NEWS ARCHIVE: DECEMBER 2007

December 29, 2007 Website "BDG-online" Over 180,000 tourists have visited the Estate of Grandfather Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha for four years

Since the existence of the Estate of Grandfather Frost in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", over 180,000 tourists have visited the home of the sovereign of winter blizzards for four years. Nikolai Bambiza, the general director of the State Nature Protection Institution "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has informed about this.

The estate of Grandfather a Frost is open for visiting all the year round. Depending on the season, the fantastic character meets his visitors demonstrating different clothes - a rich fur coat, valenki and a fur cap in the winter season, a straw hat, a light frock coat and a white leather boots in the summer period.

On the eve of New Year an atmosphere of the estate is full of the forthcoming celebration – the Grandfather Frost together with his Snow Maiden looking very chic in their clothes meet visitors. From early December, a few thousands of tourists, basically groups of pupils, as well as individual tourists, come there daily.

According to Nikolai Bambiza, during a school vacation more than 4,000 visitors are expected daily to come to the estate of Grandfather Frost. In January every work day of the Grandfather Frost is scheduled literally making each minute busy. First visitors arrive in his estate in the morning at 10 a.m. while the Grandfather retires after 21.00 p.m.

The residence of Grandfather Frost is located in the heart of Belovezhskaya Pushcha where winter-feeding installation are set for bison. The total area of the estate makes 15 hectares. A private residences of Grandfather Frost and Snow Maiden, a storehouse for gifts of Grandfather Frost (a Skarbnitsa), a mill and a "magic well" are available there. The territory of the estate is decorated with numerous wooden sculptural groups from favourite children's fairy tales "Snow-White and Seven Dwarfs", "Frost-Man" and "by a wave of the wand". A natural 40-meter spruce tree which is already over 120 years old adorns the estate.

The information source: the BelTA Information Agency
December 28, 2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" A holiday as a gift

A living New Year's tree, the highest in Belovezhskaya Pushcha has turned the multi-colour light on for 300 pupils from all corners of the Brest region on December 27. For each of these children this excursion to the residence of Belarusian Grandfather Frost was granted by Konstantin Sumar, the governor of our region, for good studies, for victory in creative competitions and school contests and for useful pioneer actions in the regions.

Before this the children had fun at the most important New Year's tree placed in the Centre of Youth Creativity of the city of Brest where they were congratulated by the governor. And today the real Grandfather Frost with his Granddaughter Snow Maiden met dear visitors in his magic Estate where every child could think of a treasured desire and could tell about it in secret to one of the 12 Months on the fantastic glade.

The idea of charitable New Year holidays given to children on the eve of the New year was born a few years ago, while the meeting with Belovezhskaya Pushcha and Grandfather Frost gives to the holiday a special sense - since the young age the children are learning to appreciate the beauty of nature and to have faith that good wins evil, like in a fairy tale.

Taisia Skuratova, Belovezhskaya Pushcha
December 26, 2007 Website "www.brtv.by" A common property

The 600-th anniversary of the protected status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha has been added to a UNESCO's list of memorial dates.

The jubilee of this date will be celebrated in December of 2009. However, preparation for this important event is already in progress. By the beginning of the date of the anniversary date, it is planned, in particular, completed an to overhaul of housing and utilities in all the big and small villages located on the Pushcha's territory which are about two dozens. A complex including an office building, a new museum of nature and a house of ecological education is at the design stage. One of the main goals of the personnel of the National park is to popularize Belovezhskaya Pushcha as one of the oldest corners of primeval forest on the planet. The big work to count bison is complete this year. They are now 334 and this is the largest population in Europe.
December 25, 2007 Website "ITAR-TASS" UNESCO adds jubilee of Belarusian reserve to a list of memorial dates

MINSK, December 25 (Itar-Tass) - UNESCO has added to its list of memorial dates the 600th anniversary since establishment of special protective regulations on the territory of Belarus’s most renowned Belovezhskaya Pushcha woodland reserve, mostly known in the outside world as the Bialowieza Primeval Forest.

Vladimir Schastlivy, the chairman of Belarus’s National Commission for relations with UNESCO said the decision was taken at the 34th session of the organization’s General Conference.

