July 10, 2002 «Byelorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta» (The Byelorussian business newspaper) Newspaper, #1187 The next «center of Europe»

In July, 8 the general director of the UNESCO arrived to Minsk. That is his first official visit in Belarus. Mr. Koitiro Matsuura is going to meet the President and cabinet members and the Belarusian Authours Union management. Then Mr. Koitiro Matsuura will visit Mir castle to see a memorial plaque which says that the castle was included in the World Cultural Heritage List of the UNESCO.

At the meeting in the National Library Mr. Koitiro Matsuura announced that there is an opportunity to build the third biosphere reserve in Belarus in Polesie region. Nowadays there are Berezinski Biosphere Reserve and Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Meanwhile, writer Svetlana Aleksievich, ornithologist Vladimir Datskevich, academician Radim Goretsky, poet Nil Hilevich, the chief editor of «Belovezhskaya Pushcha» newspaper Valery Dranchuk, professor Leonid Lych, Belarusian Council in FRD (1992–1994 ) Petr Sadovsky and professor Stanislav Shushkevich called on international community to take care of the National Park which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992. The call was dated to Mr. Koitiro Matsuura arrival.

The address says that Belovezhskaya Pushcha which is one of reserved and globally recognized place of operand environmental assets now became a forest for industry. Now it is a site of permanently expanding logging and other black business. It is so-called easy money rush. And the rush has no end. Authorities that are responsible for Belovezhskaya Pushcha are selling out forest to enrich their shadow budget and masking their greediness with international awards and high titles.

As the example the address appeals to location of high-powered sawmill in the center of Belovezhskaya Pushcha in 1999. This barbaric project was reinforced by last year initiative of administration of the Park. It was decided to implement clear sanitary cuttings at the area of seven compartments of the Park. This action breaks all codes of behavior in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Financial activity of the Park is inaccessible to public. This situation is more and more uncontrolled in nowadays policy of Belarusian government. Public opinion is ignored or demagogically eased by government mass media.

Public members hold present state of affairs breaks conditions of the International Convention of protection of the world cultural and natural heritage. They appeal to international society to carry out an investigation in the Park and to specify real state of affairs in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.