NEWS ARCHIVE: FEBRUARY 2010

February 17, 2010 "Vecherniy Brest" (The Evening Brest) newspaper The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" hopes to get back a European Diploma

A session of the expert group of the Council of Europe will hold in March of this year in Strasbourg. It is supposed that the issues on prolongation of a European Diploma for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" will be discussed. "Belarus has fulfilled all requirements necessary for prolongation of the Diploma for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", BelTA learned by referring to the source in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection.

Let's remind that the National Park has gained the prestigious award in 1997 for successes in preservation of its wild nature. Later a little scandal happened in January of 2002 when the issues on prolongation of the Diploma were discussed. Representatives of the public addressed to the experts with a request not to be in hurry to accept the too optimistic decision and to take into account the fact that the state of the object, in their opinion, seriously got worse. The reaction of the Council of Europe was in almost doubling (from 10 to 18) the number of recommendations for the next five years. Nevertheless, in 2007 the Diploma for the National Park was suspended. The lack of the management plan for the national park for the nearest 10 years was called one of the basic reasons of that decision. The required document was under development over few years with participation of the scientists of the National Academy of Sciences. Now, according to the source from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, the management plan is appreciated by the international experts as "excellent". So, the decision of the European experts is only the factor to be expecting.

Elena Tribuleva
February 15, 2010 Website "Belta" Belarus to fulfill necessary requirements on prolongation of a European Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Belarus has fulfilled all requirements necessary for prolongation of a European Diploma for the National Park Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the BelTA's reporter learned from the head of the Department of Biological and Landscape Diversity of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection Natalia Minchenko.

A long-term management plan for the natural area of the National Park was developed with participation of scientists from the National Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection. Extension of the strictly protected zone, projects on restoration of the hydrological situation earlier upset due to land-reclamation works including the adjacent territory and conservation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha as a forest-bog natural complex are key points for the management plan. The plan also stipulates measures directed to protection and restoration of rare and valuable kinds of natural communities.

"The plan was appreciated by international experts as an excellent," Natalia Minchenko has said. "Nothing depends on us now because we have made all what we should do and we have only to expect the answer from European experts".

The deputy director general on science of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Vasiliy Arnolbik has told in his part that the session of an expert group of the Council of Europe is expected in March this year where discussions of issues of prolongation of the Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha are brought up.

The European Diploma is a prestigious award which marks successes of national parks and reserves in the field of nature protection. The National Park Belovezhskaya Pushcha was granted with the Diploma in 1997 for successes in preservation of wild nature. A lack of the management plan for the National Park for the nearest 10 years became the main reason of abeyance of this document.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the world's oldest protected territories. In 1992 UNESCO put it into a World Culture and Natural Heritage List. It 1993 it became a biosphere reserve, in 1998 - the key international ornithological territory. At present the national park stretches for over 60 km from north to south and for 10-50 km from west to east. It covers the area of 163 505 hectares and around 20% of Belovezhskaya Pushcha's territory makes up a strictly protected zone where no human activities are allowed.

Olga Belyavskaya
February 15, 2010 Website "TUT.BY" The management of the Berezinski Biosphere Reserve to be under examination

A deputy director of the Berezinski Biosphere Reserve is under suspicion of abuse of his official power, the BelTA Information Agency learned from the General Office of Public Prosecutor of Belarus.

"The Office of Public Prosecutor of the Lepel district has initiated the criminal case according to Part 3 of Clause 424 of the Criminal Code of Belarus ("Abusing by official power") against the deputy director of the Berezinski Biosphere Reserve", it was told in the General Office of Public Prosecutor.

He is suspected that he abused his official powers in December of 2007 and caused damage to the state at a rate of Br 52 billion (~ $25,000), it was specified in the General Office of Public Prosecutor.