The jubilee itself will be observed in December 2009, but preparations for it have already begun, said Nikolai Bambiza, the director general of the Belarusian part of this cross-border reserve, the other part of which is located in Poland.

“By the beginning of celebrations, we’ll have completed an overhaul of housing and utilities in all the big and small villages located on the territory of the preserve – and we have about two dozens of them – and will have repaired old buildings of forestry protection stations or will have built new ones,” he said.

Architects are now drafting the design of a special compound that will replicate elements of the old house of the czars in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. It will also include a museum of nature and the so-called ‘house of ecological education’.

Despite this construction activity, the main goal the personnel of this unparalleled reserve sets for itself it to maintain its really unique ecological systems, as the reserve is known to have groves of oak trees up to 600 years old, ashes in the age bracket 300 to 350 years old, and pine trees planted some 200 years ago.

Apart from relatively widespread animals like wild boars and elks, the reserve also boasts wisents /European bison/, the population of which lived through many perils in the first half of the 20th century and lives there under special protection there from the mid-1940’s.

Polish King Wladyslaw II Jagiello made the Belovezhsky forest his own property at the beginning of the 15th century, and it turned into a hunting preserve in 1541 to protect the wisent.
December 24, 2007 Electronic dispatch "Eco_Rus" An experience from our neighbours: Hunting mafia to bring an action against Vladimir Boreiko (Ukraine)

Vladimir Boreiko
As is known, in 2007 the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Centre led by Vladimir Boreiko together with the Eco-Pravo-Kiev and supported by the General Office of Public Prosecutor of Ukraine have achieved great victory. They have forced officials of the State Forest Committee and the Ministry of Nature Protection of Ukraine to cancel illegal departmental instructions which served in the country illegal commercial hunting for bison for over 15 years. Mr. N.Shadura, as a head of the hunting management of Ukraine, personally participated in preparation of these illegal documents, one of them even has his signature.

Having achieved a cancellation of these illegal instructions, the ecologists have begun to insist on punishment of lawbreakers who is guilty of murder of bison and of organization of commercial hunting. This has compelled Mr. Shadura to assume the offensive, not expecting the beginning of the investigation - he has brought first an action against Vladimir Boreiko.

A few years ago Vladimir Boreiko and the led by him organization have already been subjects to "an incursion" from the side of the Mr. Kipra, the Minister of Transport, and of the Kiev City Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on Struggle with Economic Criminality. There was then managed to stop this lawlessness but only after intervention of Academician B.Paton, the President of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, who personally has called the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and has demanded to stop administrative punishment over ecologists fought for the Danube Biosphere Reserve.

The press-service of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Centre, 12.20.2007
-----------------------------------------
Vladimir Boreiko: thank you for support

Dear friends, within few days I have received over 70 letters and telephone calls in connection with a court proceeding initiated by murderers of bison against me. I want to thank all of us for support. whatever murderers of bison and organizers of currency hunting for bison in Ukraine undertake, we already have achieved the main goal – the criminal scheme of corruption to hunt for bison created by them in Ukraine 17 years ago, is disorganized by the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Centre and the Eco-Pravo-Kiev with the support of the General Office of Public Prosecutor of Ukraine.

Together with my friends from this organization and the editorial office of the newspaper "Silski Visti", we are using this suit against me as one more occasion to attract attention of mass-media and people to the problem of protection of bison. After all, the situation in which bison are is more disadvantageous than mine – they are not threatened to pay a fine, they are threatened totally to be annihilated in Ukraine.

We shall inform all news of this court action. Being aware of our judicial system of corruption and the influence of the organizers of hunting, it will be hard to win the court case. However, we will do it with your support.

Happy New Year!

Vladimir Boreiko,
the director of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center, Ukraine, December 24, 2007
December 13, 2007 Electronic dispatch "Eco_Rus" An experience from our neighbours: New victory to protect bison!

Dear friends,
We want to inform you about new victory of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Centre and the Eco-Pravo-Kiev to protect bison.

As we already told to you, two departmental documents - the Regulation on shooting bison for selection purposes issued by the Ministry of Nature Protection and the price list for shooting bison made by the State Forest Committee of Ukraine - served the commercial hunting for bison under guise of shooting for "selection" in Ukraine. On November 20 of 2007, we have achieved a success to issue a special order by the Ministry of Nature Protection on cancellation of the Regulation on selective shooting bison. And one of these days we have managed "to bury" the second illegal and immoral document - the currency-price list for shooting bison.

