NEWS ARCHIVE: SEPTEMBER 2009

September 30, 2009 "Vecherniy Brest" (The Evening Brest) newspaper Consecration of the Saint-George Temple in the Kamenyuki village to be on October 1

A wooden church laid down in November of 1998 was erected thanks to financing by parishioners and contribution of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". The height of the temple is 37 meters. A carved wooden iconoscope was made by local craftsmen. The beginning of the divine service with participation of Orthodox Brest and Kobrin Bishop John is planned at 8.30 a.m. on Thursday.

"VB" Information Service
September 30, 2009 Website "NG.BY" Belovezhskaya Pushcha to prepare for a holiday

Celebrations of the 600th anniversary of reservation will be organized on the well-known Tsar Glade in Belovezhskaya Pushcha on October 3.

Preparations for the celebration were long and serious. Alexander Romanovskiy, Deputy Manager of the Administration of Affairs of the President of the Republic of Belarus, has told about basic results of the activity of ministries and departments during the press conference.

A new infrastructure has been created and the old one has been reconstructed in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. For example, a Museum of Nature of the size of 750 square meters has grown up to 1,500 square meters. Today it by right can be considered one of the biggest centres of the ecological and educational orientation in the country. Zoo enclosures for wild animals have been renovated and modernized.

The adjacent territory has also been put in the order. 35 houses for employees and attendants of the National Park in Belovezhskaya Pushcha have been built. The main inhabited locality – village of Kamenyuki – has completely been reconstructed. Buildings have been painted and their roofs have been replaced. The heat- and water-supply system has completely been renovated and local motor roads have been improved.

Alexander Romanovskiy has emphasized that thanks to radical changes in the infrastructure the amount of tourists has been increased in 2 – 2.5 times more for the last two years. The near plans are to attract more youth in the National Park. Nikolai Bambiza, director general of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", has promised that a "teenage" infrastructure will be created. Partially sharing over the practice of Germany, France and Czech in the sphere of children's tourism, a youth hotel and a cozy cafe will be arranged in the near future here.
September 30, 2009 Website "ECOportal.ru" Belovezhskaya Pushcha to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status


A sunset in the Reserve "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".
Photo be RIA News
Celebration of the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is held on Saturday, October 3, the Standing Committee of the Allied State of Russia and Belarus informs.

"Delegations including heads of the ministries of nature protection, culture, sports and tourism, representatives of various scientific and public organizations and educational institutions, mass-media and creative collectives from more than ten countries will arrive in Belarus for participation in the celebration", RIA News learned from a press release.

It is announced in the document that the 600th anniversary has coincided with the Year of Native Land in Belarus, therefore, preparations in the holiday has got a special colour. A plan of measures for the anniversary's celebration has been prepared in the country. A great number of publications in mass-media and television programs about the Belarusian treasure have been appeared. About 10 thematic editions including a photoalbum-encyclopedia "Earth of Power. Belovezhskaya Pushcha" of 4,000 copiesjave been brought out.

Besides, on September 18, a scientific and practical conference where representatives of the various countries discussed issues of development of the National Park in the future and of preservation of this unique natural area was hold. Thematic excursions will be carried out and exhibitions of art crafts will be organized for numerous visitors who will come to the Reserve in the days of the festival.

"A grandiose concert with about 500 artists from Belarus, Russia, Poland and Lithuania will be one of the central episodes of the holiday. The USSR National Artist and composer Alexandra Pakhmutova and poet Nikolai Dobronravov - the authors of a popular song "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" – will be among the participants, according to the official information.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the world's oldest protected territories. In 1992 UNESCO put it into a List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites. It 1993 it became a biosphere reserve's status. In 1997 the National Park was awarded with a special European Diploma. About 300 thousand tourists annually visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The information source RIA News
September 30, 2009 Website "Belteleradiocompany" National security issues discussed by Security Councils of 7 CIS countries in Belovezhskaya Pushcha today

Belarus hosted participants of the 19th CSTO Session.

Evgeny Pustovoi reports: One of the main threats of modernity is drug distribution. Taking into account the geological position, CSTO participating countries have to counter drug trafficking constantly.

Thus, under the agenda of the session was the issue of counter-narcotic actions.

The operation "Channel" was conducted by the Special Forces on the territory of the CSTO countries. The results are impressive: over 26 tons of narcotics were confiscated. Another question under discussion was the training of personnel for law-enforcement bodies and intelligence agency.

Forthcoming trainings of collective forces of critical response have also been discussed today. It was an expended planetary meeting. The Secretaries of Security Councils touched upon the following issues: military and political situation, practical measures towards formation of the OSCE coordinated information policy in the zone of CSTO responsibility.

(See the video-reportage by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
September 30, 2009 Website "BelTA" CSTO Security Councils session opens in Brest region

A session of the Committee of Secretaries of the CSTO Security Councils opened in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park in the Kamenets region of the Brest oblast on 30 September. The participants of the session are set to analyze the military and political situation in the CSTO region.

The first meeting is held in private. Only Secretaries of the Security Councils and CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha are taking part in it. The sides are set to consider the issue of joint measures of the CSTO members against the external drug threat and the progress in the implementation of the plan of collective efforts to combat trade of illicit drugs for 2008-2011.

A plenary meeting is next on the session's agenda. Taking part in it will be all the delegations. The sides are to discuss the implementation of the agreement on training of special services' and law enforcement bodies' staff.

Attending the session are delegations from all the CSTO states. The delegations are represented by high-ranking officials, except for the Kazakh mission, which is headed by the Deputy Secretary of the Security Council.
September 29, 2009 BP-21 Website News Service Picture Spread: The Forestry Workers' Day in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, 2009

On September 20, 2009, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park hosted festivities held on the occasion of the Forestry Workers' Day. In accordance with local tradition, the celebration took place on the "Czar's Glade" located five kilometers away from the park's administrative center. The event brought together Belovezhskaya Pushcha managers and employees, inhabitants of local villages and their relatives, officials from the presidential property management department, district authorities, and special invitees. A festive meeting which began at 11 AM addressed the results of the national park's activities and preparations for the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha's protection. Top employees and labor veterans were presented with honorary letters and valuable gifts. The ceremony was followed by a concert by the National Orchestra of Belarus conducted by Mikhail Finberg, the Radunitsa traditional music group, the national park's own Pushchanskiya Muzyki vocal band and an orchestra featuring top instrumentalists from the nation's border control service. The festivities closed with sports and entertainment events for participants and guests.

Below are pictures supplied with short comments. Please note that these only show the festive gathering and the current appearance of the "Czar's Glade".

A general view of the glade, with the place for festive events on the left, and the place for sports events, on the right and in the middle.
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(The glade as seen on September 20, 2009)
(See more pictures (65 in all) and read more at the separate page here)
September 29, 2009 Website "BelTA" Belarus, Poland discuss cross-border cooperation

The Belarusian-Polish intergovernmental coordination commission for cross-border cooperation started its work in Warsaw on 29 September, BelTA learnt from the press service of the Embassy of Belarus in Poland.

Attending the session is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Poland Viktor Gaisenok.

The Belarusian delegation led by co-chairman of the commission, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Yevdochenko consists of the representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the Emergencies Ministry, the State Customs Committee, the State Border Committee, the Belarusian Railways, the BAMAP association, the Brest oblast executive committee, the national park Belovezhskaya Pushcha and the European region Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The Polish side is headed by co-chairman of the commission, Deputy Minister of Interior and Administration of Poland Piotr Stachanczyk.

