NEWS ARCHIVE: JANUARY 2013

January 30, 2013 Website "Tourism and Leisure" Belarusians will present Hockey World Cup and Belovezhskaya Pushcha at the Berlin exhibition

The symbol of the 2014 Hockey World Championship has no name yet, but the competition is still ongoing.

36 days remain until ITB Tourism Exchange in Berlin. 8 organizations of Belarus confirmed their participation in the international exhibition for now. Half of them are the tour companies. The Belarusian delegation is going to present in Germany the Ice Hockey World Championship in 2014 and tourism activities and leisure in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

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More information about the design and the exhibition program was told by Olga Matyushko, a leading specialist of marketing of the Tourist Information Center at the "National Tourism Agency":

A stand at 40 square meters open on three sides is prepared. The design of the stand will be focused on the Hockey World Championship and the Year of Green Tourism in Belarus. We will also make two presentations. The first will be devoted to the World Cup, respectively, and the second (prepared jointly with the Polish National Tourist Office) will present Belovezhskaya Pushcha, with an emphasis on outdoor activities as well. We are still discussing the presentation with the staff of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and, perhaps, its representative will be coming with us to the exhibition. In addition to presentations, the exhibition is scheduled tasting Belarusian products. We will also have a handout that includes a calendar of tourist events in Belarus in 2013 in English.

By Yanina Sedelnik

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(The news is placed in the short-cut form, the BP-21 Century editor's note)
January 30, 2013 Website "Pruzhany.net" 2000 people crossed the border with Poland on a bike within the year

Pedestrian and bicycle border crossing "Pererov" located in Belovezhskaya Pushcha on the border with Poland is becoming more and more well known and popular among tourists. Thanks to it, nature lovers, who came to the Belarusian side of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, can get acquainted during the visit with the Polish part, while visitors to the Bialowieza National Park can see our ancient forest. This is beneficial for both national parks - the Belarusian and Polish, as it allows diversifying leisure of travelers and staying in Pushcha longer.

About a thousand people used the crossing in 2011, and nearly two thousands in 2012.

Buses of the National Park meet organized groups from Poland at the border in winter. Bicycle tours and hiking are dominated in the summer. Polish side is visited not only by the citizens of Belarus, but quite often by tourists from Russia who came to our National Park and had the appropriate visa in the passport.

The border crossing "Pererov (Belarus) - Bialowieza (Poland)", opened on April 16 of 2005, is located 13.8 km by road from the main entrance to the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park in Belarus, from the village of Kamenyuki. It services visitors from Poland on bikes. Open: 1 April to 30 September, 08:00-20:00; 1 October to 31 March 08:00-18:00. The village of Pererov is located in Belarus 5.5 km from the border crossing, with the guest house "Pererov".

Source: Virtual Brest
January 28, 2013 Website "Second National Channel (ONT)" Video: Plans to return Brown Bear to Belovezhskaya Pushcha

These animals are listed as endangered in our country and live mainly in the northern areas.

Bears were killed in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in the late nineteenth century. There were several attempts to restore the population in the XX century, but no success. Today zoologists from Frankfurt resubmitted this idea. Germans are ready to invest in saving the rare species.

Victor Fenchuk, Director of the NGO "Belarus Birds' Life" says "The most important stage is now to assess whether the conditions are favorable and the space is enough, and what the cost is for reintroduction. This action does not mean just to bring and let the animals be free. Its aim is to form the viable population. This is a long process."

Zoologists from the Belorussian Academy of Sciences have already studied the conditions for the possible reintroduction of the bear population in the Brest region. The report will be sent to Frankfurt by mid-February. Then the final decision about the future of bears in Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be accepted.

(Video clip can be viewed on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWOoOT4U4jI&feature=player_embedded, in Russian)
January 28, 2013 Website "Naviny.by" Bialowieza bison to register and "the extra" to shoot

The bison inventory is carried out in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Now experts are calculating the size and demographic structure of the bison population as BelaPAN learned from George Shoholevich, employee of the Hunting Department of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

Bison are surveyed within the area of 200 square km - in Grodno and Brest regions. The inventory results will be announced by early February, and then the "elimination limit" for bison in Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be defined.

According to the employee of the Hunting Department, there were 428 bison in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in 2012. The number of the animals of this species is growing every year. Mr. Shoholevich noted that there are many old and sick animals in the National Park now, and hunters and Park's employees shoot them.
January 28, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Bison inventory

At present, the winter registration of wildlife is carried out in the country. Bison is the dweller of highest priority in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Therefore, the number and the demographic structure of the bison population are calculated in the National Park's forest and adjacent areas where bison now leave.