BelaPAN
February 14, 2010 Website "The Virtual Brest" The decision to construct the Baranovichi bypass road and the highway around Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park

The Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky reported on it during the meeting with the President Alexander Lukashenko as it is quoted from BelTA News Agency:

The Government has taken the decision to construct the Baranovichi bypass road and the highway around the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park.

The situation concerning the city of Baranovichi is very clear as the road is possibly in need there, whereas the construction of a big road across the protected area causes worry that the harm to the nature of the unique reserve will be done. However, it seems that there is yet very much time until the business is starting.
February 13, 2010 The electronic dispatch "ISEU Discussion" Great achievements of wildlife preservation in Ukraine

The President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko has signed a Law of Ukraine No 1826-6 "On Modification in the Law of Ukraine "On Natural Reserved Fund of Ukraine" on February 21, 2010. This Law was developed by the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Centre and the State Service of Wildlife at the Ministry of Nature Protection of Ukraine. It considerably strengthens the status of protection of the natural protected territories. In particular, now the Law:

1. Forbids any kinds of tourism, including ecological and educational ones in natural reserves.

2. Forbids hunting in buffer zones of natural reserves.

3. Forbids hunting in national parks, biosphere reserves and national preserves.

4. Forbids to regional departments of the Ministry of Nature Protection independently, out of coordination with the Ministry of Nature Protection of Ukraine and out of an expert basis, to close down or to reduce the area of protected natural territories of the local level.

5. Nominees for heads of reserves and national parks which are not under subordination of the Ministry of Nature Protection of Ukraine will now be necessary to coordinate with the Ministry of Nature Protection of Ukraine.

6. Regional landscape parks can now be created with impressment of the area from former owners.

7. The Service of State Protection of Natural Reserved Fund of Ukraine has obtained now a status of a law-enforcement body with all legal rights coming from here.

8. A new Clause "Social and Legal Aegis of Officials of the Service of State Protection of Natural Reserved Fund of Ukraine" is added in the Law.

The Press-Service of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Centre
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The Comment by Vladimir Boreiko, Honored Nature Defender of Ukraine and director of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Centre

I congratulate all figures dealing with wildlife and wilderness protection of Ukraine on this remarkable victory - adoption of this statute. I want to emphasize that it became possible due to close cooperation of two nature protection forces – the nongovernmental organization of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Centre and a state body – the State Service of Wildlife of Ukraine. By the way, this is already the fifth law developed by our center and signed by the President of Ukraine.

Whereas in the neighbouring countries - Russia and Belarus – deecologization of the nature protection legislation is going on with all might and the legislative amendments weakening the reserved status of natural protected areas are moved, we in Ukraine, to the contrary, succeed in progressing the classical principles of the wilderness protection developed By G.A.Kozhevnikov and F.R.Shtilmark. We, therefore, not only have closed down eco-tourism in national reserves (which brought so many troubles in the reserves for present) but also hunting in national parks (now they became closer to classical national parks of the American type). "The hole" for regional officials to remake the area of national preserves and nature monuments of the local level is closed for ever. Now, I hope, such sad stories as happened with the Kiev national preserve "Zhokov's Island" will be impossible.

I especially am proud of the fact that we managed considerably to strengthen the service of protection of reserves and national parks and socially to protect its employees.

I think that my teacher Felix Shtilmark would be pleased with our Law, if he was alive now.
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The comment by Valeriy Brinikh, co-chairman of the International Social and Ecological Union

I with all by heart congratulate Vladimir Boreiko, the team of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Centre and all participants of the nature protection movement of Ukraine on adoption of such remarkable amendments. Unfortunately, the political system of Russia and Belarus does not give us the chance to reach the same results. Probably, we will reach them but later and in case of joining our efforts.

Once again I remind to my compatriots about the future 10-th conference of the International Social and Ecological Union and about importance of joining our efforts. I ask to take an active part in our efforts aiming consolidation in the nature protection movement on the post-soviet area!