The participants of a two-day session are planning to discuss practical issues of cross-border cooperation: the activity of the subcommittees within the Cross-Border Commission, cooperation on the Augustow Canal, the issues related to the celebration of the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the implementation of the programme Cross-Border Cooperation "Poland-Belarus-Ukraine" for 2007-2013.

According to the Embassy, the session will give a new impetus to the development of the cross-border cooperation. The participants of the session will outline cooperation areas in the issues of the comprehensive development and use of near-border territories, analyze the opportunities of further improvement of the bilateral mechanisms of cooperation in the area.

The previous session of the Belarusian-Polish intergovernmental coordination commission for cross-border cooperation took place in Brest in July 2008.
September 26, 2009 BP-21 Website News Service Picture Spread: A Children's Environmental Festival in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, 2009

Schoolchildren from across Belarus came to the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park on September 19, 2009 to participate in the environmental festival titled, The Nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha through Children's Eyes, and a national forum of young environmentalists which looked at the ancient forest's flora and fauna.
Click on the links below to read about the events in detail (in Russian):
This section contains only photos of the environmental festival.
The shots below show the participants of the festival lined up in front of the Kamenyuki Environmental General Education School in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
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(The festive opening on September 19, 2009)
The first photograph shows the national park's management (left), senior officials from the ministry of education (middle), and the administration of the Kamenyuki school (close up right). The second photograph shows Deputy Education Minister Tatyana Kovalyova speaking before the participants of the event.
(See more pictures (55 in all) and read more at the separate page here)
September 25, 2009 Website "Wild Nature" Bison of Belovezhskaya Pushcha are sick for a long time and to a dangerous extent

photo by interfax.by
Many bison living in Belovezhskaya Pushcha are sick with an intractable illness which pathogen cannot be found for 15 years, the general director of the Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Nikolai Bambiza has told.

Specialists struggle against necrotic balanopostit (it is sometimes called "Bison AIDS" for some reason but that's absolutely wrong) in Belovezhskaya Pushcha already for a long time but still unsuccessfully. This illness is quite curable. The problem is that each ill bison has to be fixed somehow for processing it. Besides, our scientists cannot find the pathogen of this illness until now. Polish colleagues have not succeeded in it either. There was succeeded in revealing of labours during 15 years that the balanopostit's pathogen is carried by flies.

Bison males in the prime of life and only those living in Belovezhskaya Pushcha are only subjects to suffer from this illness. The disease results in affection of the urogenital system of the animals. "Those bison living outside of the borders of the National Park are not subject to this disease for some reason. We do hope for our scientists and we believe that, eventually, they will find the pathogen of this disease and effective ways of the treatment", Nikolai Bambiza has mentioned.

Nikolai Bambiza has also confirmed the fact that Belovezhskaya Pushcha is overpopulated by wild ungulates and that the undergrowth suffers very much within the reserved area. He said that the optimum in the quantity of wild ungulates for the Belarusian part of Belovezhskaya Pushcha makes about 250 bison, 800 red deer and about 1,200 wild boars. However, the amount of these animals now considerably exceeds the optimum. "Specialists of the National Park rather actively make trapping red deer for resettlement them in other regions of Belarus for the last fife years but this clever animal very badly goes in traps", Nikolai Bambiza has complained.

Besides, a program "Bison" has also started in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. During this program the "superfluous" animals are caught and are settled out in various enterprises of Belarus and abroad. For example, a bison herd of the Prioksko-Terrasny Biosphere Reserve, that is in the Serpukhov district of the Moscow region, wholly consists of the animals from Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

One of the journalists taking part in the press conference has expressed his bewilderment because of an abundance of felled trees which he saw during his travel along one of "the ecological paths" in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Nikolai Bambiza has explained that those trees infected with a dangerous pest insect - bark beetle - are only cut down. Measures against bark beetles have begun to be taken in Belovezhskaya Pushcha since 2001. "If not to cut down dead trees already perished from bark beetles, and also living but already infected by them trees, coniferous forest takes the shape of a napalm-scorched waste", he has explained. "There were times when people were enthusiastic about nature protection measures and did not interfere in the life of forest at all. This resulted in total annihilation of strictly protected spruce forests", Nikolai Bambiza has emphasized.

The information source: interfax.by
September 25, 2009 Website "BelTA" Mutual visa-free travels of Belarusians, Poles within frontier zone technically possible

Mutual visa-free travels of Belarusians and Poles living in the 50km frontier zone are now technically possible, said Mikhail Yukhimuk, co-chair of the subcommittee for interregional cooperation of the Belarusian-Polish intergovernmental commission for transboundary cooperation, First Deputy Chairman of the Brest Oblast Executive Committee. The fourth session of the subcommittee is held in Grodno on 25 September.

"We have prepared a number of proposals to be discussed at the session of the Belarusian-Polish intergovernmental commission that will be held in Warsaw on 29-30 September. The most significant of them is the acceleration of signing the visa-free agreement," Mikhail Yukhimuk said. All the technicalities have already been settled, the decision should be taken on the interstate level.

Polish co-chair of the subcommittee, member of the Lublin voivodship administration Arkadiusz Bratkowski agrees with his counterpart. "We, the citizens of the transboundary areas, should make a strong statement regarding our intention to communicate with each other." He believes that Ukraine should also be invited to join this initiative. "We have to reach an understanding with Brussels on this issue," Arkadiusz Bratkowski underlined.

The final protocol of the session includes a proposal to consider visa-free border crossing for tourists in the area of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Apart from that, the sides agreed to step up work on the projects to be included in the transboundary cooperation programme Poland-Belarus-Ukraine financed by the EU. The sides discussed a possibility of the joint construction of a wind power plant in the Novogrudok region by Grodnoenergo and Polish companies. "This is a pilot project. In Poland such projects are financed by the European Union. We still have to discuss how this project will be implemented here," Mikhail Yukhimuk said.
September 24, 2009 "Belorusskaya Lesnaya Gazeta" (The Belarusian Forest Newspaper) newspaper, No 39 A strictly protected forest: familiar and unexplored

Scientists from academic research institutes, institutes of higher education and nature protection organizations, representatives nature museums and nongovernmental organizations on nature protection from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Great Britain discussed a topic "Belovezhskaya Pushcha: the History, Nature and Tourism" at the International scientific and practical conference on September 17 to 19.

The conference was the completion phase of preparation to the celebration of the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The Administration of Affairs of the President of the Republic of Belarus, the UNESCO's National Commission of the Republic of Belarus, the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection of the Republic of Belarus and the State Committee on Science and Technologies of the Republic of Belarus were the organizers of the conference.

Participants of the conference have summarized preparation works for the celebration of the anniversary and have discussed issues of the further development and preservations of this unique natural area. There were 3 sessions with 22 plenary and 45 sectional reports that testify a great interest to the most ancient forest of Europe. It’s true that Belovezhskaya Pushcha is a fount of international information which was gathered for many centuries. Six states in the different historical periods owned Belovezhskaya Pushcha and everyone has left its heritage.

In 2006, scientists from the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus have revealed that the strict wilderness reservation on the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha originated 600 years ago. So, the preparation for such impressive jubilee began in the country at the state level.

Two Decrees of the President were issued and a Protocol of commissions and orders of the President of the Republic of Belarus on creation of the organizing committee on preparation and realization of measures devoted to the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha was signed for the last two years, Alexander Romanovskiy, Deputy Manager of the Administration of Affairs of the President of the Republic of Belarus said at his speech. Appropriate governmental documents based on the above documents were issued. As a whole, about 30 ministries and other Belarusian governmental bodies took part in preparation works for the anniversary. According to the commission of the head of the state, about 100 billion Belarusian Roubles (~ US $ 33 millions) were invested in development of the National Park for the last two years. All basic points of the plan of measures are complete to this period. The development of the region of Belovezhskaya Pushcha will continue further in the future.