Yesterday we have received a letter signed by Mr. Lozitskiy, the deputy chairman of the State Forest Committee of Ukraine, (the number 03-05/5132 from 12.04.2007) in which it is said that the State Forest Committee has deleted both species listed in a Red Data Book – bison and bear - from the currency-price list for hunting and these changes have come to an agreement with the Ministry of Nature Protection and the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine.

Let's add that earlier the shooting of an out-trophy-quality bison cost 1,300 Euros in Ukraine, a bison of the bronze medal estimated at 2,600 Euros, a bison of the silver medal was at 3,100 Euros, a bison of the gold medal - at 3,600 Euros, murder of a female-bison - at 1,300 Euros, murder of a calf-bison - at 1,100 Euros, wound of a calf-bison - 600 Euros and wound of a female-bison estimated at 800 Euros.

In all, according to our calculations, foreign and Ukrainian hunters have killed under guise of shooting for "selection" about 200 bison, listed as a threatened species, in Ukraine for the last 16 years. This has resulted in reduction of the quantity of bison more than three times less.

Now we have completely destroyed this criminal scheme of currency hunting for bison in Ukraine.

Vladimir Boreiko,
the director of the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Center, Ukraine
07.12.2007 Website "Saint Nickolai's Orthodox Parish in Bialowieza" The whole Bialowieza Forest to be a national park (Poland)?

Maciej Nowicki, the Minister of Nature Protection, has informed that he will provide all the territory of the Bialowieza Forest to be under protection, as non-governmental organizations are fighting.

"This is the last fragment of the forest in Europe, such as this. In Belarus, this forest isn't in the best conditions and, therefore, this is particularly why we should protect our part", Maciej Nowicki has emphasized.

The information's source: "Gazeta Wyborcza"
07.12.2007 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" A Snow Maiden to children

The Winter hardly did, then asked her daughters Blizzard, Snowstorm and Snowstorm to send snow to children before the Granddaughter Snow Maiden's arrival. However, proud beauties have decided that it is not time yet to cover roads with ice. Let people go through their pre-winter troubles. Let's forest dwellers eat natural gifts with delight. There will be snow and frost for children.

Excitements have appeared in vain - the Snow Maiden has come to the Grandfather in the first day of the winter. She was very pleasant to see how many children and adults meet her. The holiday began in the Grandfather Frost's Estate as cheerful as she has soon forgotten about troubles from a long journey, from North Pole to Belovezhskaya Pushcha, and joyfully danced with kiddies on the glade of Twelve Months.

The folklore team "Pushchanka" welcomed numerous visitors. Local actors performed only winter songs about white and fluffy snow and about hard frost. Their songs presented the winter in its true appearance. However, the nature has mixed up all things. The global warming has removed colds to move close to the Artic Ocean.

However, the Belarusian Grandfather Frost, not his glorified Granddaughter, was in the center of the children's holiday. Everyone wanted to have a photo together as a souvenir. Parents assisted small children to tell a rhyme for the elder and, if succeeded, to touch a Grandfather's magic staff and to think of desire.

At parting the Grandfather Frost with the Snow Maiden have given sweet gifts to girls and boys and have taken children's unsophisticated messages all of which will be answered by the owner of the Estate. The Snow Maiden has taken up a magic house and together with the Grandfather is going to meet visitors in Belovezhskaya Pushcha till spring.

Taisia Skuratova
Photos by the author
click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window click to enlarge in the new window
December 07, 2007 Website "Saint Nickolai's Orthodox Parish in Bialowieza" Wild boars to smell out a pistol (Poland)

A forest officer has handed a pistol over to the police which, apparently, originated from the times of the Second World War. The pistol was dug out in the Bialowieza Forest by fed wild boars.

The pistol of the Walter class and 22 cartridges of the caliber of 7.65 mm were wrapped up in a flannel piece and foil that has allowed policemen from the town of Hajnowka to make a hypothesis about origination of the weapon. The pistol was protected from rust by lubricant oil and was hidden near a tree stump.

