forest rangers about an even killed animal found in the forest. This wasn't made. That means that Mr. Usyukevich will have to compensate a damage in the sum of about 9 billion Roubles (~ 4,225 US $) to the National Park and to wait for a court's decision which will determine a kind of punishment. So, the cost of free-of-charge chop made from the wild game is too expensive.

Unfortunately, this is not the first case of poaching last year. The most of these crimes were successfully investigated, as the saying goes, hot on the heels. The sum of the penalties paying by "the fans of delicacy from the game" should stop everyone who has taken a gun for the criminal purpose.

Information presented by S.G. Dyagel,
head of the guard department of the State Protection Institution "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha""
The website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"
January 08, 2007 Website News Service" Belarusian and Ukrainian environmentalists pay attention to the situation in the Pripyatski National Park

Heorhi Kazulka, coordinator of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21 Century Project (Belarus):

"After I recently visited the website of the Pripyatski National Park (http://www.npp.by/), I have felt horror in the true sense of the word from its context. A national park is a sacred place where conservation of a wild nature and veneration for this is present. Contrary to this, the first page of the park administration's website has the record "The State Nature Protection Institution "The Pripyatski National Park" is an effectively developing enterprise which is giving a great importance of the quality of the manufacturing output and the continual renewal of an assortment of goods". There is also the record "The hunting. The National Park's fauna is quite diverse. (…)" illustrated with a photo of a killed wild boar (!!!). The website has no one photo of the living nature (!!!). This is a top of cynicism and mockery over the protected nature. One can assume what kind of the people with low or declining moral principles manage today the Pripyatski National Park. It doubts whether this website could be made without their consent. (…)"

(The quotation from the dispatch-page "About a scale of thinking, or does Belarus need a separate website on the especially reserved areas?", November 08, 2006 (http://bp21.org.by/ru/art_arch/r009.html or http://www.rasmas.info/archive.phtml?did=870&y=2006&m=11&d=8).

-----

Vladimir Boreiko, director of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center (Ukraine):

"On the website of , the advertising of a hunt for various wild animals like geese, capercailzie (wood-grouse), blackcock, woodcock, drake-duck, roe deer, wild boar, partridge, elk, red deer, hare, fox and others is placed.

The fair question occurs what is a difference between the National Park "Pripyatski" and any of hunting game grounds? Both cases provide the conducting various kinds of sports hunting for many animals. In the present national parks (USA, Canada, Australia) which are managing in the right way, the sport hunting is under a strict ban because this contradicts to an ideology and ethics of national parks as nature protection institutions.

In one's time, in order to begin crushing and plundering a reserved nature, the Pripyatski Reserve Park was reorganized into a Pripyatski National Park. Now, that to avoid misleading the people, it seems it could be taking one more stage lower to turn the national park to a hunting game ground. It got de facto this stand already a long time ago."
January 05, 2007 Website "Naviny.By" A Grandfather Frost from Belovezhskaya Pushcha to service daily over 4,000 visitors

The days after the New Year's holiday are very hard for a Grandfather Frost from Belovezhskaya Pushcha because he daily serves more than four thousands of tourists. The BelTA News Agency was told from the administration of the National Park that in January each working day of the Grandfather Frost is scheduled literally to spend each minute. The first visitors arrive to his residence as early as 10.00 a.m. in the morning and the Grandfather's working day comes to the end after 21.00 p.m.

The children are basically the visitors of the sovereign of the winter blizzards. The guys from both various Belarusian corners and Ukraine, Russian regions (Moscow, Tambov, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, Krasnodar, Kareliya), and from far Ireland visited the residence to get excursions in late December and this year.

It should be noted that the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's Grandfather Frost is popular not only among the children but also among the adults. Both the individual tourists and groups of the pensioners come to him for already few years. The grandmothers and the grandfathers listen with pleasure to fairy tales and dance with children around a Christmas tree which is unusual in the residence of the Belarusian Grandfather Frost. This New Year's tree is the largest naturally growing spruce tree in Europe which height exceeds 40 meters.
January 03, 2007 Website "Podlasie Gate" Win an album about the Bialowieza Forest as a prize – a contest is over.

