NEWS ARCHIVE: MARCH 2007

March 29, 2007 "BP-21 Century" website news service Wild Nature Public University to launch in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

In Belovezhskaya Pushcha the first stage of a public presentation of a book "Will Belovezhskaya Pushcha become a true World Heritage? by Heorhi Kazulka, Ph. Doctor on biology, which went off from December up to the end of February this year, is complete. However, it was not simply the book's presentation. In interview Heorhi Kazulka has declared that this is only a part of the planned program within the framework of the Wild Nature Public University in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, he announced, which beginning coincides with the presentation of the mentioned book. In the future the scientist also plans to carry out other actions related to an idea of conservation of wild nature.

The book has got into print in Poland in 2005 and then the author kept it at home all this time, but only now, a half and one year later, the book was officially presented for the general public. The author of the book has explained this circumstance in the following way "The edition of the book was not an action in itself. The book describes the basic contradiction in Belovezhskaya Pushcha - not entire protected area of Pushcha is under a status of World Heritage Site. The book offers a concept of conservation of the unique ancient forest, namely the World Heritage Site should be extended to cover the other part of the relic forest which today is under strong exploitation. This is an extremely difficult task to achieve in the present Belarusian conditions. For this purpose the powerful public support and the strong public pressure on the state bodies are necessary. However, this is what is now absent because the civil society in Belarus is under strong pressure getting from a command-administrative system. We have already got a unique experience when in 2004, being participated and being supported directly from UNESCO, the Belarusian public has won expansion of the Wilderness Protection Zone to make it larger twice than before (from 15,000 to 30,000 hectares) (read the article by Heorhi Kazulka "Belovezhskaya Pushcha should become a true World Heritage Site?"). This is good but this is not enough because the World Heritage Site and the Wilderness Protection Zone have covered only one third of the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Unreasonable and uncontrolled economic activity conducted on the last of two third of the Pushcha's area threatens to destroy this unique forest. In the book it is offered to enlarge the Wilderness Protection Zone 20,000 hectares more in order make its total area 50,000 hectares. However, it is much more difficult to reach this task now than few years ago. This is because the public movement on protection of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is weak while the command-administrative system in the country is amplified from year to year. This system is interested neither in further making strict protection of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, nor in development of freedom for the civil society. The book and its basic idea, therefore, haven't got less actual now than before. A program to make progress for the idea and to realize a concept of extension of the World Heritage Site are necessary. And the most important is that this idea should be distributed to as many people including the local population of Belovezhskaya Pushcha as possible in order to get acceptance from their minds and hearts."

According to the author, he looked for a computer-multimedia equipment for all this time which would allow him to prepare and to show colourful slide-films about wild nature and Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The author is convinced that only such the form of the book's presentation can bring desirable success. And only recently, after an appropriate equipment was kindly temporary given by the WWF-Poland within the framework of the Project "Pushcha for bicycles", it got possible to make this.

Lectures had two stages (two days). The first part of the lecture started from consideration of reasons of the today's ecological crisis, not from the book, because the crises, in opinion of the author, is a consequence of wrong unipolar thought and a low level of consciousness of the majority of the people living on the planet Earth. Then a slide-film "Modern idea of wild nature" was demonstrating for listeners, in which photos of the most beautiful wild places on the planet Earth were accompanied by basic terms and notions from a theory of preservation of wild nature. And only after this (the next day) there was the presentation of the book a slide-film "Beauty of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Primeval Forest and threats to its preservation". In this way, a logic chain has been constracted which not only presented a deadlock of the nowadays ecological situation both in Belovezhskaya Pushcha and on the planet Earth but also gave explanation of this and offered ways of how to overcome the deadlock.

In all 20 lectures were given in which about 250 listeners have taken part. The listeners were very various. They represented ordinary inhabitants, pupils and teachers of the local secondary ecological school, workers of a children's garden, the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and other institutions of the village of Kamenyuki where the administration of the National Park is located. The presentation was in a building of the village library which workers have created all best conditions to successfully realize it. The inhabitants of the district centre of Kamenetz, with organizational support of the workers of a district library, and students and teachers of biological and geographical faculties of the Brest State University also were the listeners. The listeners from Belovezhskaya Pushcha who took part in the presentation were granted the book free of charge.

According to Heorhi Kazulka, the basic purpose of the presentation was to create a humanitarian world view of the people and understanding of importance and personal responsibility for conservation of wild nature, not only in Belovezhskaya Pushcha but also on the planet Earth. The event like this was carried out in Belovezhskaya Pushcha for the first time and has generated great interest of the listeners. Alexander Androsyuk, a local inhabitant and a former director of the Kamenyuki secondary school, has informed "It is a very actual and duly book written for the ordinary people. I agree with all conclusions Heorhi Kazulka made. There will be no a book like this written in the scientific department of the National Park. If it could appear in any way, it cannot be printed. There is no any sedition in this book because a question to enlarge the strictly protected zone of the relic forest is raised".

Although success of the lectures on wild nature and positive public resonance were obvious, the book's presentation has opened a lot of social problems which are the current characteristic for Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Firstly, a significant part of the local population, first of all they are the people of a low educational and culture level who make the majority in the village of Kamenyuki, has demonstrated nothing of interest neither in the book, nor in the presentation. The managers of the Kamenyuki secondary ecological school (!?) has no interest in this cycle of lectures either. And the pupils from this school, therefore, except for several children who visited the presentation on private initiative, have not seen the beautiful slide-films and have not enriched themselves by modern knowledge about wild nature. In connection with a policy of ignoring and confrontation towards the public provided by the administration of the National Park, this was out of the question concerning official presentation of the book to make it specially for the Park's employees. Te most of them, therefore, turned out to be no getting involved into this ecological educational program.

