NEWS ARCHIVE: SEPTEMBER 2013

September 30, 2013 "Vecherniy Brest" (The Evening Brest) newspaper Farther Frost from Belovezhskaya Pushcha is preparing to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his estate

The National Park is already being prepared for its next jubilee (this time a little one) - the 10th anniversary of the Belarusian Grandfather Frost's Estate. On 16 December 2003, the fabulous residence of Father Frost was open on 15 hectares in the forest, which was earlier used as a bison nursery. This year a millionth visitor is already waited to come to the Estate.

Father Frost invited his colleagues from Russia to celebrate the 10th anniversary. It is confirmed in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" that the official invitations have been sent out to Russian Santa Claus in Great Ustug, to Snow Maiden in Kostroma, to Berendey King in Pereslavl and to Baba Yaga in Kukoboya. The visit of other representatives of fairy kingdom is also expected. Great festivities in the Pushcha's estate are scheduled for December 13 to 15. Presentation of the project "Fairytale Map of Russia and Belarus" is expected as part of the festival. Within its frame, First International Fabulous Mile will be opened – a road sign indicating the direction and distance to the residence of fabulous epic heroes. There will be a ceremony of awarding the winners of the contest for the best fairy-tale story about Santa Claus. Works on this competition are yet accepted until the end of September.

By Elena Tribuleva
September 27, 2013 Website "Zarya" (The Dawn) newspaper A new status of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

In 2012, 20 years have passed since the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" was inscribed into a UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites. However, according to international experts who visited the Resrve with the mission in 2008, "the Site poorly represents the biological and landscape diversity of the natural area." In this regard, the foreign experts have urged then to re-nominate the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha into the World Heritage Site's List. Five years have passed since then. And representatives of the International Union for Conservation of Nature revisited Pushcha to assess the work done here.

As earlier as the last visit, the experts recognized that the small strictly protected part of our National Park is causing, to put it mildly, upset to them because the existing size is not enough for sustainable and long-term functioning of the Site of such importance as this. The new nomination of UNESCO for Belovezhskaya Pushcha implies a significant expansion of the boundaries of the Reserve in both Belarusian and Polish parts. It should be noted that the Bialowieza National Park, located on the territory of Poland, was the first to be including into the List of World Heritage Sites. Our part of Belovezhskaya Pushcha has been nominated by the criterion of "Outstanding Aesthetic Value of a Site" only after 13 years. Currently, due to the process of re-nomination, both parties submitted a Polish-Belarusian dossier as a single.

"The previous Expert Mission in 2008 recommended us to make this process together with the Polish side, and to change the borders and some other criteria," the senior research fellow of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Dmitry Bernatsky shared the information with the correspondent of "The Dawn". "The new nomination more accurately represents the value of the Site. I think we have the quite high chances of its approval."

Indeed, the UNESCO's Committee on World Heritage Sites increased the number of criteria in the new nomination from 5 to 10 and broadened the formulation. It expected that in this way the additional requirements will represent the value of Belovezhskaya Pushcha as a natural cross-border World Heritage Site to a greater extent. Because of this, it markedly increased concerns and commitment of the Park's leaderships, of course. By the way, they have made much efforts to fulfill the recommendations of experts to the maximum and got the coveted nomination. For example, there has been a significant increase in the area of the National Park in recent years as we incorporated the fen mire "Wild", which is located in Pruzhany and Svisloch districts. Thus, the total protected area covered nearly 90,000 ha, while it is now about 140,000 ha. In addition, the strict Wilderness Protection Zone of the Park is today expanded from 15, 000 to 57,000 hectares.

During the working visit, the members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature - Yelena Osipova from Russia and Pierre Galland from Switzerland - have learned and analyzed the state of Belovezhskaya Pushcha within the territory in both countries. Then, the experts will make a report, on the basis of which UNESCO will make the final decision.

Victoria Atroshchenko,
Student of the Journalism Department of the Brest University
September 27, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Experts are assessing the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

From September 20 to 24, the expert mission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) by UNESCO worked in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. It was represented by Pierre Galand and Yelena Osipova of the IUCN headquarters in Switzerland. As part of the mission, a meeting on re-nomination of the transboundary World Heritage Site "Bialowieza Forest" was on held in the Bialowieza National Park (the village of Bialowieza, Poland) on September 20 and 21. The Belarusian side at the meeting was attended by representatives of the administration of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Republic of Belarus.