The winners of a contest originated by the "Podlasie Gate", with an album "A National Park in the Bialowieza Forest" as a prize, have become announced.

The album will come to Barbara Kowalik from Skarzyska Kamienna. Congratulations!!!

The participants should have been answering the questions of the contest which related to the Bialowieza National Park, the oldest of the Polish national parks.

1. Call the exact date when Bialowieza National Park was included into a prestigious international network of UNESCO's Biosphere Reserves. The answer is the 17th January of 1977.

2. In 2007, the Park will celebrate an anniversary of realizing a first couple of bison in the framework of restoration of this species conducted after the war by the scientists. Which is this anniversary? The answer is the 55th.

3. What is the motto of the Bialowieza National Park in 2007? The answer is "Power of Nature".

The prized were instituted by the Bialowieza National Park.

AL
January 02, 2007 Website "Science in Poland" Power of Nature

"Power of Nature", this is the motto of the oldest in Poland Bialowieza National Park for 2007. 30 years ago, on January 17, 1977 the Park was included to become part of a prestigious global network of UNESCO's Biosphere Reserves. Two years later the Park was also inscribed on a List of World Mankind Cultural and Natural Heritage. In 2007, the 55th anniversary of the event connected with releasing a first couple of bison to live free within the framework of a program of restoration of this species which was undertaken by the scientists after the war is dated.

The anniversary will be under scope of scientific conferences, educational meetings and other short-timed actions realized by the Park. Jozef Popiel, Park's director, noted that all of these measures will be connected to a cultural heritage of the Bialowieza Forest.

Mr. Popiel emphasized that 2007 will be very favorable for bison as since this year a program "Bison Land", which purpose is improvement of the life conditions of these animals and mitigation of the conflicts with a human in places where bison cause damage to the peasants, will be launched.

The Program "Bison Land" should been starting with a rally meeting in the Mammal Research Institute (MRI) of the Polish Academy of Sciences in the village of Bialowieza in December of 2006. However, the celebrations are postponed because of necessity to check some conditions regarding this issue in the Ministry of Environment. The MRI which was granted for these purposes 956,000 $ USA from the UE budget within the framework of the program "LIFE" will implement the program in collaboration with several partners.

Jerzy Dackiewicz, head of the Centre of Bison Breeding in Bialowieza, estimates the number of the bison in the Polish herd of the Bialowieza Forest as more than 400 animals. He emphasizes that, if the forecasts will be justified, a new record concerning the number of bison in this Forest will be achieved. The exact number of bison will become known after the annual calculation which is late at the present moment because of a lack of snow. The animals are counted up, first of all, in several places where they get permanently winter feeding. The estimation of their number is based on a white-snow tracking .

Mr. Dackiewicz considers that about 50 to 60 young bison were born this year. Since the herd is too large with regard to the territory they live, the Bialowieza National Park has addressed to the Minister of Environment to get permission for selective shooting forty old and ill animals. The opportunities to resettle or to sale the animals to other places for breeding in Poland and abroad are also looking for.

The Bialowieza National Park and the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" on the Belarusian side of the Forest have already agreed on realizing a 600th celebration of introduction of the first forms of nature protection by the kings within the territory of the Bialowieza Forest. The anniversary is scheduled for 2009.

The Science in Poland
January 02, 2007 Website News Service A foreign experience: Struggle against ecological tourism in the Ukrainian reserves

Non wishing to get transformation of unique Ukrainian zapovedniks (a zapovednik in the post-soviet countries means a strictly protected reserve) into parks for "rest without culture", in the style of Belarusian or some Russian ones, the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Centre has turned from discussions about harm of ecological tourism in the zapovedniks to a real struggle with the ecological tourism in the zapovedniks. This is especially because the Law of Ukraine "On a natural reserved fund of Ukraine" doesn't permit to conduct eco-tourism in the natural zapovedniks. Nevertheless, a number of the Ukrainian zapovedniks, for example, the Krymskiy and the Ukrainian Steppe, contrary to this Law, make their strictly protected territories open for eco-tourists and create a special infrastructure.

