NEWS ARCHIVE: AUGUST 2006

August 30, 2006 "Naviny Kamyanechchyny" (The Kamenetz’s News) Newspaper, No 75 To a Grandfather Frost to have a lesson

The 1st September Knowledge Day will go not only in schools but also in other educational institutions. A Belarusian Grandfather Frost invites children to take part in such the measure of the first day of September for the first time. He together with his fantastic assistants will give "a wood lesson" in a manor in Belovezhskaya Pushcha at 2 pm. There will be cheerful and interesting. Prizes will wait for those who have much knowledge and will win in competitions and games.
August 29, 2006 Website "Saint Nickolai's Orthodox Parish in Bialowieza" Data about movement through the border crossing in Bialowieza

Interesting data concerning movement of the people through the border crossing in Bialowieza - Pererov is published on the website of Podlaskie Branch of Frontier Guard Service. According to available information, in July, 2006 624 persons have used the crossing in Bialowieza. The most of those were the foreigners coming or leaving Poland, accordingly 264 and 235 persons. The number of the Polish inhabitants who used the crossing has not exceeded 140 persons. There were confiscated illicit alcohol and cigarettes for the sum of over 622 Zlotys.

The international road border crossing Bialowieza - Pererov has begun its operation since April 16, 2005. Later it was added with a new magnificent building. The crossing is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (from April 01 to September 30), and from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the period from October 01 to March 31.

Michal Korch
Source of information: www.podlaski.strazgraniczna.pl
August 29, 2006 "Sovetskaya Byelorussia" (The Soviet Byelorussia) Newspaper, No 161 Sport is ambassador of the country!

(Interview to Alexander Grigorov, Minister of Sport and Tourism)

… The Ministry of Municipal Economy together with executive committees realizes measures on reconstruction of 60 hotels in 19 tourist zones which can accept about 10,000 tourists. Objects inscribed on a UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites are of special attention. Reconstruction of an available hotel and construction of a new one are planned in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". …

Sergei KAPUSTIN

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The news is put in the short-cutting form.
The Website News Service "BP – 21 Century"
August 22, 2006 Website news service The international Project "Pushcha for bicycles" to start in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

In August, 2006 the international Project "Pushcha for bicycles" has being launched in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The Project was prepared by the WWF's (World Wild Found for the living planet) Bialowieza regional office (Poland) together with the Brest Geographical Society (Belarus) within the framework of the Pogram "Euro-region "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" which will provide a basic source of financing. The aim of the Project, according to the Project's Polish leader Stefan Jakimiuk who gave an interview to the website news service, is elaboration and realization of a new concept of development of tourism in Belovezhskaya Pushcha with priority given up to bicycle and pedestrian tourism, instead of cars' one, and to ecological education, instead of entertainments.

A bicycle tour in the vicinities of Belovezhskaya Pushcha organized 11th to 14th August became the first stage of this Project. About 80 people from various cities and areas of Poland and Belarus were the members of the bicycle-tour. Four groups of the bicycle-tourists started from different parts of Pushcha and gathered on August 12 in Bialowieza, administrative centre of the Bialowieza National Park, where a concert of the folklore group "Czeremszyna" and the duet of world's ancient songs "Luna" for support of the Project was held in the evening.

On August 13, excursions of the participants of the bicycle-tour were carried out to visit the protected zone of the Bialowieza National Park, Museum of nature and vicinities of the village of Bialowieza. In the village of Grudki within an evening "camp-fire" with the traditional for the Poles frying sausages, the results of the bicycle-tour were put together, competitions were carried out and the further program was specified.

The Polish participants of the bicycle-tour consider the beginning of the Project rather successful. "That bicycle paradise which we have organized within four days (11 to 14th August 2006) in Pushcha and its vicinities is only a part of a bigger project. Within the framework of this project we plan to issue copies of the advertising and informational context, special supplements to newspapers, posters, and we want to develop a strategy. Maybe it will be not complete but, at least, the ground of the strategy, concept and vision of how this kind of tourism to develop will be done", Stefan Jakimiuk said. It remained only to be happy for success of the Polish colleagues.

As regards to the Belarusian part of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the situation concerning the beginning of the public Project does not cause very positive emotions. It is enough to mention that the simple passage of the Belarusian group to Poland through the Belarusian part of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, to the simplified border crossing "Pererov" located at the centre of Pushcha, was arranged by inconceivable bureaucratic obstacles and inventions. The participants were forced to write an application to get sanction for passing to the border, to make a fare for conveying and to take a guide who was obliged to conduct the excursion! Besides, it was not possible to gather even 10 people from the village of Kamenyuki, in which about 1,300 inhabitants live and where there were no cultural programs during many years, to join the bicycle tour. This fact testifies to serious cultural degradation and demoralization of the local population of the Belarusian part of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, as a consequence of the wrong and abnormal politics provided by the administration of the National Park. It was already repeatedly written about this on the pages of the site "Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21th Century".

