NEWS ARCHIVE: OCTOBER 2007

October 29, 2007 Electronic dispatch "Eco_Rus" An experience from our neighbours: About how bison are shot in Ukraine

For the last 15 years, a real criminal syndicate specializing to shoot bison, a species from the Red Data Book, which members were top-officials of the Ministry of Nature Protection, the State Forest Committee and travel companies, as well as holders of hunting websites, was created in Ukraine. The web-holders looked for clients and brought them together with the officials of the State Forest Committee. The rate was one for all areas – 3,500 dollars officially and the same sum as bribe went to Kiev to purchase sanction for killing bison. The State Forest Committee defined in what area to kill a bison, then gave the task to a local timber enterprise and those, having taken the agreement from a local regional department of the Ministry of Nature Protection (for example from Mrs. Yavorskaya), made business with the Ministry of Nature Protection in Kiev. The claim was already waited there and a session of the commission on Red Data Book was prepared. It is curious that even if scientists, members of the commission, being in the majority were against murder of bison (we have such shorthand reports), the Ministry of Nature Protection authorized murder of bison all the same. Mr. Movchan tells a lie that ill bison were ostensibly killed. They are not good as a trophy. Quite the contrary, the best, the most beautiful males were killed. In this way they also broke the aged and sexual structure of a herd as only females and kids remained in bison herds.

The selection grew up to the top and. As a result, bison were completely exterminated in the Khmelnitskiy, Rivnensk and this year in the Chernigov regions. Their number was much reduced in the Lvov, Vinnitsa and Volynsk regions. We have found two heads of bison without appropriated documents in a garage of the Vinnitsa timber enterprise. A question to Mrs. Yavorskaya - why could it turn out, if, as she said, representatives of its management ostensibly always took shooting for selection under control. The chaos like this has resulted in the fact that only in Ukraine the number of bison was much reduced, while in all next countries – in Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Russia and Germany - it grows.

And one more essential thing. If there would be order and control, the Ukrainian criminal syndicate on murder of bison could not work so effectively. According to the law, hunters should give to the Ministry of Nature Protection, i.e. to Mr. Movchan, a report on every shot bison. However, this "patriot" has made as follows as there is no one report about bison in his department. The purpose is clear – to create conditions to successfully "catch fish", or more correctly, to shoot bison in muddy water.

Vladimir Boreiko,
director of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center
October 27, 2007 Website "Interfax.by" Considerably to increase the Wilderness Protection Zone of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is planned to 2008, according to the Ministry of Nature Resources and Environment Protection of Belarus

Zoning scheme of Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park since 2004
Zoning scheme of the Belovezhskaya
Pushcha National Park (since 2004)
Belarusian scientists prepare a management plan for Belovezhskaya Pushcha to submit it to the Commission on Conservation of Biological and Landscape Diversity of the Council of Europe, Elena Penyaz, a press-secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection of Belarus, has informed the Interfax News Agency.

"The Commission of the Council of Erope dealing with nature protection has postponed consideration of the topic on prolongation of the European Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha and Belarusian party now prepares the management plan for the National Park", Elena Penyaz has told. She has also noted that "the situation concerning the European Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha cannot be considered in the context of any political issues".

"The Belarusian party has not submitted the management plan for this National Park to the scheduled time. The Commission has mitten halfway and has prolonged the terms for preparation of the plan and has rescheduled consideration of the topic on prolongation of the European Diploma", Elena Penyaz has explained.

She has also informed that, according to researches of scientists which are now carried out in Belarus, it is planned by 2008 "considerably to enlarge the Wilderness Protection Zone of Belovezhskaya Pushcha". "It is supposed that in 2008 the reconsideration of the zoning scheme of the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be carried out in order to increase its strictly protected zone as minimum as twice", Elena Penyaz has told.

"Scientists offer, in particular, to include into Belovezhskaya Pushcha old-aged forests", the interlocutor from the Agency has specified.

In the management plan for Belovezhskaya Pushcha, which is under preparation in the Research Institute of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, there will be recommendations aiming to go down threats which cause reduction in populations of rare species of animals and plants, as well as measure on conservation of populations of rare species of wild plants. The National Park's west to east width is 10 - 50 km, and that from north to south is over 60 km. The Park covers 163,505 ha and is located within the borders of the Grodno and Brest regions.
October 25, 2007 "Brestskiy Kurier" (The Brest Courier) newspaper, No 43 A European veto for Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Information that the validity of the European Diploma earlier given for the Polish and Belarusian territories of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is suspended has come last week.