The information's source: "Gazeta Wyborcza", the city of Bialystok
December 05, 2007 Website "Polskie Radio S.A." WWF appeals to the Presidnet to save Poland's primeval forest

The appeal has been signed by over 100 thousand Poles. The Bialowieza Forest which lies on Polish Belarus border covers an area of 150 thousand hectares, one third of it on Polish territory. The national Park status has been granted to 17% of the Polish forest, while the rest is termed as protected area. The Bialowieza forest is the last natural forest on European Lowland, with natural ecological processes going on there for thousands of years. It embraces some 20 natural flora reserves, protected habitat of the black stork as well as protected areas of wild animal habitat. Ecologists appeal for the protection of the area with special emphasis placed on logging of old trees.

Thanks to WWF’s efforts the Bialowieza Forest has been included in the Natura 2000 network.
December 05, 2007 Website "The International Herald Tribune" Environmentalists petition president to protect Poland's primeval forest

WARSAW, Poland: Members of an international environmental group on Wednesday asked President Lech Kaczynski to take steps to prevent the logging of centuries-old trees in Poland's primeval Bialowieza forest, an activist said.

Last year alone, a large number of trees were cut in Bialowieza, including "some 1,000 large spruces and two 160-year-old maples," according to a report by World Wildlife Fund.

Polish WWF members handed a petition with 100,000 signatures to a presidential aide, demanding that "logging be stopped" in Bialowieza forest and that all of the pristine woodland on Poland's territory be legally protected as a national park. As of now, only 17 percent of the area in eastern Poland is under such protection.

The petition, which was also sent to Prime Minister Donald Tusk, says the forest is "the last natural lowland mixed forest in Europe" whose "priceless, natural and cultural values are perishing irretrievably."

"We hope that both the president and the prime minister will cooperate to find the best solution for Bialowieza forest," said Anna Piekut from WWF.

The Bialowieza forest, spreading over an area of 62,000 hectares (153,202 acres) in Poland and 150,000 hectares (370,650 acres) in neighboring Belarus, is home to more than 5,000 species of plants and more than 12,000 species of animals, including some 350 rare wild bison and 250 species of birds.
December 05, 2007 Website "Discover Planet Earth" WWF - Protecting old-growth forests in Poland


© I. Chojnacki / WWF-Poland
Warsaw, Poland – Over 100,000 signatures have been forwarded to the Polish government, calling for the protection of Europe’s last remaining stands of natural forests.

The signature drive is part of a WWF campaign to safeguard ancient woodlands in Poland’s Bialowieza Primaeval Forest from logging and other unsustainable forest activities.

In February 2007, a report by Poland’s public audit body, the Supreme Chamber of Control, exposed inadequacies concerning forest management in the country’s most valuable forest areas. In October 2007, the Council of Europe suspended the European Diploma of Protected Areas awarded to the Bialowieza National Park because of lack of sufficient protection.

Also in 2007, the Forest Stewardship Council — an international, non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring environmentally responsible forest management — suspended certification for this region for similar reasons.

“For years, Polish politicians have been passively looking on as the degradation of this unique woodland continued,” said Ireneusz Chojnacki, WWF-Poland’s Programme Director. “Today, they may well have a one-time opportunity to do something about it.”

A special task force set up by Poland’s President, Lech Kaczynski has already drafted legislation to ensure protection of the forest, including extending the Bialowieza National Forest to encompass currently unprotected ancient forest strands. As part of the legislation, a special socio-economic programme has been planned to promote sustainable tourism for local communities living near the forest.


© W. Walencik / WWF-Poland

© W. Walencik / WWF-Poland
“Over 100,000 people demand that this legislative initiative be accepted by the president and then voted upon by the Polish Parliament,” added Chojnacki.

Home to lynx, wolves and other wildlife, the Bialowieza Forest is the last natural forest on the Central European lowland. Although it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, together with the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park on the Belarus side, only 17% of the Polish area of the forest is protected as a national park.

The WWF campaign is aimed at improving the level of protection of the old-growth, primeval forests in and around the park.

“We cannot allow a further degradation of the natural heritage of Poland, as well as the entire European continent,” Chojnacki said.