Alexander Romanovskiy has noted that there are also plans to develop agriculture in the territory of the National Park. Approximately 10 thousand hectares of forest lands can be used as farmlands. However, the main task, as before, is protection, conservation and saving forest riches of Belovezhskaya Pushcha for the present and future generations that was written in the final resolution of the conference.

Nature conservation and historical issues, as well as the problem of development of tourism were subjects of the conference reports of Belarusian and foreign experts. It was underlined that during decades Belarusian scientists together with their colleagues from other countries keep serious works to research natural objects of Belovezhskaya Pushcha that to make proposals for creation of the favorable conditions for the development of the National Park. It is pleasant that the management of the country takes these recommendations into consideration. This is why Belovezhskaya Pushcha today is in line with world standards.

The reserved forest has its management plan which also focuses on the further development of the National Park. It is coordinated with the colleagues from Poland and a joint management Plan for the Belarusian and Polish parts of Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be submitted to UNESCO in 2010. Vladimir Schastniy, chairman of the UNESCO National Commission of the Republic of Belarus also pointed out necessity of active cooperation between two countries in the management of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Reports of scientists from the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, who have opened the whole epoch of the historical and cultural heritage during the last two years when working in the National Park, have generated the greatest interest. Many unique artifacts were found due to archaeological excavations and the study of archival documents. This is a good material for study and updating of museum funds of the National Park. There is an idea to construct an ethnographic village and an archaeological park which will also attract tourists there.

The level of knowledge about Belovezhskaya Pushcha is not enough yet and we got only at a top of iceberg, PhD of History and Professor Elena Kalechits says.

However, we are delighted with those what was preserved in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This is thanks to a huge labour of many generations who worked and who are working here and are taking care for its preservation - scientists, foresters, hunt managers and many others for whom this natural area became a part of their life - is behind of it. Tourists go there and their number is growing from year to year.

"One of the factors why the visitors go here is because a good infrastructure has been created", Nikolai Bambiza, general director of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", emphasizes. "It is necessary to know how to advertise itself, and to go journey a lot. When people will know and will hear about us, they will believe us and will want to see Belarus. That will bring benefit from tourism.
September 24, 2009 "Belorusskaya Lesnaya Gazeta" (The Belarusian Forest Newspaper) newspaper, No 39 Celebrations on "a Tsar Glade"

Last Sunday a famous "Tsar Glade" became the basic place for celebrations devoted to a professional holiday, Day of Foresters. Employees of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", representatives of the Administration of Affairs of the President of the Republic of Belarus and district executive committees, and numerous visitors have come there. Popular melodies sounded and festive mood reigned there. Diplomas and valuable presents were handed over to the best workers of the National Park and to the veterans. The National Orchestra of Belarus led by Michael Finberg has devoted its concert in Belovezhskaya Pushcha to the forest workers.
September 23, 2009 Website "BelaPAN" The whole area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha on the territory of Belarus and Poland to get a status of strictly protected forest

The whole area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha on the territory of Belarus and Poland will get a status of strictly protected forest, Nikolai Bambiza, director general of the Belarusian National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", said at a press conference in Minsk on September 23.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha has a status of strict reserve on the territory of Belarus (167 thousand ha) and partly on the Polish side (10.2 thousand ha). In Poland there are 62 thousand ha of the forest of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. 50 thousand ha are out of a strict wilderness protection zone, so a regular timber enterprise was created there to conduct cuttings down of trees.

Bambiza said that Poland will announce all the territory of the Bialowieza Forest a national park in the near future upon request of the Council of Europe. European experts now realize compensatory payments to the local population of this country that to release the reserved territories. The system developed by the Belarusian party will be taken by Poles as a base model for preservation of the reserved forest, the official noted.

As to cuttings down of trees on the Belarusian territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, since 2001 a package plan on fighting with bark beetles has been conducted there because infected trees should be felled. However, as he said, there will be no traces of the former cuttings in the reserved forest in 10 or 15 years.

Bambiza declared that "there are no problems" in the National Park today and the questions topical for the process of economic activity are under control of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, the Academy of Sciences, some other establishments, the government and the state. They are coordinated and are managed as ones go, Bambiza said.

Anastasia Yanushevskaya
September 23, 2009 Website "The Second National TV Channel (ONT)" Belovezhskaya Pushcha to get soon a united national park

Poland is going to join to this status.

Now the only sixth part of the reserved forest is considered as a strict reserve in the neighboring country. The rest of the territory is not yet under protection by the state. Probably, the park will be announced as the single to the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha - the celebration will be in October. Belovezhskaya Pushcha covers more than 160 thousand hectares on the Belarusian side. Thousands of foreigners annually visit the National Park. To avoid damage from the mass tourism to ecological issues, Belovezhskaya Pushcha will soon be surrounded with a relative "ring". Building and any other works will be forbidden inside of it.

Nikolai Bambiza, director general of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha": "The social and ecological belt will be made around Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Pushcha is now very popular. There are the people who want to invest in, some one to invest in the Reserve. A line, therefore, will be defined which will limit the further penetration of the capital inside in the forest".

(The video-reportage can ne watched by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
September 23, 2009 Website "Radio Ratsia" Valeriy Dranchuk: Belovezhskaya Pushcha is under destruction

Preparation works for the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha have come to the end in Belarus. The Belarusian government has approved a plan of measures consisted of 60 points in March of this year.

Alexander Lukashenko will personally accept the renovated National Park on October 3. On the eve of the inspection of the 23rd September, representatives of various ministries and the management of the National Park informed reporters about the works completed. Nicolai Bambiza, director general of the Reserve, assumed that there are no problems in Belovezhskaya Pushcha for today. Our reporter got acquaint with the official and alternative points of view to understand what's true or false as a matter of fact.

Ecologist Valeriy Dranchuk is familiar with the director of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Nicolai Bambiza only without seeing. Although they both have theoretically the same interest, they can meet each other in no way. Moreover, the author of the book "Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Resolution SOS" asserts that he is persona non grata for the management of the National Park. In late August, he was actually deported from the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha during his stay of a participant of the open-air painting "600-Bialowieza".

Dranchuk: I was "hunted down" and was forcibly compelled to leave Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Chase was actually given - the Park's guard pursued me and state an ultimatum like the compulsion above. This testifies once more that Belovezhskaya Pushcha is under restriction on the alternative thought.

Bambiza: If to say the truth to you, there are no problems in Belovezhskaya Pushcha while all questions appearing during the process of development are under control of Ministry, Academy of Sciences, government and head of the country.

These words of the leader of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Nicolai Bambiza were said to reporters on September 23. Valeriy Dranchuk astonished at the fact that officials do not consider the availability of a sawmill in the village of Kamenyuki (the administrative center of the National Park) as the problem.

Dranchuk: The sawmill purchased from a German businessman in 1999 was actually turned to a timber processing enterprise. But it should be thrown out of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The sawmill feeds upon the timber from living trees, from very valuable trees. A big volume of timber is exported abroad and those countries produce perfect furniture from our wood. I observed stump landscapes and, because of this, what is the topic to talk about if not about this?.