Since the management of the official institution "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" withholds comments and employees of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection of the Republic of Belarus heard nothing about this, only the Polish party confirmed this fact for the time present. We were explained from the scientific department of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha national park that a lack of the long-term plan on protection of reserved nature is the main reason. Meanwhile, at the end of November, a meeting of representatives of the countries which have signed the Convention on Protection of Wild Animals will be held in Strasbourg in which, quite possible, a question concerning Belovezhskaya Pushcha will also be discussed.

The European Diploma was awarded to the Reserve ten years ago, as it was informed in that time, "for great achievements in the field of conservation of wild nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha". However, independent Belarusian ecologists consider that this decision was made in advance, in the hope of future improvement of protection of reserved nature and of conservation of the ancient forest of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. For example, according to Heorhi Kazulka, a former deputy director of the National park, experts of the Council of Europe, at the same time when awarding the Diploma, has stated ten conditions, recommendations.

Audits of all winners are scheduled once per five years. In 2002, when issues to prolong the European Diploma or not were discussed, it came to a scandal - Belarusian ecological public figures appealed to the experts to be on no hurry to accept a too optimistic decision. "The then situation looked reaching a deadlock", Heorhi Kazulka recollects. "The number of recommendations has not decreased, quite the contrary, it has increased almost twice. As regards the treatment towards wild nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha in that time, I can just call it vandalism. At the same time the Council of Europe could not decide at once to abolish the former positive verdict concerning the Diploma". According to the ecologist, there were precedents when the Diploma was abolished, for example, when a ski line in the reserved zone in defiance of all laws was built in one of the French national parks. However, the measure like this is not popular because mechanisms to provide control and to wield influence on the situation are lost in such cases. It is especially important for the Belarusian territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha where enter without a sanction of the administration of the National park is banned for many independent experts.

Click to enlarge in the new window – The European Diploma for the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park
The text of the European
Diploma
Nevertheless, a new visit of inspectors of the Council of Europe to Pushcha after the next five years' period and the picture they have seen, probably, have induced to accept the unpopular decision. It is necessary to notice that the awarding the European Diploma does not give any direct financial benefits, but, this is certainly a prestigious award for every nature protection territory. This is appreciated in the Polish Bialowieza where a detailed plan of nature protection measures is already under preparation and there is a hope that this will be enough to prolong the validity of the European diploma.

Additional information by the "BK"

The National park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" became perhaps the most titled object among nature protection territories on the European continent for the last fifteen years. Before the Council of Europe awarded the park the Diploma, the UNESCO has inscribed a part of the Pushcha on a List of World Natural Heritage of Mankind in 1992 and, one year later, it has given a status of biosphere reserve.

Oleg SUPRUNIUK
October 25, 2007 Website "The European Radio For Belarus" A European Diploma was not taken away from Belovezhskaya Pushcha

As the Euro-Radio got known, the Council of Europe did not take away a Diploma from the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". The decision on this issue is postponed for an uncertain period. However, the validity of the Diploma has already come to the end.

Information has recently appeared that the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" was not prolonged the European Diploma. It is ostensibly that both the Belarusian and Polish national parks have lost the Diploma since early October.

The Euro-Radio has decided to find out whether Belarus was really deprived of the prestigious Diploma. Alena Penyaz, a press-secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection has categorically denied this information.

"No, this Diploma given to Belovezhskaya Pushcha was not taken away from us because the question on abrogation of the Diploma was not discussed at the last session of the Council of Europe. The consideration of this question was reserved for an uncertain future".

How does Belarus benefit from the Diploma? The Euro-Radio has addressed this question to Vitaliy Korenchuk, a head of the Department of the Department of Wild Nature Protection of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection.

"This is a status of Belarus. This demonstrates how well the work on protection of natural ecosystems is today organized in the country, how well they are conserved and how well all complex of measures on preservation of biological and landscape diversity is executed”.

Click to enlarge in the new window – The European Diploma for the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park
The text of the European
Diploma
Mr. Korenchuk has also noted that, except for the status, there is no any benefit from getting the Diploma.

"Except for increasing authority, I do not remember that we have gained any big grants due to this Diploma. There were but at the end of the 90th. Now, however, we submitted many applications but everywhere is said that Belarus is under a special attitude. As a result, we have gained nothing".

The Euro-Radio has telephoned to the management of the National Park 'Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Dmitriy Bernatskiy, a deputy director on science, has informed that the validity of the Diploma is indeed over, however, it cannot be considered abrogated until the Council of Europe has not accepted the new decision.

This question is scheduled to be discussing once per five years. Iw was in 1997, then in 2002 and now, in 2007".

By the way, the Berezinski Biosphere Reserve also has the European Diploma. The term of its validity was prolonged last year till September 11, 2011.