Secondly, the book's presentation has evidentially shown a serious psychological problem which is a today's characteristic for most of inhabitants of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This is fear, sometimes panic fear to participate in public actions, even in such as purely educational and absolutely non-political ones. "Not only employees of the National Park that looks naturally in conditions of the "police"-regime created by the Park's administration but also many workers of the local secondary school and other official bodies and institutions bashfully apologized that they cannot visit the presentation and asked to understand reasons of their fear. These reasons are lawlessness, a lack of rights of workers and the total administrative pressure. It means that all of these are a consequence of an ideological line which is today in progress coming from the government of Belarus. The first part of the presentation which is about wild nature was only carried out in the village library. To make the second part which is about Belovezhskaya Pushcha and its preservation as a World Heritage Site, I needed to gather the people right in my house and to demonstrate him a slide-film there. This is because the employees of the library, also being under fear, were afraid of certain negative consequences even from only mentioning that there are any problems in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. All of these testify that the present day's ideology carried out by the government of the Belarusian state has turned simply to some version of idiotism because this ideology mutilates mentality and consciousness of the people to such the big degree. It is natural that this kind of ideology has no future", the scientist has added.

It is further planned to continue a course of lectures about the modern idea of wild nature and about the concept of conservation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha as a World Heritage Site, with involving the general public. The author of the book considers that the Belarusians, as many as possible, should be acquainted with the concept of conservation of the ancient primeval forest of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Belovezhskaya Pushcha is a symbol of both Belarus and the Belarusian people. And its preservation, therefore, should be in interest of all parties the state, the government and the population of Belarus as a whole.

Tatiana Nikolaeva

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Pictures 1 and 2. The book presentation in Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Pictures 3 and 4. The book presentation in the Brest State University
March 31, 2007 Website "TUT.BY" The Ministry of Internal Affairs: Serious illegal activity covering forest use is absent in the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Serious illegal activity covering forest use is absent in the area of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", Eduard Nikitin, a chief of the Sector on Criminal Investigation in Base Economics Branches of the Department on Struggle with Economic Crimes of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus, declared to BelaPAN Information Agence.

He said that control of expenses or use of forest resources in this area providing by all supervising and law-enforcement bodies is very strong. "Information about any crying abuses or plunders which take place there is absent. Other bodies did not supple us with such kind of information either. Violations can be at a level of forest warden or brigade-leader and we react to this", the representative of the Ministry told. For example, the last late year a crime concerning illegal delivery of timber cost 5 to 7 million Roubles (~3,000 $ USA) was revealed on the territory of Pushcha. "The case is now under investigation. This infringement is insignificant in scales of the National Park", Eduard Nikitin noted.

He has also paid attention that the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is subordinated to the Property Management Department of the President and "a special system to carry out checking and reaction exists". "There is the Committee of State Control to follow this purpose. On their instructions and with their assistance, we, according to a President's sanction, certainly, always try to investigate especially dramatic cases and to react to criminal activities. However, we have yet no this kind of information concerning Belovezhskaya Pushcha", Eduard Nikitin added.

BelaPAN Information Agency
March 26, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" To help a forest restoration: the tenth forest inventory is complete in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The territory of the National Park covers 164,482 hectares including 11, 520 hectares of the Shereshovskoye Forest-Game Ground and is divided to 17 forestry unit areas.

160 years has passed since the first forest inventory (1842 to 1847) has being carried out in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Georgi Kartsov wrote about this event significant in the life of the wild natural area as the following. "After measuring in 1842, 87,969 dessiatines (an old Russian measure equivalent to 2.7 acres or 1.09 hectares) proved to be covering with forest in Pushcha and 16,138 dessiatines were used for different purposes like arable lands, haymaking or settlements Forest officers who came to Pushcha have found the forest being in a very unsatisfactory general condition. Keeping a lot of dead-standing and very old large trees including ones damaged by pitch extraction and beehive setting, in all up to 30,000 specimens, the young forest was choked with branches and lying deadwood after recent cuttings. To put the future forest management in order, Pushcha was divided onto 541 quarters of two-verst size (a verst is an old Russian measure equivalent to 1.06 kilometers), while the Svisloch Ground (Dacha) was divided onto 125 quarters Concerning supervision for forest management, Pushcha was divided onto 5 forestry unit areas. Five years has passed to make cutting lines "

The modern Inventory in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, 2004 to 2005, is, if numbering, already the tenth. The preliminary materials of the project executed by National Utilitarian Interprose "BelGosLes" (Belarusian State Forest) were submitted to the National Park for consideration and specification. During discussion of the project the amendments were done to improve some paragraphs.

For example, according to a forest management plan it was proposed conducting clear sanitary cuttings of the sites with dead-standing trees that is unacceptable because of a protected status of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This is why a workshop was held to improve the management project in State Nature Protection Institution on March 15 and 16.

In addition to forest experts from Belovezhskaya Pushcha and representatives of the BelGosLes N.J. Kuprevich, a head of the Department of State Control for Flora, Forests and Landscapes' Use and Protection at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, N.N. Bovdei, a head of the Department of Management of Protected Natural Areas and Nature Use at the Property Management Department of the President of the republic of Belarus and some other concerned persons took part in the meeting.