Visual observations in places of artificial feeding are used to survey the animals. Employees of the forest and hunter service must establish the exact number of forest giants within the area of the National Park in the period from 20 to 31 January.

January 25, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Belovezhskaya Pushcha in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves

The State Nature Protection establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is a part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 1993. However, this area does not have a national status of Biosphere Reserve. Until recently, lack of legal regulation of this issue in the national legislation was the reason for that.

To eliminate this gap in the legislation, appropriate additions were made in the National Law "On Environmental Protection". Now the procedure and conditions for declaration and functioning of biosphere reserves in the Republic of Belarus are regulated in Articles 63-3, 63-4, 63-5 of the Act.

The National Park is working on the description of the boundaries of the Biosphere Reserve and its zoning scheme, in accordance with the conclusion of the UNESCO Bureau of the MAB Program "Man and Biosphere" about the need to bring biosphere reserves in compliance with the criteria of the Program, as well in accordance with the Presidential Decree of February 9, 2012 No 59 "On Some Issues of Development of Especially Protected Natural Areas" which regulated changes in borders, protection and management of reserves and national parks. The Regulation on Biosphere Reserve is also preparing that will allow Belovezhskaya Pushcha to get the national status of Biosphere Reserve.
January 24, 2013 Website"The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" "Great winter" came to Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Snowy winters were coming in recent years in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This winter is not the exception either. The snow covered the ground since November last year. Although it was melting during a small thaw to a great extent, the snowy weather was back again to Belovezhskaya Pushcha. According to the meteorological station of the National Park, snowfall was 118 mm just for one day of the 16th January. That was one-fifth of its average annual rates.

After the snowfall, snow caps decorated trees in the protected forest, and Belovezhskaya Pushcha got a fabulous winter look. While the visitors enjoyed the beautiful winter forest covered with snow, it is not easy for forest dwellers to feed at this time. We already reported on our site, a sufficient amount of provisions were stored up for them. The food is now permanently laid in special places.

Ungulates like corn silage very much (almost 450 tons of it were already eaten!), hay and juicy fodder beet. Grain, which is laid out on the feeding plots, is consumed not only by wild animals but also by many birds wintering in our woods. In addition, grain concentrates for small bison are permanently laid in special feed yards.



January 21, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Number of tourists is growing

The number of tourists visiting Belovezhskaya Pushcha is growing from year to year. 379,042 people visited the National Park's excursion objects in 2011, while in 2012 there were almost 70,000 people more 448,538. Nearly half of the visitors are citizens of foreign countries.

The visitors are especially numerous in Belovezhskaya Pushcha during the New Year and Christmas holidays, because these days many people want to meet with the winter chief magician Father Frost. Over 37 thousand people came to the owner of "Belarusian Father Frost's Manor" only in December 2012, and about 31 thousand made this from 1 to 13 January 2013. Half of them are adults who also want to plunge into a fairy tale. The 5th January was a record day for attendance. On this day 10 thousand tourists were guests of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
January 21, 2013 Website "BelTA" Sheyman was appointed Manager of Affairs of the President of Belarus

President Alexander Lukashenko has appointed Viktor Sheiman as Manager of Presidential Affairs, freeing him from the post of Assistant to the President of Belarus for special assignments, as BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian leader.

Viktor Sheiman was born in 1958 in the village of Soltanishki, Voronovo district, Grodno region. He graduated from the Blagoveshchensk Higher Tank Command School and the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus. From 1975 to 1992, he was in the Armed Forces in command, political and staff positions, including in Afghanistan.

He is Colonel-General. He is Professor of the Academy of Security, Defense and Law of the Russian Federation. He is State Counsellor of Justice of the 1st grade.

In 1990 to 1994, he was a member of the Supreme Council, the Secretary of the Commission of the Supreme Council for National Security, Defense and Fight against Crime.

In 1994 to 2000, he was State Secretary of the Security Council - Assistant to the President for National Security, and State Secretary of the Security Council - Minister of Internal Affairs.

Since 2000, he was Prosecutor-General of the Republic of Belarus.

In the years 2004 to 2006, he was Head of the Presidential Administration.

In the period 2006 to 2008, he was State Secretary of the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus. In 2009 to 2013, he was Assistant to the President for Special Assignments in the structure of the State Secretariat of the Security Council.