Bambiza: This is not a secret - from 2001 a package plan on fighting with bark beetles has been conducted on the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Cutting down of trees is the only tool recommended by science and practice to win them. Don't mind it, these stumps will get invisible in 10 or 15 years.

Dranchuk: This problem is a subject of controversy for a long time, unfortunately, just of controversy, not dialog. Bambiza says about his approach by sitting at a clean table during press conferences whereas the public insists upon reassessment of this approach. Cuttings down can be conducted in Pushcha but it must not be as much evident as it's doing now, and it has to be minimized in volumes. However, the minimization is out of the management as cutitngs are in progress every day. What kind of wood is to feel the sawmill?.

As early as 8 years ago, when Nicolai Bambiza was appointed the manager of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", a commission of ecologists and other experts examined the situation and came to a conclusion that the Park's administration breaks the law very much because of these cuttings down conducted as if for sanitary reasons. That conclusion said that, except for cuttings, no other measures were carried out to fight against bark beetles although many other ways are known to do it. The scientists advised to stop cuttings of living trees. One can see from the words of the independent ecologist Valeriy Dranchuk and Nicolai Bambiza that nothing has been changed since those times and Belovezhskaya Pushcha is still under cuttings.

Sergei Budkin
September 23, 2009 Website "Belteleradiocompany" Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park to turn 600 on October 3

By Oleg Rezanovich: In different epochs Belovezhskaya Pushcha used to belong to different states: Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Germany. But it is Belarus, which has made the largest contribution to the preservation of its natural riches during the last years. When the park was in Polish possession, an English firm used it produce timber. Only at the time of Premier Khrushchev they started to regard Belovezhskaya Pushcha as a unique piece of forest. When the forest was occupied by Germany, a large-scale deforestation began.

(Alexander Romanovsky, Deputy Head of the Bureau of Presidential Affairs: A big job was dome to landscape Belovezhskaya Pushcha and the adjoining territories as well as reconstruction of roads).

UNESCO included Belovezhskaya Pushcha into the list of world heritage. In 2008 it was attended by 280,000 tourists.


(Nikolai Bambiza, director general of Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park: The head of the state paid great attention to Belovezhskaya Pushcha. He suggested creating a social and environmental ring around the Pushcha). The environmentalist will draft a special zone, which will be prohibited from intrusion into the natural environment.

(Viktor Kurash, Deputy Belarusian Minister of Culture).
September 23, 2009 Website "BelaPAN" Nikolai Bambiza: Belovezhskaya Pushcha is today very popular and many of those willing to invest in setting up facilities here

The press conference devoted to the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha was held in Minsk on September 23.

Nikolai Bambiza, director general of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has informed that the "a social and ecological belt" has been created around the Reserve. "Belovezhskaya Pushcha is now very popular, he has emphasized, and there are many of those willing to invest in setting up facilities here. A line will be defined which will limit the further penetration of the capital inside in the forest. And the outskirts of Belovezhskaya Pushcha should be under development because there is a demand and the conditions should be created for the people".

Romanovsky, Deputy Head of the Belarusian Administration of Affairs of the President, has informed that a number of new facilities have been built in the National Park during the period of preparation for the jubilee. For instance, that's the Museum of Nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha first of all; its size was earlier about 750 square meters but now 1,500 square meters. "In opinion of scientists who recently visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha, it will be some kind of a national ecological museum with the large representation of expositions," Romanovsky has said. "Besides the Museum, a new hotel for 40 people with a swimming pool, a bar and a restaurant has been built on the threshold of the jubilee and a restaurant complex has completely been reconstructed".

At present the National Park can offer accommodation in its hotels to 250 people. Lat year about 280,000 people have visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This is 2 to 2.5 more than two years ago.

Romanovsky has emphasized that thee Belarusian Estate of Father was built on the direct instructions of the head of the state in 2003 and today it is successfully functioning. In his opinion,"a short period of tome will pass until we will appreciate much all that made in Belovezhskaya Pushcha".
September 23, 2009 Website "TUT.BY" Social and ecological belt to set up around Belovezhskaya Pushcha

A Social and ecological belt will be set up around the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", Nikolai Bambiza, Director General of the Belarusian National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" said during the press conference in Minsk on 23 September.

As he said this offer on creation of such the belt was made by the head of the state and now the question is under study.

Opening hotels, restaurants, holiday camps and other service infrastructure is under consideration. The projects are supposed to be implemented using private investments.

It is expected that the creation of the social and ecological belt will allow developing tourism in the outskirts of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. "The situation will not get worse for we will show reserved territories to the people. The people, at least, will know where their taxes are used", - Bambiza said.

As he said Belovezhskaya Pushcha is popular more and more for tourists. 180,000 people visited the National Park in 2008. It is 2 – 2.5 times more than it was a few years back.

Bambiza asserts that tourists exert no any influence on the nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. They visit only 2 to 3 percent of the area of the relic forest and move within the reserved territories only along specially designed tourist paths.

Bambiza expects that more foreign tourists will visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha. So, it was decided in Poland in the course of recent negotiation between representatives of nature protection departments of two countries that the Polish party will assist the Belarusian one in organization of the tourist flow through the simplified border crossing between two parts of the relic forest.

Anastasia Yanushevskaya, BelaPAN
September 23, 2009 Website "BELTA" Belovezhskaya Pushcha to get tourism belt

A tourism belt will be set up around the national park Belovezhskaya Pushcha, said Nikolai Bambiza, Director General of the state enterprise National Park Belovezhskaya Pushcha, at a press conference on 23 September.

"The number of those willing to invest in setting up facilities in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is constantly rising, this is why we decided to create a kind of a social and economic belt for investors around the national park in order to protect the preserved area," said Nikolai Bambiza.

Opening hotels, restaurants and holiday camps is under consideration. "The projects are supposed to be implemented using private investments. The question of whether those will be Belarusian or foreign investments is being decided now," remarked the Director General.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha has been renewed for the celebration of the 600th anniversary of establishing reservation conditions, Alexander Romanovsky, Deputy Head of the Belarus President Property Management Directorate, told media.

New facilities have been built in Belovezhskaya Pushcha while old ones have been reconstructed. For instance, the area of the ecological museum has been doubled to make up 1,500 square meters. A new hotel for 40 people with a swimming pool, a bar and a restaurant has been built lately. The town of Kamenyuki has been fully refitted, with heating and water pipes replaced. Local roads have been put into order. At present Belovezhskaya Pushcha can offer accommodation to 250 people. Restaurants of the national park can welcome the same number of visitors.

Alexander Romanovsky remarked that the development of Belovezhskaya Pushcha will continue past the celebration of its 600th anniversary.

At the press conference Mikhail Nikiforov, Director General of the Biological Resources Research Center of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, remarked that foreign scientists often come to Belovezhskaya Pushcha to compare their protected territories with the measurement standard that is Belovezhskaya Pushcha for Europe. At the same time a lot is being done these days to make the national park more well-known among the local population. "In particular, a lot of efforts are meant to popularize the importance of the national park, to make people proud and treasure this part of the Belarusian natural environment," said Mikhail Nikiforov.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the world's oldest protected territories. In 1992 UNESCO put it into the World Culture and Natural Heritage List. It 1993 it became a biosphere reserve, in 1998 - the key international ornithological territory. At present the national park stretches for over 60 km from north to south and for 10-50 km from west to east. Around 20% of Belovezhskaya Pushcha's territory makes up a preserved area where no human activities are allowed.
September 23, 2009 Website "BELTA" Poland to expand Belovezhskaya Pushcha conservation area by 52,000 hectares

Poland will expand the conservation area of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha by 52,000 hectares, Director General of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha national park Nikolai Bambiza told reporters on 23 September.

