NEWS ARCHIVE: AUGUST 2007

August 29, 2007 Website "TUT.BY" The Supreme Court has liquidated the Belarusian Ecological Green Party "BEG"

The Supreme Court has satisfied a suit of the Ministry of Justice on liquidation of the Belarusian Ecological Green Party "BEG" on August 29.

The Supreme Court has supported reasons of the Ministry of Justice that the "BEG" actually has stopped its activities. In particular, the Party has not brought its work into the line with changes and additions to the Law "On political parties" which have come into force in July of 2005. There was done nothing to change the Party's constituent documents. Besides, the number of the members of the "BEG" is not enough and there are no branches in the most of regional centres and in the capital of Minsk.

Nikolai Kartysh, the chairman of the Party, has agreed with the reasons put by the Ministry of Justice. In a letter announced during the judicial session, he did not object to the suit and he asked to consider it as any of the representatives of the Party was absent.

The Belarusian Ecological Green Party "BEG" was created on the basis of the Green Party and the Belarusian Ecological Party on October 28, 1998. In March of 2007, the "BEG" has conducted the congress in which a decision to liquidate the Party was taken. However, the Ministry of Justice has not accepted this decision lawful because only 15 delegates were present at the congress meeting.

BelaPAN Information Agency
August 27, 2007 BP-21 Century Website News Service The threat of a virus attack from the website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - 21 Century" is over!

Dear colleagues and visitors of the website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21 Century"!

Within last month our website has undergone a virus attack. There was actually no virus on the website. However, our website was used for a so-called technology of remote control by a virus – Trojan which was distributed from other (the mother's one) website. Because of this, apparently, not only some web users - visitors of our website – who had no a proper and reliable protection of their computers by anti-virus programs but the reputation of our website has also suffered. We have clearly seen that the index of visiting of our website (earlier being rather high for the specialized information resource) has sharply fallen for the last month. Some search engine systems have also begun to indicate our website as warning about its possible danger for local computers.

At presence the problem concerning the website's virus infection has went into liquidation and the website is no more a danger to visitors. We are sorry to all for inconveniences (although we had nothing to do with this) and we thank all of those who has informed us about the virus danger coming from the website.

We also want to pay attention to the fact that the Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21 Century website has undergone the attack exactly at that moment when it began to put the most topical and dramatic ecological materials, for example, publication against hunting for bison, an appeal against hunting in specially protected natural areas and against demonstration of scenes of brutal treatment to animals, and a statement against building of the aqua-park. These and some other information has caused a big resonance both in mass-medias and in the society. We do not insist that there is the direct connection between these two events, however, we do not exclude it.

Heorhi Kazulka
Coordinator of the Public Project "Belovezhskaya Pushcha – 21 Century"
August 24, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" The president has signed an order for celebration of the 600th anniversary of the nature protection status of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Last late year, at a working meeting which was held in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", Belarusian and Polish scientists discussed an issue on since time the ancient forest has got a protected status. Opinions of the scientists were unanimous this time - the beginning of the protected status started to be formed from 1409. Ancient sources have kept piece of information about hunting of the King Yagiello for wild animals before a war campaign against the Order of Teuton and about the existence of "entrances" (special sanctions) to go into the Pushcha.

The offer to include this historical date into a UNESCO's List of Memorable Dates was brought to the UNESCO's National Commission. Information has retuned from there that this offer is approved and is taken into account by the Inter-Section Committee dealing with selection of memorable dates.

According to approved by UNESCO rules, our state on which territory this natural site is located, should organize the celebration of the anniversary date at a high national level. The recently created National Committee responsible for organization of this event, therefore, is already beginning preparation works for celebration of the 600th anniversary of the nature protection status of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. A.Kulichkov, the Manager of the Property Management Department of the President of the Republic of Belarus (a chairman), I.Bambiza, the Vice Prime Minister (a chairman's assistant), G.Zaburyanova, the Manager of the Sector of Development of Tourism at the Department of Protected Natural Complexes and Natural Resources Use at the Property Management Department of the President of the Republic of Belarus, N.Bambiza, the General Director of the State Protection Institution "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", L.Khoruzhik, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, as well as deputy ministers of Foreign Affairs, of Communications and Information, of Culture, of Education, of Forestry, of Agriculture and other officials.