Valeriy Ivkovich, a deputy director on researches of the Berezinski Biosphere Reserve, has also noted that the Diploma have an influence upon the image. "As to various grants and financial contribution, this Diploma is not enough to have effect".

Vitaliy Malkevich

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To listen to the audio-file of this news (in Belarusian and Russian) (mp3, 1 Mb) - http://belradio.fm/attachment/000001140.mp3
October 24, 2007 Electronic dispatch "Eco_Rus" An experience from our neighbours: Great victory to protect bison!

Dear friends, we want to impart pleasure to you in connection with our (the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Centre and the EcoPravo-Kiev) great victory in the campaign to protect bison in Ukraine.

In September of 2007, Vladimir Boreiko, director of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Centre, has sent a letter to the General Prosecutor Office of Ukraine with the request to investigate facts testifying about illegal hunting in Ukraine for bison which was organized by the State Forest Committee and by the Ministry of Nature Protection of Ukraine.

The General Prosecutor Office has considered the materials submitted and, on October 19 of 2007, the press-service of the General Prosecutor Office of Ukraine has made a special statement. In particular, it was said "When checking, infringements of specified laws concerning arrangement of hunting for bison which are in the Red Data Book of Ukraine were revealed. As there was found out, the Ministry of Nature Protection, against the Ukrainian legislation, on the basis of illegal departmental certificates, gave out special sanctions to foreign citizens who, under cover of shooting for selection, have extracted tens of bison for a long time.

On grounds of results of the investigation, on October 19, 2007, the General Prosecutor Office of Ukraine has pronounced two protests to the Ministry of Nature Protection and to the State Forest Committee upon illegal departmental instructions and rules and has made the demand on measures to discontinue the issuing sanctions for illegal extraction of wild animals listed in the Red Data Book of Ukraine" which are given to foreign citizens.

"This is only the beginning", Vladimir Boreiko has said in the interview to the TV 5 Channel. They will pay to us for every killed bison. We will put in the dock everyone who gave out, signed, agreed and ratified sanctions to murder these unique animals or who organized hunting for them. Mr. Bolshakov, Deputy Minister of Nature Protection, Mrs. Yavorskaya, a head of the Vinnitsa Regional Department of the Ministry of Nature Protection, Mr. Shadura, a head of the Hunting Department of the State Forest Committee, Mr. Movchan, a former head of the Department of Biota Resources at the Ministry of Nature Protection, his deputy Mr. Gubar, Mr. Raichitz, a former head of the Chernigov Regional Department of the State Forest Committee, and others should be under punishment. We will do all in our power that officials would remember "the bison action" for ever like anti-Semites have remembered "the Baillie action" in imperial Russia. They will mourn for every killed bison by bitter tears".

The press-service of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center
October 24, 2007 "Vecherniy Brest" (The Evening Brest) Newspaper Belovezhskaya Pushcha temporary to be without the European Diploma

Click to enlarge in the new window – The European Diploma for the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park
The text of the European
Diploma
This prestigious award was given to the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" in 1997 for a great contribution to conservation of wild nature. After 5 years the Committee on Conservation of Biological and Landscape Diversity of the Council of Europe has accepted a resolution in which the Committee approved the Diploma and prolonged its validity till September 30 of 2007. However, as long as in spring, unofficial information has appeared that there will be no next approval. Independent ecologists connected this with the fact that the recommendations of the Council of Europe given for the last five years were incompletely executed. In particular, in the Item 1 of the primary resolution, the Belarusian party was urgently recommended to develop the 10-year's management plan for the National Park. The term to execute it was "up to the end of the period of the validity of the Diploma". As far as we know, this item became a stumbling-block to stop the validity of the Diploma. According to information from the BelaPAN Information News Agency which refers to the press-center of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection of Belarus, it was failed to make the plan for the scheduled dates. Employees of the Ministry specify that the question is about temporary stopping prolongation of the Diploma, not to deprive it.

Meanwhile, it fails to obtain any comments from the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". "This is any mistake. We didn't receive any documents from the Council of Europe concerning this case. If it happened, we for sure would know", a specialist of the National Park for public relations has told. The Park is under preparation for the meeting with representatives of countries signed the Convention on Protection of Wild Animals which should be held in Strasbourg in late November. It is supposed that the topic about Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be discussed there as well. However, according to information from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, consideration of the question about prolongation of the validity of the European Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha is postponed for an indefinite term". The 10-year's management plan for the Pushcha is still under development.

In Belarus the Berezinski Biosphere Reserve is also a holder of the European Diploma. In Russia only four protected natural territories were awarded this Diploma.