There were multimedia presentations about the area proposed for the nomination and covered the World Heritage Site in the Belarusian and Polish parts of the Bialowieza Forest. Attention was focused on the need for inscribing the Site into a List of World Heritage Sites by the two new criteria that reflects its outstanding universal value. A representative of the Regional Directorate of State Forests (Bialystok, Poland) made a report on the feasibility of the nomination of the entire old-age forest core of Polish part of the Bialowieza Forest into the Site, as the economic activity is limited there, taking into account the environmental principles based on the European Program "Natura 2000".

The results of the long-term scientific research conducted in the Bialowieza Forest by two national parks and by research institutions in Bialowieza (Institute of Natural Forests, Geobotanical Station and Mammal Research Institute) were also offered for the experts' attention.

Director of the Bialowieza National Park made a presentation about the tourism in the Park, and the information about the Park's relationship with the administration of the Department of Public Forests and with the local communities.

During the discussion, the answers on the experts' questions concerning relation to the joint nomination of the transboundary World Heritage Site were given. There was a field visit of natural fragments of the Polish part of the Bialowieza Forest selected by the experts (visit of the protected area and its historic core).

The next step of the experts' mission was to visit the Belarusian part of the Bialowieza Forest (from 22 to 24 September) and assessment of the territory proposed for inclusion into the List of World Heritage Sites.
Septembeer 25, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Forest inventory is carried out

In accordance with the requirements of the Forest Code of the Republic of Belarus, forest inventory works throughout the National Park and the Forest and Game Ground "Shereshevskoye" must be carried out in 2013 to 2015. In this regard, since April this year a preparatory stage of forest inventory is being carried out. Aerial and satellite imagery of the territory has been conducted. A forest inventory technical meeting has been held. The field work on taxation of forest stands will begin in 2014.

The new forest management plans will determine the development of forestry of the National Park for the period from 2016 to 2025.
September 24, 2013 Website "Onliner.by" A Volkswagen to crash on the road around Belovezhskaya Pushcha. It is suspected that an animal ran through the road

The motorway "Bypass the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" is hardly popular among motorists. Nevertheless, serious accidents occur in autumn there. A BMW car got to the ditch in September last year and five young people died. Yesterday on more accident again happened on the road – a Volkswagen Golf with in-laws going from wedding overturned. According to information of the portal "Virtual Brest", passenger - a mother and daughter - were taken to hospital.

According to the "Virtual Brest" referring to the inspectors, both victims got open head injuries, broken ribs, collarbone, etc. According to the preliminary version, both of them were not fastened and this was the reason why they got such a serious injury from the accident. In this case, if the mother had fastened herself and would have taken care of her 15-year-old daughter, things might be different. In addition to women, another passenger – a man - was in the car. They all came back from a wedding.

The driver was sober. Investigators are trying to find out what caused the accident. Maybe the woman could go from a collision with an animal that ran into the road.

Original source: "Virtual Brest". Photo from virtual.brest.by
September 21, 2013 "Grodnenskaya Pravda" (The Grodno Truth) newspaper Competition of lumberjacks in the National Park" Belovezhskaya Pushcha"

Competition among professional lumberjacks was organized in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" for the first time.

10 forestry areas from the southern part of the National Park were competing in the first day and 7 northern forestry areas located within the Svisloch district were in the second day.

The competition took place in the Novodvorskoe forestry area. The participants demonstrated the mastery when installing a new chain, cutting a combined log and sawing discs for stability. The last kind gave the Park's record - 7 discs (the national record is 9) made by Vladimir Gorbin, the timber feller from Novodvorskoe forestry area. Sergei Ostapchuk from the Oschepskoe forestry area was recognized as the best lumberjack.

By Galina Romanchuk
September 20, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" A study seminar

On September 18, 2013, a study workshop for forestry employees of the National Park to fulfill the demands of reforestation and afforestation was organized. There were visits in Korolevo-Mostovskoe, Oschepskoe, Suhopolskoe and Pashukovskoe forestry areas. Forest plantations for their inventory, as well as for their transferring into the category of the forested area and the category from young stands into valuable ones were examined. At the end of the seminar, there were recommended to favor the natural regeneration of the forest when the planning and implementing reforestation activities.
September 20, 2013 Website "21.by" Myths of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The TV film "Terra incognita. Belarus unknown" helps to look beyond the horizon of own knowledge.

TV Channel "Belarus 1" depicts the mysteries of thousands of years of Bialowieza Forest (Belovezhskaya Pushcha) in the next editions of the popular science program «Terra incognita. Belarus unknown".

Bialowieza Forest is a primeval forest with century-old trees miraculously preserved in the heart of Europe. This unique site of international importance, which is famous above all for its forests, keeps its secrets of millennia.