After survey of the forest in some forestry unit areas and fruitful discussion on problems of forest management in the National Park, the imposing commission has agreed with reasons, the forest experts put, that clear sanitary cutting cannot be acceptable in Pushcha.

Taking into consideration the specificity of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, actions to clean the forest from dead wood in the areas where the forest was lost because of strong wind or pests and it cannot be self-restored are only allowed according to the management plan. All sites with forest regeneration will be fenced to prevent damage from wild animals.

Forest restoration to renew lost plantations of silver fir in the Yazvinskoe and Nikorskoe forestry unit areas is also planed. As before, the best seedlings will be used to make plantations. This year it is planned to make afforestation which will cover 500 hectares.

The new project of forest management, after the emending and adding, will be submitted by the commission to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection for ecological examination and only then it will come into force. And the National Park will get the basic document actual for the next ten years.

T. Skuratova, Belovezhskaya Pushcha
March 25, 2007 Website News Service "BP-21 Century" Administration of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha pays great attention to science management by firing researchers one after the other

One more researcher was fired from his job in the National Park Belovezhskaya Pushcha late February. This time it turns to be a young ornithologist Andrei Abramchuk, whose six years experience of junior researcher didnt protect him from the standard formula due to the contract termination.

Andrei Abramchuk started his job in the scientific department in 2000 after graduation from the Brest State University named after A.S.Pouskin, department of biology. Since the first dais of the job Andrei gained very soon his reputation of an active, goal-oriented and thoughtful researcher, able to act independently, and accomplish assignments without external supervision. To put it briefly - Andrei has demonstrated that scientific research was of the highest priority to him, and he was ready to devote himself to science. Have to say, not many young people with such professional skills and ambitions (in the best sense of the word) are coming to Belovezhskaya Pushcha nowadays. And it seems wise to provide such folks with holistic support, as nobody but they would be able to provide the best research quality and become in the future the driving force able to get the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's researches out of the crisis and dead-end.

And that was the normal practice someday. Not anymore. We have other rules and times in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The scientific department has degraded to such a situation, when it can hardly be called such. The word Research wouldnt fit in its name. The number of researchers dropped down from 52 (in mid 80-ies) to 15 (in the year 2000 the scientific department's staff counted 25 employees). The politics, prioritizing industrial activities in Belovezhskaya Pushcha during the last 30 years, resulted in moving research to the background and making it shield covering those industrial activities. The outcome is right here middle aged group that is usually key basis and driving force in every research group has shrunken. Now, the scientific department is staffed with either inexperienced youth or the retirement age vets. Their qualification does not meet up the level and the complexity of the problems of Belovezhskaya Pushcha yet or already.

Starting from October 2006 when the deputy director for science E.G. Busko, Professor in biology was fired, the scientific department is run by Dmitry Bernadsky (as younger as 30 years old) young employee, who does not even have a Ph. Doctor degree. He completed his studies in post-gradate courses and, in spite of his nice personality and researchers features for the future, he lacks knowledge, experience, connections and influence to organize the department's work on a needed in our day level.

Im sure, promotion of a young inexperienced man to a high position of the leader of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's science took place not as a no choice move, but as an attempt to get, sorry for my checkmate slang, a pawn, a rug doll to cover up environmental crimes and misdeeds. And in that sense Im really sorry about the trap Dmitry was caught into. This is a true no-win situation: when ignoring an absurd, illegal, or just criminal order he will be fired, when obeying it, he will loose his reputation early and will have to pay for that sin in the future. The situation is even more complex, as the young manager is not quite independent in his actions. According to the sources from the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" he is chaperoned (closely monitored) by the retired researchers, who by their moral standards might be characterized as renegades with low moral qualities, who had traded in their time the Pushcha, the science and their disciples. Those people, not the young deputy director for science, are in fact in charge of Belovezhskaya Pushcha's science, due to their influence in the National Park's management and the ability to shape moral and business atmosphere in the scientific department.

In that light firing Andrei Abramchuk looks logical. As his independence and self-sufficiency, demonstrated from the very beginning of his career could not satisfy the immoral researchers. Conflicts with the old guard and their steady repressions sooner or later would lead to such a sad concluding.

Let me remind, that just since last autumn the scientific department has lost three scientists: besides Andrei Abramchuk Professor in biology E.G. Busko, deputy director for scientific research was fired in October 2006, and in January 2007 forest specialist V.N. Bosiak, Ph. Doctor in biology resigned. Three vacancies were filled up quickly: recent graduate of local secondary school took the job (as a lab assistant), a student by correspondence (as a lab assistant), and a third-year French college student (as junior researcher specialized in botanic). And recently, a number of young specialists quit their jobs quite early. In that light the propaganda statement The later years the administration of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha pays big attention to the science development published recently on the official web-site of the National Park Belovezhskaya Pushcha looks like sarcasm violating the truth and common sense.

The young ornithologist cant count on justice and legal protection in court. It was for the purpose of repressing any non-welcomed employee, that the labor contracts law was adopted in Belarus (in Belovezhskaya Pushcha the regular practice is offering no more than just one year contracts), the new law makes employees defenseless, while providing the administration with truly unlimited power.