Elena TRIBULEVA
October 23, 2007 Website "5tv.com.ua" The shorthand report of the press conference given by Alexander Lukashenko to representatives of Russian mass-medias (October 12, 2007) (the edited version)

About holiday and home

"I like the winter period. I, after I was not allowed to enter Austria for known reasons, lately tried to come to the city of Sochi, to your mountains in the Red Polyana. It usually lasts for a week. If I leave, this is for the purpose to ski, not lose skills, and it is also interesting to me. Here, in the country, if there is no too much work, I can go in Belovezhskaya Pushcha for two or three days. We have enough perfect sites to give a rest for heart.

One more thing is sport training two or three 3 times per week. If I will not come, the team will not be in training and we again will lose the Christmas tournament!

I am a man who likes to be at one place. I love my house, meaning Belarus. I love the capital of Minsk. I like to be among the people. I get big pleasure from this.

I cannot say that I have had a rest some time during the month, never. 10 days are the longest period. And if even this, the opposition, all together, begins to shout where is Lukashenko! Mr. Zimovskiy (a state TV channel's chief) also begins to get worried in the state mass-medias whether actually happened something".
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The fragment of the shorthand report where Belovezhskaya Pushcha is mentioned is placed,
the BP-21 Century website editor's note
October 23, 2007 Electronic dispatch "Eco_Rus" An experience from our neighbours: Non-governmental nature protection organizations should simply snow under with complaints against various foresters and hunters over their awful treatment to wild animals

Dear friends and colleague! Thank you very much for your congratulations in connection with our court victory over the Ministry of Nature Protection of Ukraine and the State Forest Committee of Ukraine. We were not alone doing this business. Journalists from Kiev as they actively reported legal proceeding to defend animals' rights (while judges could not allow to themselves rather obviously to take the officials' side) and the Team on Nature Prootection "Zelenee Maybutne" which members have taken part in picketing the court have helped us very much.

I also want to tell that we have already brought one more action against the State Forest Committee of Ukraine to the Kiev Economic Court in order to protect wolves (Yuri Vasidlov has helped very much prepare it), using the Law "On protection of animals from the brutal treatment" as a base.

I suggest that non-governmental nature protection organizations should simply snow under with complaints against various foresters and hunters because of their awful treatment to wild animals. For example, in USA, non-governmental nature protection organizations bring about 1,100 actions to the court against the Wood Service, the Fish and Game Service and the National Parks' Service only within one month.

Vladimir Boreiko,
the director of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center
October 23, 2007 Electronic dispatch "Green_mov" An experience from our neighbours: The Olympic-building in the city of Sochi to plead unlawful

To place many of Olympic objects in the city of Sochi is pleaded unlawful, the "Gazeta.ru" (Newspaper.ru) referring to a report from the International Social Ecological Union (ISEU) informs. On October 22nd of this year, the court of the town of Maikop has satisfied a complaint made by Valery Brinikh, a co-chairman of the ISEU, that the new zoning scheme of the Sochi national park is unlawful. Because of this, many zones which were designed to build Olympic objects has a status of being reserved. Now placing the objects to serve the Olympiad-2014 should be corrected taking into account nature protection legislation.

When this news was written, there was no possible to find this information on the website of the International Social Ecological Union.

Meanwhile, on October 17th the State Duma of Russian Federation has accepted a draft administration bill which establishes the new order of how to withdraw lands for the purpose of Olympic building. On October 18th, deputies have ultimately approved the law on creation of the State Corporation "OlimpStroy" which will engage in building in Sochi.

The "OlimpStroy" will be fully responsible for designing, erection and operation of objects serving the Olympiad-2014. The Corporation will dispose of financial means of 200 billions Roubles which are allocated under the federal target program on development of the city of Sochi.

Lenta.Ru
October 22, 2007 Website "Naviny.by" The European Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be prolonged later

Click to enlarge in the new window – The European Diploma for the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park
The text of the European
Diploma
The consideration of the issues on prolongation of the validity of the European Diploma for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is postponed for an indefinite period, Elena Penyaz, a press-secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection of Belarus, has informed the BelaPAN News Agency.

A European Diploma is a prestigious award given for the most important national parks and biosphere reserves which achieved greatest successes in the field of nature protection. The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has gained a Council of Europe Diploma in 1997 for achievements in the field of conservation of wild nature.

To prolong this award for Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection should develop a National Park's management plan for the next ten years and to present it at the session of the Committee on Conservation of Biological and Landscape Diversity of the Council of Europe on October 9, 2007. However, there was failed to make the plan in terms established by the Council of Europe. "This is a quite big work", Elena Penyaz has noted. "We actually had objective reasons not be able to prepare the plan for the scheduled time".