Host of the TV Programm Maxim Nemtchinov visits the heart of the reserved forest, tries to unravel the fascinating myths of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, holds viewers through the impenetrable jungle, tries to find the ancient oak tree and tells you why the Forest is the chief one among the "natural wonders" of Belarus and is one of the most recognized brands in our country.

Recall that the new original project of the 2013 and 2014 TV season – "Terra incognita. Belarus unknown", the popular-science show for the whole family - helps to look beyond the horizon of own knowledge and experience the real, living and unique world of the Belarusian nature. Creators of the project confident that knowledge of nature is not only important, but also incredibly fun.

"Myths of Belovezhskaya Pushcha", the first part of the series "Terra incognita. Belarus unknown", will be on Sunday, September 22, at 14.25, the second one is a week later, on September 29, as the press service of the BelTeleRadioCcompany informs.
September 19, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" The visit of experts on World Heritage Sites

From 20 to 24 September 2013, the expert mission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will work in the Bialowieza Forest, including its Polish and Belarusian parts. The mission comes from the initiative of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO. Experts will assess the territory proposed for inclusion into a World Heritage Sites' List according to a new nomination dossier, which was jointly prepared by the staff of the Bialowieza National Park, the Regional Directorate of State Forests (Bialystok) and the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". The dossier has been stated to the World Heritage Committee in the framework of the cross-border re-nomination of the World Heritage Site "Bialowieza Forest" (Poland / Belarus), with regard for the new criteria and in connection with a change in the boundaries of the Site. According to the application, the area of the cross-border Site will have to make more than 140,000 hectares.

The experts' mission will start its work in the Polish part of the Forest. There will be a presentation of the proposed World Heritage Site, the assessment of its territory, discussions and conclusions.

From 22 to 24 September 2013, experts will work in accordance to the similar program on the Belarusian side of the Forest.

Since there is proposed to include more than 80,000 hectares into the World Heritage Site, field visits of southern, central and northern parts of the Belarusian Bialowieza Forest, as well as the acquaintance with the infrastructure of the National Park will take much more time.

A final meeting with the media, non-governmental organizations, local authorities and representatives of the Ministry of Environment will be at the end of the visit.
September 10, 2013 Website "Tourism and Leisure" Summer School running in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

On September 2, the Belarusian-Polish-German Summer School for students started in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

This year the training course is taking place in the Bialowieza National Park (Poland). Students of forest specialties from higher educational institutions in Eberswalde, Bialystok and Minsk came to this Park.

The School is organized in the framework of the tripartite cooperation between universities and the national parks of Belarus, Poland and Germany, involving also the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". The study program includes a series of thematic lectures and tours to the various objects of the Bialowieza Forest. Lectures will be given by experts of the National Park and other institutions.

An international team of students will get acquainted with the strategy of management of the protected area and with the systems of forest monitoring (the study of dynamic processes; ecology of flora and fauna; functioning of forest ecosystems). There will also be an analysis of the regional land use and the socio-economic situation for the local population.

Summer School will last until September 10. At the closing conference, students will present the results of their works, and the effectiveness of the Summer School will also be assessed.

Overall, the project on internship for students is scheduled for 3 years. The next year the Summer School is planned to be already in our country, in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", and a year later in Germany.
September 09, 2013 "Vitebskiy Kurier" (The Vitebsk Courier) newspaper Who will stop the invasion of bark beetles in forests of the Vitebsk region?

While spruce bark beetles gnaws out their hieroglyphs in spruce trees, printing houses of the country are in no hurry to print commemorative booklets for the public.

During a weekly staff meeting in the Tolochin district, director of the local forest enterprise asked for help in attracting residents to clean the forest from fallen trees and dead wood. It is a necessary case, let's say, even of national importance. But it is to save the forest also from leaders hiding the truth from the public, not only from dead trees.

The bitter truth is that the director of the Tolochinsky forest enterprise, when requesting assistance from the governmental bodies, does not inform officials and the Chairman of the District Council of Deputies George Murashko that thousands of hectares of state forests he manages are destroyed from attacks of a dangerous pest – spruce bark beetles.

It is necessary to save the forest not only from dead wood, but also from leaders who hide the truth from the public..

As a result of their attack, the "red wood" became a discriminative sign not only for Tolochinsky district, but also for the next - Orshansky one. Mogilevsky and Goretsky forest enterprises of the Mogilev region are also affected from bark beetles. Olga Novikova, a student of the Kuleshov's Moscow State University, evidenced in her lecture that the late hauling of timber from the forest is one of the main reasons for the growth of pests.

