NEWS ARCHIVE: APRIL 2007

April 28, 2007 Website "ICTV.UA" Bison to die out in the Volyn region (Ukraine)

Ecologists and foresters of the Volyn region are worrying because the number of bison in the country catastrophically decreases. They are actually nearly disappearing in forests of the Pollesie area and bison as a species can completely disappear in the Volyn region by autumn. For last decade 23 bison living in Volyn are remnants of 150 in the past. Bison is a largest mammal which once was widely distributed in western, central and southeast Europe including Ukraine and Caucasus . Ukrainian hunters liked to hunt for it. In the course of years unlimited hunt and cutting down of forests have caused disappearance of this species in the most of its natural habitat.

In Ukraine, according to the last inventory, 303 bison remains to live, whereas more than 600 animals were seven years ago. To rescue the animals is possible only if a proper state support, experts emphasize. First bison have appeared in Zvirivskoe and Tsumanskoe hunting grounds more than forty years ago. Animals have been delivered from Belovezhskaya Pushcha. They were grazed on fields with winter crop. After destruction of the system of collective farms traditional pastures have disappeared. And bison promptly got dying out as they have failed quickly to be adapted to feeding in forests. Poachers also reduce the population of these animals.

People have begun to rescue animals only three years ago. At that time there were only few tens of bison in the Volyn's forests. However, foresters get very hard to restore the population only by own. Because of a lack of food and the presence of anxiety in forests, the animals are under steady migration. To keep them at one place, workers of the hunting ground sow grain on glades and fill troughs with food.

To restore herds of bison in the Volyn region, hunters plan to deliver few animals from Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Experts emphasize that Ukraine urgently needs to get an own nursery for breeding these animals. This is because after disintegration of the Soviet Union all genetic banks have turned to be abroad.

Elena Chernuha, Pavel Lisivnenko, "Facts", ICTV
April 25, 2007 "Respublika" (The Republic) newspaper, No 76 First President of Russia has gone

On 23 April, Boris Eltsin, First President of Russia, has gone because of heard stopping. He was 77 years old.

In December of 1991, in Belovezhskaya Pushcha a meeting of presidents of Russia and Ukraine and the Chair of Supreme Soviet of Byelorussia has took place which resulted in liquidation of the USSR and in creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The department of politics of the "Respublika"

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The news is placed in a cut-shorten form.
The BP-21 website editor's note
April 18, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" A forest of the future

The first what should be done in the life is to plant a tree…

All of us like nature. We like to be in the open air, to admire with beauty young birch and spruce trees and to breathe clean pine aroma. And did we get a case to plant a tree yourself? So, many have taken an occasion to get today's action on planting a forest of the future.

Young oak trees grown in a nursery of the Khvoiniki forest area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha have today changed their place of "live". They have moved to the true Pushcha's forest where a beautiful oak stand getting from small trees will grow in the future. The forest officer Valentina Litvinovich and her staff have greatly supported an initiative of the Ministry of Forestry to plant the forest of the future and have actively worked this day together with pupils and pensioners. They have planted oak, birch and pine seedlings in the area of three hectares. Former foresters and huntsmen Georgiy Vakula, Anatoliy Bolbat and many others have also taken shovels in hands. Pupils of 6th and 7th classes of the Kamenyuki ecological secondary school have helped the adults. In all 24 hectares of the new forest will replace Pushcha's stands this year destroyed by bark beetles in this forest area.

The Pushcha has lately being replenished with new grounds due to lands of former collective-farms joined. These lands were also under tree planting. Workers of Nikorskoe and Sukhopolskoe forest areas have planted over 120,000 pine seedlings on sand soils. In a Day of Forest they have involved the public to take part in this work.

All 17 forest areas of Belovezhskaya Pushcha have actually continued spring works on planting trees. Over 400 hectares of young forest were planted in places which required man-made restoration. Only in the day of 14th of April, within the framework of the action, Belovezhskaya Pushcha has got richer with over 200,000 best young trees. Plantations are fenced in order to prevent young forest from eating by wild ungulates and to allow it more quick restoration.

Taisia Skuratova, the National Park “Belovezhskaya Pushcha”
April 17, 2007 Website "ONT TV"" Three districts of the Vitebsk region to undergo invasion of wild boars

In the town of Braslav and its vicinities managers make no progress to assess damages. Who will compensate damage to the local inhabitants and enterprises?