Instead of the plan the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus has submitted a letter from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection to consider it in the Committee of the Council of Europe. The letter contained the text that "nature protection and economic activities in Belovezhskaya Pushcha follow all requirements and recommendations given by the Council of Europe". There was also information about "prospects of development and acceptance of the ten years' management plan for the National Park". There was also explained why the plan was not prepared to the scheduled date.

"The Committee has taken it into account and has not deprived us of the Diploma", Elena Penyaz has noted.

She said that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection is currently under work to prepare the management plan for Belovezhskaya Pushcha, however, the exact terms of its consideration in the Council of Europe are yet not known.
October 22, 2007 Website "Naviny.by" The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" to expand its borders

Zoning scheme of Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park since 2004
Zoning scheme of the Belovezhskaya
Pushcha National Park (since 2004)
In 2008, it is proposed to reconsider the zoning scheme of the territory of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" in order to increase its Wilderness Protection Zone at least twice as much. Forest of old age will be added to the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", Elena Penyaz, a press-secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection of Belarus, has informed the BelaPAN News Agency.

As she said, the Institute of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus now develops a ten years' plan of management of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This work is conducted at the expense of means from the state budget. The new plan will include the analysis of the current situation in natural ecosystems, the estimation of their dynamics and the forecast of the future development, as well as the analysis of major factors rendering negative influence on the condition of ecosystems of the National Park.

Besides, the plan will comprise recommendations on how to decrease threats which reduce populations of rare species of animals and plants. In particular, measures on preservation of populations of rare species of wild plants, such as a Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus), an Astrantia Major (Astrantia major) and a Silver Fir (Abies alba), are stipulated in this plan. According to the plan, measures on preservation of local populations of capercailzie birds, bison, wolf and other rare species of animals will also be stipulated.

The works on preparation of the plan will be completed in 2008.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha, as the official website of the National Park informs, is one of the largest forest areas on the lowland of Europe which remained relatively intact until now. The territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is divided by the state border into two parts – the Belarusian and the Polish. In the Belarusian part of the Pushcha and adjacent areas, the State Nature Protection Institution "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" was created. The National Park's west to east width is 10 - 50 km, and that from north to south is over 60 km. the Park covers 163,505 ha and is located within the borders of the Grodno and Brest regions. On the Polish territory, the Bialowieza National Park of the area of some 10,000 ha was created.
October 22, 2007 BP-21 Century Website News Service The 80th anniversary for Vladimir Datskevich, a former ornithologist and a currently defender of Belovezhskaya Pushcha!

Vladimir Datskevich
The 12th October 2007 is the 80th anniversary for Vladimir Datskevich, one of the oldest employees of Belovezhskaya Pushcha who devoted his best years to exploring and to serving the Pushcha, who wholeheartedly loves and faithfully works on its behalf till now.

Vladimir Datskevich was born in 1927 in the village of Bialowieza which is today on the Polish side of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and in which the administrative centre of the Polish Bialowieza National Park has got the location. His father was a taxidermist of the museum of nature. At the end of the Second World War, after the Bialowieza Forest was divided into two parts between Poland and Byelorussian Soviet Socialistic Republic, the Datskevich's family has moved to the village of Kamenyuki that is on the Belarusian side. Vladimir Datskevich began to work as a labor assistant in the scientific department of the then State Reserve "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", and then, in the 50-s, as a researcher-ornithologist (he engaged in reserches on birds). He graduated the Moscow Hunting Management Training College obtaining a distinction, then the Brest Pedagogical Institute, the faculty of natural sciences by correspondence course. In middle of the 60-s, Vladimir Datskevich headed the lately built museum of nature where he worked for ten years. He has then again moved to work in the ornithological team of the scientific department whence in 1984 he retired because of health's problems.

Vladimir Datskevich is famous as an author of many scientific papers on birds and other groups of animals, and also as a writer popularizing Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Being already a pensioner, he has summed up his long-term practice of scientific investigations and has written a book "A historical review and some results of ornithological researches in Belovezhskaya Pushcha (1945 - 1985)" that (the writing of the book) is a rare tradition for scientists working in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Being a talented taxidermist, many exhibits and expositions of the museum of nature have passed through his hands. He greatly contributed to grow nature protection spirit of young generation of ecologists.

Vladimir Datskevich is one of the few inhabitants of Belovezhskaya Pushcha who, being already a pensioner, in contradistinction to other his colleagues - scientists, foresters, hunting managers and other kind of specialists, did not stop to be worrying about problems of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and, moreover, very actively participated to solve them. For example, in 2002 he became one of the signers of "The Appeal of Belarusian public to the Council of Europe", and then of "The open Letter to the President and Parliament of the Republic of Belarus, the citizenry of Belarus and the world community from the oldest inhabitants of Belovezhskaya Pushcha" to defend this forest. Vladimir Datskevich constantly supported and continues to be supporting other public initiatives aimed to protect and to conserve Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This is why he has gained the deserved recognition and respect from people who are also engaged in nature protection.

