NEWS: JANUARY 2014

We are asking KIND PEOPLE, SPONSORS, COMPANIES and ORGANIZATIONS for financial DONATION of our public activities on protection and conservation of the Belarusian part of the Bialowieza Forest (Belovezhskaya Pushcha). Even small-sized contributions are very welcomed because of the dramatic situation. We are also asking TRANSLATORS and other experts for help and bilateral cooperation to protect and conserve the Bialowieza Forest. We will also be VERY GRATEFUL for your technical and other assistance. Thank you in advance.

With your offers, please address to our email pushcha-XXI@tut.by. Your questions and other related information are also welcomed.

January 16, 2014 Website "BelTA" The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha served about 60 thousand visitors during the New Year celebrations

About 60 thousand people have visited the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" in the New Year holiday, as BelTA learned in the Tourism Department of the National Park.

One of the main events, which attracted tourists, was the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Estate of Father Frost. During holidays, new fairy tale characters and Christmas illuminations on the Christmas tree appeared at the Estate. A Workshop of Mother Winter and a House of Baba-Kargota were opened. In addition, guests of the National Park were offered tours in the Museum of Nature and familiarity with forest wildlife.

"With the end of the Christmas holidays, Santa Claus does not stop working - he is happy to see his guests all year round," as noted in the National Park.

The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is one of the oldest protected area in the world. Belovezhskaya Pushcha was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1992. In 1993, the National Park was given a status of Biosphere Reserve. In 1997, the National Park was awarded A European Diploma for outstanding achievements in the conservation of wildlife of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The Estate of the Belarusian Grandfather Frost is the most visited object in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The Residence of the Wizard is visited by almost 70% of all tourists who come to Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The Estate met first guests in December of 2003. Since then, more than a million tourists from 120 countries visited this place.
January 16, 2014 Website "Mail.ru" Belarusian rescuers to get over 1.5 million Euros for the EU Project "Save Bialowieza Forest together"

Rescuers of Grodno and Brest regions participate in the International Technical Assistance Project "Save Bialowieza Forest Together", as BelTA learned from Sergei Hmara, chief-specialist of the Department of the State System of Prevention of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense at the Grodno Regional Management for Emergency.

Within the project, a comprehensive system of protection of the population and the environment in the border areas of Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be developed. The professional level of fire departments to conduct rescue operations will be improved. Cooperation of rescue agencies in Poland and Belarus will be continued.

Two Belarusian regional administrations and the Local Government Association "Euroregion Belovezhskaya Pushcha" in Poland will be recipients of the international technical assistance for the Project. The total project budget is 4.3 million Euros. The Belarusian part of the budget is more than 1.7 million, including 1.5 million Euros by the EU grant. The volume of co-financing will be more than 170 thousand Euros for two regions. Project implementation period is until the end of June 2015.

During the preparation of the Project, there was revealed that the level of machinery and equipment of fire and rescue services to respond effectively to the occurrence of emergencies in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, first of all, in the case of forest fires, is inadequate. Generally, it is required to increase the level of environmental protection of the unique forest and the level of interaction between Belarusian and Polish rescue agencies in the border areas.

It is planned to buy three modern fire and rescue vehicles for the Brest Emergency Management and four ones for the Grodno Emergency Management, as well as four sets of rescue equipment, fire rescue vehicles and boats for Polish rescue services. Trainings for staff of the departments of two countries will also be organized.

Information source by Tatiana Vishnevskaya, BELTA
January 15, 2014 Website "The National Park" Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Results of the Christmas holidays

This year about 60,000 people visited the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" during the Christmas holidays. Adults and children happily strolled within the renewed Estate of Father Frost. A House for Bab-Yaga Kargota and a House for Mother Winter have been built there. New fairy-tale characters have been added. Illuminations on the Christmas tree have been changed. Visitors listen to fascinating tour lectures in the Museum of Nature and looked at animals in zoo-enclosures.

With the end of the Christmas holidays, Father Frost does not stop working - he is happy to see his guests all year round.
January 13, 2014 Website "Ohotniki.ru" Bears may again appear in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Frankfurt Zoological Society intends to finance the project to return bears to the Reserve, according to News Agency «RuNews.org» citing goodnewsanimal.ru.

