The chronicle of destruction of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Relic Forest after the celebration of the 600th anniversary of its nature protection, 2010


The chronicle of changes in Belovezhskaya Pushcha at the turn of the 600th anniversary of its nature protection, 2009

In 2007, the President signed a decree on celebration of the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, and UNESCO entered this date into a List of Memorable Dates (the issue of the first nature protection statements in Europe). The government drewn up a plan of actions on preparation for the celebration and financed it with the sum equivalent to about $ 30 million.

What is positive done in Belovezhskaya Pushcha to this significant historical event? What negative is to remain and to pass into the future through this historical milestone? Will Belovezhskaya Pushcha get a true reserve status, really conserved and spiritually "white" or pseudo-protection and "black" spirituality will remain here after the epoch-making event?

In the table below, we are demonstrating photo-facts and are making descriptions, so in this way we will show during the late 2009 to early 2010's (step by step as the materials will become ready) the positive and negative changes in Belovezhskaya Pushcha and in the National Park and the transformation which occurred in connection with the preparation and the commemoration of the 600th anniversary of nature protection in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. We will also show the negative legacy and challenges which the management of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and the administration of the National Park came to celebrate with and which pass in the newest history of Belovezhskaya Pushcha to remain unresolved.

For convenience of readers, the left-hand column of the table reflects the positive effects and changes, while the right-hand column gives entirely or largely negative ones. The cases which are both partly positive and partly negative are placed in two columns incorporated into one line.

(September, 2009)

Outcomes and general conclusions (analyses)

Celebration of the 600th anniversary of nature protection in Belovezhskaya Pushcha (October 3, 2009)

2006 - 2009



Modernization and reconstruction of the infrastructure in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"
  • Building and renovation of roads in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, 2005 – 2009

  • Hotels number 3 and 1 complete overhaul, 2008 - 2009

  • Hotel number 2 complete overhaul, 2008 - 2009

  • Converting a science and administration office building into hotel number 4 and construction of am indoor pool, 2006 - 2009

  • Renovation and modernization of zoo enclosures with wild animals in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, 2008 – 2009

  • Construction of new water intake and sewage disposal facilities at the tourist centre of the National Park, 2005-2009

  • Converting an old Museum of Nature into a restaurant, 2009

  • Construction of a new administrative and ecological center with a Museum of Nature in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, 2008 – 2009

  • Tunnel for migrating amphibians built in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, 2009

  • Repair of a central road section going to the administrative and tourist center of the national park, 2009

  • Construction and expansion of a parking area, 2006-2009

  • An attempt to dismantle without permission a lost machine gunners' monument at the administrative and tourist center of the national park, 2009

  • Remodeling of the tourist center entrance as a departure from the Pushcha traditions, 2002 - 2009

  • Reconstruction, development and cleaning-up of the area at the administrative and tourist center of the national park, 2005 - 2009

  • Making alder forest look "good" and destruction of wilderness along a road section leading to the administrative and tourist center of the national park, 2009

  • Destruction of wild nature along a tourist route close to the administrative and tourist center of the national park, 2009

  • Wild nature destruction in the plain flood of the Pravaya Lesnaya River for simulation of "sustainable" management – haymaking and clearing ground for fireworks, 2009

  • Stopping a vicious practice of autumn lives burning in the administrative and tourist center of the national park, 2006 - 2009

  • Kill of rare and protected plants at the administrative and tourist center of the National Park, 2002 - 2009

  • Wild forest landscaping and transformation into analogy of a city park in the administrative and tourist center of the national park, 2006 - 2009

  • Hazel shrub chopped down, new wicker fencing built in the national park's tourist center, 2009

  • Alien species used for planting of greenery and reconstruction of ornamental plant compositions in the administrative and tourist center, 2003 -2009)

  • Modernization and reconstruction of the infrastructure in the village of Kamenyuki
  • Transformation of the village of Kamenyuki in the run-up to the Belovezhskaya Pushcha 600th anniversary festivities, 2008-2009

  • Road repair in Kamenyuki, 2009

  • Fence repair in Kamenyuki, 2009

  • Renovation of backyards and entrances in Kamenyuki, 2009

  • Renovation and modernization of apartment buildings in Kamenyuki, 2008-2009

  • Construction of a church in Kamenyuki, 1998-2009

  • Construction of housing for employees, 2007 - 2009

  • Monument to perished residents renovated in Kamenyuki, 2009

  • Nursery school converted to culture venue in Kamehyuki, 2009

  • Stores renovated in Kamenyuki, 2009

  • Overhaul of the outpatient clinic in Kamenyuki, 2009

  • Renovation of Kamenyuki General Education Environmental School and landscaping of the area, 2008 - 2009

  • The upgrade of overhead wires and reconstruction of the street lighting in Kamenyuki, 2008 - 2009

  • Renovation of the parking facilities in Kamenyuki, 2009

  • Repair of the sewage treatment facilities in Kamenyuki, 2008 - 2009

  • Replacement of the old water supply system in Kamenyuki, 2007 - 2009

  • Post office renovation in Kamenyuki, 2009

  • New bridge construction in Kamenyuki, 2008-2009

  • Cutting and landscaping of greenery in Kamenyuki, 2009

  • The cleaning up and landscaping of the Kamenyuki territory, 2009

  • Construction of a gas station in Kamenyuki, 2005

  • Improving the condition of the roads to the national park
  • Renovation of Kamenets-Kamenyuki road and tree felling, 2008-2009

  • Forest management
  • Large-scale and ecologically wrong cuttings in the old-aged Bialowieza Primeval Forest, 2009