The situation suddenly got into trouble. Wild boars manage fields of collective farms and private properties of the Braslav district of the Vitebsk region. There is no success to make fences against these ungulates.

Petr Urbanovich, a chairman of the Commission on damage brought by wild animals, says "Because of big herds of wild boars, these fences are not enough to prevent penetration of wild boars. The local people are despaired of.

Reports from fields daily go to the district administration. A special commission was created. Last year protocols on damage brought to enterprises and private farms were necessary to be written more than two thousand times. Animals consume all vegetation. The people in villages don’t want to make kitchen-gardens. According to the locals, wild boars attack even dogs.

Bolislav Petkevich an inhabitant of the village of Kryukovshchina, says "We don't sleep every night. There is no rescuing! Herds are walking and it's impossible to defend! The people are even objects for attacks. Once I was attacked and hardly made off. It's good that the distance was not big, otherwise animals could eat me. 300 kg! A male is ahead while the young are behind". We have no potato for the third year, Bolislav Petkevich complains. He calculated all lost crops and sent them to the National Park "Braslav Lakes". This is the first and the currently only precedent in the area. The suit lasts about one year. The pensioner has lost first case. The second one was won. The court has obliged the Park to pay to the injured about 3 millions Roubles (~1,500 US $). However, the court decision was appealed against. Next hearings are ahead.

Different ways were used to fight attacks of wild boars, for example to make fences. Staffed animals were placed, fires were burned, but today even an extreme measure – a night alarm bell - cannot help.

If you want to get a crop, you have to sleep on kitchen-gardens and beat a drum at night, villagers assert. However, there is, as they see it, a radical way to be rescued from attacks of animals. This is shooting. However, a hunting season is not yet open. Last year the National Park has earned tens of millions of Belarusian Roubles from selling licenses to hunt wild boars. Meanwhile, losses of agricultural enterprises and locals from attacks of animals are estimated in billions Roubles. The management of the National Park does not consider guilty itself to compensate these losses.

Ivan Kasyanenko, general director of the State Nature Protection Institution "The National Park "Braslav Lakes" says "We are tenants. We are users of hunting lands. But it doesn't mean that I can manage my hunter to protect 1,200 or 1,300 fields. There are measures for this like they should fence, should set any devices frightening off".

5,000 hectares of farmland cannot be blocked by fence, the chairman of the Agricultural Enterprise "Mezhany" asserts. Wild boar ploughs up half an area of agricultural lands of the enterprise the year round. All hopes today in the Braslav district are placed on the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection. The Ministry only can give sanction to increase the number of wild boar which can be shot and, in this way, to go through this critical situation.
April 14, 2007 "Respublika" (The Republic) newspaper Moonshine from Pushcha

No matter what perfect reputation has local moonshine prepared from grasses in vicinities of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, it brings troubles to one families and illegal income to another ones. There were already many signals from locals to bodies which control law and order. To stop manufacture of the alcoholic drink in Pushcha's out-of-the-ways places, the department of protection of law and order at the Brest Office of Internal Affairs had to send fighters from a special company of fast response there. In different parts of Belovezhskaya Pushcha - at the village of Leski and at the farm of Machulskiy, they have dismantled and have destroyed two moonshine-producing mini-factories, having poured out about 4 tons of primary moonshine as a total.

The colonel Gennadiy Bakharev, a head of the above mentioned department, has informed to the correspondent of the "Respublika" that fighters who have a lot of other works in the area cannot be in ambush waiting for owners of moonshine that to catch them red-handed for further punishment. But locals who usually use mini-factories hidden in the forest are known for militias and will be taken under proper control.

Fedor MUKHA
April 12, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" A Day of Forest

First what is necessary to make in the life is to plant a tree and only then to build a house and to bring up a son or daughter...

"New forests for new generations to inherit", that's a motto announced by the Ministry of Forestry of the Republic of Belarus to celebrate a Day of Forest dated on April 14.

This event is organized that to pay the public attention to improve the situation concerning reproduction of Belarusian forest riches, careful attitude to the forest as a national property and participation of the general public in creation of forests of the future.

