NEWS ARCHIVE: March 2006

March 31, 2006 Website News Service 100,000 visitors of the Website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - 21st Century"

Last Sunday on March 26, 2006, the 100,000th visitor of the website of the Initiative group of the Project "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - 21st Century" was recorded. The indicator which accounts the number of visitors is located at the bottom of the entrance page or at the bottom of the page "Forum" It testifies to enough large popularity of this information resource among the internet-users.

The website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - 21st Century" began to operate in the cyberspace in June 2003. The number of the visitors made 50 to 100 daily for the first years. In December 2004 English version of the website began to serve function that rapidly raised its attendance. Last months 200 to 350 users daily visited the website.

The website has generated a quite numerous group of the constant visitors of one's own, including foreigners, for the last tree years who are interested in news, articles and other kind of information about Belovezhskaya Pushcha and its problems. Except for purely "Pushcha one's", the website hosts publications on common topics like tourism, ecological education and challenges to reserves and national parks from time to time which are connected with protection of wild nature of Belarus in either events. Since the last year news and publications about problems of the Polish part of Bialowieza Forest (Belovezhskaya Pushcha) written by the Polish and other foreign authors began to be placed on the website. Judging by responses of the readers of the website, not only publications of the website but also the section "Photo-fact", some kind of an ecological textbook which demonstrates how a reserved nature should be saved and what kind of the management in a reserved forest should be wrong, are of important role to enhance the level of ecological education for the people. Thus, for today the website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - 21st Century" contains thousands pages of the text and actually represents an encyclopedia of Belovezhskaya Pushcha for the last seven years.

As a supplement to the website, the Information electronic bulletin "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - Voice of the Primeval Forest" (the number of the constant subscribers of the bulletin makes 100) which, except for basic information of the website, includes the last and most important ecological news from Russia, Ukraine and other foreign countries is distributed in Russian.

The group of the Project "BP - 21 Century" also replies questions of the visitors sent by e-mail to the address of the website or put on the "Forum" of the website.
March 15, 2006 Website "BISON - Bialowieza International Solidarity Network" International actions to save the Polish part of Bialowieza Forest

On March 3 BISON, the Bialowieza International Solidarity Network, organized international action to visit Polish Embassies around the world as part of the campaign to save the Bialowieza Forest, the most important lowland forest in Europe where the wild european bison live. The Polish President Lech Kaczynski received 5.5 thousand letters from BISON supporters.

Look at the presentation in gallery at the adress where you can see some photographs of the action from all over the world.
March 06, 2006 The Website "All-National TV" Winter seeing-off in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The winter was seen off in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The visitors from more than fifty countries around the world came to a residence of Belarusian Grandfather Frost.

A scarecrow of the winter was not burnt because the Grandfather Frost stays all the year round there and he meets the visitors even in the summer, some thousands per each day which go from all continents of the globe. The visitors were especially numerous on the last day of Shrovetide, Forgiveness-Sunday. Belarusian traditions are of great interest. The fantastic heroes told and showed on magic glades of Belovezhskaya Pushcha how our ancestors celebrated Shrovetide. On Forgiveness-Sunday the Christians, according to the tradition, ask each other pardon and overlook all insults. A wonder-mill in the manor of the Grandfather Frost also grinds all sins. You have only to touch its wing for leaving all bad in the past.
March 02, 2006 Website "The President of the Republic of Belarus" The report of the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at the Third All-Belarusian National Assembly

(Quotations about Belovezhskaya Pushcha and tourism)

to enlarge - Photo by BelTA from the National Assembly
We have planned big-scale programs to restore and reconstruct historical and cultural monuments of the country. A building of the Great Theatre in Minsk, a palace-park ensemble in Nesvizh and a castle complex in the town of Mir, which UNESCO recognized a Monument of World Natural and Cultural Heritage, are among them. In the coming years we will construct the largest spiritual temple-monument in our Fatherland in the name of all lost. We earlier had only great Belovezhskaya Pushcha in this List of historical and cultural heritage.


Development of tourism should be under special attention. Tourism and rest should become attractive and even stylish in Belarus. Dear mine, I personally insist on the fact that we jumped at the tourism because it is not only stylish. You know that our country, this untouched natural oasis, is the only place in Europe. I have driven around the world, I saw Europe, all is compressed, all is blackened with smoke, all is dirty, the people rub against one another, they push one another. The people live hard there. And in the centre of this chaos, you see there is Braslav Lakes. Vitebsk land is a perfect area. Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Brest region. To fly up to Brest, the soul is pleased. I served frontier guard there and saw this beauty. How much water resources are available, all of them are in deficit everywhere. We further go in the south to the east - Pripyat River. Beauty! There is a reserve on Pripyat. A fish . When we have taken control of this area, a lot of fish appeared there. You cannot imagine. This is true.

Gomel region. Thanks to Yakobson. Palaces are restored and an attitude to this heritage is like to the human. We have even forgotten that the Chernobyl covered this area once like the black wing. Berezinski Reserve is in the centre of the country. This is a unique thing where the rivers flow both in the north and in the south. It is a watershed. The most perfect nature! Let's take Dnepr River and Nalibokskaya Pushcha. There are many nice places around Minsk which we keep today as the apple of one's eye. No one country, except for Russia, has this beauty. But Russia is already far while we have the same as the Mother-Russia.

Why do not use this? Why do not offer this to the rich foreigners who want to have rest there? Welcome. And many people go. Five thousand dollars means nothing for them. Well, to their heart's content, let them hunt, only to follow legislation. A population of animals is twice up for the last five years. We cannot maintain their extra-amount. They will destroy nature because they need to feed on. But this is a kind of rest at the same time, the barbarous one. I never hunted and I am not going but someone likes it. But they should pay for it.