People, such as Vladimir Datskevich, are very rare to meet in modern Belarus. And all of us who are not indifferent to the destiny of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and our native land of Belarus and who actively work on their protection, conservation and future development, therefore, congratulate dear Vladimir Datskevich with his anniversary and wish him good health, the strength of spirit, self-confidence and energy, as well as writing one more book devoted to the history of the science and protection of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Heorhi Kazulka,
on behalf of friends and colleagues of Vladimir Datskevich in the field of conservation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha
October 22, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Make your knowledge higher, a forester!

A state diploma in forestry studies on graduating of the Vysokoe Technical College and the profession "forester" will soon be added to a driver license of Valery Knysh, a young forester from the Dmitrovichskoe forest area of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Besides, more 28 employees of the Korolevo-Mostovskoe, Belyanskoe, Pashukovskoe, Dmitrovichskoe and Rechitskoe forest areas of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" are improving their job qualification by studying and simultaneously continuing normal work. The evening form of the study is organized on the base of the Vysokoe Agricultural College while the study course is held in the Kamenyuki Secondary Ecological School. Scientific employees and specialists of the National Park give lectures and practical trainings to the students. The students are all ears to listen to teachers because the lasts check up on the level of mastering the material of each lesson, including personally to repeat the lesson for listeners. Elena Tarasevich, the personnel manager, is a curator of the study group. The forestry study course is organized under the initiative of the management of the National Park while the educational program is developed taking into account the specificity of the work in Belovezhskaya Pushcha where issues on preservation of unique forest stands are basic features.

Simultaneously, 18 employees take a permanent study course in the Vysokoe Agricultural College. The National Park pays them grants with the hope that money invested into education will be covered back in full. All employees, from a chief to an ordinary woodcutter, should master a technique of competent conducting of the forestry.

Taisia Skuratova, Belovezhskaya Pushcha
On the picture, Dmitriy Shutin, an assistant forest officer of the Korolevo-Mostovskoe forest area, gives a lecture
The photo made by the author

October 22, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Will Ukrainian tourists come to us?

Ukraine, as a large and cheap market of consumer goods, is lastingly and strongly covered by our "shuttles" (it is a slang to call people traveling to buy goods in foreign counties and to deliver them for sailing in the home country, the note by the BP-21 Century website's editor) and, as a tempting summer "sanatorium" on the coast of the most dark blue sea, is occupied by our persons on leave for a long time. However, do people from the neighboring country go to us to have a rest, in pauses between "orange revolutions" and elections to the Parliament? The question is logic because not only unique Belarusian nature but also quiet stable conditions in the country and the situation without political shocks attract people to have a rest in Belarus. Many foreign visitors say about this important factor.

Belarusian participants of the International Exhibition on Tourism "2007 Ukraine" have tried to raise interest of Ukrainian tourists in natural objects of Belarus and in the opportunity to have a good rest combining it with satisfaction of the cognitive exploration. The exhibition was held in Kiev between the 11th and 13th October. Representatives of the National park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", the Kamenetz district and the Bialowieza National Park (Poland) who presented the Euro-region "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" were invited. Many Ukrainian tour-operators using the case of this exhibition have got acquainted with a tourist brand of our region for the first time. Inhabitants of Ukrainian frontier areas have much earlier opened to themselves the opportunity to get quite good earnings on agricultural fields of the Brest region. They when trading in their goods on Belarusian markets expect to benefit from our higher level of the life standards and from our purchasing power.

Ludmila Grechanik, the director of the Museum of Nature, has told that the participation in the Kiev exhibition left many positive traces. At once after returning a couple of calls from Ukraine to visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha were accepted. We have much what to show and how to surprise the neighbours. These are a good service, a rich kitchen and magnificence of the ancient forest in which everyone will find for itself a favourite autumn colour.

Taisia Skuratova, Belovezhskaya Pushcha
October 19, 2007 Website of the "Salidarnasts" (Solidarity) newspaper The European Diploma not to prolong for Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The validity of the European Diploma is suspended for Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The Salidarnasts newspaper has found out that both Belarusian and Polish national parks live without the Diploma from the beginning of October.

The main reason why the Belarusian and Polish parks were deprived of the European Diploma is an absence of the plan on protection of the reserved nature for ten years, employees from the scientific department of the Bialowieza national park (Poland) have told to the Salidarnasts. In the late November, in Strasbourg, a meeting of representatives of two countries which have signed the Convention on protection of wild animals will be held. It is planned that the issues concerning Belovezhskaya Pushcha will also be discussed during this meeting.

