NEWS ARCHIVE: June 2005

June 24, 2005 "Minski Kuryer" (The Minsk Courier) Newspaper, No 654 Nature protected by law

Ten Belarusian sites were included in the European network of the key botanical areas.

The partly Reserved Area "Light-blue Lakes" (Minsk region) where 12 lakes characterized by a specific stuff composition and the light-blue colour of water are located wihin the area of 1,500 hectares, the partly Reserved Hydrological Area "Elnya" (Vitebsk region) - one of the largest in Europe marsh areas, the Height "Gorodokskaya" (Vitebsk region) characterized by a unique landscape, the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" (Brest region) where patches of once vast lowland broadleaf woods with relic plants have been preserved, the National Park "Pripyatski" (Gomel region) where there are all types of woods and bogs which are characteristic for the Polessie area are recognized the unique in the frame of the continent. The Berezinski Biosphere Reserve (Vitebsk region) where 800 species of plants, 250 species of mosses and 200 species of lichens grow, the Polesski State Radiological Reserve (Gomel region) consisted mainly of broadleaf woods and valley-flooded ecosystems of the river of Pripyat with the unique for Belarus water and coastal vegetation communities, the partly Reserved Area "Sopotzkinski" (Grodno region) biological diversity of which was originated under a strong influence of the Atlantic ocean, the partly Reserved Area "Nalibokskaya Pushcha" known due to its high species diversity, and Svislochsko-Berezinski century broadleaf forest area where the creation of the National Park is under consideration are also became the key botanical territories.

The unique sites on the continent are recognized: the partly Reserved Area "Light-blue Lakes" (Minsk region) where 12 lakes characterized by a specific stuff composition and the light-blue colour of water; the partly Reserved Hydrological Area "Elnya" (Vitebsk region) - - one of the largest in Europe marsh areas; the Height "Gorodokskaya" (Vitebsk region) characterized by a unique landscape; the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" (Brest region) where patches of once vast lowland broadleaf woods with relic plants have been preserved; the National Park "Pripyatski" (Gomel region) where there are all types of woods and bogs typical the Polessie. The Berezinski Biosphere Reserve (Vitebsk region) where 800 species of plants, 250 species of mosses and 200 species of lichens grow, the Polesski State Radiological Reserve (Gomel region) consisted mainly of broadleaf woods and valley-flooded ecosystems of the river of Pripyat with the unique for Belarus water and coastal vegetation communities, the partly Reserved Area "Sopotzkinski" (Grodno region) biological diversity of which was originated under a strong influence of the Atlantic ocean, the partly Reserved Area "Nalibokskaya Pushcha" famous due to its high species diversity, and Svislochsko-Berezinski century broadleaf forest area where the creation of the National Park is under consideration are also became the key botanical territories.

The European criteria accepted by the International organization of plant protection "The Planet Europe" three years ago were the basis for selection of key botanical areas. Three basic attributes were taken into consideration as the sites have been inspected. So, the experts on botany drew attention to flora which is rare not only in Belarus but also in Europe. Specificity of ecosystems was also taken into account: woods with rare species composition, valley-flooded forests, bogs, lakes and small river systems were under special attention. The third criterion was the total diversity and the number of species. The necessity of selection of the key botanical territories in Europe has arisen in 1995 as the comprehension of formation of the qualitatively different system of protected natural areas on the continent. The projects on selection of the key sites are under realization in Great Britain, Greece, Czech, Sweden, Estonia, Slovenia and Turkey. Belarus was chosen for realization of the pilot project in this region in 2002 as the first country in East Europe. The project is carried out in the Institute of Experimental Botany of the National Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection and supported by the International nature protection organization "Plantalife" and IUCN.

The project is carried out in the Institute of Experimental Botany of the National Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection and supported by the International nature protection organization "Plantalife" and IUCN. The development of the management plans for the listed above natural territories will be the second stage of the project.

Natalia MILOSERDOVA
June 17, 2005 The Website "Forest Survey" Poland: Bialowieza Forest accepts ecotourists

The woods of the Bialowieza Forest located to the east of Poland bring European ecotourists at least in the Middle Age. Visitors from France, Great Britain and other European countries can see here the shapes of woods within the territory of these countries like they looked some centuries ago.

Mighty old-age woods of the Bialowieza Forest have been inscribed on a List of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. 4500 species of plants grow in this wood. Animals including the population of 400 bison are adornment of the wood. At first the Bialowieza Forest served Polish kings, then Russian tsars as the hunting ground. By 1920, bison was almost completely annihilated. Nevertheless, the measures undertaken for restoration of the wild bison's population allowed to save it not only in zoos but also in wild nature.

A site of the area of 5,000 ha where any forest management is not in progress since 1921 is heart of the Bialowieza Forest. Its visiting is allowed only being guided from the national park on foot and by horse. Other area of the Bialowieza Forest is authorized to move on bicycles, by horses, canoe and trains.
June 10, 2005 "Byelorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta" (The Byelorussian business newspaper) Newspaper, No 1533 Caution - blood-suckers

Tick's encephalitis and Lima disease, infectious diseases with infection caused by ticks' stings, show the yearly growth of number of disease cases in Belarus for the fife last years. In connection with the prognosis growth of activity of creeping and flying blood-suckers in June of this year, experts of the Ministry of Health ask the people to be careful with open parts of body as the visiting a forest.

According to the head-epidemiologist of the Ministry of Health Anatoly Kozhemyakin, ninety-two areas have been made known the dangerous in Belarus because of tick's encephalitis and hundred four areas are dangerous because of Lima disease. Districts within the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's borders consider being the most dangerous.