A visual representation of the scale of this disaster is given be the website "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - XXI Century". Ten years ago, it warned that hundred thousand cubic meters of cut wood rot in this protected forest.

There are also photos of mismanagement and a reference there - "mountains" of timber not taking out from the forest become higher and wider, while the period for the timber populated by bark beetles should be no more than 10 days of being in the forest.

If this is happening in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, with a status of World Heritage Site, there is no denying it in forests of the lowest status in remote areas of Vitebsk and Mogilev regions.

For justice' sake, it should be recognized another reason for the destruction of our forests. Foresters annually set special traps for males of bark beetles at logging sites. They die there as being attracted by the smell of the female pheromones. In such a simple way the number of dangerous pests is successfully regulated around the world. The practice of our region shows that the villagers and summer residents are trying to adopt traps from the forest to catch Colorado potato beetles at their homes. There is no benefit from this for potato plantations, but an irreparable damage is caused for the forest.

I specially went through the filings of all district newspapers of the Vitebsk region, more than 20 ones, and dare to say that only one - "Arshansky Newspaper" - raised its voice in protest against this barbaric attitude to efforts of foresters to stop the invasion of bark beetles. Journalists, foresters, ecologists, agronomists and school teachers ignore these sad facts and are not hurrying to eliminate illiteracy of Belarusian residents.

Figuratively speaking, while spruce bark beetles gnaws out their hieroglyphs in spruce trees, printing houses of the country are in no hurry to print commemorative booklets for the public.
September 09, 2013 "Zarya" (The Dawn) newspaper Special tour "World Wildlife" was developed in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"

The tour provides to the people an opportunity to take a picture of bison, wild boar and other forest dwellers in feeding areas, and, what is the most important, of red deer that are in the rut. That's why they lose caution and allow coming to them at a very close distance. In short, the photos may be truly unique.

Peak of the rut (its beginning is in late August) is in the middle of September. "Marriage solo" of deer, or the mighty trumpet sounds which are vaguely reminiscent of a locomotive whistle, are especially heard in the morning and evening hours in the forest. In this way the males call each other to a duel. It should be noted that Belovezhskaya Pushcha is home to the deer' largest population in Belarus.

By Elena Garmel
September 09, 2013 "Zarya" (The Dawn) newspaper A meeting between Belarusian and Polish meteorologists was in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

To forecast the weather in Brest and region, let's say, in six hours, first of all it needs to know what the weather is on nearby areas, for example, in neighboring Poland, and vice versa. Therefore, our and Polish meteorologists are constantly working in close conjunction.

Today's meeting is one more confirmation of long-term friendship. This week a meeting was held in the National Reserve "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" where representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus and employees of the Polish National Institute of Meteorological and Water Management discussed issues relating to the weather conditions of the two countries.

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(The news is placed in the short-cut form, the BP-21 Century editor's note)
September 06, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Trumpeting red deer

Currently visitors of Belovezhskaya Pushcha can hear the mighty trumpet sounds, especially in the morning and evening hours. This means that the rut of red deer is starting and males are calling each other to a duel, with kind of roar vaguely reminiscent of a locomotive whistle. Only equal in strength adult males will fight. A fight loser deer leaves the scene of battle and a winner gets the right to procreate. It acquires harem (usually 3 to 5, sometimes more than 10) females, who further will give offspring. Up to 10 males can claim the right to possess a harem.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is home to the biggest in Belarus red deer population. It was used to settle beautiful animals in new places throughout the country and beyond.

Red deer rut is also called roaring. It begins in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in the end of August. First, red deer begin to "blow" in the southern part of the territory, then roaring undulatory applies to the center and then to the northern part of the Forest. The peak of the rut is in the middle of September and is attenuated by the end of October. Deer lose their caution and allow approaching them at very close range. This is a great time to not only listen to "marriage solo" of red deer in autumn forest, but also make unique pictures of nature. To do this, the National Park has developed a special tour of "The World of Wildlife". Joining it, even a novice photographer can shot a roaring red deer coming out to bison feed sites, as well as wild boars and other animals that are numerous in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Of course, it is better to agree beforehand on the tour that the Park's staff were able to prepare in advance photo-shooting locations. Bid for the tour can be made by phone or send by fax to (10375 1631) 56748.


September 05, 2013 Website "BelTA" New tourist routes tp appear in Belovezhskaya Pushcha until the end of the year

New tourist routes will appear in Belovezhskaya Pushcha until the end of this year, as BelTA learned from the senior researcher of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Dmitry Bernatsky.

