NEWSARCHIVE: APRIL 2013

April 30, 2013 Website "Travel and Leisure" "From Belovezhskaya Pushcha to Polesie swamps": a guide with the mystery

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The publishing house "Riftur" has published a new book. This is a guide to the Brest region, "From Belovezhskaya Pushcha to Polesie swamps." He edition of 256 pages was prepared by order of the Office of Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Brest Regional Executive Committee. Anatoly Barabbas and Tatiana Hvagina, known in Belarus as guides, are the authors of the text.

The guide-book familiarizes readers with all 16 districts of the Brest region and with the most striking sights. It is richly illustrated. In addition to contemporary photographs, it contains images from the archives of the district executive committees of the Brest region, as well as reproductions of drawings by Napoleon Orda, by the way, who is also a native of the Brest region.

And now I want to get away from the numbers and names, which are numerous in the guide-book, as it required by the genre, and talk a little bit about the other things. It is about the impression that I got from guidebooks of the publishing house, at least from some of them, including this one. When I see them on the shelves of bookstores, I am seized with a feeling of inconsistency or something like this. They seem strange, even unfashionable. Unfashionable does not mean obsolete, it means they do not meet the spirit and the realities of our time. They look like if they appeared from a parallel reality where Belarus and the 2013th year are also present, but where they are different. How would you explain this? The presence of such high-quality, detailed, beautifully illustrated guide-books for the country suggests that a big flow of tourists who need them are moving through the country. Well, you know: the disciplined groups of Japanese tourists heed a guide in the Brest region; couples are photographed against the backdrop of lancet openings of the Kossovo Castle and go - hand in hand for good luck! Ц through the Gothic arch in the Old Sands town, and cheerful tanned cyclists Ц environmentalists, for example, from Australia - measure the circumference of a 500 year old oak tree in the Big Krugovichi village. By the way, who can say on the spot, without the map and the Internet in what areas of the Brest region are the last two mentioned settlements located?

And what is about the mysterious word on the cover? Note the text at the bottom - "Baranovichi, Bereza, Brest, Vysokoe, David-Gorodok, Domachevo, Drogichin, Gancevichi, Zhabinka, Ivanovo, Ivantsevichy, Kamenets, Kobrin, Kosovo, Logishin, Luninets, Lyakhovichi, Malorita, Mikashevichy, Pinsk, Pruzany, Stolin and many other interesting sites for travelers with the exquisite taste." Exquisite! Is this word applied to those who are currently traveling in Belarus? And what are they - travelers with exquisite taste? With lorgnettes and top hats? With wide hats and hairpins? With iPhones and iPods? Or are they those who are engaged in discovering and traveling to look for something special for them, whether it's the smell of pine needles in a pine forest or harmony in own soul ... In any case, this word here is obviously no casual. This is like a password for the initiated people or a litmus paper. Maybe this is even a challenge -"are you quite refined to travel through the country?"

But the most interesting is at the end of the guide-book for those who read it. Or - even better Ц for those who visit all the routes described in it. It's a map! It's a mysterious map on the penultimate turn. The hand-drawn map of the Brest region (made by Inessa Grin and Oleg Francusov) does not specify any one location, but we see here castles, churches, manor houses, monuments ... Each architectural monument, pictured on it, is in reality. Are you able to name them all right? That is such the unexpected exam for a thoughtful reader and traveler.

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Disadvantages of the guide book make a continuation of its virtues. In an effort to reveal as much as possible the history of places for the reader where he has to travel, the authors sometimes leave the present behind the scenes. Visiting the Pruzany, of course, I always find time for a romantic walk in the old park and for a meeting with an old palace. But for some time the water palace with a water park and an unusually empty pool, if compared with Minsk, became the main "magnet" of the city for me. I suspect that I am not the only one. But there is no word about the water park in the guide-book.

By Lyudmila Drik
The content of the guide-book is available at the original source
April 29, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Bison go north

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The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and the company "Interservice" signed a contract for the delivery of 10 bison (5 males and 5 females) aged 2 to 5 years.