  • Clear cuttings of dead wood and "moon landscapes" in the Bialowieza Primeval Forest, 2005 - 2009

  • Clear cuttings and dead wood cleaning along tourist routes, 2005 - 2009

  • Burning wood residuals when cuttings down and forest cleaning, 2005 - 2009

  • Mechanized skidding when cuttings down in the Bialowieza Primeval Forest, 2005 - 2009

  • An example of the cutting plot where everything what's possible was violated, and even more ..., 2005

  • An attempt of the investigation of illegal cutting down living Ash trees of old age in protected compartments, 2007

  • Cutting down of living trees in bark beetle centers, 2007

  • Bark beetles and friendly-ecological cuttings down, 2007 - 2009

  • Artificial reafforestation on former agricultural lands and uncultivated grounds, 2006 - 2009

  • Artificial plantations at a site suffered from a hurricane. Overall results. 2006 – 2009

  • Artificial planting at sites on which the relic forest was cut down. Overall results. 2006 - 2009

  • Children ski mountings in the forest destroyed by fire-prevention furrows, 2007

  • Hunting management
  • Creating a hunting enclosure in the Pashukovskoe forest area, 2007-2008

  • Forest scientific monitoring
  • Scientific Permanent Plots for forest monitoring felled. Monitoring results, 2008

  • Broken model-scientific permanent plots for forest monitoring, 2004 - 2008

  • Violations of the strictly protected status in the Wilderness Protection Zone
  • Violations in the Wilderness Protection Zone: major – illegal hunting for wild ungulates and bison, 2009

  • Violations in the Wilderness Protection Zone: medium – oak's extraction, preliminary results, 2009

  • Violations in the Wilderness Protection Zone: minor, 2005

  • Building and reconstruction of reservoirs, reclamation work
  • Deepening and Rebuilding of Lake Lyadskoye, 2006 - 2007

  • Rebuilding of old ponds at Plyanta and excavations of new ones, 2006-2009

  • An attempt at creating a large new water reservoir in the Lesnaya River floodplain and large-scale alteration of the floodplain landscape, 2007-2009

  • Constructing a cannel connecting the Lyadskoe Lake and a Father Frost residence, 2007

  • Reclamation work on the adjacent territories to Belovezhskaya Pushcha, 2008-2009

  • Creating a water reservoir close by the Bambiza's new manor, 2007

  • Rubbish pollution in Belovezhskaya Pushcha
  • Rubbish around the tourist center of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, 2006 - 2007

  • Pollution of Belovezhskaya Pushcha: dumping rubbish, the village of Kamenyuki, 2006 - 2009

  • A polygon for storage of "organic fertilizers" or, to be exact, simply a dumping ground of sawdust and wastes of wood processing, 2005-2008

  • Ecological tourism and education
  • Giant trees and "stump landscapes" around, 2005 – 2009

  • Ecological paths and "eco-tourism" in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, 2005 – 2009

  • Low effective wood processing
  • Rotten timber wood left to lie in the forest, 2006 – 2009

  • Burning wood and saw logs at a local restricted dump nearby the timber mill, 2008

  • Low effective wood processing (2008), continuation

  • Rotten round wood of the best quality in the past to stoke fire-boxes of the local housing and communal services (2006 - 2008)

  • Dumping down wood and saw log at a local restricted dump nearby the timber mill (2008)

  • The chronicle of destruction of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Relic Forest

    This section presents a modern history of destruction of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Relic Forest. Numerous facts and proofs testify infringements of the legislation on nature protection in Belarus and international conventions by the administration of Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, the ignoring the science of wild life and ecological patterns, the execution of irrational economical activities as well as economic adventurism in a few cases.

    On Special Protected Natural Territories (SPNT), to which Belovezhskaya Pushcha belongs, all activity should be directed to preservation of biodiversity and sustainable development of a unique natural complex. On such territories restricted economic activities are allowed. Such activities can be characterized basically as traditional kind of works being carried out in the forest, for example clearing of dead in limited volumes, haymaking, selection of wild animals, maintenance of personal patches of farmland and roads and a few other activities, which have been conducted during long periods with the territory of the forest and did not damage the natural character of the forest.

    All economic activities applied in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha should be conducted according to the Law of the Republic of Belarus «About special protected natural territories and objects», to the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park Statute Regulation (which, however, has not been set up yet since the erection of the National Park more than ten years ago) and to the forest inventory plan for the auditing period. It should be based as well on the advanced knowledge, developments and achievements in science of wild life. The methods of management should be «soft» and sparing the forests values, which means that measures should be aimed at decreasing negative influences and at maintaining the ecological balance in natural complexes, while they should not have negative consequences for nature and biodiversity on SPNT. According to the modern concept of conservation and sustainable development of SPNT it is necessary to take into account interests of the local population also.

    Further on, on separate pages the evidences are shown and the descriptions of committed infringements are given. The ecological offences, infringements of clauses of legislation, and legal responsibility are specified. References to the legal documents are given. The management acts applied to the forest which are in disharmony with its preservation are shown by photos as well.

    The separate and commented photos and materials which fund the observations are repeated on some pages. This is done in this way because some photos demonstrate several infringements at a time. For this reason it was necessary to repeat certain descriptions of events on a number of pages.

    THESE PEOPLE have brought the GREATEST CONTRIBUTION to destroy the reserved primeval forest of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

    2006 - 2008

    Low effective wood processing



    Wood cutting and forest management


    Human activity

    Culture and life

    To be continued.