Poland was required to expand the preservation area of the park by the Council of Europe.

Nikolai Bambiza said that the Belovezhskaya Pushcha national park occupies a total area of 10,000 hectares on the Polish territory which means that after the expansion it will cover 62,000 hectares. Still it will be more than twice as small as the Belarusian part of the national park that occupies 167,000 hectares.

Talking about the Belarusian-Polish interaction, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Director General said that the Polish side promised to render support to European tourists who would like to visit the Belarusian part of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The simplified border crossing between the two countries will to a great extent facilitate such travels.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the world's oldest protected territories. In 1992 UNESCO put it into the World Culture and Natural Heritage List. It 1993 it became a biosphere reserve, in 1998 - the key international ornithological territory. At present the national park stretches for over 60 km from north to south and for 10-50 km from west to east. Around 20% of Belovezhskaya Pushcha's territory makes up a preserved area where no human activities are allowed.
September 23, 2009 Website "Belteleradiocompany" Artists from Belarus, Russia, Lithuania and Poland will take part in the solemn measures devoted to the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The celebratory program includes three concerts - a concert in honour of the grand opening, a concert of friendship and a gala concert. Two thematic films were also prepared for the anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. A few books were published and a multimedia disk as a complete set of useful information on the history and modern conditions of the National Park was issued.
September 22, 2009 Website "The Kamenetz District Executive Committee" It's devoted to the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

On September 19, the Kamenyuki secondary ecological school will serve the National scientific and practical conference of young ecologists on study of flora and fauna of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, and the National ecological festival "Belovezhskaya Pushcha's Nature by Children's Eyes". Pupils from schools, their parents and teachers will take part in the measures. Show performances of agitation brigades "Save Nature Testament to Us", master-classes and exhibitions of works on results of competitions – a literary creativity "My Protected Nature Corner", photos "National Parks' Ecological Routes", ecological posters "To Stand Guard Over Nature" and hand-made articles from a natural material "Nature Teaches - We Create" - are planned to be within the frame of the festival. Pupils from Vysokoe secondary school are members of the tam of the Brest region. The exemplary club of folklore's amateurs "Katrynka" from the Vysokoe out-of-school work centre will take part in the program of the solemn opening of the scientific and practical conference.

I.I.Nigerish, head of the Department of the Ideological Work
September 21, 2009 Website "The Belarusian Post Service" The 600th since wild nature reservation in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

On October 3, 2009, the Ministry of Communications and Information of the Republic of Belarus puts a block of postage stamps "The 600th since Wild Nature Reservation in Belovezhskaya Pushcha" in circulation.

The design was made by Oksana Suzko and Ivan Lukin. The block consists of 3 stamps. The size of the stamps is 40 υ 28 mm. The size of the block is 142.2 υ 59.5 mm. The circulation is 20,000.
The block No 68

No 796 - A Deer. 1,500 Rubles;
No 797 - A Bison. 1500 Rubles;
No 798 – A Wild Boar. 1500 Rubles;



A special memorable cancel on an envelope "The First Day" will be done in the post office of the village of Kamenyuki of the Kamenetz district of the Brest region and at a local outdoor trade shop in the day of the series' official announcement .
September 20, 2009 Website "The Second National TV Channel (ONT)" Video: Belovezhskaya Pushcha is going to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status.

Hundred thousand tourists annually visit this unique place. Popular melodies sounded in the National Park in which birds' songs are more usual. Professional musicians gave a concert in honour of the owners of the forest. Forest officers and wardens got valuable presents and diplomas on the occasion of the professional date and holiday.

(You can see a small video-reportage about the celebration of Forester Day by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
September 18, 2009 Website "The Second National TV Channel (ONT)" Video: "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - the history, nature, tourism" (a scientific conference)

On the threshold of the six-century anniversary, scientists from different countries have assembled in the main national park of Belarus.

The interest towards Belovezhskaya Pushcha is permanently growing. There are many unopened and unwritten pages yet, both in the history and geography. For example, Belovezhskaya Pushcha continues to be increased in the size by new territories and every one is unique by some features. The reserve will take more space not only within its borders in Poland and Belarus butt also on a List of World Heritage Sites.

It does not mean elimination from the UNESCO List; it is, on the contrary, about consolidation of positions. There is an idea to nominate the Biosphere Reserve in the future as a single trans-boundary object of the European level. The scientists from all Europe will offer within a few days their suggestions about how most adequately to present our natural riches for the world public and thus to save flora and fauna.

(The video-reportage can ne watched by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
September 17, 2009 Website "VELCOM" We send our greetings on the anniversary of Belovezhskaya Puscha!

Velcom sent its greetings to the Belovezhskaya Puscha National Park on the 600th anniversary and considerably improved the coverage of the territory of one of the oldest European reserves owing to installation of new base stations and equipment.

New telecommunication towers are located in the settlements of Tikhovolya of Svisloch district of Grodno region, Popelevo and Gvozd-2 of Kamenetsk district of Brest region.

Thanks to the performed works on extension of the network as capacity, our company provided the National park with qualitative mobile telecommunication and therefore all participants of grandiose anniversary actions will be able to communicate on the phone with comfort and the Administration of the reserve will be able to receive and hear all greetings addressed to them!

And be sure that there will be plenty of greetings because one of the oldest natural monuments in the world is visited by 300 thousand of tourists annually! The value of this unique corner of nature is recognized beyond the borders of our country. Belovezhskaya Puscha is included into the honourable World Heritage List of cultural and natural heritage of UNESCO as well as awarded with a special diploma of the Council of Europe. Tens of actors and bands from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania will take part in the concert on the occasion of the anniversary.

We send our greetings on the anniversary of Belovezhskaya Puscha!
September 15, 2009 Website "National library of Belarus" Book exhibition "Best Books of Belarus"

From September 15, 2009, to October 31, 20009, in National Library of Belarus (the second floor, circular passage) is open a book exhibition "Best Books of Belarus" summarizing the results of the XLIX national contest "Art of a Book, 2009". An exhibition-presentation summarizing the results of the national contest "Art of a Book" timed to the Days of Belarusian Written Language and the Day of Libraries and held annually in National Library of Belarus has become a good tradition. This year the event took place on September 10. The best books begin their honorary way on the Day of Belarusian Written Language when representatives of publishing houses receive diplomas and prize "Golden Volume". 39 publishing houses and organizations participated in the present XLIX contest and presented more than 200 original publications in 23 nominations.

Some specific subject nominations typical to the 2009 are to be noted: publications dedicated to the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Puscha national park (nomination "Treasures of the Fatherland"); books timed to the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Belarus (nomination "Liberation"); publication dedicated to the Year of the Native Land (nomination "My Land").

This year Belarusian artists Valery Slavuk, Alexander Kulazhenko and Anatoly Kleschuk won personal nominations: "The best illustrator", "The best book designer" and "The best photographer".

It is significant that National Library of Belarus has participated in the contest. Thus in 2006 the Library won the I degree diploma for the book "Rarities form National Library of Belarus Stock" in nomination "For the best printing art"; in 2007 the booklet "National Library of Belarus" ("Mastastskaja Litatratura" publishing house) participated in nomination "The best popular scientific publication"; in 2008 the booklet "The I International Festival of Landscape dedicated to Vitaly Tsvirko" by F.A.Yastreb won the I degree diploma.