It is known that the youth will most actively participate in this action. This is because, as it is known, no more except for personal participation in the process of planting and protection of a young tree brings up very careful attitude to green forests.

On Saturday of the 14th April , workers of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" together with representatives of public organizations, the Village Council, teachers and pupils of 8 to 10 classes of the Kamenyuki ecological secondary school will plant pine and oak trees in the Korolevo-Mostovskoe forest area. This day plans are basically to finish spring works on planting trees which have already being carried out on the area of 400 hectares.

In total 10 million seedlings will be planted in Belarus. And on Saturday each man motivated from best promptings should take a shovel in hands and plant a tree. Let green beauty show itself there where the land was abandoned.
April 12, 2007 Website "ONT TV" A dozen of deer from Belovezhskaya Pushcha to change location

Animals have took up residence in the Mstislav district. Deer were not found in local woods till now.

Vladimir Kleenkov, a head of the Mstislav hunters and fishers' society, did not see any deer in local woods in his lifetime but now he admires in the looking at the local herd each day. 12 red deer from Belovezhskaya Pushcha are adapted for the time being in the new location, in a specially constructed for them enclosure. In free-living conditions, a family of deer consists of one male and its harem of approximately six wives. Matriarchy reigns among these deer-emigrants.

Vladimir Kleenkov, a head of the Mstislav hunters and fishers' society, says "Well, we have no a large deer-male till now. A female heads this herd. When the herd was shot for a film, this female forced grouping the herd to prevent their running in different directions to keep them being near the leader. In this case they are afraid less".

In total about 50 deer should move to forests of the Mstislav district, due to a national program of moving of wild animals. When the number of deer in the area will reach 80 animals, hunting can then be open. The huntsman Vladimir Gurkov, a hunter with the 12 year's experience, has found out for that time when he fed up deer that their hunting instinct has gone.

The huntsman Vladimir Gurkov says "It is very interesting for the first time! Well, after we got experience, the interest already went down, but it is a pity to exterminate this animal".

Local tourist agencies also were glad because of reaching local fauna. The town of Mstislav which has a nine-century history and keeps architectural monuments is attractive for tourists. The local tour-business can make additional routes, due to help of hunting tours.

Vladimir Shilenkov, a director of the Mstislav historical and archeological museum, says "We have the interesting museum. There are unique exhibits. But we would like to develop so-called rural tourism. We have an original nature. Very kind people live here".

Next month three females from the herd of emigrants will bring posterity. After youngsters will get stronger, huntsmen will let deer live free. But they will not stop feeding up them and to protect from poachers.
April 09, 2007 Electronic dispatch of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center How many animals are dying in Ukraine through human fault

The Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center has carried out preliminary investigations to learn how many animals are dying in Ukraine through human fault.

It proved to be that, according to official data, in 2006 in Ukraine 2,348,000 birds and animals have been killed during sport hunts which are impossible to be considering a proper moral argument for taking life of animals because they are beeing killed for fun. Among them 78 percents of all population of foxes, half a population of wolves and one fourth quails, coots and ducks have being killed for fun.

It should be noted that a share of so-called "harmful animals", of which so-called "fans of nature" (hunters) permanently "care", makes nearly 40 percents of a total bloody list. Wolves, foxes, stray cats and dogs, magpies, jays, crows and even rooks are the members of the official list of "harmful" animals in Ukraine. It should be added that an "unofficial" list of "harmful" animals also exists. Grey herons and all night and day birds of prey belong to this list. Almost all hunters shoot them as before.

However, we will add that all those 2,348,000 animals above mentioned and officially killed during sport hunts in Ukraine do not reflect the situation as a whole. About 50 percents of animals should be added to get the complite figure. They are the animals and birds which were killed by poachers and which were lost from wounds after official hunts but got out of official reporting. As a result, we will get 3.5 millions of wild animals. This is the approximate amount of animals and birds which annually perishes in Ukraine during sport hunts.

According to our calculations, about 156,000 stray cats and dogs are annually shot in Ukrainian cities and towns. About 2 millions of chicks and hens in lay annually perish in Ukrainian poultry farms because of awful conditions of their keeping. 3,600 animals, most of them are mice, are killed in Ukrainian reserves and national parks for scientific purposes which are most often doubtful from the nature protection point of view. About 200 animals are annually lost in zoos of Ukraine.