To turn the Reserve "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" again into a true wilderness protection reserve (in the full sense of these words), it is necessary a long time and painstaking to rebuild the damaged ecosystems, for example, to return bears to the Reserve. Since Belovezhskaya Pushcha has now no large predators, wild ungulates are very excessive in number there, and this affects the forest environment.

Scientists believe that to restore the population of bears and other animals is necessary for the preservation of the unique Nature Reserve.

Information source runews.org
January 11, 2014 "Komsomolskaya Pravda" (The Komsomol Truth) newspaper Belarusian bison to deliver to Russia and expel from a Red Data Book for sale?

While a new concept is developed, the symbol of Belarus brings only expense - to feed bison is Belovezhskaya Pushcha is spent more than two billion Belarusian rubles.

Bison became in recent years in Belarus so numerous as it is not easy even to inventory them. Feeding of horny beauties costs about 250 thousand dollars a year only for Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This money is enough to feed 460 bison from the National Park, just as the bison in Belarus total 1,150.

"But the number of bison is not yet enough for the conservation of the species in the long term. So now, together with the Russian Academy of Sciences, the concept of the establishment of a joint areal for is bison developed.

Russia has offered to resettle some of the animals on its territory. For several years, we can safely send in Russia 60 to 80 bison," Deputy Director General for Research Work of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Vasily Arnolbik told to "Komsomolskaya Pravda". "Capture and transportation of animals is costly. An adequate funding will be provided for it."

Well, what benefit is for you if part of the bison population will be transported to Russia? Do you get paid?

"First, remaining bison will be freer to live. Secondly, in this project we plan to create in Belovezhskaya Pushcha a Scientific Breeding Center, which will help to get high quality offspring of bison and to cull weak animals.

We can provide our bison with special collars, through which we track their location. It is because now we can only assume about where is currently one or another bison.

Thus, if to improve the conditions of keeping bison, we can optimize their number and work under genetic control. In the future, the issue of the withdrawal of bison from the Red data Book will be resolved. Today, the world population of Bialowieza bison exceeds four thousand animals. So, that is already wrong to call bison a rare animal."

I heard that there is a great demand for Belarusian bison at the Moscow Rublevka area and Russian oligarchs are willing to shell out a tidy sum to get them in their home zoos!

"While bison are listed as endangered, we cannot freely sell them out of the country, except by special permission of the Ministry of Nature Protection.

Lately a total of four bison were exported from Belovezhskaya Pushcha outside Belarus – to a zoo in Karelia and as a gift to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of Yaroslavl city."

But to hunt for "defective" bison from the reserved gene pool group is possible. According to experts, this amusement costs for Belarusian and foreigner alike - from 5 to 20 thousand Euros (depending on the bison trophy quality).
January 08, 2014 Website "Wild Nature" A research worker won a prize of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus through investigations of bison

Leading researcher of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", Ph.D. Alexei Bunevich won the competition in 2013 for the award of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, which was established on the 85th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences. This award was given to him for a series of joint work with Professor Petr Kozlo "Bison in Belarus: Rebirth and Prospects." This direction is one of the leading scientific research not only in the National Park, but in the country. Due to planned activity of Belarusian scientists, Belarus has become the second state in the world in terms of the bison population. The number of forest giants in the country has now reached 1,150 animals. About 500 of them live in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

In addition, bison are constantly settled into new habitats. The number of national parks and forest enterprises where they live is 12. All in all, there are now more than 4,000 of these animals in the world, which were close to the extinction.
January 06, 2014 Website "EuroBelarus" The government of Belarus has approved 22 projects of international assistance

Based upon the proposals by the Commission on International Technical Cooperation, the Council of Ministers of Belarus has approved a number of projects of technical assistance.

As stated in the decision of the Belarusian government which is posted on the national legal Internet portal, the list of the approved projects includes:

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"Support for cross-border initiatives of local communities in the Euroregion "Belovezhskaya Pushcha";
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"Training of fire services in the trans-boundary region of Belovezhskaya Pushcha";
"Active playing sports in the Euroregion "Belovezhskaya Pushcha";
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(The news is placed in the short-cut form, the BP-21 Century editor's note)