For further information: Stefan Jakimiuk, Bialowieza National Park Project Manager
WWF-Poland
Tel: +48 606 856 777
E-mail: sjakimiuk@wwf.pl

Anna Piekut, Press Officer
WWF-Poland
Tel: +48 608 322 153
E-mail: apiekut@wwf.pl
December 05, 2007 Website "Travel.ru" The Bialowieza Forest (Poland) - on the verge of vanishing

The Bialowieza National Park is the only in Poland inscribed on a UNESCO's World Natural Heritage Sites. // Google.com
The Bialowieza National Park is the only in Poland
inscribed on a UNESCO's World Natural Heritage
Sites. // Google.com
The Bialowieza Forest - the oldest in Europe big forest - on the verge of death. Ecologists and representatives of the Polish branch of the World Wild Fund for a living planet (WWF) inform about this. According to their data, only 17 percent of the Polish territory of the Bialowieza Forest is under protection as a national park. The rest of the Forest is cruelly cut down. 1,000 century-old spruce trees and two maple trees which age is over 160 years were lately annihilated, Podroze.onet.pl writes.

This causes that the Bialowieza National Park - the only in Poland included in a UNESCO's List of Natural Heritage Sites - can be deleted from there. Besides, the Park can lose the European Diploma. This is for what the general director of the Research Institute for Nature and Forest is petitioning.

(Translated by BP-21 Century from the Russian text by Travel.ru)
December 05, 2007 Website "European Radio for Belarus" Is Grandfather Frost compelled to leave Belovezhskaya Pushcha?

Click to enlarge in the new window – the European Diploma for the National Park 'Belovezhskaya Pushcha'
The Council of Europe has given up a Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha, including because of Grandfather Frost which residence is side by side to feeding place of bison and disturbs animal's free living.

The Euro-Radio got known that the Council of Europe has put for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" a number of conditions - to liquidate a gap concerning the absence of an ecological corridor, to revise forest management and to relocate the residence of Grandfather Frost (because of a mass influx of tourists). The Euro-Radio was assured from the press centre of the Ministry of Nature Protection that this question did not rise at all.

However, Elena Tribuleva , a reporter from the newspaper "Vecherniy Brest" (The Evening Brest) asserts that the editorial office has made a contact with a representative of the Council of Europe and, therefore, they firsthand have learned details of the negotiation.

Elena Tribuleva: We have a man who through surfing a heap of websites has found the contact with the Council of Europe, with this secretary office of protected areas and has exchanged letters with them. They actually answer questions of reporters with readiness, as against our officials.

In spite of the fact that the residence of Grandfather Frost is not situated within the protected territory, but close to it, the Council of Europe does not satisfy with it.

Elena Tribuleva: First, a place with feeding-troughs for bison are close to the residence. Bison always came there. This is a traditional site where bison came to get food. And they continue to come there. Of course, a big influx tourists, such as now, frightens them.

The Euro-Radio has phoned to Nikolai Bambiza, a general director of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", but he has not wanted to talk this topic.

Elena Penyaz, a press-secretary of the Ministry of Nature Protection was the only who comments the trip of our delegation to Strasbourg, however, she cannot give direct answers to a question what the Council of Europe disliked.

Elena Penyaz: No, I can tell nothing concrete to itemize. I can say only that there was a question about the plan of management for the National Park which was not given in due time. That's all. The plan will be given in 2008. There is a lot of work which is now in progress and which will be finishing in 2008.

In March of the next year, a team of independent experts will visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha and they first-hand will see how the management of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" implements all remarks made by the Council of Europe. Only in one year we can again pretend to the new term of validity of the Diploma prolonged. Officials refuse at all to speak about the fact that the Diploma was taken away.

Elena Penyaz: Actually, no one did take off this Diploma. The question on prolongation of its validity is not as sharp as someone tries to put it. We were not taken away the Diploma – we own it like before. We actually simply were not managed in that term for preparation of the plan which the Council of Europe scheduled to us.

She knows nothing about the fact that Grandfather Frost, probably, has to change its location and she says that this question was not raised by the Council of Europe at all.

We have phoned the Grandfather Frost to learn whether he heard something about it or not. It has turned out that hi is hearing this news from us for the first time.

The Grandfather Frost: It is a pity but I am hearing this information from youfor the first time.