The total number of lost animals in agricultural farms and circuses, on roads because of traffic, during field and building works, timber extraction, pesticides' use, vivisection and educational experiments in high schools, in drainage channels, sedimentation tanks, electric lines and spring and autumn grass fires, from commercial catching, for collections and for sale, during sport and industrial fishing, and from other necessary or senseless human needs is unknown.

Meanwhile it should be emphasized that the most important task for human civilization is to reduce death and sufferings of animals through human fault.

Vladimir Boreiko,
director of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center
April 09, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Who knows even no new law

You are guilty because I'm at least hungry...

A new administrative code of the Republic of Belarus "On administrative offences" has come into force since March 1, 2007. A high level of penalties for illegal actions is a "stimulus" to strengthen responsibility for offences. They do will cost a pretty penny. Although many articles of this document have been commented in mass media, however some of the citizens ignore this law. For example, in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" a question about poaching periodically gets topical.

So, two foresters and one forest officer's assistant of the Svisloch forest area recently went being tipsy on a horse-drown vehicle across the quarter 21 of the next Porozovskoe forest area and spotted two wild boars which were in a trap (they were caught for moving in other regions of the country). The solution was quickly made. The cheerful company using an axe has took the decision about the fate of animals in own way. Then having put the killed wild boars on the vehicle, poachers made cages again opened like the animals did not yet visit them.

However, the deceit was quickly disclosed. Following traces of the vehicle the Park's guard has found infringers and has caught poachers red-handed. All of them were fired from a job. Their non-registered guns and killed animals were confiscated. The National Park has brought a suit to compensate damage in the sum of more than 11 million Roubles (~ over 5,000 US $). This is the cost of 70 kg of meat they will pay. Besides, a court will define punishment for poaching.

According to the new code, hunting in a forbidden place, in a forbidden way and in forbidden terms results in imposition of the penalty of 50 base rates. However, this sum did not probably seem too big to an inhabitant of the age of 50 years from the village of Podburie that to stop his unlawful craft. Within the territory of the Belyansloe forest area that is near to his village he placed loops to catch wild animals. The hunting service has found out poaching instruments and began to wait in the forest for those who have set them. The poacher soon visited the place to take his bag from the loop. That was a hare. Having taken away the unhappy animal, "the hunter" has gone home to cut the fresh flesh. He didn't know that the guard follows in his footsteps.

More loops were found out and confiscated at the poacher's house. The unemployed rural inhabitant has explained his illegal craft that the family wants to eat. He will pay a lot of money as a compensation for this forbidden hunting of animals. It's true that his family should now deny a lot for itself.

In early March the hunting service has found out traces of poaching near the village of Yanushi. Hair and blood of a deer and traces of tires of an expensive car testified that the killed animal was tracked on a path which was used to go to a field to consume green vegetation. Because of this fact of poaching, criminal proceedings were instituted at the Kamenetz District Department of Internal Affairs and the investigation is in progress.

Making penalties bigger should force a man to reflect before to take a gun or prepare tackle for illegal fishing. Is it worthy of being engaged in the forbidden business that means poaching if the most of the people will not have enough money to pay for this kind of "non-licensed activity"? There is also a chance to land up in prison. Hunting in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is not forbidden. Getting a license, following all formalities and paying some sum of money for pleasure to do shooting a wild animal, one can safely go for hunting. To shoot the game in fear to be caught and to be fined, this is awful prospect. Or maybe someone thinks in a different way?
April 09, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" A best company of CIS

Nikolai Bambiza, the general director of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", was invited by the International Business Council to participate in the summit of managers whose companies are recognized by the Council the best in CIS. The international forum will be hold in Moscow on April 27 by support of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of Russian Federation, by Institute of Economy of Russian Academy of Sciences, by the Confederation of Work of Kazakhstan, and by outstanding scientific and political figures of countries of Commonwealth.

The fact of this Summit testifies about revival of lost links and mutual integration at the level of post-soviet enterprises. The participation in the Summit says about a high status of the enterprise and significant business success, as well as about a good business reputation of the company. A national brand "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is famous far outside of Belarus. Russians citizens, especially from Moscow, are common visitors to go to the protected area. Tourists from Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan also visit the National Park. Contacts in the field of tourism between the National Park and other countries are also in progress.