And a final point. The incident related to the one more firing of a promising researcher and just a man of moral proves that under the current conditions those of the lasting war against nature, against science, and against moral scientists have to deal with those problems in the first turn, not with their narrow and specific specializations. History teaches that everybody will get under the press of immoral and inhuman administrative system, such as created in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, someone sooner, someone later. And ignoring this rule by researchers, particularly the junior ones, will lead toward further loses, destructions and sufferings, not only of the nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha but the very people too. And birds, grasses, beetles could be counted later on, after we will make free our land from that venom and infection in a human shape.

Heorhi Kazulka
Ph. Doctor in Biology,
who experienced in Belovezhskaya Pushcha from 1985 till 2001, including the position of deputy director for science and research between 1999 and 2001, fired in 2001 with the standard formula due to the contract termination without any objective reasons and explanations given.
March 23, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Nature has no the bad weather

Today is the 23rd March, a World meteorological day.

Climatic conditions strongly influence upon flora and fauna of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The employees of the research department of the National Park use scientific data of the monitoring on a large scale. They are gained from an own "climatic laboratory" which works for 60 years. Constructed after the war, in 1947, the meteorological station is one of major objects for researches in the field of forestry, botany, zoology and entomology.

In one of the collections of scientific papers "Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Researches" edited by Ph. Doctor on agriculture Vladimir Tolkach and Ph. Doctor on biology Stepan Kochanovskiy, research conclusions grounded on the weather monitoring at the meteorological station of Belovezhskaya Pushcha to characterize the climate in the area of Pushcha and its influence on the age structure of spruce forests were made. Last years many scientists pay attention to a problem of conservation of spruce trees because of their dying and settling of the weakened trees by bark beetles. Among the others, one of the factors which have influenced decreasing the number of spruce trees is the climatic one. That is why daily monitoring over the condition of the atmosphere and Nature which are in close connection as a united living organism are very important.

Four times per day laboratory assistants from the research department check parameters, such as air and soil temperature, humidity, quantity and kind of precipitation and wind direction and power, and fix other atmospheric phenomena, such as, for example, hail, fog, blizzard, dew. These data are entered in an Annals of Nature which are continually urgent and are forwarded to a Brest regional meteorological station.

Georgi Suhotskiy was the first meteorologist in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Elena Sinyak, Sofia Strelkova, Valentina Pateiuk and Grigory Kravchuk worked for many years. Nina Onopko is now responsible for this job. By the way, she today celebrates her 50th anniversary. However, no matter of the holiday and independently of the weather, you can meet the working meteorologist at the same right time and in the same right place.

T. Skuratova
March 23, 2007 Website "TUT.BY" Ten millions trees will be planted in Belarus for one day

Forest workers annually plant young trees in the spring and the autumn to stop disappearance woodlands. This year it is planned to cover about 40,000 hectares by young trees (this is about one third of Belovezhskaya Pushcha).

This year we have decided do not quietly conduct afforestation works but to announce a loud action called "A Forest Day". This day, the 14th April, we plan to plant 10 millions trees, one tree per one inhabitant of Belarus! We invite all wishing including families with children to gather in special places. They will be defined by April 10. We usually begin to work at 8.00 in the morning because the areas for planting are large while a spring day is short. But the children should good sleep and the beginning of the action will, therefore, be set, most likely, at 10.00. After coming to the place foresters will give seedlings and a forest implement for planting and will tell about how to use it. Professional workers of forest enterprises will participate in planting in order to help and supervise the quality of the work of the volunteers. And after the work day cheerful rest will be organized - each district will offer a cultural program, our reporters were told in the Ministry of Forestry.

Valuable Belarusian species of trees such as pine, spruce, oak, birch and linden will be planted this year.
March 22, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" From a school forestry to get ecological profession

On March 15, a seminar for teachers from educational institutions of the Kamenetz district "Perfection of ecological education for pupils" took place in the Kamenyuki secondary ecological school.

Teachers dealing with ecology, and representatives of the Children's Public Ecological Organization "Eco Polis", the District Inspection of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, the Brest Regional Ecological and Biological Centre for Pupils and employees of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" took part together in the seminar.

A number of important issues were under discussion including:
  • Providing versatile ecological activity;
  • A methodology of conducting a research work involving the pupils;
  • Creation and progress of school forestry study circles
The teachers compared their experience for ecological education and presented actions conducted. They shared their plans to work in the future.

An important role of the State Nature Protection Institution "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" was mentioned to contribute to ecological education for the rising generation. The employees of the Park's scientific department provide methodology and research to help the teachers and pupils from the Kamenyuki secondary ecological school. They together carry out ecological actions, advice and take part in researches to teach the pupils. Using the school forestry as a basis the pupils together with the employees of the forest department of the National Park make planting trees, keep up with their growth and development, and investigate a forest. The employees of a Museum of Nature provide training for the pupils to get background into the excursion business. During a winter vacation ten senior pupils got a good practice as they guided tourists in the Museum of Nature. The visitors pleased with the work of the young guides to which a visitors' book with thanks is evidence.

The obtained knowledge and skill are a good starting platform for many pupils to choose profession. This is because a lot of guys connect their future life with a forest and a job in the National Park.

I. Skuratova
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The Belovezhskaya Pushcha 21 Century editor's note

One of the tasks of the Project and website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha 21 Century" is to reflect the current situation and problems in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Forest and National Park evenly and without bias, and to present analysis which is based on the facts and logic and which is independent of any administrative or governmental input or interference.

In this connection I should like to mention facts as the following. In spite of the true fact that the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" really plays a certain role in ecological education of the rising generation in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, however, this role if to judge by results, not by beautiful words, is quite low. The phrase mentioned in the news above "This is because a lot of guys connect their future life with a forest and a job in the National Park" does not specify how many or what percent of the pupils stay to work in the Park.