The anniversary which will be celebrated in December of 2009 under the aegis of UNESCO will promote to attract more attention of the worldwide society to problems of conservation of unique natural ecosystems and will help develop international cooperation in the field of ecology, science and tourism.

Taisia Skuratova, the senior expert of the department of information of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"

The text of the decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus
The text of the decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus – page 1 The text of the decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus – page 2 The text of the decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus – page 3
August 21, 2007 BP-21 Century Website News Service An appeal to the Manager of the Property Management Department of the President of Belarus: Will Belovezhskaya Pushcha get a Belovezhskaya sea?

Click to enlarge in the new window
As it recently became known, any new plans, whether large-scale changing the landscapes in the Pravaya Lesnaya river's valley (Right Forest River) that crosses the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha or building of a new aquatic amusement park, are under preparation in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", in the depth of offices of its managers, being in conditions of top-secrecy regarding information close from the public like before. There is no official information for the present. Even employees of appropriate services of the National Park are preciously aware of nothing.

At the same time land-surveyors have already conducted some works for the project in the valley of the River of Pravaya Lesnaya which runs nearly the village of Kamenyuki, the administrative center of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". They made survey of the terrain, drive stakes into the ground and took samples of the soil for analyses.

To judge from the atmosphere of secrecy covered the planned building works, it is not excluded either the next action badly managed and wrongly planed by the administration of the National Park or a project which, as it already happened in the past, will be implemented with infringement of the law and which can bring damage to natural ecosystems of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

It is rumored in the village about two versions. The first is that water reservoirs will be dug in the valley of the river of Pravaya Lesnaya. They and the river will be bound up with channels. And the aquatic amusement park will be created in this area in order to attract more tourists. The second is that a dike to dam the river at the village of Pashuki is planned for construction, then to flood the valley and to create a water reservoir of the surface of about 600 hectares. In some places, it is planned to straighten the course of the meandering river bed in order to make it possible for ensuing boating and shipping of tourists.

It is obvious that both of the planned hydro-technical projects, especially it concerns to the second one, are connected with essential changing of subsoil water's level and landscapes contiguous to the river, as well as with destruction of natural ecosystems and with vanishing wild nature. As regards creation of the water reservoir and straightening the natural river, this conflicts with nature protection legislation of the Republic of Belarus because of a negative impact to natural complexes of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

In this connection, I have officially addressed a letter to the Manager of the Property Management Department of the President of the Republic of Belarus (a copy to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Protection), in which there is as the following.:
  1. I have pointed out inadmissibility further to apply in practice any projects on the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha which cause changes of its wild nature and bring essential or irreparable damage to its natural ecosystems.
  2. I have asked to give me full and exhaustive information about the planned project, as well as a proper estimation of environmental changes which will take place in Belovezhskaya Pushcha after the project will be complete (according to regulations of the Aarhus Convention).
  3. I have offered to make an ecological examination with participation of independent experts and representatives of nongovernmental organization, specialists and stakeholders involved.
  4. I have also offered to conduct public hearings regarding the project with participation of public representatives interested in this issue.
  5. I have give a notice in advance about legislative responsibility in the future (after the validity of the Constitution and the Law will be restored to a full extent) for the crime by all persons guilty for infringement of the legislation if such the infringement will be taken place, as well as by persons who will be privy to implementation of the project in term of showing carelessness and irresponsibility to prevent violations of the Law. Financial compensation will also be demanded from these persons that to cover damage which will bring to Belovezhskaya Pushcha and that to return the cost of works on liquidation of this damage and restoration of the natural shape of landscapes of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
  6. I have noted that, in the case if ignoring national and international legislation and rightful public demands while implementing the project, it is not excluded an international campaign with participation of international nature protection organization, environmentalists and nature protection activists to protest against this project. I have also placed all responsibilities, because of discredit of nature protection image of the Republic of Belarus, on the party which ignores this Law.
  7. I have given a special focus on the fact that the new generation of ecologists shall correct mistakes of the old and present generations of managers and economic planners. In this connection I have offered to stop continuation to practice bad-planned and wrong-developed economic and other activities which bring changes or destroy the nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
Additional information. Concerning the planned project, there are small-sized ponds in the natural boundary of Plyanta which is near to the tourist centre. One of these ponds was reconstructed last year. In this place, not in the valley the wild river of Pravaya Lesnaya, it is necessary further to develop water-engineering recreational projects of the National Park.