Solemn investiture of Summit's participants with an international premium "CIS Best Company", namely a mark of honour "Commonwealth's Star", will be a culmination point of the future Summit. The mark which will be under investiture for the first time is founded as recognition of high social and economic achievements. O.S. Karpukhin, the chairman of the International Council, noted in an invitation-paper sent to the head of the National Park that the participation in the Moscow Summit is both the personal and public obligation to make reputation of the winner-company higher and to further improve its image both in the country and abroad.
April 02, 2007 Website News Service "BP-21 Century" A director of the Polish Bialowieza National Park arrested and dismissed while a director of the Belarusian National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is still free

Jozef Popiel, a former Director of the Bialowieza National Park (Poland)
Jozef Popiel
The director of the Bialowieza National Park Jozef Popiel (Poland) is charged for corruption. As it got known from independent sources of the village of Bialowieza, according to an order of the Minister of Environment he was dismissed from the post of the director of the National Park. Investigation which in Poland usually takes up to one year is now in progress. The director admitted most of the charges. The public is waiting for court process. According to information from a prosecutor office, the former director is threatened by the sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Deputy director Malgorzata Karas is appointed to lead the Park's management for the period up to the moment when a new director of the Bialowieza National Park will be appointed by the Minister.

Let's remind that Jozef Popiel, Director of the Bialowieza National Park (Poland), was arrested by policemen from the Department on Corruption Struggle in early March this year. The public of the Polish part of the Bialowieza Forest reflected on this occasion in different ways. One considers it the logic ending the situation as Jozef Popiel regarding his qualification was much poorer than the former director Czeslaw Okolow who retired in 2003. Before the appointment Jozef Popiel worked a forestry officer of the Buffer zone "Hwozna" in the Bialowieza Forest. He had no a scientific degree and had a command of no foreign languages. His appointment instead of Czeslaw Okolow was ambiguously recognized by Polish intellectuals living in the Bialowieza Forest. Other candidates whose professional level concerning nature and wilderness protection was much higher and whose job practice in the National Park got great also aspired to this post. This appointment was explained by good personal contacts with some top-officials in Poland who caught private interests in the Bialowieza Forest. As against the scientist Czeslaw Okolow, the forester Jozef Popiel has tried to focus basic emphasis on activity to improve practical aspects of the management of the National Park. This was not always in the line with Polish nature protection legislation. For example, he has set sheets advertising beer in the protected zone and has planned the railway traffic for tourists through the protected territory that was criticized by scientists and nature conservators. The arrest testifies that Jozef Popiel was surreptitiously engaged in other kinds of activity as well, which finally attracted a public prosecutor and department on struggle with corruption.

It is only necessary to notice that in democratic Poland, where, according to independent sources, scales of the criminal activity in the National Park were less than on the Belarusian side, everything has come to the end by arresting the director. On the Belarusian side where struggle with corruption is declared the priority goal for the management of the country over ten years, law-enforcement agencies are deprived of all opportunities to investigate infringements which are known for many inhabitants of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The local people consider that if these agencies begin to pull this threat it can result in unwinding such a net… The fact that Galina Zhuravkova, a former Manager of the Property Management Department of the President, arrested in 2004, charged with very grand larceny (few millions $ USA) and sentenced to 4 years in prison with expropriation, really served sentence in prison no one day. Soon after the verdict she was granted a free pardon by a confidential decree of the President.

Nikolai Bambiza, a current director of the National Park Belovezhskaya Pushcha (Belarus)
Nikolai Bambiza
Let's remind that Galina Zhuravkova was a person who, at once after she took a post of Manager of the Presidential Property Management Department, changed a general director of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" in May of 2001 and appointed Nikolai Bambiza to this post. Nearly in one month a first illegal activity – an attempt of introduction of clear cuttings onto protected territory – occurred in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Later other infringements of the legislation that are well known for the Belarusian public took place. Nevertheless, all of these crimes were covering (and proceed to be covering up to now) by the powerful Property Management Department of the President which subordinates all national parks and reserves. However, that concerns of nature which is open in appearance for everyone. As to economic activity very flowering in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" last years, the locals say that basic "secrets" are hidden behind of "seven stamps "…