Actually this number is rather low and, hence, the role of the National Park in ecological education is obviously insufficient. In particular, the Russian reporter Victoria Ivleva in the recently published article "A reserved motive" who carried out the survey of the pupils of the Kamenyuki secondary ecological school revealed that the pupils do not want to be engaged in ecology. That is a citation from her article "The school is called ecological according to the official status, but no one of this year's graduates wants to be very engaged neither in ecology, nor in biology. Everyone wants to leave for Brest or Minsk. And even the younger guys, some of them lives in the forest being in the heart of original nature, answering a question "What is profession you would get?" said with proud "frontier guards" or "Woodcutters that to earn money." And only two little palms have being pulled upwards to tell that they "want to be foresters".

In an interview by Heorhi Kazulka for the Liberty Life Radio ("Night Liberty Life: a night visitor Heorhi Kazulka, Coordinator of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha 21st Century Public Project") the opposite is also said concerning this "The locals are really oppressed. The children witness all of these because these things are discussed at home. Few years ago I taught in a local school and one day I asked a question "will all of you stay in Belovezhskaya Pushcha?" Laughter was their answer "Don't you really understand what is going on here? No, we will not stay here". The fact is the people actually leave this area. Those only stay who has no place to get out."
March 22, 2007 Website "Travel.ru" Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be 600 last birthday

In 2009 the famous Reserve of Byelorussia, Belovezhskaya Pushcha, will be 600 last birthday. This date will be included in a calendar of UNESCO memorable dates. The tourists coming to Belovezhskaya Pushcha are lately getting more and more numerous. For example, 188,000 people visited the National Park last year, 8,000 more compared with 2005. For today Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the few remnants of boundless European forests existed in the old days.

The analysts note that tourists are interested in visiting Belarusian national parks and reserves more and more every year. The fact is that the national parks and the Berezinski Biosphere Reserve cover nearly 6 percent of the territory of Belarus, whereas, for example, in Finland 33 national parks occupy about 2,3 percent of the territory of the country, in USA about 340 protected areas take only 3 percent, a website of the embassy of the Republic of Belarus informs.
March 20, 2007 "Respublika"" (The Republic) newspaper, No Bison to count

Game-keeping and hunting managers of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" were busy for two months to count bison living in the relic forest. After one year a herd of the unique animals became larger in 46 young bison which safely went through the last winter. 334 bison are now living on the Belarusian Pushcha's territory and 400 animals are within its Polish part.

Fedor MUHA
March 19, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" From Belovezhskaya Pushcha to the Black sea

Scheduled by opening a ski-mounting sport center "Belarus" erected in vicinities of the city of Sochi, an oak seedling was delivered from Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The young tree which was cultivated in one of the forest unit areas will shortly decorate with green foliage a slope of a mountain on the Krasnaya Polyana (Red Glade).

It is symbolic that Alexander Lukashenko, the President of our country, was a person who together with famous Olympic champions Yuliya Nesterenko and Elena Zubrilova has planted the Pushcha's oak tree during the ceremony of opening the center on March 10. This great tree which symbolizes force and power of nature will please of each visitor of the Sochi resort to give him more energy.
March 19, 2007 Website "BelarusToday.info" A scheduled inventory of animals in Belovezhskaya Pushcha to complete

A scheduled inventory of animals in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is complete. The inventory is carried out annually in the winter when the number of forest inhabitants can be counted very exactly using their snow prints. Last two months the game keeping and hunting service together with research employees monitored and made an inventory of animals in places of their permanent habitat and feeding. Nikolai Bambiza, director general of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", informed that fauna in Pushcha has over 10,000 species. Nearly 60 species of mammals live here. The most numerous are rodents - 20 species. Among them the most remarkable is beaver. Predators such as wolf, fox, lynx and marten live in Pushcha. Big ungulates such as wild boar, red deer and roe deer are hunting species and their number is optimized. Due to last findings it got known that the number of animals in Belovezhskaya Pushcha has grown as a total. For example, 2,000 red deer, 1,600 wild boars, more than 120 elks, 25 wolves and 30 lynxes are now living here. A population of bison, the largest in the world, inhabits the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. On the Belarusian side it consists of 334 animals, 22 ones more than in 2005. About 400 bison live on the Polish territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. It should be noted that 46 little bison calves were born in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" last year. All of them have safely passed the winter.

BelTA Information Agency
March 19, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" At an exhibition in Berlin

Marina Shchurco, a guide-interpreter of the Museum of Nature, a representative of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and a member of a Belarusian delegation, took part in the largest international tourist exhibition "2007 ITB" which was held between March 7 and March 11 in Berlin. This exhibition which provides tourist services is one of three most prestigious exhibitions worldwide organized annually in Germany, Moscow and London.

Booklets, price-lists and directory literature, as a tourist production from Belovezhskaya Pushcha, were demonstrating at a Belarusian stand. Managers of international tourist companies who are interested in development of cultural links with our country willingly learned what our region offered for most experienced tourists. The stand which provided information about Belarus and its national parks was under a special attention because many participants did not hear about the sights of our unique land.

A meeting for the Belarusians participated in the exhibition to talk about development of tourist business together with German partners was organized in the Belarusian Embassy in Germany.

