NEWS ARCHIVE: MAY 2009

May 27, 2009 Website "Belteleradiocompany" Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park holds sixth place among natural wonders of the world under the forest nomination

These are the results of the contest organized by a team of enthusiasts of the New 7 Wonders Foundation. 261 natural sites from 222 countries are distributed amongst seven categories: landscapes, islands, mountains, volcanoes, national parks, forests and seas. In early July 21 finalists will be announced, out of which seven natural wonders will be selected.
May 26, 2009 Website "BelTA" Belovezhskaya Pushcha ranks sixth in Wonders of Nature shortlist

The Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park ranks sixth in the nomination “Forests, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries” of the Wonders of Nature Campaign, BelTA learnt from the information and public relations department of the President’s Property Management Directorate.

These are the results of the New 7 Wonders of Nature Internet Campaign that was launched in January 2009. New 7 Wonders Foundation, the Swiss not-for-profit organization, has selected 261 natural sights from 222 countries.

The voting on the website www.new7wonders.com will stay open till July 7. In July a group of experts will pick up 21 finalists. The new wonders of nature will be announced in 2011. Belarus is also presented in the rivers, lakes, waterfalls nomination (Dnieper is in the 31st place, and Naroch Lake 36th position).

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the world’s oldest natural reserves. In 1992 UNESCO included it in the World Heritage List. The national park was awarded the status of a biosphere reserve in 1993 and a special diploma of the Council of Europe in 1997.
May 19, 2009 Website "Naviny.by" An European Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha most likely will be prolonged

In the near future the decision concerning the prolongation of the European Diploma for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" will be accepted, the head of the Department of Wilderness Protection at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection Vitaliy Korenchuk has said during the press conference in Minsk on May 19, BelaPAN informs.

The European Diploma is a prestigious award which marks successes of national parks and reserves in the field of nature protection. Belovezhskaya Pushcha has obtained it in 1997.

In October of 2007, the Belarusian party should present to the CE experts the management plan for the Park which is a necessary condition for renewal of the Diploma. However, by this term the plan was failed to be prepared. The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has submitted a letter to the CE Committee on Conservation of Biological and Landscape Diversity in which reasons of the delay of preparation of the plan were explained. There was also affirmed that nature protection and economic activities in Belovezhskaya Pushcha meet all requirements and recommendations of the Council of Europe. The Committee has taken explanations of the Belarusian party into account and has rescheduled consideration on this issue by November of 2007, and then by spring of 2008, and later by March of 2009.

Vitaliy Korenchuk has informed that the management of Belovezhskaya Pushcha has presented the management plan in March at the regular session of the Working Group on European Diploma for Protected Natural Territories at the Permanent Committee on the Bern Convention in Strasbourg. The plan was authorized at the national level. The CE experts have asked to give them two months for consideration of the document. "We are wait for their decision", Vitaliy Korenchuk has emphasized.

The representative of the Ministry of nature protection expects that the CE Diploma will be prolonged for Belovezhskaya Pushcha. "We have executed all requirements of the Council of Europe", he has said. Besides, Belarus has undertaken an additional obligation to enlarge the area of strictly protected zone nearly twice as much. In Korenchuk's opinion, the positive conclusion of the international expert from Bulgaria who was personally engaged in the study of the plan testifies about likely prolongation of the CE Diploma.

At the same time, Vitaliy Korenchuk has noted that the CE experts "try to state" that the Diploma will be prolonged only in the case if Belarus will join the Bern Convention on Conservation of Fauna and Flora and Natural Landscapes. The Belarusian party resolutely objects to it. In Korenchuk's opinion, the joining to that or other agreement should be on the voluntary base.
May 19, 2009 Website "TUT.BY" Bison certification to be postponed

Bison certification was planed to be starting in 2009. However, this measure alongside with others which are a part of the plan of actions for 2009-2013 to conserve bison as a biological species with the greatest possible genetic variety in Belarus should be suspended in connection with the global financial and economic crisis. Vitaliy Korenchuk hopes that the financing of the plan will be renewed in 2010.

As he said special passports for bison should contain detailed information on genetic characteristics of every animal. The certification is aimed to prevent closely-related interbreeding in the bison population which causes deterioration of the immune system of the animals and their gradual degeneration. When the information about the characteristics of every animal is available there is an opportunity artificially to create herds from bison which are similar on genetic parameters to a minimum extant and are capable to give the most healthy posterity.

Vitaliy Korenchuk has noted that the monitoring of the bison population is in progress. Now Belarus is the second country in the world, after Poland, concerning the quantity of these animals. At that their number grew last years. By early 2008, more than 780 bison was totalled in the country çóáðîâ (730 - by early 2007, 443 - in 2001).