Now the National Park is home to 456 animals of this species. That is much more than the number science-based for this area. To create a stable healthy population of bison, they should be settled in other places. Now, after obtaining a permit from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, the first group of 5 animals is sent to a new habitat - to the Verkhnedvinsk district in northern Belarus. Altogether, another 13 bison should be brought to new habitats for the year. The bison micropopulations in the Vitebsk region will be the eighth group of bison living freely in Belarus.
April 27, 2013 Website "Belarusian Radio Station" Protest between Hajnowka and Bialowieza against forest policy (photos) (Poland)

"Defending Polish forests from quasi-ecologists and sabotage" Ц that is the slogan near the Nature Reserve, by the road from Hajnowka to Bialowieza. It was used for the picket against state forest policy, particularly with regard to the Bialowieza Forest.

The company "SANTA" organized the picket and called to allow residents of local districts to use fallen trees, as the spokesperson of the company "SANTA" Lewon Hliabicz says:

"- We want to change the form of management in the National Park. We want that dead trees have been taken out and given to people, or have been used to processing. It is to support the growth of the forest, to stimulate the growth of the Bialowieza Forest.

The Deputy the Polish Seim Ewgen Czikwin and the member of the Regional Parliament of the Podlasie voivodship Nikolai Janowski were among the people attended.

Representatives of the company "SANTA" said that they will not be confined to the today's action only.










By David Gaiko, Belarusian Radio Station
photo by author
April 26, 2013 "Komsomolskaya Pravda" (The Komsomol Truth) newspaper Belovezhskaya Pushcha to sale 10 bison, paid over $ 6,000 for one animal


Photo from www.belvc.by
"For the present five young bison sent to the Vitebsk region. They are now 4 and years old," Deputy Director for Since of the National Park Vasily Arnolbik confirmed to KP. "We caught them for a month, near different feeders that to take animals with different gene pools. Prior to the relocation of bison, experts from the Ministry of Environment Protection, from the Academy of Sciences of Belarus, etc went in the Vitebsk region. Scientists have been investigating whether bison settle down and dwell there. After all approvals, they have taken the decision to sell.

According to our knowledge, the company paid more than 6,000 dollars for a bison. The customer also paid for transportation, trapping, etc. By the way, the same company imported 50 red deer from Lithuania last year.

"Yes, we have decided to start the population of bison in the Vitebsk region. This is because they lived there once upon a time. This year, we took 10 bison from Belovezhskaya Pushcha, and next year we take as many from the Grodno region (bison live in the Enterprise "Ozernoe" Ц Author's note)," the manager of the hunting facility of the company "Interservice" in Verhnedvinsky district commented. "They will live as long as a year in big enclosures. We will see whether they will begin to reproduce. And then we will make them free to dwell here.

According to the manager of the hunting facility, they are not going to organize hunting of bison in the near future.

"According to the new regulations adopted at the governmental level, we need annually to sale 30 bison to create micropopulations in different regions of the country. Also under the new rules, we can sell bison abroad. After all, their number is constantly growing in the Forest. This is a huge burden to the National Park. Bison will not survive today without the help of man because the ecosystem changed. It needs to feed them in the winter, to give vitamins, etc. It's all the money. 2 billion Rubbles (~ $ 230,000) were spent for the maintenance of all the bison in the Forest over the last year. Only 330 million (~ $ 40,000) were allocated from the Ministry of Environment Protection. The rest of money became the trouble for the Park. So, we have to somehow get out of the situation," Vasily Arnolbik said.

The scientist noted that bison were not selling abroad. The Park's management hopes for the Russian-Belarusian project to create a joint natural habitat for the Pushcha's king. Presumably, $ 7 million will be allocated for it.

By Nastassja Zanko
April 25, 2013 Website "The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus" The 3-d meeting of the Council in the Field of Environmental Protection at the Integration Committee of the Eurasian Economic Community was held in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" on April 25, 2013

The Council meeting was attended by the members of the Council - heads of the environmental services of the member-states of the Eurasian Economic Community, as well as by representatives of the Secretariat of the Integration Committee of the Eurasian Economic Community.