Let's use everything, therefore, what we have to attract the people in a civilized way there. The people already go to where we have created this infrastructure and they pay big money. This brings labour positions in our country, high-salary labour positions. We have therefore made a whole program on development of Belarus as a tourist zone. We make development both in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Braslav Lakes, Narochanski, Pripyatski and Berezinski Biosphere Reserves. We have both Nesvizh, Mir, Zaslavl, Turov, and August channel, a gold fund of home tourism. Everything that I called is already after restoration.
March 01, 2005 Website News Service March 3 Day of international solidarity for the Bialowieza Forest

on March 3 BISON, the Bialowieza International Solidarity Network, is organising international campaign to save the Bialowieza Forest (Polish part) aimed to enlarge the National Park to cover the entire forest area. In this date allwho support the idea of conservation of the Bialowieza Forest (Polish part) are invited to visit Polish Embassies around the world . The organizers of the campaign write at the website "BISON " that it will become "a part of the campaign to protect the Bialowieza Forest, Europe's last, low-land, old-growth forest as a national park. This issue is of gre(Polish part) at importance, without a doubt the most important forest in Europe and the last wild european bison".

March 3 events are planned in: London (UK), Dublin (Ireland), Briest (Belarus), Prague (Czech Republic), Bratislava (Slovakia), Helsinki (Finland), Bucarest (Romania), Leipzig (Germany), Wienna (Austria), Columbo (Sri Lanka), Pretoria (South Africa), Kampala (Uganda), Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra (Australia), Seul (South Korea), Toronto (Canada), Tokio (Japan), Kiev (Ukraine), New York (USA). Hopefully this is not the end of the list.

The appeal notes that "These March 3 embassy visits could be as simple as delivering a letter to the ambassador calling for the protection of the whole of the Bialowieza Forest as a national park and/or meeting with consular staff detailing your concerns about the forest. Or they could include also a protest and press conference outside the embassy with banners, leafletting people entering the embassy.

In the name of our network four people (Spanish, American, Belarussian, Polish) signed the letter - petition to the Polish President Lech Kaczynski asking him for personal intervention. The letter was sent on January and on March 3 we'll try to meet with President personally. During this visit we want to inform him about solidarity action for the Bialowieza Forest in many cities and countries.

If you are organising an action in your city, please send us details and we will post these as well to the website. A list of embassies and consulates is available at Polish Diplomatic Posts."

The Initiative Group "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - 21st Century" also call on Belarusian and foreign citizens to join the campaign and support the initiative of the Polish colleagues to save the Polish part of the Bialowieza Forest and enlarge the National Park by covering the entire forest area.

The letter sample which can be addressed to Lech Kaczynski, President of Poland, is below.


The Honorable President Lech Kaczynski
President of the Polish Republic
ul. Wiejska 10
00-902 Warszawa

Dear President,

I am writing to you to ask for your personal intervention in order to save Europe's last natural lowland forest - The Bialowieza Forest. In recent years real protection for the forest has deteriorated. Centuries old oaks and other trees were cut for timber, new roads have been opened to public traffic, and each commercial management unit applies different plans for the forest, while only a small fragment is protected as a national park.

It is unacceptable that this world heritage disappears before our eyes for the lack of one well coordinated protection plan for the whole forest. The current area under national park status does not sufficiently do so. Many rare and wild animals, including the invaluable European bison, which moves throughout the whole forest, need a plan that puts the protection of natural processes as its highest priority. Paradoxically, it is not Poland, but the undemocratic Belarus that has its side of the forest protected entirely as a national park. However, one of the most pressing threats facing the forest comes from the recently established border crossing with Belarus, where a terminal has been built through the middle of the Bialowieza Forest. This concern, when added to cutting trees, a proposed adventure train ride for tourists in a national park nature reserve, and new roads through the forest pose an imminent threat of forest fragmentation, making it difficult for species to cross between these units and for the forest to maintain its ecological integrity.

Additionally, the current plans for timber harvest could follow the plans of the last several years, which saw an enormous amount of timber, much of it centuries old, cut under the pretext of bark beetle attack. The Bialowieza Forest is not an ordinary forest, but a treasure among the world's natural areas, and should be treated with the care reserved for such places. I would like to see the Bialowieza Forest protected in a way that let's natural processes occur unimpeded from the commercial interests.

The Forest should be first and foremost a natural area, not merely a site of human entertainment, with attractions and infrastructure to suit the leisure needs of tourists at the expense of the forest's most valuable characteristics. Nor should the forest serve as a source of commercial timber looked after by several management units and with a small national park at its core. This tiny fraction of the European landscape should be protected equally on both sides of the Polish/Belarusian border in one transboundary national park.

For many hundreds of years royalty protected the forest against clearing and other excesses, which is why we appeal to you now Mr. Presdent. Please resume real protection of the forest by acting in your capacity as the leader of Poland. Would you consider personally intervening on the forest's behalf and on behalf of your nation , which has the privilege of containing this rare natural heritage within its boundaries, by initiating legislation for forest protection. The Bialowieza Forest does not belong to foresters, to tourists, wood-cutters, hunters, or anyone else. It is the world's heritage, and similar in terms of biodiversity importance to any tropical rain forest. Poland has an obligation to care for this heritage, so rare and wild, which makes it precious in our contemporary world. We ask you to take the lead in international politics by affording the whole forest the status of national park. This is the highest form of protection and as mentioned, already exists for the forest on Belarusian territory. Our letter is an expression of international concern for the forest and a sign of our support for the protection plan proposed by the BISON coalition. Thank you for your attention in this matter of international political significance.

Your signature.

More detail information is available at the website "BISON"