In the XLIX contest "Art of a Book - 2009" National Library of Belarus won the I degree diploma in nomination "The best photo album" for the book "National Library of Belarus" ("Belarus" publishing house) and the III degree diploma in nomination "The best publication" for the book by A.A. Susha "A Guide to Belarus for Empress" and facsimile book "Topographic Notes for the Noblest Journey of the Empress to Belarusian Regions".

Visitors of the Library can see the results of Belarusian publishers' work and the best patterns of artistic and printing culture. The laureates of the contest are presented at the exposition: books winners of honorary diplomas and prize "Golden Volume" as well as books winners of the I, II and III degrees diplomas. About 100 publications are classified in the following sections: "Subject nominations", "Special nominations", and "Personal nominations". All books are marked with special information label; there is as well information on particular publications.

The exposition is very vivid, educative, modern and interesting for everyone who follows the development and the modern state of printing and publishing activities in Belarus.

Contact: +375 17 293-28-86.

(See big pictures of exhibited books from the original webpage.)
September 14, 2009 Website "Office for Democratic Belarus" Belarus, Poland to Cooperate in Environmental Protection

Belarus and Poland signed an intergovernmental agreement to cooperate in the environmental protection, BelTA learnt from the press service of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus.

The document was signed during the international conference "Heritage binds: 600 years of protecting Belovezhskaya Pushcha" in Poland on 11-12 September.

According to the press service, the contacts between the two countries in the environmental protection have weakened since 2002 when the agreement on cooperation between the State Ecology Committee of Belarus and the Ministry for Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry of Poland became invalid.

"We consider it highly significant to develop bilateral relations in the ecology with our neighboring countries. The length of the border with Poland makes up more than 10% of the total state border of the Republic of Belarus," the ministry said.

The bilateral international agreements help effectively address the issues of cooperation, contribute to the development of the standard and legal base, implementation of new technologies and advanced experience, organization of joint meetings and seminars.
September 14, 2009 Website "Science and Scholarship in Poland" Poland signs environmental agreements with Lithuania, Belarus

Polish, Lithuanian and Belarussian environment ministers signed cooperation agreements on nature conservation in the town of Bialowieza, north-eastern Poland, on Saturday.

Poland is only beginning its nature conservation cooperation with Belarus, Poland's Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki said. Under the agreement a special Polish-Belarussian commission will be set up to define the directions of future cooperation.

The cooperation agreement signed with Lithuania relates to the timetable of meetings of Polish-Lithuanian commissions which already exist and work. The cooperation covers climate changes, sustainable development, geotourism, geological heritage protection, transborder forestry and investments harmful for environment, among others.
September 13, 2009 Website "Eastern European Forum" Polish Pres and Georgian Economy Give Stimulus to Belarusian Hunters

Flow of refugees from Georgia inundates Poland

Daily on the Polish-Belarusian border crossing about 100 people ask to be given asylum, according to RIA citing Polish radio. Data from the Directorate for Affairs of Foreigners shows that from May through August of this year more than 3000 citizens of Georgia have applied to Polish authorities with such requests. For comparison, there were 400 such persons from 2000 through 2008.

Perhaps something like this was anticipated earlier in the summer. Poland requested responses from EC members regarding asylum requests from Georgian citizens. The background of that request on 29 June 2009 was "a dramatic growth in number of Georgian citizens applying for refugee status in Poland in May and June (807 applicants in the period of 1 May - 25 June). The Ministry of Interior and Administration is looking for information on Georgian citizens applying for the refugee in EU MS. The PL EMN NCP would appreciate your reply by 2 July 2009."

A story in The Georgian Times suggests that one reason was Kaczynski's promise to Georgia after the conflict with Russia last year: "When the President of Poland Kaczynski, while in Poland, said that Poland waited for Georgians with open arms to welcome them to their country and Europe, many counted on being able to go to the border, say that they are Georgian, and at once be given citizenship, a decent job and a home.

For some Belarusian hunters, there is a silver lining in this cloud, according to The Georgia Times. "The intensification of the border watch in Belarus this week included the recruitment of 60 hunters from the Belovezhskaya Puscha/Forest to track illegal aliens attempting to cross into Poland."
September 11, 2009 Website "Naviny.by" Ecologist Heorhi Kazulka appeals to enlarge the strictly protected zone of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Ecologist Heorhi Kazulka, former deputy director on science of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", calls to expand the Wilderness Protection Zone to cover the entire historical part of the Pushcha's primeval forest, BelaPAN writes. The ecologist has distributed the appropriate appeal to the national and international public on the eve of celebration of the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status of the National Park.

It is said in the appeal that Belovezhskaya Pushcha "is slowly dying and becoming a regular forest". And it is "happening through the fault of the people whom history has entrusted with preserving and managing the forest, and because of general public apathy", Kazulka believes.

Among the last infringements of nature protection status of the park he focuses on wide-scale selective felling operations from 2001 to 2009 in the old-aged elite forest. Water engineering works and reconstruction of the water bodies, construction of the Father Frost Estate and development of mass tourism were conducted for the last six tears. Since 2007 a 3000 hectare hunting enclosure in the protected area of the Pashuki Forestry was built.

The ecologist says that, to the date of celebration of the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the Park's infrastructure was completely renews. However, in his opinion, radical changes concerns only outward appearance as for nothing has been changed in the moral and spirit atmosphere in the National Park. Moreover, the public control for the activity of the administration of the nature protection establishment "is being blocked in every manner imaginable". The Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park "has a confidentiality regime that is at times no less strict than a military facility" - it is impossible to get the usual ecological information, Kazulka declares.

The ecologist offers to revise the style of management in the Park - "other people with high moral and spirit standards should be appointing to manage Belovezhskaya Pushcha". "At the same time the attitude to preservation of the relict forest must undergo a drastic shift, from quasi-protection to true reservation, urgently required by the situation and the times", he has emphasized.

Alexander Romanovskiy, Deputy Manager of the Administration of Affairs of the President of the Republic of Belarus has declared on September 9 during the press conference in Minsk that information about the economic activity in Belovezhskaya Pushcha which is against nature protection and ecological norms and standards, does not correspond to the reality.
September 09, 2009 Website "The Branch of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in Russian Federation in the city of Murmansk" An ecological and educational centre to create in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

An ecological and educational centre is created in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the general director of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Nikolai Bambiza has said on September 9 during the press conference, the BelTA's reporter informs.

The centre consists of a new museum, administration office, library and reading-hall. "All was done that to intercede with a petition to the world community for recognition of this ecological and educational centre as the centre of European standart", Nikolai Bambiza has said. A management plan for Belovezhskaya Pushcha has also been prepared. It was submitted to the Council of Europe and was mitten with approval.

The next plans of the National Park are construction of a forest nursery. Trees growing in a regular forest are 25-27 metres high while the ones in Belovezhskaya Pushcha are from 40 up to 50 metres high, the Honored forester has told.

Alexander Romanovskiy, Deputy Manager of the Administration of Affairs of the President of the Republic of Belarus has added that the National Park will develop in 11 directions but nature protection and tourism activity will be in the centre of attention. In particular, a part of abandon lands nowadays covered with wild grasses is planned to use as farmlands.

Dairy products, which will become a brand not only in Belarus but also abroad, can be produced in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. But it is to do it only on those territories where the economic activity is out of restriction. No any jobs are made in a zone with World Heritage Site's status, Alexander Romanovskiy has emphasized.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the world's oldest protected territories. In 1992 UNESCO put it into a World Culture and Natural Heritage List. It 1993 it became a biosphere reserve's status. In 1997 the National Park was awarded with a special European Diploma. In this autumn the Belarusian treasure will celebrate the 600th anniversary.
September 09, 2009 Websute "Naviny.by" Cattle to appear in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in addition to bison

There are plans to develop agriculture within the territory of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", Alexander Romanovskiy, Deputy Manager of the Administration of Affairs of the President of the Republic of Belarus, announced during his press conference in Minsk as BelPAN informs.