And he has confirmed to the Euro-Radio that his working day lasts from 9 am till 6 pm, like before. And for the present, a new home is out of his plans.
December 05, 2007 "Sovetskaya Byelorussia" (The Soviet Byelorussia) Newspaper, No 229 When trees were big

Click to enlarge in the new window – the European Diploma for the National Park 'Belovezhskaya Pushcha'
Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be under examination.

The dipper in the forest, the more rumors. One of these days some mass-medias have again informed that the validity of a European Diploma was ostensibly not prolonged to our main national park. No problem, it would seem. Trees will not fall dawn from this and bison and deer will not die out. However, ecologists maximize this European award. This is the matter of prestige because Belovezhskaya Pushcha is a World Natural Heritage Site. What are problems with our "visiting card"?

"That's fantasy. No one did take away the Diploma", we were assured in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection. "It was decided at the last session of the Permanent Committee for the Bern Convention which was held in Strasbourg to send an experts' team to the country. The experts will see all first-hand and will accept the final decision in November of 2008. We are sure that the positive. Unfortunately, we were not yet managed to give a ten year management plan to the National park in due time. This is the main reason. A document which is now under hard work by employees of the Institute of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences will be ready next year...

Why have we lost time? That's because programs of management for natural objects are now made in all European countries. This is an original ecological know-how – be it a small timber enterprise or the huge Pushcha - all should live by the plan. Experts say that for us, like, however, for our neighbours - Ukraine, Russia, Poland as well, this is still amazing."

"The forest of Belovezhskaya Pushcha grows old and this is today the main problem", Mikhail Nikiforov, a director of the Institute of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences considers. "The forest has reached its limiting age. Trees of the age of over hundred years are quickly dying. The Pushcha's forest should not lose its historical shape – that is the main idea of the document we are working.

According to the new plan for Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the strictly protected territory will be enlarged as twice as a minimum. Scientists will strongly struggle with foreign plants, with so-called "foreigners", like a red oak, and to protect rare species, like a Lady's Slipper, Silver Fir etc. As to prospects for tourists, experts will count what pressure to nature should be that to avoid destruction of the ecological balance.

Igor STROEV,
Photo by Alexander RUZHECHKA
December 04, 2007 Website "Liberty Life Radio" Belovezhskaya Pushcha to get a respite for one year

Click to enlarge in the new window – the European Diploma for the National Park 'Belovezhskaya Pushcha'
Will this Reserve own a European Diploma in the future? The answer to this question will be given in one year. This is a decision made in Strasbourg where the session of the Permanent Committee for the Bern Convention was ended. Validity of the Diploma which means an international recognition for the this territory all over the world, was terminated on the 30-th of September.

The Council of Europe demands a long-term plan of management for Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This document covers all issues for the future.

Valeriy Dranchuk, an author of the book "Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The resolution SOS" and a head of the Public initiative "TERRA-Convention", explains that this is not whim of European officials. If they have such the document in hands, they can come to Belarus and check up what was actually done and what not.

Mister Dranchuk considers that authorities specially have delayed preparation of the most important document.

"This is their very essential fault. Both Belarusian greens, representatives of the Council of Europe and others involved parties demand already for a long time - well, show, show your playing cards, show what you will do in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This plan is absent. And authorities benefits from this absence. They only cut down Belovezhskaya Pushcha within the last ten years. Wilderness protection status is absent in Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection has charged the Institute of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences to prepare the long-term plan. Mikhail Nikiforov, Professor of Biology and a director of the Institute, has told in conversation with our radio that his employees have taken this work only a few months ago.

"For the present we have concluded a treaty and have made other little things. But the work began. And it seriously advances. The preparation of the plan of management will be finished by the next year. Actually, one year is the price of this question".

Officials from Strasbourg have decided to send in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in the spring of the next year a team of experts who will make conclusions. Belarusian officials promise to prepare the plan of management for the Pushcha in 2008.

Vladimir Glod, the city of Minsk
December 03, 2007 Website "Naviny.by" Examination on prolongation a European Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha is postponed for one year

Click to enlarge in the new window – the European Diploma for the National Park 'Belovezhskaya Pushcha'
A question on prolongation of a European Diploma for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" will be examined at the next session of the Permanent Committee for the Bern Convention in November of 2008. Alena Penyaz, a press-secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, has informed to the BelaPAN News Agency that this decision was accepted at the 27th session of the Permanent Committee for the Convention in Strasbourg (France).