In January 2013 Sheyman was appointed Assistant Belarusian President at Large.
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All nature reserves and national parks in Belarus are subjects to the Department of Affairs of the President of Belarus. The BP-21 Website Editor's note
January 21, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Letters to Santa Claus

Despite the fact that the Christmas holidays were over, Belarusian Father Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is still receiving letters. Children from literally all over the world write to the good magician. He received more than 12,000 letters by post only in the New Year period, and the same number through the Internet. Greetings of the young citizens of our country, Russia and Ukraine dominated in the New Year correspondence. Letters from foreign countries - the UK, Germany, USA, Israel, France and even such exotic to us countries as Australia, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are also often.

Santa Claus is very happy all received messages and is trying to quickly read them and respond. Although he was very busy in the New Year as receiving guests in his Estate, he has already sent the response congratulations to the most of his young friends. Others will get them in the near future - to the New Year for the Eastern calendar.
January 19, 2013 "Sovetskaya Belorussia" (The Soviet Belorussia) newspaper The wish to bring back bears to Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Our forests are home for about 80 brown bears, although this figure was three and a half time more a decade ago. The species from a Red Data Book suffers from active forest management and the hunt for ungulates - dogs force the prey to run to the shooters, simultaneously disturbing clumsy bears. Belovezhskaya Pushcha was famous for its bears in the XIX century, but now there is none of them.

A project to reintroduce the population of the predator has recently been appeared. The scientists from the National Academy of Sciences and the National Park are discussing whether this is possible and by what methods, while the Frankfurt Zoological Society, the initiator of the idea, offered the financial assistance.

Examples of successful programs on resettlement of predators are enough - they were sent from Romania and Slovenia to Italy and France, and this kind of work is in Spain and Norway. The main objective of the project covers nature protection, explains Vadim Sidorovich, chief research officer from the Scientific and Practical Center for Biological Resources of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. "Brown bears have conditions to hibernate in Belovezhskaya Pushcha", he says. "Ruzhanskaya Pushcha and Vygonoshchanskoye Forest Sanctuary are next where bears could settle. But it is wrong just to deliver, for example, 20 animals and let them be free. We need to act gradually. We deliver, let's say, 8 animals per year, made a pair free in one of four spots, with radio collars, to be sure they are redistributed. Then we can take the next batch."

We asked the opinion of the National Park's employees, forestry areas closest to it and villagers on the possible project. Most of them are "for." It is assumed that bears will be brought from Russia.

By Julia Vasilishina
January 18, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Winter holidays with Father Frost

A journey is the best gift for any child during the holidays. In the winter, trip to Belovezhskaya Pushcha to Father Frost becomes particularly coveted. Over 45,000 people visited the Manor of Belarusian Father Frost during the holidays, which lasted from December 22 to January 8! True, half of them were adults who also want to plunge into a fairy tale. Snow Maiden, Mother Winter and other legendary characters helped the Magician Frost to entertain, read letters and respond to them. They will still stay in the Manor up to the end of February.

Nearly 850 thousand people visited the Manor of Belarusian Father Frost during the first 9 years since its existence. This year, Santa Claus is going to take the millionth visitor.
January 18, 2013 Website "BelTA" Nearly 70,000 tourists visited Father Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in December and January

Nearly 70,000 tourists visited Father Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in December and January, as BelTA learned from the National Park's Administration.

The number of tourists who visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha is growing year by year. So, 379 thousand persons visited the excursion objects of the National Park in 2011, while 448.500 people visited in 2012; half of them are the citizens of foreign countries.

Especially many visitors to Pushcha are during the New Year and Christmas holidays, because many people want these days to meet with the main winter magician Father Frost. More than 37 thousand people came to the owner of the Manor only in December last year, while 31 thousand visited from 1 to 13 January of this year. The 5th January got a record day of attendance. 10 thousand tourists visited Santa Claus on this day.

The Belarusian Father Frost's estate in Belovezhskaya Pushcha served the first visitors in December 2003. The estate of a total area of 15 hectares is located in the depths of the Forest, in a clearing where bison go to get food in winter. A carved tower of Father Frost, a house of his Granddaughter - Snow Maiden, a house for gifts' storage and many other attributes associated the fairytale hero have been built there. A 120-year spruce tree of the height of 40 meters is rightly considered the main attraction there. It is the highest natural Christmas spruce in Europe.

The Estate of Belarusian Father Frost in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is open to the public all year round. Nearly 850 thousand people visited it during the first 9 years since its existence.

By Olga Kobyak
January 18, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" An unusual find

Encounter occurred on a forest road in the Yasenskoe forestry area of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" - an exhausted bird was found on the road side. It was a bittern; a rare species in our country. Bittern is listed in a Red Data Book of the Republic of Belarus (Category 3 of protection). The species is protected in Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. The species is included in Annex I of the EU Directive on the protection of rare birds, in Appendix II of the Bern Convention and in Appendix II of the Bonn Convention. It is put to the SPEC 3 and has a high international importance.