According to him approximately 10,000 ha out of 152,000 ha of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's forest resources can be used as agricultural lands. "If these lands are covered with wild grass, why cannot we reclaim them and involve local population into this process?", Romanovskiy believes.

The officer emphasized that ecologically sustainable agricultural production can be cultivated in the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. It can be used not only for tourist purposes but also for realization in Belarus and other countries. Romanovskiyr referred to the example of dairy products.

"Why cannot we house cattle which will milk us tomorrow; there will also be a plant which will produce Bialowieza yoghurt and cheese? It will be sold not only in our country but also far abroad", the official said.
September 09, 2009 BP-21 Website News Service Let Belovezhskaya Pushcha be spiritually "white"! An appeal to the national and international public!

At the end of 2009, Belarus is holding the grand celebration of a remarkable historical date, 600 years of the first nature protection laws in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha (Bialowieza Primeval Forest), an ancient forest and natural protected area named for White Tower. In other words, October 3 will mark 600 years of Belovezhskaya Pushcha's protection, as the Poles put it correctly. But certainly not 600 years of the forest's strict wilderness protection status, as they have worded and popularized it in Belarus, because the very concept of a wild nature reserve appeared much more recently. It came into being thanks to the work of the great Russian thinkers and founders of wild nature reserve management, Vasily Dokuchayev, Dmitry Anuchin, Grigory Kozhevnikov, Pyotr Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky, Valery Taliyev and others, as late as the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.

In the distant year of 1409, the Polish king Wladyslaw II Jagiello whose possessions included Pushcha issued an edict that forbade anyone but himself and his cousin, the Lithuanian king Vytautas, from hunting big game in the forest. Others were allowed to hunt small game and fowl only. Tree felling and entrance to Pushcha were also restricted. The event served as the beginning of Pushcha's acquiring its conservation area status, which was abolished and then renewed again, and altered several times. Belovezhskaya Pushcha is now a national park (since 1991), a biosphere reserve (since 1993) and a World Heritage Site (since 1992). But even today, it is too early to say there is a true wilderness conservation regime in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Nevertheless, thanks to that event of 600 years ago, Belovezhskaya Pushcha was given a special protected status and special treatment by rulers who mostly used it for recreation or hunting. Certain restrictions and prohibitions for the public, which have been in effect for 600 years with short breaks, have played a positive part: Belovezhskaya Pushcha has survived. Thanks to that, we can admire it and keep it for our descendants, whereas other similar forests have been cut down and destroyed

However, it would be an error to believe that throughout these 600 years, Belovezhskaya Pushcha has been preserved as an area of pristine, virgin wilderness, and a unique old-growth, relict, primeval forest in terms of both contemporary and classic conception of wild nature reserve management. Not at all! On the contrary, Pushcha has been exploited in some form or another all these 600 years with varying degrees of intensity. It existed as a true state nature reserve with a true wild nature conservation regime only 13 (out of 600!) years - from 1944 to 1957. Then it was reorganized into a state protected game hunting ground (from 1957 to 1991).

As a result, we did not inherit the wild, primeval Belovezhskaya Pushcha that ... Read more the text of appeal here.

September 09, 2009 BP-21 Website News Service A 500,000 visitor of the website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - 21 Century"!

On September 9, 2009, (09.09.09 !) a 500,000 visitor of the website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - 21 Century" was registered. The indicator to show the index of visiting of the website is located at the bottom of the main page http://bp21.org.by/en/.

We can point with satisfaction that the attendance (= popularity) of the given ecological information resource grows among the web-users. If 300-400 visits have been daily two years ago, so at the end of this spring (2009) their number has grown up to 1,000. Let's remind that a hundred thousand visitors was registered in March of 2006, while a two hundred thousand one was on May 1, 2007. Thus, less than for one year, over one hundred thousand people visited the website, while first hundred thousand visitors were fixed after nearly 3 years since the website started its operation (June, 2003).

The "BP-21" website which initially has been limiting mainly to the issues connected with Belovezhskaya Pushcha has considerably expanded topics and information subjects for the last years. important news and publications on wild nature protection in Belarus, in the Polish part of the Bialowieza Forest, and also in Ukraine and Russia are also periodically placed today here.

Judging by responses of readers of the website, the section "Photo-fact" (http://bp21.org.by/en/ff/), some sort of an ecological textbook which shows ways of how reserved wild nature should be preserved and what kind of management in protected forests is wrong, plays important role to raise ecological education of the population. Thus, for today the BP-21 Century website contains about 1,500 text pages only in Russian and Belarusian, not counting English, and is actually an encyclopedia representing the history of Belovezhskaya Pushcha in details for the last 10 years.

As a supplement to the website, an Informational electronic dispatch "Voce of the Primeval Forest" in Russian http://www.rasmas.info/distributiondetails.phtml?did=870&cid=95000 is distributed (the number of constant subscribers of the dispatch makes about 150) in which, except for basic information of the website, last and most important ecological news from Russia, Ukraine and other foreign countries are included.

Since January of 2008, after the Live-Journal "How to save the planet Earth, civilization, myself" has appeared in the cyber space, annotations of publications and other materials of the LJ are given at the main page of the website for the convenience of visitors.

The BP-21 Century Project's team also answers questions of visitors sent by emails to the website or placed on "the Forum" of the website and is in correspondence with people interested in preservations of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and other areas of wild nature.

The BP-21 Century Project's team thanks all people who supported us during all these years and in the altruistic way helped us not only in providing the website "BP-21 Century" but also in fighting for protection of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and wild nature as a whole.

Information prepared by Heorhi Kazulka
September 09, 2009 Website "BelTA" About 5,000 people to be guests of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha 600th anniversary's celebration

About 5,000 people will be guests of the celebration of the 600th anniversary of the strict reservation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Alexander Romanovskiy, Deputy Manager of the Administration of Affairs of the President of the Republic of Belarus, announced during his press conference in Minsk as BelTA informs.

Guests from Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland will come to Belovezhskaya Pushcha. They will be heads of ministries of nature protection, culture, sports and tourism, representatives of mass-media, art collectives and ordinary visitors. Only art "landing party" will include not less than 600 people. An interesting cultural program is prepared for the visitors and a final chord of the big celebratory concert will be a "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" song by Alexandra Pakhmutova and Nikolai Dobronravov. The authors of the Pushcha's hymn are waited with tremor in this reserved area for. The Tsar Glade will serve as the main arena of the holiday.

Excursions will be organized, art crafts will demonstrate mastery during the holiday and small field-shops will serve the numerous visitors of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

A scientific and practical conference will precede the big holiday, on September 18. Representatives of various countries will discuss issues of the further development of the National Park and of preservation of the unique natural area.

Alexander Romanovskiy has mentioned that a plan of measures for the celebration of this anniversary has been prepared in Belarus. A lot of publications in mass-media and television programs about the Belarusian treasure have appeared. For example, books were issued about 10 as much. A unique photo-album "Earth of Power. Belovezhskaya Pushcha" "crones" the publishing projects. The five-kilogram and 600-pages edition of 4 thousand copies, a half in Belarusian and English and the other half in Belarusian and Russian, was made in circulation. This encyclopedia about Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be in use at foreign Belarusian diplomatic representatives, at ministries, departments and biggest libraries. A part of the edition is planned to sell in the National Park and big book shops of Belarus. The cost of the unique edition is about Br 300-340 thousand (~US $100-110). The book was issued in the publishing house "Petrus Brovka's Belarusian Encyclopedia" with support of the Administration of Affairs of the President of the Republic of Belarus.