Heorhi Kazulka

See: Photo-reporting: the bicycle-tour on August 11 – 14, 2006
August 11, 2006 Website "TUT.BY" Wild hunting of a former woodcutter from Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Ivan Abramchuk, former woodcutter of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", became proficient in catching animals using metal loops and setting them across paths.

One of his last huntings ended catching a wild boar which was suffocated by a loop of the poacher. The woodcutter had not time to produce a sausage from the animal before militia appeared unexpectedly in his house.

The court examination of the Abramchuk's "successful" hunting has turned to his personal budget by strong impact. A public prosecutor of the Kamenetz district demanded the poacher to recover the damage of 5,580,000 Roubles all in all in favour of the National Park. The court fined him 930,000 Roubles for illegal hunting. Legal expenses and state tax cost 575,500 Roubles. The price of the Pushcha's wild boar has exceeded seven millions Roubles (~ $ 3,400) for the woodcutter.

Newspaper "Respublica"
August 08, 2006 Website "Charter'97" Two Belarusian "green" parties under threat of liquidation

The Belarusian Ecological Party "Green" and the Belarusian Party "Green" turned out in field of vision of justice. The Ministry of Justice is going to examine the membership and quantity of the sub-bodies of the organization, the Radio "German Wave" broadcasted.

According to Oleg Gromyko, Chairman of the Belarusian Party "Green", the Ministry of Justice has already pronounced a caution on the eve of the last president election's campaign. The caution was for stationing the sub-bodies' offices in residential buildings that is already under legislative prohibition over one year. By the way, the Belarusian Party "Green" was the first political organization which proposed Alexander Milinkevich as a potential candidate of presidential election from the united opposition.

According to Mr Gromyko, the Party has no possibilities, first of all financial ones, to change legal addresses of the offices and locate them into uninhabited buildings. A head-office of the "Green" Party located in the city of Gomel is a private property by Mr Gromyko. But according to legislation, a political party is obliged to have the sub-bodies in the majority of the regions and in the capital of Minsk. The Belarusian Ecological Party "Green" has the similar problems.

Despite the fact that Belarus turned out to be the most polluted because of nuclear radiation due to the Chernobyl accident, "greens" are actually of no importance, neither in politics nor in public life.

"We made a lot of appeals to authorities and mass-media with request to carry out training seminars and other ecological actions. However, we got to be offered either to praise the authorities or to mind our own business. When we are talking to the people we see that they are worry about ecological problems and closely concern to them. However, the problem is the people including members of our party do not get good life but just survive. They are therefore indifferent to a certain extent, while the authorities use this factor. Resettling territories polluted by radiation is the good example", Chairman of the Belarusian Party "Green" Oleg Gromyko said.

Ecologist Valery Dranchuk considers that the constitutional right to a healthy way of life and normal environment remains to be declaration in Belarus. He put the following example:

"When I have come to the National Reserve "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" to check up on the condition of woods, I was actually deported from there. Neither the authorities nor, unfortunately, the opposition consider the ecological theme as a serious resource. This is the big strategic mistake".

According to Valery Dranchuk, after the "green" parties will be liquidated, we will only then become familiar from press with their existence. Politicians must do so that the society will seriously become to be interested in environmental issues and will properly take them under control, Valery Dranchuk concluded.

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The expert's comment

It is hard to reject the above mentioned arguments that the "green" parties get a difficult situation in Belarus and have no support from state authoritative bodies. Nevertheless, the virtual activity, one more factor which makes difficulties for public activity of the announced "green" parties, is obvious, though impartial for "greens" themselves. The citation from the news "Despite the fact that Belarus turned out to be the most polluted because of nuclear radiation due to the Chernobyl accident, "greens" are actually of no importance, neither in politics nor in public life" correctly confirms this statement.

All of us are aware of the fact that in the advanced democratic countries the "green" movement is associated, first of all, with such the organization as Greenpeace. Moreover, if back to the history of this movement, its appearance and development occurred in the western countries not so much in the frame of friendship to authorities as in struggle against the authorities to preserve national nature.

As for Belarus, the approach of the leaders of the "green" parties is expressed by the phrase they said "We made a lot of appeals to authorities and mass-media with request to carry out training seminars and other ecological actions …". Please, notice they did not require but appealed, that means they asked. The authorities, naturally, refused their requests. After this all got to rest content with what has been achieved.

Go in the street of the capital or regional centre, not to mention a Belarusian rural area, and ask the passers whether they heard anything about Belarusian "green" parties? The answer will be unequivocal – no one of 99.99 percents knew and heard anything. As for me, being engaged in ecological problems within two ten years, I got first information about the existence of these parties in Belarus some years ago, and that was done casually.

Thus, the principal problem concerning absence of the "green" parties in the real Belarusian political life, as I see it, doesn't consists in objective difficulties, including the artificially created by authorities, but in inability of their leaders to provide large-scale work and to mobilize the general public in order to preserve nature and to solve ecological problems. This was already described in detail in the article "Green bazaar, or why the Belarusian ecologists did not support an action to protect Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

The words from the above published news "Politicians must do so that the society will seriously become to be interested in environmental issues…" is one more fact to confirm the given conclusion. It follows from this that own work on rising ecological activity of the Belarusian population (this is the large-scale and very difficult work!) is again shifted off the responsibility on to another persons, this case isn't on to authorities but to politicians. If it's so, what will the ecologists be engaged in than? Only to chatter and advertise own virtual brands?