It was useful for the representatives of the National Park "to prove them" and to look the others. There was a lot of interesting. About 180 countries have brought their tourist production to the exhibition, including famous and worldwide popular marks from both European continent and the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

It was impossible to visit all of 26 halls, everyone of the size like a football field, for the four days, Marina is sharing her impressions after the trip, but we have gained a lot of useful and interesting things from the participation in this grandiose event. And we hope that the interest in the opportunities for rest in Belarus and, in particular, in Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be realized in the form of actual businesses to develop communications in the field of tourism with other countries and continents.
March 19, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Visitors from Ravensburg

An official delegation of the Communities Union from the German city of Ravensburg twinned with the Belarusian city of Brest has visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha on March 16. The visitors led by Burgomaster Herman Fogler accompanied by the Chairman of the Brest City Executive Committee Gennadiy Mosco have come to a Museum of Nature, an Estate of Grandfather Frost and have examined enclosures with wild animals.

They have left a record in a Honourable Visitors' Book expressing sincere gratitude to the staff of the National Park for preservation of this amazing corner of wild nature and taking the delights of seeing beauty of the unique forest.
March 18, 2007 Website "Bialowieza National Park" A Museum of the Bialowieza National Park is among the winners (Poland)

A Museum of Nature and Forest of the Bialowieza National Park proved to be among three winners (the second prize) in the nomination "IDEA" of the Competition "2006 Podlaskie Mark" organized by the Podlaskie province.

That fact that our Museum got the winner among 62 objects for this nomination in the Competition testifies that it is properly and attractively represents and popularizes the valuable natural and cultural area of the Podlaskie province the Bialowieza National Park and the Bialowieza Forest. This is one of the objects within the Podlaskie land most often visiting by the tourists. This is a visit card of the Podlaskie province both in Poland and abroad. Except for a continual exposition made in an innovational style, the Museum organizes the exhibitions in other countries. A Museum's exposition with bison recently stayed in the European Parliament in Brussels and in the Museum of Natural History in Wiednja.

We kindly thank all of those who took part in the Internet-voting of the Competition "2006 Podlaskie Mark" and gave vote to the objects which were presented by the Bialowieza National Park.

Anna Gierasimiuk
March 16, 2007 Website "Saint Nickolai's Orthodox Parish in Bialowieza" Professor Simona Kossak has gone (Poland)

Yesterday Simona Kossak, a famous inhabitant of the village of Bialowieza, has gone. Within 33 years she lived in the Bialowieza Forest in an old house of the forest officer "Dziedzinka". She was the outstanding scientist and the author of the interesting stories on Radio Bialystok "What cheeps in the grass". She was 64 years old.

On behalf of the church parish we deeply condole with the relatives and acquaintances...

Memory live on forever.

the editors

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On behalf of the members of the Initiative Group "Belovezhskaya Pushcha 21st Century" we also share condolence on account of the death of Professor Simona Kossak who engaged in researches of wild ungulates on the Polish side of the Bialowieza Forest, wrote perfect popular stories and last years headed the Scientific Council of the Polish part of the Bialowieza Forest.
March 15, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Our numbers have grown!

An important and joyful event happened in the life of the scientific department of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". On March 6, 2007 Alexei Bunevich, an expert on bison, has defended a theses to get Philosophy Doctor's scientific degree in Biology. Over twenty years the author collected the material for his scientific work. He has over one hundred publications in various editions including those published abroad.

The topic of the theses is "Dynamics and structure-functional features of a bison population in Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has got a great interest of the scientists both in Belarus and abroad. The scientists from Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and Poland have sent more than twenty positive official testimonials regarding the Bunevich's work. All responses expressed reliance upon the author of dissertation to grant him the required scientific degree.

Professor Boris Savitskiy and Professor Vasiliy Gaiduk were the official opponents. They have highly appreciated the contribution made by the author to study functional features and patterns of the dynamics of the population of bison in Belovezhskaya Pushcha as an necessary scientific basis for development of effectual measures to improve the vital environment for this species.

Ludmila Korochkina who first in the former USSR was engaged in restoration of bison population, of course, takes a prize of priority to study these animals. She managed the long-term laborious work on their restoration. From the beginning bison were kept in large enclosures. 1953, when the total number of these giants reached 18 and they were released from the fenced enclosures, should be counted the beginning of their free-living on the Belarusian side of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Now the amount of these animals makes over 330 in Pushcha and our country is one of the leaders worldwide regarding the number of the European bison.

Alexei Bunevich, a learner of Ludmila Korochkina, also made some contribution to preservation and increase in the number of the forest giants. He began to deal with the science in 1976 and investigated bison and such large predatory mammals as lynx and wolf within over 30 years. The outcome of his long-term work is the defense of the doctor theses.

Last years the administration of the National Park gives the proper matter to develop the science. Some employees are over post-graduated study and are now nearly to finish making their theses. An edition of the collection of the scientific papers "Belovezhskaya Pushcha: Researches" has been renewed. The quantity of scientific publications has considerably grown. In the near future a monograph by Alexei Bunevich which covers his researches will be ready for printing. The works of some employees from the scientific department of the National Park to make the theses are under the final stage of preparation.