Zhanna Kotliarova
September 09, 2009 Website "BelTA" A photo-album of "Earth of Power. Belovezhskaya Pushcha" to be an encyclopedia of the famous nature reserve

A new photo-album "Earth of Power. Belovezhskaya Pushcha" became an encyclopedia of the famous national park because of unique materials gathered, Tatiana Belova, director of the publishing house "Petrus Brovka's Belarusian Encyclopedia", said this opinion today to the BELTA reporter.

The photo-album tells about the most titled reserve not only in Europe but also in the world. The book includes a history of Belovezhskaya Pushcha since the moment of its appearance on the territory of primitive humans up to present).

The publication begins from two-page-size pictures. Tragic episodes and years of greatness in the history of the protected land were passed through documentary photographs. Every chapter of the book is devoted to one period in the Pushcha's history. Text documentary material, maps, lyric insets and many others are present in these chapters. 12 legends of Belovezhskaya Pushcha of many others which were gathered by Vyacheslav Semakov are part of this publication. Every legend can be "salt" of the reserve. A painter Sergei Volkov has created illustrations to these legends. A bid volume of historical information was discovered by publishing house's employees. The Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus gave a lot of documentary material.

Original, unique, inimitable and highly artistic pictures are the most part of the album. They show the wealth of trees and grasses with the data on their quantity. Pictures are given in details and focus on representatives of separate species of flora and fauna of the reserve.

The artistic design is also impressive. It includes 13 two-page-size pages of the calligraphic text of the poem "A Song about the Appearance, Savagery and Hunting of the Bison" by Mikolaj Hussowczyk and the Ipatievskaja Chronicle made by Pavel Semchenko.

The book calls on strong emotional enthusiasm by readers and wakes up feelings of delight and love to own country.

"This book is our message to the future. If some important events took place in the country but they didn't find reflection in the encyclopedia, it means they cannot reach our future descendants in the full volume. That's why we tried to gather the most detailed and interesting information in one publication, Tatiana Belova said.

This project was realized with the support of the Administration of Affairs of the President of the Republic of Belarus. Lilia Ananich is a leader of this project. The publishing house "Petrus Brovka's Belarusian Encyclopedia" has prepared this photo-album, and the Belarusian Printing House has printed.

Ekaterina Sidelova
-------
Translated by Alexei Konstantinov
September 09, 2009 Website "TUT.BY" Agriculture to be developed in the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Developing of agriculture is planned on the territory of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, Alexander Romanovskiy, Deputy Manager of the Administration of Affairs of the President of the Republic of Belarus, announced on September 9, 2009 during his press conference in Minsk.

According to him app. 10,000 ha out of 152,000 ha of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's forest resources can be used as agricultural lands. "If these lands are covered with wild grass, why cannot we reclaim them and involve local population into this process?", Romanovskiy believes.

The officer emphasized that ecologically sustainable agricultural production can be cultivated in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. It can be used not only for tourist purposes but also for realization in Belarus and other countries. Romanovskiyr referred to the example of dairy products. "Why cannot we house cattle which will milk us tomorrow; there will also be a plant which will produce Bialowieza yoghurt and cheese? It will be sold not only in our country but also far abroad", the official assured.

Sanitary cuttings in Belovezhskaya Pushcha NP will be minimized, stated Alexander Romanovskiy, Deputy Manager of the Administration of Affairs of the President of the Republic of Belarus, on September 9, 2009 during his press conference in Minsk.

According to him, sanitary cuttings started since 2000 were aimed to eliminate bark beetles, which infected some trees. The biggest problem at that time was dying forest. Timber extractions in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha NP are organized nowadays on the territory of the experimental forestry hunting grounds where trees' cutting is allowed (around 20,000 ha of the forest area).

Alexander Romanovskiy stated that insomuch as there were raw materials, therefore there was woodworking in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha NP. Nevertheless, due to minimisation of sanitary cuttings this trend will not get further development.

Certain steps are planed in order to employ reforestation. According to the NP Director General Nikolai Bambiza, the building of a new forest nursery is planned for the next year. It will be used for nursing of the Pushcha's oak and pine seedlings for the further dissemination along the CIS and European countries. Bambiza stated that genetic funds of the Pushcha's trees is better than on any other territory of Belarus or other CIS countries. An average tree in Belarus reaches 25-27 metres high while in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha this number is 40-50 metres.

According to the deputy manager of the Administration of Affairs of the President, information that economic activities in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha NP lead to the damage of nature conservation and environmental norms, does not correspond to the real situation. All photographs allocated in the internet which were considered to show negative moments in reality show just positive changes, he said.

As Romanovskiy stated, the one of the most prioritised trends of development of the NP were ecological activities and tourism. "Hunting is a huge part of our capability", he said.

According to information received from Bambiza, around 270,000 tourists from 76 countries visited the Belovezhskaya Pushcha NP last year. This year an environmental-educational centre with a new museum was opened. A new restaurant for 250 seats is being completed.

Anastasia Yanushevskaya, BelaPAN
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Translated by Hanna Vasilevich
September 09, 2009 Website "The Standing Committee of the Allied State" Belarusian Bison in a Russian nature reserve

The Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park transferred several bison to the Russian National Park Orlovskoye Polesye, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha NP general director Nicolai Bambiza informed journalists of the website www.soyuz.by. The director said that it happened under the close cooperation on the environmental activities with the Russian counterpart.

The Pride of Belarus - Bialowieza Forest - is very well known and respected in Russia. Thus, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha NP was honoured with a special award of the State Duma of the Russian Federation "On Preservation of Biodiversity". Russian Academy of Sciences rewarded high professionalism of Nicolai Bambiza with the silver cross for all his merits in the sphere of nature conservation.

It is worth mentioning that apart of being inscribed into a list of UNESCO World Heritage, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha NP was also honoured with a Diploma of the Council of Europe, which is valid till 2012. Nicolai Bambiza mentioned that negotiations on the Diploma's validity extension for unlimited period are under way now.

We remind that Orlovskoye Polesye is a national park located in the north-western part of the Orel region of the Russian Federation. It lies within the borders of the Znamensky and Khotynetsky districts and comprises a part of the Orel-Kaluga Polesye natural massive. The park was established on January 9, 1994 on the initiative of Yegor Stroev. The NP total area covers 84,205 ha. A bison herd amounting approximately 50 animals is the pride of the Orlovskoye Polesye NP.
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Translated by Hanna Vasilevich
September 08, 2009 Website "ECOPRESS" The publishing house "P.Brovka's Belarusian Encyclopedia" to print a photo-album "The Earth of Power. Belovezhskaya Pushcha"

The publishing house "P.Brovka's Belarusian Encyclopedia" supported by the the Administration of Affairs of the President has printed a photo-album "The Earth of Power. Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

The ECOPRESS learned from the publishing house that the unique format edition of the volume of 600 pages with original photo-pictures which are published for the first time is devoted to celebration of the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Let's note that the year of the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha has also got the Year of Native Land. In publishers' opinion, both these concepts - Belarusian land and Belovezhskaya Pushcha - are inseparable.

The presentation of the edition will be on September 9 in the National Press Centre.