I warn that the decisions made by Yushchenko can be easily cancelled by the decrees of the newly elected President Yanukovich, after he officially will accept powers of the President of Ukraine. Joint operations of nature protection activists of all countries can only defend the achievements of Ukraine in the nature protection field!
February 09, 2010 Website "BelTA" Especially protected natural territories are getting for tourism development in Belarus

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection of Belarus has defined a list of especially protected natural territories of a great potential for development of the tourist activity as a BelTA correspondent learned in the Ministry.

The list includes 37 especially protected natural territories. The Berezinski Biosphere Reserve, national parks "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", "Braslav Lakes", "Narochanskiy" and "Pripyatskiy", national landscape reserves of special protection purposes "Crednyaya Pripyat", "Prostyr" and "Olmanskie Bogs", and national biological reserves of special protection purposes "Sporovskiy" and "Ruzhanskaya Pushcha" are among them.

Permissible standards of the antropogenic impact will be determined for especially protected natural territories included in the list that will ensure preservation of their biological and landscape diversity . "Development of the ecological tourism makes an essential contribution of our country to preservation of the biological and landscape diversity. That is especially topical in International Year of Biological Diversity", as it was emphasized in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection.

The list was developed to maintain the rational use of the natural, historical and cultural potential of especially protected natural territories, and to create and perfect the well-working infrastructure of tourism on natural protected territories.

The document was prepared on the basis of proposals submitted by regional executive committees, the Presidential Department of Affairs and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

Olga Belyavskaya
February 04, 2010 "Vechermiy Brest" (The Evening Brest) newspaper A circulation of bison in the nature

Agricultural enterprises of the Pruzhany district located very close to Belovezhskaya Pushcha suffered from incursions of hungry bison. In this winter the geography of damage is much wider.

Enterprises located rather far from the National Park also now suffer. For example, a big herd of bison walk on fields of the public corporation "Murava" nearby the village of Murava for a long time, the agronomist of the corporation Yuri Gorustovish informs. Workers of the enterprise tried to banish the animals a few times but it is useless. Bison crush up snow on fields with winter crops and rape and consume young sprouts of plants. Straw ricks and hay-maize pits also suffer from bison. The only way of protection is to fence fields but it needs a huge financial means.

Alexander Gorbach
February 03, 2010 "Respublika" (The Republik) newspaper, No 19 A half-million visitor

Alexander Onufriyuk from the city of Brest has become a half-million visitor of a residence of Father Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Coming there last weekend to have a rest, he has bought a ticket to the fantastic estate. The ticket has appeared a 500-thousand one sold since the opening door in winter of 2003. The main Belarusian Father Frost has presented to the visitor a weighty photo-album issued to the 600th anniversary of the establishing the reserved status of the relic forest and has prompted to the young man that due to this gift he can become one of the most educated guides for Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Visitors who have come here this day from Moscow, St.-Petersburg and various cities of Belarus have also congratulated the lucky man. In all people from 93 countries of the world have visited this fantastic residence in the heart of the ancient forest for the years since it was built.

Fedor Mikha
February 02, 2010 Website "TUT.BY" A half-million visitor to meet in an estate of Father Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

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A half-million visitor, a citizen of Brest, was met in an estate of Father Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The lucky visitor was handed with a photo-album specially issued by the celebration of the 600th anniversary of the reserve. The book tells about the centuries-old history of the unique forest.

The half-million visitor Alexander Onufriyuk says:

I am not in the Estate of Father Frost for the first time. But I was surprised at that I caught the luck - I am a half-million visitor. I did not think, did not expect. I has come here to have a rest while I was given a gift.

The fantastic wood manor has opened its gate for visitors seven years ago. Since then the number of people wishing to see the beauty of the Belarusian nature is growing. In this snow winter Belovezhskaya Pushcha get the truly tourist boom. The estate of Father Frost has served over 50 thousand visitors for the first month of the new year.

STV
Photo by: magput.ru, aquatour.by, tur.by, liveinternet.ru