For example, the branch of the Ukrainian Steppe Reserve "Stone Tombs" has built an Ilia Murometz's chapel and a concrete cross in order to attract the tourists. A holiday so-called "Becoming a Cossack" is annually celebrated once in May turning then to a collective drinking binge by the local population within the strictly protected area.

In the other branch of the Ukrainian Steppe Reserve "Homutovskaya Steppe", a so-called "summer-house for ecological education" (a very little open pavilion) in which the local heads are served with food and drink, drinking binges are conducted and the shish kebabs are fried, is actually set in the protected steppe. Vladimir Boreiko, director of the Centre, has presented a protest against the actions of the administration of the Ukrainian Steppe Reserve to the Donetsk Regional Prosecutor Office.

On December 11, 2006 G. Tyurin, senior adviser of justice and deputy prosecutor of the Donetsk Regional Prosecutor Office, has answered that the Prosecutor Office has demanded from the Reserve's management to demolish the chapel, cross and "eco-educational summer-house", because the specified infrastructures are placed in the Reserve in defiance of the Item 16 of the Law of Ukraine "On a natural reserved fund of Ukraine", and to restore the land areas as they were naturally looking before. Our Centre will supervise the performance of the Prosecutor Office's instruction.

Besides, we have appealed to Academician B.Paton, President of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and to the Minister of Nature Protection Mr. V.Dzharty with the demand to dismiss Mr. Mordatenko, director of the Ukrainian Steppe Reserve, as he does not satisfy the requirements of his post.

The Press-center of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center

Information source: a dispatch of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center <kekz@carrier.kiev.ua>, December 29, 2006
January 02, 2007 Website News Service Announcement: The Wild Nature Drawing's Artists on the KECC website

An art-gallery "The Wild Nature Drawing's Artists" is placed on the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center's website - www.ecoethics.ru/artgallary.html. In the gallery, over one hundred pictures of the artists of the V to XX centuries from twenty countries who painted a wild nature are gathered. Such the outstanding authors as Shishkin, Vasnetsov, Friedrich, Birschtadt, Calam and many others are presented in the gallery.

The gallery was recently added with new pictures. We invite all who defend a wild nature to visit our Art-gallery, which exposed exhibits can be used for the purpose of ecological education.

The Press-center of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center

Information source: a dispatch of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center <kekz@carrier.kiev.ua>, December 28, 2006
January 02, 2007 Website News Service Conferences: A Sport Hunting Opponents' International Congress

In the middle of May of 2007, an International Congress of the opponents of sport hunting will be organized in the city of Kiev by the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center, the Moscow Center of Animals' Rights, the "Nature Protection Service" Voluntary People's Patrol of the Kazan University and the "New Wave" Regional Public Ecological Movement of the city of Rostov.

The purpose of the Congress is to advance the movement against a hunting.

The topics to discuss at the Congress are as the following:
  • Ethical, ecological, religious and cultural arguments against a sport hunting;
  • The experience of struggle against a sports hunting;
  • Development of the anti-hunting movement;
  • The ideology and legislation against a hunting;
  • Struggle against advertising of a sports hunting;
  • Whether can a nature conservator be a sport hunter;
  • The experience of struggle against a sports hunting abroad;
  • Children's education to get an anti-hunting immunity and defense of the animals' rights;
  • A sport hunting without lie and embellishment;
  • A hunting mythology.
Within the framework of the Congress, a festival of anti-hunting films, a meeting of the International Court for Nature Rights against Sport Hunting, exhibitions of children's anti-hunting drawings and caricature, a presentation of the anti-hunting literature, eco-sabotage's actions and round table discussions ""Stars" and sport hunting","WWF and sport hunting".