The scientific department of the Park made the situation clear - the found bittern is a male of the first year of life. He would have died from starvation without human help. He was placed in a warm room and "put down for allowances."

There were sometimes some cases to find bitterns in the past winters in Belovezhskaya Pushcha and the surrounding area. For example, in 1954, one bird was found in late January near the village Vidomlya, and another in February near a non-freezing spring in the vicinity of the village of Kamenyuki.
January 17, 2013 Website "BelTA" Plans to return Brown Bear in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

With the increase of the strictly protected area of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" in half (it is now more than 50,000 hectares), there are preconditions for returning brown bear to the Forest, as BelTA learned from Director of the Nongovernmental Organization "Belarus Birds' Life" Victor Fenchuk.

The development of the project to reintroduce brown bears in the Forest began in 2012. NGO "Belarus Birds' Life", Scientific and Practical Center for Biological Resources of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" are the initiators of this idea. The Frankfurt Zoological Society, one of the oldest environmental funds in Europe, is funding this work.

The aim of the project in the first instance is to bring back the former wild pristine shape for the Bialowieza Forest. To reach this, it is necessary to fully restore the relationships in the ecosystem that have been violated in the Forest because of human activity. That means to reintroduce brown bear as the apex of the food pyramid. "At present, the Forest features a big number of ungulates, which totally consume the forest undergrowth. The Forest cannot restore itself, but is only getting older every year. Predators are in the primacy of the food chain and are an important factor affecting the number of ungulates and, therefore, the restoration of the forest, - said the expert. Brown bear is one of the largest predators and, of course, it is very important for a large forest, such as Belovezhskaya Pushcha, to balance the entire trophic pyramid."

"Bear is an indicator of wilderness protection. Thanks to its reintroduction, the tourism potential can be developing, and the improvement of nature conservation and the flow of natural processes in the ecosystem can be promoting. In short, this species can revive and maintain the former identity of Belovezhskaya Pushcha," Viktor Fenchuk said.

The data, which were obtained during the survey of the local population, show that the reintroduction of brown bear is possible. "Today, both the ecosystem and the existing laws allow to do it," the NGO director said.

According to him, the final report on the possibility of reintroduction of brown bear will be prepared by the Practical Center for Bioresources of the National Academy of Sciences in February of this year. The Scientific and Practical Center of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" will review its results. Only then the final decision on the return of brown bear into the forest ecosystem will be issued.

If a positive conclusion by the experts, the animals will be populated here. "The successful implementation of the project presupposes the detail understanding every aspect - the study of the forest, the number of wild animals living there, etc." Victor Fenchuk explained about the duration of the project preparation.

Every single step of the reintroduction is logically thought, as all earlier attempts to return this animal have failed. It is because it had no scientific basis, the expert said. "The scheme should ensure a high prospect of success of the study. The program of reintroduction should also be designed as good as to know exactly how many animals we need, what age and what place they are surely settled. Pregnant bear females which gave offspring have already been moved into the Forest in the pre-war and wartime. Those animals have been brought from the zoo, but their reintroduction failed. Since that time there have been no such efforts, as Bialowieza Forest served the hunting management in the area being protected at the same time. quite the contrary, there has been fight against predators there," Viktor Fenchuk said.

Single bears periodically go into Belovezhskaya Pushcha, but they cannot populate the area because several animals of a certain age and sex structure are necessary to form the population.

It is planned to buy animals for reintroduction in Russia, as the bear population in Belarus is not in a favorable condition. According to a Red Data Book, the number of brown bears in the Belarusian forests does not exceed 100 or 110 individuals. This is due to the fact that logging operations are actively being conducted in the north of the country, in the bears' main habitat. "Bear hibernates in wet places where it was difficult to get used to, but now, thanks to new technology, it is easy to deliver machines deep into the forest. Cuttings cause inconvenience for bears. They can come out of the den, leaving offspring. In addition, group hunting with dogs are now popular that also disturb she-bears, lead them away from the den, and dogs can tear small bears while there is no female," the NGO director explained.

By Anna Katikova
January 15, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Charity Campaign "Our Children"

From December 10 of 2012 to January 11 of 2013, the Republican Christmas Charity Campaign called "Our Children" was held for the 16th time.