The River Pravaya Lesnaya in its natural conditions (this is the satellite picture shot from the space and placed in the system Maps-Google)
Many actions which brought a serious damage to the wild reserved nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and discredited the nature protection image of the country were already conducted in the National Park for the last seven years. These are an attempt to apply sanitary clear cuttings, illegal secret felling of living forest of the best quality, conducting hydro-technical works, building of the Residence of Grandfather Frost avoiding permission of appropriate state bodies, building of the big fenced game enclosure for hunting within the protected territory, lowering of the protected status of areas on which illegal economic activities were conducted etc. I should like that this vicious tradition of infringements will come to the end. The zoning scheme subjectively and theoretically developed for Belovezhskaya Pushcha cannot be the key reason to govern further irreversible transformation of this territory because of economic purposes. Quite the contrary, the planning shall target rehabilitation and restoration of areas damaged because of human activity that to change their protected status to the higher level. This approach exactly corresponds to interests and the policy of conservation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha for the sake of the next generation of people on the planate Earth.

Heorhi Kazulka
PhD of Biology,
Coordinator of the BP-21 Century Project, Belovezhskaya Pushcha

(The original text of the letter to the Manager of the Property Management Department of the President of Belarus can be downloading from here, in Russian ).

-------------------

The appendix: A list of possible negative consequences if construction of water reservoirs*

As a result of construction of the water reservoir in the valley of the river of Pravaya Lesnaya, there will be:
  1. Flooding the large territory of grounds in the valley;
  2. Vanishing wild natural landscapes;
  3. Making the level of sub-soil waters higher and affected protected natural and economic territories by water;
  4. Changing forest areas to wetlands, first of all of open sites;
  5. Lost some flood-valley forests because of the water level up;
  6. Changing the type of vegetation;
  7. Damaging to the biological diversity, first of all to rare species of plants listed in a Red Data Book;
  8. Destroying habitats of many species of animals;
  9. Changing the composition and structure of local fishes' communities;
  10. Slowing down of running-water flow will worsen hydrological conditions and the quality of water (flowering of the reservoir in the summer period, rotting etc.), will worsen process of water-self-clearing, will intensify processes of enriching of water of the reservoir by organic substances and will strengthen processes of making silt and swamping;
  11. Additional evaporation from the surface of the water reservoir will reduce an amount of water flow of the river;
  12. Changing the water situation of the river systems downstream from the reservoir;
  13. Lost significant areas of pastures on which locals graze cattle;
  14. Changing the historical and cultural shape of the territory.
*This list was prepared from the review of researches carried out on already constructed reservoirs of the countries of CIS.

-------------------

The appendix 2: The threat of destruction of wild nature of the River Pravaya Lesnaya

The possible building of reservoirs in the valley of the river Pravaya Lesnaya will be resulting in destruction of many of the most beautiful sites of wild nature, such as shown on these photos.

the River Pravaya Lesnaya
The River Pravaya Lesnaya – click to enlarge in the new window The River Pravaya Lesnaya – click to enlarge in the new window The River Pravaya Lesnaya – click to enlarge in the new window
See more photos with wild nature of the River Pravaya Lesnaya in the Photo-gallery.

The valley of the River Pravaya
The valley of the River Pravaya Lesnaya – click to enlarge in the new window The valley of the River Pravaya Lesnaya – click to enlarge in the new window The valley of the River Pravaya Lesnaya – click to enlarge in the new window
See more photos with wild nature of the valley of the River Pravaya Lesnaya in the Photo-gallery.
August 23, 2007 "Respublika" (The Republic) newspaper, No 152 A hotel to build in the town of Kamenetz