Applications of the participants in Russian should be submitted till February 01, 2007 to <kekz@carrier.kiev.ua>.

The request is to distribute this information as wide as possible including mass-media.

Vladimir Boreiko, Chairman of the Congress' Committee, Director of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center

Information source: a dispatch of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center <kekz@carrier.kiev.ua>, December 28, 2006
January 02, 2007 Website News Service Conferences: The Wilderness Protection and Management International Readings

The Professor Felix Shtilmark's First International Scientific and Applied Readings on Wilderness Protection and Management will be organized by the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center, the State Service on Reserves of the Ministry of Nature Protection of Ukraine and the International Social and Ecological Union.

The objectives of the Readings are:
  • to pay attention of representatives of scientific, public and governmental organizations to the problems of wilderness protection;
  • to popularize the classical principles of wilderness protection developed by the native scientists;
  • to promote high moral and scientific bases and traditions of native wilderness protection;
  • to develop the theory of wilderness protection and management.
The topics to submit to the Readings are as the following:
  • The classical principles of wilderness protection. The concept of the Absolute Wilderness Protection;
  • The philosophical base and ideology of native wilderness protection;
  • The role played by the eminent scientists and public figures - F.Shtilmark, G.Kozhevnikov, V.Dokuchaev, D.Solov'ev, A.Krasnitskiy, N.Reimers, S,Dyrenkov, A.Zakharchenko – to develop the classical principles of wilderness protection;
  • Criticism of ecological tourism and management measures in the reserves (or rather, zapovedniks which mean strictly protected reserves in the post-soviet countries) and a damage caused from ecological tourism and management actions to protected ecosystems, species and living beings;
  • Criticism of the economic estimation and economic approach to the management in the reserves (zapovedniks) and another especially protected natural areas;
  • Criticism of the use of the reserves (zapovedniks), national parks and buffer zones of natural reserves (zapovedniks) and other especially protected natural areas for providing a sport hunting and fishing. The damage from a sport hunting and fishing caused to protected ecosystems, species and living beings;
  • Radical ways of protection of the territories of the reserves (zapovedniks) and other especially protected natural areas;
  • Development of methods of ecological-friendly and humane scientific researches in the reserves (zapovedniks) and other especially protected natural areas;
  • A foreign experience of wilderness protection management;
  • The measures on improvement of wilderness protection and management;
  • Ensuring the conditions for spontaneous, free and natural dynamic of the processes in protected ecosystems and formation of species in the reserves (zapovedniks);
  • The professional standards from the outstanding figures of wilderness protection. The ethical principles and rules of wilderness protection.
To participate in the Readings, you have to submit a participant's application and a text in Russian to <kekz@carrier.kiev.ua>.

Vladimir Boreiko, Chairman of the Readings' Committee, Director of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center

Information source: a dispatch of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center <kekz@carrier.kiev.ua>, December 22, 2006
January 02, 2007 Website News Service Announcement: The website makes its informational scope wider

Dear colleagues and visitors,

Preservation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha directly depends on the public activity, awareness, enlightenment, professionalism of the employees of nature protection institutions and, finally, on the level of development of wilderness protection and management in Belarus. Taking into consideration the fact that our web-project is till now the only public information resource in Belarus which covers issues and problems of the wilderness protection and wildlife management, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21 Century website, therefore, makes its informational scope wider since this year. The purpose is to acquaint you with the basic events and problems of the reserves and national parks of the contiguous countries and to enhance the skill regarding wilderness protection issues among the experts and the public through introduction into new ideas, foreign publications and international discussions devoting to wilderness protection and management.
Your questions, offers and information are welcomed to send to our website's address - pushcha-XXI@tut.by.

Heorhi Kazulka
Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21 Century Project Coordinator