In August last year, experts of the Council of Europe headed by Professor Eckhart Kuijken came to Belovezhskaya Pushcha for three day inspection. The purpose of their mission was to check how the National park follows the recommendations given in the frame of the European Diploma. The scheduled checking, such as this, is carried out one time per five year.

The Belarusian party does not confirm, and does deny either the fact of suspension of the European Diploma earlier given for the National park.

"Generally I do not want to comment this question. Be healthy!" That was what Nikolai Bambiza, the general director of the State Protection Institution "The National park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", has declared.

Employees of the press-service center of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection heard nothing about the fact that Council of Europe has refused to prolong the Diploma's validity. "If it would be true, we would know about this", Elena Penyaz, a press-secretary of the Ministry, has said to the Salidarnasts.

As it is known the National park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" was awarded the European Diploma for outstanding successes in the field of conservation of wild nature of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Forest in 1997. At that time, in opinion of independent Belarusian experts on ecology, this Diploma was given to the National Park in advance with the hope to make protection of the reserved nature and conservation of the relic Bialowieza Forest better in the future.

In January of 2002, when the solution on prolongation of the European Diploma was discussed, a grandiose scandal has run high. Representatives of the democratic and scientific public have addressed to the experts with the request do not be in a hurry to accept the too optimistic decision because of taking into account that the condition of the object has obviously worsened, while authorities use the prestigious award, the diploma to cover the activity which "opposed conservation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha". The reaction of the Council of Europe was almost double increasing (from 10 to 18) in the number of recommendations for the following five years.

Suspension of the Diploma, we hope, is a temporary phenomenon. We prepare the plan of nature protection measures and we hope that the European Diploma's validity will soon be prolonged, employees of the Polish Bialowieza national park expect.

The European Diploma is a prestigious award for any nature protection territory. To deprive of it means a bad signal for Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This is because the Diploma is, though weak, the additional mechanism to provide control over the activity of the administration of the park, independent Belarusian ecologists have stated their point of view to the Salidarnasts.

Today the average age of trees in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is 110 years. However, some of the forest stands are already 250 years old! Forests which have grown without human intervention make 90 present of the area. For the latest fifteen years, the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" became nearly the most titled institution among the protected areas on the European continent. In 1992, UNESCO has inscribed a part of the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha on a List of World Heritage Mankind Sites. In 1993, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park was given the status of a Biosphere Reserve and, four years later, a Council of Europe Diploma.

Among Belarusian nature protection territories the Berezinski Biosphere Reserve also has the European Diploma.

Elena Yakzhik, Marina Zagorskaya
October 16, 2007 Electronic dispatch "Eco_Rus" An experience from our neighbours: A victory to protect wolves

The Ecopravo-Kiev NGO and the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center have gained the next victory over the State Forest Committee of Ukraine to protect wolves.

We already informed that these non-governmental organizations have gained the victory over the State Forest Committee in the court on May 22, 2007. Due to this the order No 121 on shooting of predatory and harmful animals, issued by the State Forest Committee on December 16, 1997, was declared not competent concerning the part which entitled hunters to annihilate pregnant shi-wolves and wolf-cubs.

However, despite of the defeat in the court, the State Forest Committee was not going to alter the order as that was demanded by the court. Then Vladimir Boreiko, the director the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center, has addressed a request to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine to start the procedure refusing the registration of this order. And only this has forced the State Forest Committee to carry out necessary work and to give out the new order No 408 on August 10, 2007, according to which illegal requirements to shoot pregnant she-wolves and wolf-cubs were withdrawn.

In this way the Ecopravo-Kiev NGO and the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center have gained the complete and final victory over the State Forest Committee of Ukraine, having forced officials to legalize protection of pregnant she-wolves and wolf-cubs in Ukraine. By the way, wolf-cubs and pregnant she-wolves continue to be under shameful annihilation in Russia, Belarus and other countries of CIS.

Now we begin a new campaign for protection of the wolf requiring to remove it from a list of "harmful" animals.

The press-service of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center, Ukraine
October 16, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Travel with us

Polish reporters have crossed the border and have revealed to themselves Belovezhskaya Pushcha from the Belarusian side. A group of reporters from Poland working in various mass media have visited the protected area last week with the purpose to learn the natural monument located across the border. They got acquainted with the situation in the ancient forest and with the work which is conducted to preserve flora and fauna of the Pushcha.