The main tasks of the Council in the field on protection of the environment at the Eurasian Economic Community is to make proposals for the development of cooperation in the field of environmental protection and to solve common environmental problems of the Parties, as well as to assist in the implementation of the relevant decisions of the Community.

A number of issues to solve important environmental problems of EurAsEC will be discussed during the Council. Council members will also be informed about the experience of the Republic of Belarus on the implementation of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the experience of the conservation of wetlands and restoration of disturbed ecosystems.

As part of the Council meeting, participants discussed the issues of the development of a coordinated position of the EurAsEC member-states to accede to the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and its protocols.
April 24, 2013 "Nasha Niva" (Our Field) newspaper The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" earned $ 840,000 from hunting tourism during the year

The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has purchased five males of red deer in the hunting ground of the Ust-Donetsk district, Rostov region, Russia. Deer are now kept in quarantine. According to Director General of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Alexander Bury, last time deer were imported to the Forest in 1900 - 31 males from Austria. Since then, the population has not been refreshed.

Mr. Bury said that the National Park is going actively to develop hunting tourism. Last year the Park earned $ 840,000. This year's earnings are expected by at least $ 1 million.

Inf. by BELTA
April 23, 2013 Website "Naviny.by" Red deer to bring to Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Red deer were brought to Belovezhskaya Pushcha for the first time in the last century, as BelTA learned from Director General of the National Park Alexander Bury.

Five males were brought from a hunting ground in Ust-Donetsk district of the Rostov region, Russia. Immigrants are now in a quarantine enclosure. A blood serum was taken to test the presence of disease. Subsequently, these deer will be used to refresh the blood, improve the trophy quality of the Pushcha's red deer population.

"Last time deer were imported to the Forest in 1900 - 31 males from Austria. Since then, the population has not been refreshed and is gradually degraded. We intend to eventually develop the new population of red deer here. I think it is in the interests of the whole country, because almost all Belarusian red deer are originated from Pushcha. In addition, we intend to develop such a popular trend as hunting tourism. Last year, the National Park earned $ 840,000. As expected, this year's revenue will be at least $ 1 million," Mr. Bury said.

Director General added that resettlement of deer to other places will help maintain the health of the bison population, which number now reaches 456 in the Forest. This is much more then the number scientifically based. Recently, the National Park received permission from the Ministry of Natural Resources to deliver 10 animals (5 males and 5 females) to the private hunting ground of Verkhnedvinsk district, Vitebsk region. Animals will be caught in the next few days and sent to a new habitat.

According to the last census of animals, the National Park is home to 1,850 red deer. Like Bialowieza bison, red deer is a reacclimatized species and has the complex origins, which affected the shape and color of horns, as well as their head position in different individuals. Two forms of deer are clearly distinguished in the population - dark on low legs with branched dark horns and light-coloured on high legs with lighter horns.
April 23, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Be visiting the Bog "Wild"

From 12 to 16 April of 2013, the next field seminar "Night Forest Dwellers", organized by the Brest Regional Branch of the NGO "Belarus Birds' Life" in cooperation with the Scientific Department of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", was being held using the facilities of the village of Zalesie, Pruzhany district.

Every day the participants of the seminar participated in sightseeing tours in one of the most "wild" places in our country - the Bog "Wild". High water level prevented overcoming even the most basic parts of the forest and swamp, so not everyone was able to "get away" in the truest sense of the word. During trips 6 new platforms for Great Gray Owl were hung in the potential areas of its habitat, with a deficit of natural nests in the isolated islands of the swamp.

Routes of the overnight trips for accounting of owls were on dry sites in the vicinity of the swamp.

The international seminar was attended by 34 amateurs of wildlife, including visitors from France and Germany who are volunteers of the BBL.

4 species of owls - Great Grey Owl (3 areas), Gray Owl (3 areas), Pygmy Owl (a territorial male) and Boreal Owl (3 areas) were counted during the seminar.


April 23, 2013 Website "Travel and Leisure" "Cycling season" to open in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Finally, the long-awaited spring has come. This means that Belovezhskaya Pushcha open "cycling season." The National Park offers cycling along four specific routes:
- "Royal Meadow" (route length is 10 km);
- "Animal Crossing" (16 km)
- "Forest Mystery" (16 km)
- "Big Travel" (27 km).

These routes allow you to select an option by both beginners and experienced cyclists. The trip can be taken by using an own bike or by renting it in the National Park. In any case, you must purchase a map of the selected route at the rental desk.

The nature coming to life after a long winter, hubbub of returning birds, the grandeur of the ancient forest and the first spring flowers will not leave anyone indifferent. They will improve mood and health.
April 22, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Belarusian Father Frost was at a birthday party

Belarusian Father Frost from Belovezhskaya Pushcha made a fabulous trip to Kostroma (Russia) to visit the celebration of the birthday of Snow Maiden. He was accompanied by his wife Ц Mother Winter, and by Guardian of Pushcha's Tales - Puschik.

On 5 and 6 April of 2013, they visited in Kostroma the Granddaughter of Russian Father Frost. The program of the visit was to attend the opening of a post office of Kostroma's Maiden, to participate in summing up the results of the competition "Tale of the Envelope" and a drawing competition for the best design of the corporate envelope of the mail of Kostroma's Snow Maiden, and to meet the Head of Administration of Kostroma. Belarusian Santa Claus together with the magicians who came to the birthday party from all the Russian also visited the pupils of the Volga orphanage.

Our Santa Claus gave fabulous gifts to the birthday girl - magic seedlings of tree of Love, Health and Wealth, a miniature wish-fulfilling Spruce tree, a magic box with a snow bouquet of Belovezhskaya winter, and fairy tales and legends of the Bialowieza Forest. In addition, the Belarusian Father Frost took part in a Kostroma's live TV-program and in the Children's press center. Answering the questions from journalists, the good wizard invited all viewers to visit him in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.



April 19, 2013 Website "BelTA" The boundaries of Belovezhskaya Pushcha as a World Heritage Site to expand significantly

It is expected that the boundaries of Belovezhskaya Pushcha will significantly be expanded for a UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites, as BelTA learned from Vasily Arnolbik, Deputy Director for Science of the National Park.

"Examination of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, initiated by the UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, has shown that the National Park earlier was not estimated at its true worth," Vasily Arnolbik said. It turned out that many of its sites that were out of the World Heritage List are worthy to be in it. "Belovezhskaya Pushcha is primarily the last old-growth lowland forest in Europe. Many species of plants and animals are preserved only in this unique natural object", the representative of the National Park emphasized.

The adoption of new criteria for evaluation of natural sites by the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO is one of the grounds for extending the boundaries of the Forest as the World Heritage Site. Previously, Belovezhskaya Pushcha met just one of the criteria and was preserved as an object of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance. "However, since many species of animals and plants are preserved only in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, it meets two new criteria of natural value," the researcher of the National Park Vyacheslav Kravchuk said. According to one of the criteria, the territory of the Bialowieza Forest covers the most important and significant natural habitats for the conservation of biological diversity within it, including endangered species of universal outstanding value from the viewpoint of science and conservation. According to another criterion, the Forest is an outstanding model of ecological and biological processes in the evolution of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems, and in plant and animal communities.

In order to inscribe the National Park on the List of World Heritage Sites by the new criteria and with new boundaries, scientists from the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park (Belarus) and the Bialowieza National Park (Poland) have jointly developed a nomination dossier. The document contains valid evidence of compliance with the stated criteria. In addition, the dossier requires a change in the status of the object as the cross-border one (Belarus / Poland) and the increase in the area of the World Heritage Site from 10,200 hectares to 142,000 hectares. It is proposed to extend the boundaries of the Belarusian part of the Forest from 5,500 hectares to 76,000 hectares.

The administration of the National Park sent the weighty dossier of about 150 pages to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for consideration. The confirmation of full compliance of the records with the necessary requirements of this international organization has already been received. Upon examination of the object by the Biodiversity Conservation Center (BCC), a final decision on the inclusion of the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha into the World Heritage List under the new terms will be taken.

A part of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992. In 1993, the National Park was given a status of Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. In 1997, it was awarded a European Diploma for outstanding achievements in wildlife conservation of the Bialowieza Forest.

By Maria Dmitrieva
April 18, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Monitoring pests

The Forest department of the National Park provides the pheromone monitoring for the pests' dynamics. This activity is planned and held annually in the National Park. The cone-type traps are currently set at plots of the permanent pheromone monitoring where observations over harmful insects will be carried out. Bark beetles - pests of spruce forests, summer pine shoot - damaging the 3-6-year-old pine trees, and pine moth - harmful to middle-aged pine forests - are under the control.

The actual data from observations of insects caught in traps, if necessary, will take steps to limit the number of these pests.
April 18, 2013 Website "BelTA" The Council of Europe extended a Diploma to "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" as the merit for biological diversity

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has decided to extend a Diploma to the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" for outstanding achievements in conservation of biological, geological and landscape diversity. BelTA learned it from Tatiana Trafimovich, a consultant of the Department of Land and Landscapes at the Belarusian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

The validity of the Diploma was suspended in 2007 to the period when the administration of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" begins to fulfill recommendations of the Council of Europe aimed at conservation of biological diversity of the National Park.

Tatiana Trafimovich said that some recommendations have been implemented due to a joint effort of experts from "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", the National Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The Council of Europe has decided to extend the Diploma to September 30, 2018. "In the future the administration of "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is to perform an additional 11 recommendations for this area. So, for three years, it is necessary to adjust the National Park's Management Plan," the expert added.

The European Diploma is a special award granted to national parks, biosphere reserves and other protected natural and semi-natural areas of European importance for their outstanding achievements in the conservation of biological, geological and landscape diversity. This document is given to natural areas with high scientific, cultural and natural qualities.

The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" was inscribed onto a UNESCO's World Heritage Site in 1992. In 1993, the Park was given a status of biosphere reserve by UNESCO. In 1997, the Park was awarded the European Diploma for outstanding achievements in conservation of the wildlife of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

By Maria Dmitrieva
April 15, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Dossier for World Heritage

Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre Kishore Roa confirmed the receipt of the dossier prepared by the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and the Bialowieza National Park (Poland) for re-nomination of the Bialowieza Forest in the World Heritage List with the new criteria. According to the dossier, the boundaries of the World Heritage Site in national parks will be expand greatly.

Expanding the boundaries and re-nomination of the World Heritage Site in the Bialowieza Forest meets the technical requirements which are set out in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the Convention on the Protection of the World Heritage Site. According to paragraph 140 of the Guidelines, the Secretariat will examine the applied dossier for compliance with the requirements and send information to the appropriate advisory bodies. Sending concerns only those objects whose dossiers are duly completed and submitted by the deadline to February 1. A copy of the file from Belovezhskaya Pushcha is directed to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. His representatives, in turn, should organize an experts' mission to the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and the Bialowieza National Park.
April 15, 2013 Website "ANTRAKT.BY" Another four sites in Belarus may be inscribed on a UNESCO Heritage List

Olga Klavsut, a spokesman for the Belarusian National Statistics Committee, said that at the moment there is the prospect of four historic sites in Belarus to be inscribed on a UNESCO's List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

It was noted in the National Statistics Committee that the Kamenetskaya Tower, the church of the defense type in the village of Synkovichy, the Church of the Jesuits in Nesvizh, and the Gomel Palace and Park Complex are the Belarusian historical and cultural sites that could potentially be included in this prestigious list.

The UNESCO World Heritage List now includes such historic sites as the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", the Castle Complex in the town of Mir, the Architectural and Cultural Complex in Nesvizh (the Radziwill's former residence) and Doug Struve, 19 points of which are located in Belarus.

Problems of conservation of the world's cultural heritage are today highly relevant. In 1983, the General Assembly of UNESCO established the 18th April as a World Heritage Day. This Day, another name of it is "International Day for Monuments and Sites", aims to attract world attention to the protection of the world cultural heritage, because many problems are far from being resolved.
April 12, 2013 Website "Belsat TV" Video: Valery Dranchuk about the situation in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The national Biosphere Reserve Belovezhskaya Pushcha received this mark (a European Diploma) in 1997. But the validity of the Diploma was suspended in ten years because of environmental problems and the lack of the Management Plan for the Reserve. Fulfillment of the Council of Europe's recommendations took a few years. During this time, the administration has been changed and the National Park got reorientation of the management towards the tourism development, instead of timber processing. The new zoning of the National Park - the strictly protected area was almost doubled due to a decree of the President - helped take the positive decision. The fact that Belarus recently acceded to the Berne Convention on Conservation of European Wildlife had also the important role. Did the situation really change for the better and do the authorities in Belarus properly take care of one of the oldest forests of Europe?

(Video interview can be viewed on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3du_dDN-smg&feature=player_embedded, in Belarussian)
April 09, 2013 "Vecherniy Brest" (The Evening Brest) newspaper Belovezhskaya Pushcha to return a Diploma

There is a decision on the renewal of a European Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The Cabinet of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted the decision on the renewal of the European Diploma for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". This news that have been waiting for a long time came to the most titled Belarusian Reserve last week in the form of a letter signed by head of the Department of the General Secretariat of the Council of Europe Eladio Fernandez-Galiano. It reads: the Diploma is resumed in recognition of a significant progress made in recent years by the Belarusian authorities to implement a management plan for the territory and to enlarge the strictly protected zone of the National Park.

Recall that the highest award was given to the Reserve in 1997, but after 10 years the Diploma was suspended because of a number of violations in nature conservation. Experts of Council of Europe have called no management plan for the National Park as one of the main violations. The development of the plan with all the requirements from experts took more than a year. In February of 2012, the first issue was again discussed in Strasbourg at the annual meeting of the Expert Group on Protected Areas, and then additional information from the Polish and Belarusian sides was requested. It happened now - the European Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha extended to 30 September 2018. According to the Deputy Director General on Science of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Vasily Arnolbik, the key role for this decision was played by the new zoning of the National Park, approved by Presidential Decree of February 9, 2012 No 59. Thanks to it, the size of the Wilderness Protection Zone was almost doubled, covering a significant part of the relic, primeval forest in its historical borders. The recent accession of Belarus to the Convention on Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) also was considered by the European community as a great step forward. In accordance with the recommendations of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the National Park has to adjust the management plan with the new zoning within three years. "The validity of the Diploma is resumed only for the Belarusian part of the Bialowieza Forest,' Vasily Arnolbik said. "The Polish side is still working on the management plan for the Reserve." Recall that the Diploma has been suspended for the Belarusian and Polish reserves at the same time in 2007.

By Elena Tribuleva
April 09, 2013 "Sovetskaya Belorussia" (The Soviet Belorussia) newspaper The Council of Europe has confirmed the status of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The Committee of Ministers decided to extend a European Diploma of Protected Areas for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" for five years. The administration of the Park received the supporting documents from Strasbourg at the end of the week.

The European Diploma is a prestigious award, which marks the success of national parks and nature protected areas. This is the country's image in the conservation of natural ecosystems. True, there is no direct financial benefit from this award. The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" obtained the Diploma in 1997. However, its validity was suspended in 2007.

The Ministry of Environment Protection had to develop a management plan for the Park and to present it at a meeting of the Council of Europe Committee for Conservation of Biological and Landscape Diversity that to extend the Diploma. But the validity of the Diploma was not prolonged in 2012, despite almost all of the recommendations have been implemented.

Deputy Director General for Science Vasily Arnolbik believes that the Europeans finally appreciated the positive trends in the Park:
"We have made the expertise for the area and have applied a new functional zoning Ц the size of the strictly protected zone was doubled, from 30,000 to 57,000 hectares. Buffer areas were allocated. International experts positively evaluated not only environmental actions, but also measures to develop infrastructure and tourism."

Certainly, the recent accession of Belarus to the Convention on Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats - Bern Convention also played a certain role. This is a major step towards European standards of environmental protection.

Today the National Park is one of the most renowned of protected natural areas not only in our country but all over Europe. In 1992, UNESCO inscribed a part of the Forest onto a World Heritage List. A year later, the National Park obtained a status of Biosphere Reserve.

By Valentina Kozlovich
April 05, 2013 Website "Tomin.by" The Council of Europe proposed 11 recommendations to the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park

As TOMIN.BY reported, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided to extend a European Diploma of Protected Areas for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" for five years - until September 30, 2018. The National Park received a supporting document on April 4.

The prolongation of the prestigious European Diploma does not mean it is safe to rest on its laurels.

In accordance with the resolution of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, within three years the adjustment of the Management Plan for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" should be provided in accordance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of February 9, 2012 No 59, which approved the new zoning of the National Park.

In addition, any activities that may have negative consequences for the National Park and its integrity (including the Buffer Zone) should be subject to environmental impact assessment and should be agreed with the administration of the National Park.

In general, the Council of Europe's experts have proposed 11 recommendations for the Park's area.

After the assessment of the quality of the implementation of the recommendation, the decision will be made in 2018 Ц to renew the Diploma for the next 5 years or to suspend it.

By Tamara TIBOROVSKAYA
April 05, 2013 Website "Tomin.by" A European Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha to be extended. After so many years of waiting!

At the 1166th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies on 27 March 2013, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided to extend a European Diploma of Protected Areas for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" for five years - until September 30, 2018. The National Park received a supporting document on April 4.

This event was expected as much as 6 years! The National Park received the Diploma for the first time in 1997, becoming almost the most titled natural object in Europe (the UNESCO inscribed the part of the Forest on a List of World Heritage Sites in 1992 and the Park received a status of Biosphere Reserve in 1993).

But in 2002, when the question of the prolongation of the Diploma was on the agenda, a big scandal broke out. It was a difficult time for the National Park: layoffs of employees, the bark beetles' invasion and other troubles, which caused outrage among environmentalists. There was a lot of information in the media and on Internet sites about it.

The Diploma was not renewed in 2007. The Ministry of Environment Protection was to develop a Management Plan for the Park for the next 10 years and to submit it to the Committee of Conservation of Biological and Landscape Diversity of the Council of Europe by October 9, 2007. But it failed to prepare the plan for that time.

Even the events to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the establishing the nature protection status for the Forest did not convince the European experts about rewarding the Diploma for the Park.

It was hoped that the Diploma will be extended in 2012. Between 21 and 25 September 2011, the experts of the Council of Europe officially visited the National Park. The delegation consisted of Francoise Bauer (France), Secretary of the Department of Nature Protection of the Council of Europe, Professor Eckhart Kuijken (Belgium), an expert on the European Diploma of Protected Areas, and Ludmila Dimitrova (Bulgaria), an expert in management plans for protected natural areas. The visit was planned as part of the renewal of the European Diploma.

During the visit, the progress in the conservation of nature of the National Park and in other fields has been noted. It sounded promising Ц now is much more likely to return the European Diploma than in previous years. Next the Belarusian side began to refine the management plan for Belovezhskaya Pushcha with regard for CE recommendations. But it did not come true. The Diploma was not extended.

Many things have changed for the better in the National Park after the appointment of the new Director General Alexander Bury. This also applies to environmental measures. The main thing was almost doubling the size of the strictly protected zone. It was hard not to appreciate it.