KAMENETZ. Only one day is for tourists to come now to this town which is famous for its very long history and for the White Tower erected by Slavs in the XIII century. They cannot stay here longer because there is no a local hotel. The joint-stock company "BelParphum", a foreign enterprise with the Polish capital which has just redeemed a sauna building abandon for a long time is going to fill in these gaps. The new owners have already begun the building to clear of rubbish and have ordered the design documentation to reconstruct it. It is planed to build on the second floor where comfortable hotel rooms will be placed. A cozy cafe will be made below. The hotel complex, undoubtedly, will attract more tourists to visit the ancient town located near to Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Fedor MUHA
August 21, 2007 BP-21 Century Website News Service In Belovezhskaya Pushcha to pull down the ruin of a house of culture

Click to enlarge in the new window
Click to enlarge in the new window
Click to enlarge in the new window
On August 21, 2007, after two and a half month since the house of culture have been blown up in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, its ruins have at last begun to be pulling down. An excavator and dumper trucks has come here today to start the work.

Let's remind that the big building which was constructed in the early 90-th got suspension of warm supply after the currently managing administration of the National Park “Belovezhskaya Pushcha” came to governing. The house was then turned to danger-possible conditions and got abandon. The empty house of culture being in the process of gradual destruction created an unattractive image for tourists passed by. Instead of major repairs a decision was taken to blow up the house what was done in June of 2007.

Read more details about how the house of culture was blew up and about problems prior to this event and look photos in:
August 15, 2007 "Naviny Kamyanechchyny" (The Kamenetz’s News) Newspaper, No 95 A mobile house of culture to be in the village of Kamenyuki

There is now an empty place instead of the ruined old house of culture in the village of Kamenyuki. However the situation isn't absolutely hopeless because a mobile house of culture will appear.

The building of a new house of culture on auditorium of 200 to 250 seats will begin in Kamenyuki in 2008. The technical and financial documentation will be made using means from the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" while the building will be done using means from the regional and state budgets shared fifty-fifty.

It's planned that in 2009, when the 600th anniversary of starting nature protection in the Bialowieza Forest, the new house of culture will decorate the village of Kamenyuki, the administrative centre of the National Park.
August 10, 2007 Website "TUT.BY" Mr. Zimovskiy to ecologists: They have to bring an action against the "Animal Planet"

Alexander Zimovskiy considers the statement made by activists of the Belarusian ecological movement concerning scenes of cruel treatment to animals which were distributed by the First National Channel as an absurdity. In his opinion, a video-film "Safari in Belovezhskaya Pushcha" as a part of the project "National parks in Belarus" has no scene of cruelty and hunting for animals shown in the film is a national tradition of Belarusian people.

Let's remind that the group of activists of the Belarusian ecological movement has distributed an official appeal concerning murder of animals in Belarusian national parks advertising through the domestic TV. The video-film "Safari in Belovezhskaya Pushcha" of the TV-News Agency shown at the First Channel of the Belarusian TV on July 30, 2007 has given cause for the protest.

Ecologist Heorhi Kazulka, one of the initiators of the appeal, has informed to the monitoring service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists that lasted almost half an hour TV-viewers acquainted with the industry of murder of wild animals. All this was going on in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", famous all over the world, not in any ordinary hunting enterprise. Founders of the film (Denis Kurian is a script writer) told in details and showed how foreign guests kill deer and wild boars in the area of the reserve. An episode shot using a mobile phone when aggressive hunting dogs torment a wild boar was also in the film.

The authors of the appeal consider that TV-showing of scenes of cruel treatment to animals is inadmissible. They are sure that in Europe the case such as this would cause a scandal of the national scales and would come to the court against persons involved in the incident.

Alexander Zimovskiy, the chairman of the Belarusian TV-Radio Company (by the way, the video-film mentioned above is a part of the project "National parks in Belarus" by Mr. Zimovskiy), is completely not agreeing with this.

"Statements like above are simply absurd", he has commented the given appeal to the "Salidarnasts". "First, I've no idea of what such the organization as "Belarusian Ecological Movement" is. I think it was created the next day after the film was shown. These citizens did not address to us. Secondly, the film "Safari in Belovezhskaya Pushcha" had no premiere this time because it was shown as early as last year. And, by the way, no one raised any questions then. And thirdly, if the activists of this organization consider that the showing of hunting means a demonstration of violence, they have to bring an action against the "Animal Planet" which uses pictures even in common TV-programs to show predators catching their victims."