The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" took part in it. Tours of the facilities of the National Park for small kids from children's homes at no cost and New Year holidays in orphanages were organized. On the eve of the New Year, the Pushcha's Santa Claus, Snow Maiden and Snowflake visited orphanages in the towns of Kobrin and Divin, and in the village of Pelishche. A special Christmas program was presented for orphans. Along with Santa Claus, they danced around the Christmas tree, sang, danced, recited poems, joked and made merry. Of course, all of them received Christmas gifts and New Year's greetings from the wizard. As to Santa Claus, smiles and joys on faces of children became the very best gift for him.



January 15, 2013 Website "Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine" Video: Vitrenko from Belovezhskaya Pushcha - "Revive the Union!"

Chairman of the "Eurasian National Union of Ukraine" Natalia Vitrenko when visiting Belarus specially came to Belovezhskaya Pushcha where the three presidents-traitors Kravchuk, Shushkevich and Yeltsin - destroyed our great motherland against the will of the people of the USSR (as revealed at All-Union Referendum on March 17, 1991).

Natalia Vitrenko, the leader of the political and social movement in Ukraine for the integration of our fraternal peoples, appealed to our people to unite. It was the act from Pushcha to clear this unique natural area of the spirit of treachery and betrayal. She voiced her heart's desire in the residence of Belarusian Father Frost, a place where dreams come true.

(The video clip can be viewed from youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW46aukaERY, in Russian)

January 14, 2013 Website "Naviny.by" Video: Parrot Mikesha sings "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"

Parrot Mikesha does love to sing. He sings exclusively Soviet pop hits. The list of the songs learned by Mikeshs has also the song "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" the creation by Nikolai Dobronravov and Alexandra Pahmutova has got the Union glory thanks the performance of the pop group "Pesnyary".

(The video clip can be viewed on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTWZiLrI4JI, in Russian)

January 10, 2013 "Vecherniy Brest" (The Evening Brest) newspaper Several cases of illegal hunting revealed on the territory of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"

During the month, employees of the operative hunter service of the Park identified at least six cases of illegal hunting in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

A resident of the village of Jubileiny, who trapped martens without a special permit, was arrested in the Buffer Zone of the Reserve, Svisloch district. After some time, another local resident was detained in the same forest area. He went to hunt with an unregistered 16-gauge gun. A resident of the village of Dolgoe, Ivatsevichi district, was arrested in the hunting area of the Forest and Game Ground "Vygonovskoe" belonging to the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". He put hinges for wild animals, that is prohibited by law. Two other people from Telekhany were hunting without permission near the village of Vygonoschi. Finally, one of the residents of the Pruzhany district, that's also in the Buffer Zone of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", illegally hunted a wild boar, and the other went to hunt in a forbidden place. Administrative reports against the detainees were drown up and the Pruzhany Police Department investigates the case of illegal hunting for a wild boar, according to the website of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

By Elena Tribuleva
January 09, 2013 Newspaper "Kobrin Messenger" Bison made home in Kobrin district. It can be seen in the woods between the villages of Kamen and October

"We found the place of bison bed near the village of Rachki," chief of the Inspectorate of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Valery Prokopyuk said.

It turned out that the bison came to Kobrin district from Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The specialists of the reserve suggest that the animal could just drive out of the herd. It happens sometimes.

Bison does not create any danger to people. This animal is very cautious: when seeing people, bison retreat and never attack first.

"It is also worth recalling that bison is in a Red Data Book of Belarus. The injury to it is punishable by law," Valery Prokopyuk concluded.

Recall that there are about five thousand bison in the world. Our country is home for about a thousand of them.

By Anastasia Zanko
January 04, 2013 Website "Wild Nature" The exhibition "National Parks and Reserves of Belarus" invites

The thematic exhibition of literature devoted to the National Parks and Reserves' World Day is open on January 3, 2013, at the information center of the Republican Scientific and Technical Library.

Recall that the National Parks and Reserves' World Day is celebrated since 1997. The initiative of the celebration belongs to the Russian Center for Wildlife Conservation and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

In Belarus, the first Reserve - Berezinsky - was created in 1925 to save the beavers trapped by that time on the verge of extinction, as well as for other species. At present Belarus has two reserves - Berezinsky and Polessky Radiation-Ecological, and 4 national parks - "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", "Pripyatsky", "Braslav Lakes" and "Narochansky". The exhibition will delight visitors with its diversity, as it is generated from domestic and foreign magazines, books, brochures, statistical books, photo albums and international conference publications from the Library on Sustainable Development in different languages.

The exhibition will be of interest to students and graduates of environmental, biological and geographical specialties, to specialists in the field of nature and environment, to researchers and all those interested in the problems of preservation of national parks and nature reserves, wetlands and biological diversity of the planet.