She said that, in order to confirm statements given by the Belarusian delegation that the National Park satisfies requirements and criteria for granting the European Diploma, it was decided to send an expert team of the Council of Europe to the country. The team should confirm whether the progress is available to fulfill recommendations which have been put forward to the National Park in November of 2006. It is expected that representatives of the CE will come to Belarus in earlier spring, the BelaPAN News Agency informs.

According to A.Penyaz, the Ministry of Nature Protection highly appreciates participation of Belarusian experts in the session of the Permanent Committee for the Bern Convention and they are satisfied with results of the trip. "We will work further. In 2008 a plan of management for Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be developed, she has told.

"Examination on prolongation of the Diploma next year is the most correct decision because Belovezhskaya Pushcha is worthy to have such the Diploma. It is only necessary to remove some infringements from the management of the National Park", Heorhi Kazulka, PhD of Biology, an ecologist engaged in problems of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, has commented the decision of the Permanent Committee for the Bern Convention.

The European Diploma is a prestigious award which is given for successes of national parks and biosphere reserves in the field of nature protection. The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has got the Diploma in 1997 for success in the field of conservation of wild nature. To prolong this award, the Ministry of Nature Protection had to develop a plan of management of the Park for the following ten years and to present it at the session of the CE Committee on Conservation of Biological and Landscape Diversity on October 09. However, the plan wasn't ready to this term. The Committee has taken explanations of the Belarusian party into account and examination of the question about prolongation of the Diploma for Belovezhskaya Pushcha has postponed.
December 03, 2007 Website "Charter'97" Belovezhskaya Pushcha not to get a European Diploma

Click to enlarge in the new window – the European Diploma for the National Park 'Belovezhskaya Pushcha'
The topic on prolongation of a European Diploma for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" will be discussed at the next session of the Permanent Committee for the Bern Convention in November of 2008. This decision was accepted at the 27th session of the Permanent Committee for the Convention in Strasbourg.

In order to confirm statements given by the Belarusian delegation that the National Park satisfies requirements and criteria for granting the European Diploma, it was decided to send an expert team of the Council of Europe to the country. The team should confirm whether the progress is available to fulfill recommendations which have been put forward to the National Park in November of 2006. It is expected that representatives of the CE will come to Belarus in earlier spring, the BelaPAN News Agency informs.

As the Charter'97 earlier informed, a representative Belarusian delegation including a head of the National park Nikolai Bambiza visited Strasbourg for participation in the session of the CE. However, Belarusian officials failed when changed mind of members of the Committee of the Council of Europe that the National Park is managed in an appropriate way.

Let's also remind that Valeriy Dranchuk, a famous ecologist and a publicist, has addressed an appeal not to prolong the validity of the Diploma because the Belarusian authorities use such the national property as Belovezhskaya Pushcha for commercial purposes.

The European Diploma is a prestigious award which is given for successes of national parks and biosphere reserves in the field of nature protection. The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has got the Diploma in 1997 for success in the field of conservation of wild nature. To prolong this award, the Ministry of Nature Protection had to develop a plan of management of the Park for the following ten years and to present it at the session of the CE Committee on Conservation of Biological and Landscape Diversity on October 09. However, the plan wasn't ready to this term.
December 02, 2007 BP-21 Century Website News Service A European Diploma not to prolong for Belovezhskaya Pushcha!

Click to enlarge in the new window – the European Diploma for the National Park 'Belovezhskaya Pushcha'
Dear colleagues! Preliminary information that the Council of Europe has not prolonged a European Diploma to the National Park has come just now from our sources. However, the Council has not taken away it once and for all. The validity the Diploma is suspended for one year. During this time the National Park and appropriate state bodies should develop a plan of management and implement other recommendations of the Diploma remaining today to be topical. Next year one more control mission to the National Park will be carried out by experts of the Council of Europe and then the final decision will be accepted. More detailed information will be given as soon as receiving.

Thus, the Council of Europe has supported the public campaign for protection of Belovezhskaya Pushcha which is lasted already more than 5 years, as well as the latest appeal of the public to the Council of Europe concerning conservation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. It gives for the public new prospects to reach other improvements in the field of the nature protection management and the social policy in the region of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.