The reporters have visited most unique places where primordial forest giants, untouched by human and natural elements, grow. They have met red deer which cautiously watched over flares of photo-cameras. The reporters were pleasantly struck with the presence of plenty of old-aged trees like giant oaks and pine trees of 350 to 400 years old, as well as with a herd of main inhabitants – bison, which being the owners rightfully settled down near the estate of Grandfather Frost. The Polish guests have promised to express their pleasant impressions of what they have seen in writing in their editions.

After the press representatives a group of employees from Polish banks has also visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The interesting fact is that all of them entered through the simplified crossing "Pererov - Grudki" at the Belarusian and Polish border going on bicycles and then they passed being steering themselves during the overall excursion and being guided by Natalia Siz who also cycled, told and showed the most interesting sites of wild nature.

Tokyo – Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Tourists from the country of the rising sun visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha for many times. On October 9 and 10, inhabitants from Tokyo again were admiring the beauty of the Belarusian nature, for the sake of which they have forgotten about their age and the far way. Many of the tourists were over seventy years old. However, they had the courage to the far travel. A guide-interpreter has informed that they travel much, however, they did not expect in any way that they can see so unimaginable beauty in the most far location of Belarus. And if the God will give them health, they will again visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha as there are "only" 11,000 kilometers from Japan to the city of Brest. You have only once to see this ancient wild forest that the heart of a traveler will again aspire to come to there.

Taisia Skuratova
October 05, 2007 Website "TUT.BY" National parks of Belarus and tours of a day off. How to spend weekends?

Do you know which problem in a circle of tourists and travelers is the most often? Do you think that is how to choose the next area for spending holidays? No. The most often problem for tourists remains to be how to spend days off. If a long holiday has rather a way to be planning, however, it is even terribly to imagine as you force yourself to think up something in the middle of the working week. But it is not necessary to worry – everything is already invented for us.

Mini-tours to national parks of Belarus are a perfect way how to spend a weekend. For today each national park will offer you the most interesting programs. Together with The Belarus Tourist Portal Holiday.by, we will today learn what excursions can be taken in national parks for days off.

Today each national park offers the whole spectrum of excursions for visitors. And, therefore, to have a rest in a hotel room watching a TV set is cancelled.

The number of excursions in national parks of Belarus:
Berezinski Biosphere Reserve - 9 excursions
Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park - 4 excursions
Braslav Lakes National Park - 7 excursions
Braslav Lakes National Park - 5 excursions
Pripyatski National Park - 4 excursions

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is a classics of the day off genre

Let's consider setting out priorities between Belarusian national parks as the thankless business, however, Belovezhskaya Pushcha is certainly one of the brands of Belarus. A big amount of measures is planned in 2009 when celebrating the 600th anniversary since introducing nature protection in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Nevertheless, almost everyone must visit this unique creation of the nature. A survey excursion in Belovezhskaya Pushcha will help feel power and beauty of wild nature and to be deep in the history of the region.

The cost of the survey excursion in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is 9.4 US $ per person

More detail about the survey excursion in Belovezhskaya Pushcha >>>

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The BP-21 Century website editor's note
October 05, 2007 Website "Travel.ru" A new route in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

A new route will be offered for tourists in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. // belarustourism.by
A new trans-boundary tourist route through Belovezhskaya Pushcha is under development in common by Belarusian and Polish parties. The route is prepared within the framework of the project "Development of the trans-boundary tourism in the region of Belovezhskaya Pushcha". It covers the Pruzhany and Kamenetz districts of the Brest region, the Svisloch district of the Grodno region and the town of Hajnowka of the Podlasskoe province of Poland. In the Svisloch district, for example, objects which will be included in the route have already been selected. They are monuments of nature and history, as well as two agriculture house farms and the house of young tourists where is possible spending the night. Using the new route, to make both pedestrian and bicycle excursions will be possible, as the Belarusian Telegraphic Agency informed.
October 04, 2007 Website "Regnum.ru" Belarus and Poland develop a tourist route through Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Belarusian experts together with their Polish colleagues develop a trans-boundary route for tourists in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. According to information from the website of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in Russian Federation, this was announced by Ivan Lashkevich, the head of the Department of Physical Training, Sport and Tourism of the Svisloch District Executive Committee.

The Pruzhany and Kamenetz districts of the Brest region, the Svisloch district of the Grodno region and the town of Hajnowka of the Podlasskoe province of Poland are participating in realization of this project called "Development of the trans-boundary tourism in the region of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. In addition to development of the route for pedestrians and cyclists, it is also stipulated to inform the population about opportunities of the trans-boundary tourism in this region according to the program.

In the Svisloch district, for example, objects which will be included in the route have already been selected. They are monuments of nature and history, as well as two agriculture house farms and the house of young tourists where is possible spending the night. It is planned to allocate about 185,000 Euros for realization of the project.