Alexander BARNATOVICH
June 10, 2005 "Minski Kuryer" (The Minsk Courier) Newspaper, No 642 Building the "Silichi" and other objects

The head of the state Alexander Lukashenko received the Manager of the Property Management Department of the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Kulichkov with a report. The president was reported about the situation on building the second line of the National alpine skiing centre "Silichi", in particular the line for snowboard and objects for social purpose.

The head of the state was informed about work of the international none-marked pass for pedestrians "Bialowieza - Pererov" which started its operation over month ago in the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Its appearance caused a considerable increasing the amount of foreign tourists visiting this reserve.

For the purposes of development of road net, improvement of communications between built-up areas and creation of conditions to increase a flow of tourists the decision on target financing the road construction in the national parks "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and "Pripyatski" subordinated to the President's Property Management Department was taken.

Alexander Lukashenko charged to develop a complex of measures on development of the advertising in view of national interests.

Alina GRISHKEVICH
June 02, 2005 "Narodnaya Volya" (The People's Will) Newspaper, No 104 Detentions are in the National Park "Braslav Lakes"...

Like before, inspectors of the regional and national offices of public prosecutor still work in the National Park "Braslav Lakes" which is under subordination of the President's Property Management Department. The first arrested are already available. The former director of the Park and the head of one of the Park's departments were charged with abuse of duty power...

The history regarding the abusing in the National Park "Braslav Lakes" had a sensational origin. In the early April there was announced all over the country that Alexander Lukashenko ordered to create a special commission to check in details up on the activity of the Park's administration and personally Vladimir Senkovskiy, Park's director. The assistant of the President and the main inspector on Vitebsk region Zenon Lomot headed the commission.

One week later, the fact of bringing a criminal action against some persons has been known. Inspectors from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National office of public prosecutor arrived to Braslav. The inspectors took an interest in construction of cottages in the protected zone. The fact of property of expensive weapon and several cars by some workers of the National Park also provoked the inspectors to pose many questions. This caused talking about rough infringements in fishery and hunting in the Park which were conducted the year round - supposedly not all visitors paid the available services. The Park's workers began to tell in open form about how high-ranked officials from Minsk liked to be sweated in saunas of Braslav Lakes. The former head of the President's Property Management Department Galina Zhuravkova especially liked to have rest in the open air...

Then however information from Braslav Lakes got a category of "top secret". The press-service of the national office of public prosecutor turned down proposals of journalists to give any information on the criminal inquiry referring to the secrecy of investigation.

However we managed to find out that the former director of the Park Vladimir Senkovskiy, who was discharged of the post by the decision of the presidential commission, disappeared. The Park's workers assumed that there were reasons to be afraid. He was one of those who have constructed a cottage within the protected zone, although he has had time to sell it before the criminal proceedings was instituted...

Nevertheless Mr Senkovskiy is in isolator of the Ministry of Internal Affair now. There rumored that the former chief of nature protection institution came to the office of public prosecutor and began to testify of own free will.

Last week the head of the Department of Fauna Protection and Hunting Ground Oleg Selyaha was subpoenaed in Minsk for interrogation. He did not come back to Braslav yet. Mr Selyaha was detained during interrogation. He was charged with the abuse of duty powers...

Other workers of the National Park in Braslav also regularly visit the inspectors of regional and national offices of public prosecutor to be interrogating. The many are afraid that new surnames can appear in a list of the detained...

Vladimir Senkovskiy headed the National Park "Braslav Lakes" over five and a half of years. But controllers from various supervising bodies never revealed any infringements in the Park for these five years. Why just now did they start talking about the abuse in the nature protection institution? Is it really controllers from Minsk did not know what is going on in Braslav Lakes? But the National Park is a body of the Property Management Department of the President of the Republic of Belarus. Probably these facts became a case to write a collective letter signed by the workers of the Park and to address it to the chairman of the presidential commission Zenon Lomot and to the inspector of the national office of public prosecutor Mr Ershov. Thirty four workers asked carefully to look into the situation in the Park and do not call to responsibility the "little men" while to identify the "truly guilty", those officials from the presidential administration who supervise the National Park.

Olga GRINEVITSKAYA
June 01, 2005 "Assembly of Belarusian NGOs" Melioration threatens Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The representatives if the Initiative group "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - 21 Century declares that drainage threaten unique trees in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

According to the independent ecologists, local agricultural enterprises of the Pruzhany district have the most interest of drainage works because they own meliorated lands adjacent to Belovezhskaya Pushcha's areas. General director of the State Enterprise "Brestmeliovodhoz" (Brest Melioration Enterprise) Nickolai Klimovich tries to be justified that he has a positive conclusion of an ecological examination. However the experts from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection are more careful to estimate the situation. The representatives if the Initiative group Belovezhskaya Pushcha - 21 Century" consider the last events as the testimony of insufficient professional and business competence of those who today manages Belovezhskaya Pushcha and takes responsibility to preserve it.
June 01, 2005 "Argumenty i Facty v Belarusi" (The Arguments and Facts in Belarus) newspaper, No 22 Season of ticks in the Brest region

Since the beginning of this year the Lime disease (transferred by encephalitic ticks) has been found by twelve people. In May three inhabitants of the Pruzhany and Kamenetz districts got a diagnosis of tick's encephalitis.

According to information of the regional center of hygiene, epidemiology and public health, summer months show a pick of tick's activity - not only people but also insects like warmth. The lasts are very active in Belovezhskaya Pushcha (Pruzhani and Kamenets districts), Bereza and Malorita districts. Everyone visiting a nature must follow himself the precautionary measures - to cover head, neck and shoulders by dress and to use repellents because a vaccine against Lime disease does not exist. For those who visit the forest quite often it is recommended to take an inoculation against the tick's encephalitis.