By the way, the presence of the European Diploma does not give any financial preferences. It gives only prestige and recognition of achievements in environmental protection - not just in the National Park, but also in the country as a whole.

By Tamara TIBOROVSKAYA
April 05, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" A European Diploma to be extended

At the 1166th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies on 27 March 2013, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided to extend a European Diploma of Protected Areas for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" for the term of five years. The Diploma is renewed in recognition of a significant progress made in recent years by the Belarusian authorities to implement the management plan for the territory and to expand the Park's strictly protected area.

The recent accession of Belarus to the Convention on Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) is an additional positive step towards greater integration at the national level for the recognition the European standards of environmental protection.

The European Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha is extended to 30 September 2018.
April 05, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" For reforestation

This week the forestry areas of the National Park forest finished harvesting the forest seed material.

To collect seeds is a labor-intensive work. However, despite the vagaries of the weather, there were collected 6,420 kg of pine cones which are sent for processing to the National Selection and Seed Center.

About 90 kg of seeds will be produced from the collected material. That will continue to grow a good quality's planting material, not only for the needs of the National Park, but also for the sale. It is important that reforestation in the National Park will be conducted by using seedlings grown from local seeds. In 2013, reforestation of an area of over 700 hectares is planned.

April 04, 2013 Website "Naviny.by" Belovezhskaya Pushcha to get back a European Diploma

The validity of a European Diploma for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is renewed until September 30, 2018, as BelaPAN reports referring to the press service of the Belarusian embassy in France.

"By adopting this decision, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe confirmed compliance of the management ways for the National Park with the CE environmental standards," it is said in a statement.

The European Diploma is a prestigious award, which marks the success of national parks and nature reserves in the area of the environmental protection. The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has been awarded the Diploma in 1997, but in 2007, its validity has been temporarily suspended. The Belarusian side tried to get the renewal of the Diploma for more than five years.

In October of 2007, the Belarusian side had to present to the CE experts a Park's Management Plan for the next 10 years. It was a condition of the prolongation of the Diploma, but it failed to prepare the document by that date. Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the CE Committee on Conservation of Biological and Landscape Diversity where it explained the reasons for the delay in the preparation of the plan and ensured that the environmental and economic activities in "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" meets the requirements and recommendations of the Council of Europe.

The Committee took into account the explanations and postponed the matter to November 2007, then to the spring of 2008, to March 2009 and to March 2010, then the prolongation of the Diploma was postponed once again. The experts expressed their intention to personally visit the "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and to ensure that conservation activities in the Park are at the proper level. They also requested a translation of the full version of the Management Plan.

The Belarusian side expected to get a "half-solution" - to extend the CE Diploma for "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" conditionally for three years, but it failed to do so. Accordingly, measures were taken to strengthen the environmental management in the park. In particular, a Presidential Decree No 59 "On some issues of development of especially protected natural areas" was signed in February, which approved the extension of the strictly protected zone of the National ark "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

As noted in the Belarusian embassy in France, now there are 70 sites in 26 countries around the world awarded the European Diploma. In Belarus, in addition to "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve was awarded the Diploma.
April 01, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Practical training on forestry

From 26 to 30 March, a group of students who are members of the Scientific and Technical Society at the Moscow State Forest University underwent a practical training in the National Park. According to Associate P.Melnik, head of the training, the main goal is the study the form diversity of spruce in different types of forests of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

It should be noted that various provenance forms of spruce have been planted in the Solnechnogorsk Scientific-Experimental Forestry of the University in Moscow. Based on an analysis of the growth, plantations in the age of 20 started from seeds collected in Belovezhskaya Pushcha are most productive. This is why so strong interest of studying of spruce forest of Pushcha.

Director General of the National Park A.Bury informed the representative of the University about the development of educational and training base for practical training of students, post-graduate research training and implementation of joint research projects by using the infrastructure of the village of Voitov Bridge (Novoselkovskoe forest area). The Forest University invited to co-operate within the framework of an ongoing program of the International Summer Academy for students from Germany, Poland and Belarus.