T. Skuratova,
the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"


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The Initiative group "Belovezhskaya Pushcha 21 Century"
also subscribes to congratulations giving to the researcher Alexei Bunevich because of his defense of the Ph. Doctor theses. The fact is that the defense of the theses became a VERY RARE PHENOMENA in Belovezhskaya Pushcha for the last thirty years. This happens approximately once per ten years and it is a consequence of a very deep crisis in the scientific department growing from the times when Belovezhskaya Pushcha was a protected hunting ground. For example, the previous defense of the theses occurred in 1996. This is not connected only with the too big staff changing (free-will or forced leaving by many scientists) observed in the scientific department of Belovezhskaya Pushcha for all of these decades. The second peculiarity is too slow working pace as the scientific employees prepare their theses for decades and defense them when pension is not far off. Some of them retire without having to defend, without having to write a monograph and even without having to publish papers in the solid reviewed foreign editions. The defense of the theses by Alexei Bunevich who has tens of serious publications including those published in the international editions is especially pleasant news to me because we worked together for a long time, let's say, hand in hand being in the same office.

I would hope that the tradition of insufficient attention to prepare and defend the scientific theses will soon be destroyed in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. It is because some young researches (by the way, they were staffed and at once focused on achievement of the proper scientific results when the former administration managed the National Park) are near over post-graduated study, quite actively work for their themes and prepare their scientific theses.

Heorhi Kazulka
Ph.D. of Biology, Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Coordinator of the Project "Belovezhskaya Pushcha 21st Century"
March 14, 2007 "Narodnaya Gazeta"" (The Peoples Newspaper) Newspaper, No 57 Aborigines of the Polessie area

To create a stable population of bison in the Pripyat River's area as a single whole, the number of bison should be increased up to 500 animals through their moving to forest enterprises of the Pripyat Polessie, Anatoliy Uglyanets, deputy director for science of the National Park "Pripyatski", considers. He devoted all his life to investigate a problem of preservation of bison in Belarus.

The National Park "Pripyatski" has today over 90 bison which form three subpopulations. These animals were reacclimatized although they originally were indigenes to the Pripyat Polessie area, the scientist told. They were brought in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in 1987, were delivered to the right-bank part of the Park "Pripyatski" and have created a free-living subpopulation (herd) numbering 57 bison as a whole. The second subpopulation which location is the left-bank part of the Park nowadays consists of 18 animals. The Lyaskovichi subpopulation which was created in 2005 is the youngest and consist of 16 bison.

The monitoring of the bison population shows that these animals which have got into the habit of living in forest and mountain landscapes rather well got acclimatized to the conditions of the marshy district of Polessie. Meanwhile, the scientist considers that creation of 8 to 11 more subpopulations by moving the animals from Belovezhskaya Pushcha is necessary in order to make bison more healthy through exchanging genes between the herds.

The problem to increase the number of bison in conditions of the Pripyat Polessie area is because the lands of the National Park cannot produce as much food as necessary for survival of a big amount of bison while forest enterprises should pay too much for keeping the animals which, especially in the initial stage, need to get care, food and treatment, Anatoliy Uglyanets noted. The free-living herds should also be under protection and should get a feed in the winter. In the initial stage the scientist offers to solve the problem of getting additional means for breeding and keeping bison through inviting the foreign citizens to hunt selected animals with bad characteristics, in accordance with setting a quota. After the population reaches the sustainable condition a sport hunting, also in accordance with setting a quota, should be organized. The procedure of selection and shooting the animals drawn up in the National Park "Pripyatski" last decades is quite strong. It guarantees inviolability of the healthy gene fund of the herd, Anatoliy Uglyanets emphasized.
March 14, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" An exhibition for hunters and fishers

The picture from the website TUT.BY - http://news.tut.by/society/84316.html
The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is among the participants of the exhibition "2007 Spring Hunt and Fishery" which is holding in Minsk between March 13 and 16. A stand with hunting trophies has been arranged in the National Exhibition Centre "BelEXPO", and price lists and literature on these subjects have been submitted. Alexander Kisleiko, a hunting manager, gives professional advices how to organize and conduct hunting tours.
March 14, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" On a royal high road

Batdanas Edmonas, an ambassador of Lithuania in Belarus, has visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha in the frame of the program to familiarize with our country. The ambassador learned the conditions for accommodation of the tourists and the routes in Pushcha. He has visited an Estate of Belarusian Grandfather Frost and has highly appreciated what he has seen. During the meeting with Nikolai Bambiza, director general of the National Park, the issues of future possible development and opening a tourist route along an old royal path from Belovezhskaya Pushcha to the Lithuanian city of Trakai were discussed.

To pass by the historical way from the Polish city of Krakow through the Belarusian Brest, Kamenetz, Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Shereshevo, Volkovysk, Mosty and Shchuchin to the ancient capital of Lithuania which was used in the past by the kings and Great princes, this route as the outlook would be interesting not only for Belarusians, Lithuanians and Poles but also for other foreign tourists.
March 13, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Visiting historical and cultural places

New tourist routes will appear in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" this year. Except for existing routes serving pedestrians, cyclist and motorists which information is acceptable at the Park's website, some more interesting routes are under development. In particular, the tourists who are not wishing to limit their knowledge only to visiting Belovezhskaya Pushcha, will get opportunities to see the sights of other memorable places closely connected with the history of our ancient land.

The maps and schemes of new routes with brief description of the tourist objects will be placed on the Park's website.

