Appeal to the public

Bison is the pride of Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Bison is the pride of Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Photo by Alexei Bunevich
The thought of creating a web site devoted especially to the Belovezhskaya Pushcha has been around for quite some time. A quick Internet search brings up thousands of references to the Pushcha in a variety of different contexts. A search for the park on the Russian search engine Yandex generated approximately 300 pages devoted to political events connected to the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, including sites on the agreement to dissolve the USSR, which was signed in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha. A further 120 pages were related to music and the arts, and even more mentioned the Pushcha's connections with different literary works. Web sites devoted to history and culture, economy and tourism, science and education, and many other subjects refer to this natural treasure. However, of the thousands of sites that mention the Belovezhskaya Pushcha, only 44 of them speak of its status as a specially protected area, and the majority of these discuss it only in passing, at best briefly citing statistics. Only 5 sites have more than one page devoted the Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

This lack of dedicated Internet sources is clear evidence that the Belovezhskaya Pushcha needed an independent site. Unfortunately, the lack of funding earmarked for this and the lack attention from administrative departments, as well as a great deal of other critical work, led to delays in the development of such a resource. But this situation has changed. Events in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha have called into doubt its preservation for future generations, and have awakened its supporters, some of whom have begun developing a web site on a voluntary basis.

In recent years, the basic goals of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park have been subjugated to departmental interests and financial speculation. But while the public in most democratic countries is usually actively involved in supervising specially protected natural territories (SPNTs), this is not the case with the Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Public activity and attempts to peer behind the "veil of secrecy" that exists around the National Park are, to put it mildly, unwelcome. However, the high-speed distribution of information and advertising possibilities offered by the Internet have opened new avenues in the fight to conserve islands of untouched nature like the Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The web site was founded to combat this policy of secrecy, at first by simply gathering and presenting information. But in the face of a more complicated situation, the main task of site has been expanded to include energizing the public, and gathering and organizing supporters with the ability and desire to help solve the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's ecological, economic and social problems. