NEWS ARCHIVE: APRIL 2012

April 30, 2012 BP-21 Century Website News Service Destruction of nature in forests along roads to be stopped that's the response from the Ministry of Forestry of Belarus and other state agencies

In March of 2012, experts in the field of ecology, environmental friendly forestry and nature conservation appealed to the government of the country with an open letter "SOS: Stop the destruction of native wildlife under the guise of restoring order in the native land." The negative environmental, economic and humanitarian consequences associated with lack of scientific grounds and thoughtless execution of the order of the Council of Ministers to establish order in forests and car and railway roadside strips were indicated to detail in the letter. After that a war in Belarus started to destroy the natural shape of forests along roads as turning them into something unnatural, resembling a city park or a like-park view, to violate the natural balance in ecosystems, and to annihilate biodiversity and wildlife.

Written responses from the Ministry of Forestry, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and from regional executive committees and their lower organization were received. They described in detail the legal framework and procedures for cutting along the roads. The letter from the Ministry of Forestry noted that there are indeed facts of unfounded cutting of undergrowth in forest enterprises as the basis of individual orders of the local executive and administrative bodies. It was stated that "the matter was discussed at a National Workshop of the Ministry of Forestry "Challenges in improving the quality and efficiency of reproduction and protection of forests, and restoring order in forests" with the chief foresters of forest enterprises on March 14 this year and appropriate instructions to prevent this practice were given."

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection reported that they sent a letter to regional executive committees "with the requirement to eliminate the practice of clear cuttings of shrubs and undergrowth unsubstantiated from the legislative and environmental standpoint, and of trees valuable for biodiversity conservation in forest areas adjacent to the car and railroads."

The Brest Regional Executive Committee "fully shares the position with regard to the lack of need for cutting down bushes, undergrowth and individual healthy trees in forest strips adjacent to roads and settlements." The Grodno, Minsk and Mogilev regional executive committees also expressed their support for. However, the Gomel and Vitebsk regional executive committees wrote in response that this kind of logging are carried out in their areas in accordance with the law. In fact, it is untrue and is contradicted by the repeated promulgation of facts and information about violations in mass-media and environmental dispatches.

Thus, public agencies and organizations in general supported the initiative of the environmentalists and promised to follow the implementation of legislation and environmental regulations in the future. Independent environmentalists will continue to monitor the situation regarding the clean up and preserve the forest along roads.

Photo-copies of the responses from the Ministries and the Brest Regional Executive Committee in the file here, in Russian, (800 KB).
April 29, 2012 Website "The State Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Ornithologists from Poland to Visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha

On April 22, representatives of the Polish Society for Protection of Birds visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

On the eve of the visit (the 20 and 21st April), Bialowieza (Poland) hosted a conference of this society. It ended with the special tour to the Belarusian part of Bialowieza Forest. Lovers of birds visited the Museum of Nature and various interesting natural sites, including the Wild Bog - one of Europe's largest low-lying and transition wetlands survived in relatively pristine condition. Rare species of birds that they had seen during the tour brought a special joy for ornithologists.



April 29, 2012 Website "The State Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" For visitors to Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is preparing for the start of the summer tourist season.

Wooden sculptures and houses for fairy-tale characters were renovated, and new entertainment facilities were added in the Belarusian Father Frost's estate. Art college students from Kobrin assisted in restoration works in the estate.

A gift shop was remodeled in the Museum of Nature of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Its mirrored windows houses a variety of articles of national handicrafts: straw and flax goods, artistic wood carvings, ceramic products, Belarusian folk toys and literature guide to the Bialowieza Forest.

April 24, 2012 Website "Vladimir Korolev's Blog" Daring conductors. Zone A

KGB agents have detained daring conductors. Two residents of the Svisloch district led a convoy of Afghan citizens through the Belarusian-Polish border. It is now discovered how swindlers succeed in deceiving the border system known for its reliability since the Soviet era. We only know that the group of Asians was led through Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Half of the offenders were arrested by Polish border guards, while the others managed to escape in the EU.

By Alexander Antonovich, head of the Belarusian KGB Information Center "Two residents of the Svisloch district were under attention of the KGB. They led the citizens of Afghanistan through Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Organizers planned to convey another 137 people in the EU in the near future."

Conductors illegal helping for immigrants were detained. Criminal proceedings were instituted for the organization of the illegal immigration. Perpetrators are threatened with prison.
April 20, 2012 Website "OPEN.BY" A moonshine mini-distillery to be found in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

A moonshine mini-distillery was found in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Policemen from Svisloch police department removed more than four tons of home brew and one hundred liters of moonshine during a joint raid with the inspectors on natural resources and environmental protection. According to the police department of Grodno Regional Executive Committee, three villagers developed the production of alcoholic beverages and placed the mini-plant in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the most popular National Park in Belarus.

Two of the detainees were repeatedly made answerable for the similar wrongful acts in the past.

Photo by the Department of Internal Affairs at Grodno Regional Executive Committee

April 20, 2012 Website "Belarusturist" A new international tourist bicycle route can be appearing in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

A new bicycle tourist route that will connect Belarusian and Polish parts of Bialowieza Forest can be appearing in the Reserve. The potential to develop such the route was discussed with representatives of the Hajnowka district administration (Poland) at a working meeting organized by the leadership of the Euro-Region "Bialowieza Forest". The decision is practically made.

The transition for tourists will be carried through the border crossing "Pererov - Bialowieza" specially designed for this purpose in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, according to the National Park's website. The existing cross-border cycle route between Belarus and Poland will also be modernized. After construction and commissioning of these routes, tourists in both countries will be able to make their stay in the reserve richer and to acquaint with its primeval nature better.

In the meantime, the cross-border project is under development and visitors to the Belarusian part of the Forest can use four walking paths and several ecological trails for walks in the Park.

Sourse: vb.by
April 13, 2012 Website "Wild Nature" A new cross-border tourist route to create in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The decision to create it was collegially born at a working meeting with representatives of the Hajnowka district administration (Poland), who recently visited the National Park. The new tourist route will be for bicyclists and will connect the Belarusian and Polish parts of the Bialowieza Forest.

Tourists will get to pass through the border crossing point "Pererov-Bialowieza", which was made specifically for this purpose in the Forest.

There will also be upgraded the existing cycle route between Belarus and Poland.

After construction and commissioning of new cycle routes, tourists from both countries will be able to make their stay in Belovezhskaya Pushcha richer and to acquaint better with its primeval nature.

Meanwhile, guests are offered for fours at the Belarusian part of the ancient woodland to take advantage of four cycle routes and several environmental pathways.

Photo by Sergei Plytkevich
According to the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"
April 10, 2012 Website "News from Grodno" Grodno border guards slept Afghan illegal migrants

According to the official website of the Polish Boundary Guard from department in Narewka (Podlasie), five Afghans were detained on April 1. They were illegally in Poland.

Foreigners moved into the EU from Belarus. They crossed the green border, and then, after a few kilometers, divided into two groups: two men boarded the bus and the three another went on a walk.

None of the foreigners had documents proving citizenship and identity. The detainees were in good physical condition, but hungry. They got food and drink in the boundary office.

Note that the illegal migrants crossed the Belarusian-Polish border in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, in the area of responsibility of the Grodno border group. It is unclear what Belarusian border guards did at the time. The question of how people unfamiliar with the terrain can cross the frontier heavily fortified and equipped with the modern technology is also unclear. After all, we installed a barbed wire fence and a variety of signaling alarms on the Polish section.
April 06, 2012 Website "The State Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" At the Scientific Council in Bialowieza

On March 30, 2012, a meeting of the Scientific Council of the Bialowieza National Park was held in the village of Bialowieza (Poland). It was attended by Director General of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Alexander Bury and Deputy Director General for Researches Vasily Arnolbik who are members of the Scientific Council.

This session discussed new proposals on the subject of research in the Park, including the presentation of the theme "Scientific basis of bison population management in the Bialowieza Forest" and proposals to change the boundaries of World Heritage Site "Bialowieza Forest".
April 05, 2012 Website "BELTA" Opening of the road around Belovezhskaya Pushcha has increased the demand on houses in nearby villages

Opening of the road around Belovezhskaya Pushcha has increased the demand on houses in nearby villages. This was said by the chairman of the Brest Regional Executive Committee Konstantin Sumar, as BelTA learned.

According to the governor, the project of creation of the new highway is very promising and significant for the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This is evident by the fact that the villages adjacent to the new road began to revive. Houses that used to cost nothing here began to rise in price and people began to buy them.

At the same time, Konstantin Sumar expressed dissatisfaction with slow progress of construction of new transport infrastructure. There are five projects in the implementation stage a gas station, cafe and shop under construction. But this is not enough.

Konstantin Sumar noted that a small traffic flow in this direction is an investment deterrent factor. Every project realized in this area must be economically justified.

According to Konstantin Sumar, serious progress on infrastructure development will be here after completion of the reconstruction of the checkpoint "Peschatka" on the Belarusian-Polish border. The flow of motorists passing through the renewed border crossing, not only to the Brest and Grodno regions but also towards the Baltic States, will be increased.

The project "The highway bypassing the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is conducted in accordance with the Presidential Decree No 244 of May 11, 2010. The length of the road commissioned in 2011 is nearly 200 km. Most of it passes through the territory of the Brest region (Kamenets and Pruzhany districts) and about 40 miles are in the Grodno region (Svisloch district). In the area of the new road is planned to build tourist facilities and roadside service. For example, there should be over 40 points in the Brest region. An important condition for implementation of the projects is to comply with environmental legislation, taking into account the location of the road in close proximity to the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

By Olga Kobyak
April 05, 2012 Website "Naviny.by" Belarus Birds' Life: the ban on spring hunting of waterfowl have already given the first results

The ban on spring hunting of waterfowl have already given positive results concerning their number in some areas of Belarus.

Director of Nongovernmental Organization "Belarus Birds' Life" Victor Fenchuk recalled BelaPAN that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection imposed a ban on spring hunting in 13 areas of Belarus for the first time this year. The same decision was made at the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". According to Fenchuk, specialists are seeing the increase in the number of birds in these areas in the first month after the ban was made.

In particular, the number of gray geese has increased in the floodplain of the Lesnaya River in "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Previously, this species was actively shot by hunters, despite the fact that its population is very small in Belarus. Along with gray geese, red-breasted goose, which is listed in the international Red Data Book, was seen for the first time this year on the Svisloch River, Grodno region. If hunting was open at this site, rare birds, even arriving in Belarus, most likely would have been killed, the expert said. While shooting this rare species is prohibited, hunting enthusiasts can easily take it for the mass.

This year, the biggest number of migratory birds compared with previous years was recorded in the town of Turov (Zhitkovichi district, Gomel region). About 50 thousand migratory shorebirds, mostly ruffs, are in the nature sanctuary "Turov Meadow". According to the specialist, the large number of birds in this area is due to the lack of anxiety, which is created by hunters, their dogs and gunshots.

The representative of the Belarus Birds' Life stressed that areas with the ban on spring hunting are not crucial in terms of migratory birds. Nevertheless, the positive result from the prohibition of hunting is obvious there already after a month. A complete ban on spring hunting would solve the problem of degradation in populations of several species of waterfowl - gray geese, many species of ducks, etc. I'm sure, Fenchuk said.
April 04, 2012 Website "Auto-business" A wild boar to ram a car with musicians not far from Belovezhskaya Pushcha

According to the "Virtual Brest", an accident happened on the road from the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", the night before. Ex-vocalist of the legendary band "Flame" Stanislav Cheremukhin and the Belarusian singer Vitaly Prokopovich were returning by a car from a study tour to the largest forest in Europe.

Stanislav Cheremukhin said "Exotics, wow! We have seen the beast in the zoo enclosure, and then it jumped on us just out of the darkness! I never thought that this could happen to us!"

The guys are lucky. The wild boar, apparently, became frightened and ran away. But Vitaly will now have to repair the car, painting it and more.
April 02, 2012 Website "The State Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" A working meeting

On March 23, 2012, a meeting of the Council of the Euro-region "Bialowieza Forest" was held in the National Park. The Council provides cross-border cooperation on the territory of Belarus and Poland, in the area where the unique complex of relict forests of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is located. Investments of European funds are attracted through the Euro-region to cover problems of the region of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and adjacent areas.

Employees of the scientific and tourism departments of the National Park, Polish colleagues, representatives of the Museum of Nature, heads of administrations of Svisloch, Pruzhany and Kamenetz districts, and heads of the Hajnowka district (Poland) attended at the Council meeting. Project ideas for participation in the cross-border cooperation program "Poland-Belarus-Ukraine" were presented and a list of events dedicated to the tenth anniversary of establishment of the Euro-region "Bialowieza Forest" was agreed.
April 02, 2012 Website "The State Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" A fallow deer to deliver from Belovezhskaya Pushcha to Minsk Zoo

In accordance with the agreement, the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and the Minsk Zoo are sharing with wild animals. The National Park sent to the Zoo two bison and a female bear for the last few years and received 4 wolves, 4 raccoon dogs and a few birds of prey from the Zoo. This time, a fallow deer female was sent from Belovezhskaya Pushcha to the Zoo to diversify the species composition of animals kept therein.
April 02, 2012 Website "The State Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Visitors from South Korea

On March 26, 2012, a group of journalists from the South Korean TV channel EBS ("Educational Broadcasting System") visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha to capture the telecast "Notes of a Traveler". They met with the picturesque nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, come to Santa Claus and walked in zoo enclosures with wild animals. Giants of our forests - Bialowieza bison - particularly struck the journalists. Before leaving, the guests expressed their confidence that they can help their fellow through the telecast to learn more about the unique nature of the Bialowieza Belovezhskaya Pushcha and about our country as a whole.