Routes will be materially different from those already existing in the Park. "The routes will take place exclusively on forest paths which are free of asphalt and will be focused mostly on long walks," Dmitry Bernatsky said. The length of the routes will be 4 km long and almost 8 km. New walking paths will be targeted at fans of quiet long walks.

Another feature of the new routes is their location in the northern part of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. "The nature of the north and south of the Reserve, where now all the tourist infrastructure is placed, is markedly different," Dmitry Bernatsky said. Prides of the Belarusian nature - fens - are found only in the northern part of Pushcha. New eco-paths allow guests to the Reserve to get acquainted with the local natural communities, see medieval burial mounds and centuries-old giant trees of various species, including one of the largest pine trees of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, which has been used as a "live-hive-tree" for the bees in XVIII and XIX centuries.

Along with new routes, various objects of the tourist infrastructure will function in the National Park. Now tourist centers are created in Svislochkoe and Novoselkovskoe forestry areas. New routes will originate there. Soon, part of the administrative buildings located there will turn into guest complexes for small number of visitors. "So far only one tourist destination in the village of Kamenyuki which services a few thousand visitors a day is actively functioned in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. New centers will be able to meet the demands of fans of a private relaxation", Dmitry Bernatsky said.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the biggest lowland forest in Europe, preserved relatively undisturbed. The length of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" from north to south is 64 km, from west to east is from 20 to 52 km. Its territory is now divided by 17 forest districts. In addition, the Forest and Game Ground "Shereshevskoye" of an area of 11,520 hectares and the Forest and Game Ground "Vygonovskoe" of an area of 90,900 hectares are subordinated to the National Park. In 1992, part of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has been included in a UNESCO's World Heritage List. In 1993, the National Park has been granted a status of Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. In 1997, the National Park has been awarded a European Diploma for outstanding achievements in the wildlife conservation.
September 03, 2013 "Vecherniy Brest" (The Evening Brest) newspaper A meeting of meteorologists of Poland and Belarus to host in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

On September 4 and 5, a meeting of meteorologists of Poland and Belarus is taking place in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Our side is represented by the Deputy Head of the Ministry of Environment Igor Kachanovskiy, Head of the National Hydrometeorological Center Igor Franchuk and employees of both departments. The Polish delegation consists of experts of the National Institute of Meteorology and Water Management in Poland, led by its Director General and Second Vice-President of the World Meteorological Organization Mieczyslaw Ostojski. The program of the working meeting includes discussions on information systems for defense from the extremely dangerous phenomena, cooperation and collaboration.
September 03, 2013 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" New tourist routes

Currently, employees of the scientific department of the National Park are developing new tourist routes in the northern part of the Park.

They are part of a new kind of service - accommodation in guest rooms of the forestry areas, in particular of Svislochskoe and Novoselkovskoe ones, which have the biggest number of rooms to accommodate tourists. While walking on ecological trails, lovers to relax away from the noise of civilization can get acquainted with a variety of natural communities and see medieval burial mounds and centuries-old giant trees of various species, including one of the biggest pine trees of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, which has been used as a "live-hive-tree" for the bees in XVIII and XIX centuries. In addition to pleasant and healthy walks, the developed hiking trails will help visitors better understand the nature and history of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.


September 01, 2013 Website "Eco-tourism" Boulders of Belovezhskaya Pushcha are natural monuments with legends

click to enlarge in the new window
Bialowieza Forest is a great place to take a break from city life and enjoy the scenery. Here you can learn a lot about stones of the Forest, which are among the oldest monuments of the nature of the National Park of Belarus.

Thus, the uniqueness of the Bialowieza Forest is not only in beautiful forest landscapes that are so attractive to lovers of ecological tourism. Scientists believe that the boulders got to the Park's area from Scandinavia at the time of the Ice Age. One of the stones is visible under the earth surface only for 50 cm, while 2 meters are under the ground. Overall size of the stone is 1.5 x 2 m

It is known that people like to come up with different stories of mystical character, and this boulder is also related to a legend. If you look closely to the stone, you can see the dent. So, people believe that this is a footprint of the Mother of God that she left here when she wanted to shake out her shoe, to make it clean from sand.

Now people are saying that anyone, who touches the stone with hand, will feel tingling. There were so many people who claimed it, so even the scientists took notice of this. By doing research, they came to the conclusion that such a phenomenon is due to the joining the warm stone and the cold finger (called a thermocouple effect). But people tend to believe more legends. They argue that if to make a wish near the stone, it will come true. There are also mounds with objects of Yotvingians tribes buried.