As a conclusion, I should like to put a quotation by philosopher Emmanuel Kant which is very suitable for this situation "The one who does not follow the truth in life, for which he calls on everyone, is the biggest enemy of this truth".

Heorhi Kazulka, Ph.D of Biology
Coordinator of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21 Century's Project
August 03, 2006 Website "TUT.BY" The Belarusian scientists develop documents on possible allowing hunting for bear and lynx in the country

A so-called binary status which allows the hunting for protected species of animals can be given to bears, lynxes and badgers living in Belarusian woods, "Interfax" News Agency was informed from the Research Institute of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

According to information from the Research Institute, "bison is currently under this binary status in Belarus. This species is a protected animal. It is listed in a Red Data Book. However, bison is under permission for hunting". The scientists declare that "the number of bears, lynxes and badgers increased in Belarus last years that makes basis for scientific researches concerning the opportunity of hunting for them avoiding any damage to the quantity of their populations".

"Allowing the hunting for bears will be favourable to the state from the economic point of view too. A trophy of this animal was always attractive to the hunters", there was noted in the Research Institute of Zoology of the Academy of Sciences. A plan on management of populations of bears, lynxes and badgers living in the country will be developed in order to substantiate expediency of hunting, there was said in the Research Institute, having specified that their inventory will be conducted in the near future. "The scientists will count the quantity of specimens of bears, lynxes and badgers which live in Belarus, and shall call the number of animals which can be eliminated during a hunting period avoiding damage to their populations", a zoologist said. Talking about regulation of the population of lynxes in Belarusian woods, the scientist informed that "in connection with considerable increasing the population of this animal last years, the huntsmen began to sound the alarm that this predator become to threaten decreasing the number of partridges, hares and other small-sized animals".

About 150 specimens of brown bear which is listed in the Red Data Book are now totaled in Belarus. They commonly live in the Berezinski Biosphere Reserve, and in the northeast area of the country. The adult animals of bears living in Belarus weigh about 120-150 kg on an average and are not considered the largest among the representatives of this species. As for lynxes, according to preliminary estimations, they are now over one thousand specimens in number in Belarus.

Website www.from-ua.com

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The expert's comment

The news comprises a plenty of absurdities. The only is clear that an order to "scientifically" ground the earning hard currency in the future by providing hunting trips with participation of the foreign hunters was given to the Research Institute of Zoology.

150 bears are very similar to be true (I think their number is really 120 – 130 animals) but is it really so numerous? How many animals could be eliminated? If to think from the point of preservation of nature, the answer is ZERO!

As to 1,000 lynxes, this is the delirium of the crazy. I cannot find other words. Who personally met a lynx in the natural environment? In 1999 there were 250 specimens of this very careful crepuscular animal. Each lynx needs a wood area of approximately 100 sq. km for hunting's purpose. Let's multiply by 1,000 specimens. Let's take into account that a wood after sanitary cuttings, forest maintenance and thinning is unfit for habitation of lynx. Where do we have so much untouched or nearly untouched woods like Belovezhskaya Pushcha, suitable as an environment for such the quantity of lynx? And what were the reasons as suddenly to be increased in number of lynxes by 400 percent as to consider it the catastrophe? They are not rats or at least hares!

Badger is even so a victim of autumn hunting by the poachers to gain ostensibly curative fat. It remains only to make it legal.

I think it is necessary to call for taking this overall ugly process of hunting for the red-book-listed species under the public control. The inventory of the quantity of the animals should be done as the first step. The public should take all under control. Otherwise, lynxes and bears will being remained in books only in the form of pictures to see by our children.

Grigory Fedorov,
Lawyer-ecologist, Minsk city
August 03, 2006 "Respublika"(The Republic) newspaper, No 140 Belovezhskaya Pushcha, a border and fire

The Polish firemen from the frontier town of Belsk-Podliask have visited their colleagues in the towns of Kamenetz and Pruzhany. They interested in how the district departments on extreme situations are ready to fight wood fire and told about what is doing on the Polish side of Belovezhskaya Pushcha for the purpose of fire-prevention. The Polish and Belarusian firemen have agreed upon coordination of preventive actions on both sides of the border. Meetings were held in the framework of the program of the European Union focused on uniting efforts of the frontier regions of two countries in order to protect the unique natural monument.

Fedor MUHA
August 01, 2006 The Initiative group of the Project "Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21 Century" A new design of the website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21st Century"

Dear visitors and colleagues!

We are glad to inform you that after some period of reconstruction the website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21st Century" started its operation already newly being designed what you can see through the visiting the web pages. For comparison, the old design of the website looked like it is shown on the old main page index_old.html.

The editor of the website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21st Century"