Meanwhile, the ecologists consider that the Belarusian TV had not the right to show scenes of hunting in the national reserve. In their opinion, this is immoral and, moreover, compromises state nature protection institutions in eyes of all civilized world. Alexander Zimovskiy has different opinion on this score.

The Reserve "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" was created using money of the state budget and, therefore, the state defines rules how it operates, the head of the Belarusian TV-Radio Company has noted. This means that shooting and hunting are legally conducted there. All is lawful from the legal point of view. There are no scenes of violence in this film. Hunting is a kind of the national craft, the same as, for example, wild-honey farming. You ask your ecologists about whether they eat meat or not.

Mr. Zimovskiy has emphasized if someone lay claims against the Belarusian TV-Radio Company in this occasion, he can issue and send them.

However, they also have to send them against the "Animal Planet", he has added.

Anastasia Zelenkova
The source: Salidarnasts
August 09, 2007 BP-21 Century Website News Service A CAMPAIGN TO PROTEST: Stop advertising murder of animals in Belarusian national parks

On July 30, 2007 at 19.35 the First Channel of the Belarusian State TV Company demonstrated a video-film "Safari in Belovezhskaya Pushcha". This video-film is a part of the project "National parks in Belarus" by Alexander Zimovskiy.

Lasted almost half an hour, TV-viewers including children (!) acquainted with the industry of murder of wild animals as the entertainment.

And the most awful is that all this was going on in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", famous all over the world, not in any ordinary hunting enterprise. Founders of the film (Denis Kurian is a script writer) told in details and shamelessly showed how foreign "money-bag-hunters" kill deer and wild boars in the State Nature Protection Institution "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Funs of "keen" sensations got good opportunity to be delighting in a scene of tormenting a bled profusely wild boar by aggressive hunting dogs. According to the film plot, a special room to store hunting weapon for native and foreign "hunters", not the wilderness protection zone, is the most confidential place in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

Thus, taking this field Belarus has again shown itself "first" in Europe. Those things, which were refused by the western civilization for many decades back (it means murder of wild animals in their national parks), are shamelessly advertised in Belarus and are propagandized all over the country. This also includes frank scenes of tormenting and very cruel treatment to wild animals which teach children to do violence and murder of our smaller brothers. In Europe, the demonstration of scenes like mentioned above could immediately be resulting in a national scale's scandal and in a judicial claim concerning persons who have allowed themselves brutal treatment to animals, while in Belarus the main state TV-channel demonstrates it as a line of the state policy.

We, citizens of the Republic of Belarus, demand to stop advertising murder of animals on especially protected natural territories which takes place in national mass-medias. National mass-medias shouldn't be used for advertising trophy hunting being considered the immoral and ecologically harmful business in itself in the modern world. This is very important in cases when hunting, such as this, is conducted with breaking all principles of ethics, morals and an ideology actual for especially protected natural territories. Employees of the Nature Protection Institution, those who should be first fighting for moral, ecological and legal principles of protection of wild animals, as the matter of fact, are the executors and propagandists of the vicious ideology of commercial hunting.

We demand to stop demonstration of films ignominious for every normal citizen of Belarus because they compromise our state nature protection institutions in eyes of all civilized world!

Instead of promoting to solve problems connected to economic activities on protected natural territories because of their inadmissibility from the ecological point of view and scientific groundlessness, the state TV advertises and supports them. A shame!

We ask all conscious citizens of Belarus to support our initiative and to send letters of protest to the Belarusian TV:
TV-News Agency,
Belarus TV-Radio Company,
Makaenka str., 9,
Minsk city,
220807, Republic of Belarus.
Tel. (+375) 017 263 82 58
Fax (+375) 017 263 15 81
E-mail: atn@tvr.by

This is necessary that to stop advertising murder of animals on protected natural territories. The text of the letter (in Belarusian and Russian) which you can edit yourself can be downloaded here.

Inessa Zenina, biologist, the town of Turov, Gomel region
Heorhi Kazulka, PhD of Biology, BP-21 Century Project's Coordinator, Belovezhskaya Pushcha