A fragment of the imperial path Pruzhany - Hajnowka1 The Museum-Estate Pruzhany Palace2 The ruins of the Sapegy's Palace in the town of Ruzhany3
The Holy-Uspenskiy Zhirovichskiy Monastery4 The Kamenetz Town of the XIII century5 The Tyshkevich Count's house in Belovezhskaya Pushcha6
The pictures of:
1. A fragment of the imperial path Pruzhany - Hajnowka;
2. The Museum-Estate "Pruzhany Palace";
3. The ruins of the Sapegy's Palace in the town of Ruzhany;
4. The Holy-Uspenskiy Zhirovichskiy Monastery;
5. The Kamenetz Town of the XIII century;
6. The Tyshkevich Count's house in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
March 09, 2007 Website "News Onet.pl" The director of the Bialowieza National Park (Poland) to arrest

Jozef Popiel, Director of the Bialowieza National Park (Poland), was arrested by policemen from the Department on Corruption Struggle of the Province Police Commissariat of the city of Bialystok. The Polish Press Agency has got this information from the police sources. Interrogation is conducted since the morning. There is no bringing a charge against him yet.

Jacek Dobrzynski, a press-secretary of the Podlaska Police Office, confirms information about arresting but he refuses to give any details. The prosecutor office does not give comments either and still do nothing to make any actions on this issue.

According to Adam Kozub, a press-secretary of the District Prosecutor Office in Bialystok, the detained director should be under interrogation of the public prosecutor on Friday. Jozef Popiel was arrested on Thursday afternoon. According to information from the police sources, he is the first person detained in connection with this investigation which is holding by police from the Department on Corruption Struggle of the Province Police Commissariat of the city of Bialystok.

The press-secretary of the Podlaska Police Office Jacek Dobrzynski has appealed to all persons who have any information about infringements regarding the activities in the Bialowieza National Park in order to phone so-called anti-corruption team 856773030 or to email korupcja@podlaska.policja.gov.pl. The police guarantees anonymity.

Jozef Popiel is the director of the Bialowieza National Park since January of 2003. Taking this post he has replaced Czeslaw Okolow, the Park's former director for many years who retired on a pension. Before Jozef Popiel was a forestry officer of the Buffer zone "Hwozna" in the Bialowieza Forest.

The Bialowieza National Park being the oldest Polish national park was founded 86 years ago. Its today's area covers 10.5 thousand hectares. The Park is most famous as the centre of bison restoration and keeping. The thirtieth anniversary since inclusion of the Park into a UNESCO Biosphere Reserves's Global Network will be celebrated this year.

In 2004 the Bialowieza National Park has completed construction of a modern nature and forest museum.
March 06, 2007 Website "TUT.BY" A book by Philosophy Doctor of Biology Heorhi Kazulka "Will Belovezhskaya Pushcha become a true World Heritage Site?" to come out

In the city of Bialystok (Poland) a book by Philosophy Doctor of Biology Heorhi Kazulka "Will Belovezhskaya Pushcha become a true World Heritage Site?" came out. The author worked in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" for many years and took a post of deputy director general on science.

Heorhi Kazulka gave an interview to the BelaPAN Information Agency and noted that the book is devoted to Belovezhskaya Pushcha which was inscribed on a UNESCO's List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites in 1992. The edition is illustrated with nearly 90 colourful photos by the author being prepared with financial and technical support of the WWF Poland foundation within the framework of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha 21st Century Project. The book has a circulation of 1.500 copies in Russian and 500 ones in English.

The Project is not commercial since his initiators intend in this manner to involve the people into preservation of the unique reserve, the scientist told. According to him, the book shows discrepancy between the present conditions in Belovezhskaya Pushcha and a definition of its value as a site of UNESCO's World Heritage registered in documents of this international organization. The main contradiction is that a small part of the relic forest (the central patch of the Wilderness Protection Zone) has only a status of World Heritage Site while the other part of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, not less valuable, has no this status and, therefore, can vanish in the course of time because of unreasoned economic activity, the scientist emphasized.

He believes that for the purpose of preservation of Pushcha as a unique remnant of primary relic lowland forests it is necessary to extend the Wilderness Protection Zone of the National Park to cover 50,000 hectares as a whole and to discuss the problem on giving to this area the status of World Heritage Site according to the UNESCO's criteria.

BelaPAN Information Agency
March 05, 2007 Website "Assembly of Belarusian Pro-Democratic NGOs" A website of the Nongovernmental Organization "Belarus BirdLife" (BBL) came into operation

The website's "running in" lasted from the beginning of this year. The birds of Belarus will now "go for a walk" in the cyber WorldNet. The address of the website is www.ptushki.org. The website will be replenished with new materials, both current information and announcements for the members of the organization, nearly every day.

New services like popular articles from the BBL editions, publications of the website's authors and information from regional branches of the nongovernmental organization will soon be offered as well. Dmintiy Vinchevskiy, chairman of the Grodno regional branch of the BBL, is a moderator of the website. You can send information to his electronic address: harrier@tut.by.

Ales Vasilkevich
March 01, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Bison to become more numerous

The inventory of the Pushcha's giants, the bison, is complete. Over two months all the huntsmen' service together with the scientific employees observed and counted the animals in places of their winter feeding. The findings brought data that bison became more numerous in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. They are now already 334 animals. More about 400 bison is on the Polish side of Pushcha. Thus, the bison population largest all over the world lives in this ancient forest. Last year 46 small calves were born on the Belarusian side of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, some of them appeared even in November and December. Fortunately, they have survived due to no frost in that period. All kids well passed the winter. The further survey shows that the health of the forest giants is excellent. The animals are supplied with daily artificial feeding. However, the spring comes soon and in some months the females will bring the calves to add more animals to the bison herd.

T. Skyratova