Anastasia Yanushevskaya, BelaPAN
May 11, 2009 Website "BelTA" Belovezhskaya Pushcha to get an arms and flag

A mark-emblem and a flag of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" are authorized by the Heraldic council of the Department on Archives and Office-work at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus, the Deputy Director General for Science of Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park Vasily Arnolbik has informed the BelTA's reporter about it.

As he said Marina Elinskaya, member of the Heraldic council, is an author of the project on Belovezhskaya Pushcha's symbolism. She also provided its heraldic maintenance. The art decision belongs to Victor Lyakhor from the of Brest. Scientific employees of the National Park have also taken part in the development of the project's concept.

The official flag of the Reserve represents a light rectangular panel which lateral parts are framed in half-spruce-tree. In the central part of the panel, two native dwellers of Belovezhskaya Pushcha – bison and deer - hold a board (small arms) on the background of oak tree with a magnificent crone.

Vasily Arnolbik has informed that the art decision of the symbolism of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is based on historical materials. It is precisely found in illustrations of the book "Belovezhskaya Pushcha. 1803-1903" by George Kartsev, one of the main chroniclers of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, and a master of hounds of the Tsar Nikolai II and a chamberlain of His Imperial Majesty's Court Yard. The book was issued in 1903.

The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has got the mark-emblem and the flag on the eve of the 600th anniversary since first nature protection in Belovezhskaya Pushcha which is planned for this autumn. The eminent Reserve has already received an appropriate certificate on registration of the heraldic symbolism and is henceforth going widely to use it for design of souvenir production devoted to the anniversary in the National Park. The symbolism of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is already present on a new tourist map of Belovezhskaya Pushcha issued this year.

Olga Kobyak
May 06, 2009 Website "The Ever Changing West" Belarus constructing a tunnel for frogs

Belarus has begun construction of an underground crossing in a national park to facilitate safe passage of frogs. The so-called "frog tunnel" in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park will be built with three tubes 50 meters long apart to provide a path for frogs and toads to cross the road as they are often hit by cars and buses on the busy road. Now this nice gesture is certainly a "wake-up" call for others too.
May 06, 2009 Website "Votpusk.ru" Poland is waiting for the effect from participation in the New 7 World Wonders of Nature Campaign

The Swiss not-for-profit organization "New 7 Wonders Foundation" has launched the web-competition to create a list of the new 7 world natural wonders. The foundation doing it calls upon to use all means including the cinema, TV, Internet and the press for propagation of nature protection. The voting on the website www.new7wonders.com will stay open by July 7. 77 natural sights of 261 nominees which get the maximum of votes will be selected. Then a group of experts will pick up 21 finalists and will announce their names on July 21.

The region of Great Mazury Lakes and the protected Bialowieza Forest, the last was proposed for the competition together with Belarus, were entered in the list of the Swiss foundation as the Polish candidates. Taking into account the global scale of the competition, the fact for two Polish natural objects to find themselves in the prestigious group of the finalists would already become a huge success. In this case they would essentially increase to be recognizable in the world of tourism. The Polish Tourist Organization together with the marshal managements of the Podliasie and Warminski-Mazurskie provinces coordinate the advancement of the Polish participants of the competition and calls upon actively to vote for them.

RATA-news
May 04, 2009 Website "BELTA" Presidential Heraldic Council to participate in Grunwald Battle celebrations

The Presidential Heraldic Council will take part in the preparation for the celebration of the victory of the united troops of the Great Principality of Lithuania and Poland over the Teutonic Order’s knights in the Battle of Grunwald on July 15, 1410, Marina Yelinskaya, secretary of the council, told BelTA on May 4.

“It is a very important event for Belarus and we will not stay away from it,” she said.

According to Marina Yelinskaya, the Heraldic Council took an active part in the creation of the heraldry for the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Reserve which will celebrate its 600th anniversary this year. “The Heraldic Council has designed emblems, flags, standards, badges. They will hit the market soon and will be in popular demand,” the secretary of the council added.

The Presidential Heraldic Council was founded in August 2002. The main goal of the council is to develop heraldic symbols for the Belarusian settlements and administrative-territorial entities. According to Marina Yelinskaya, at present, some 49 settlements of the Vitebsk oblast have their own emblems, 31 settlements – in the Brest oblast, 38 – in the Gomel oblast, 25 – in the Grodno oblast, 32 – in the Minsk oblast, 31 – in the Mogilev oblast.

“At present the Belarusian national matricula numbers 150 territorial emblems and flags, 60 of which were established by the monarchs of the Great Principality of Lithuania and the Russian Empire,” Marina Yelinskaya noted.

All in all, some 1031 heraldic symbols have been registered in this country.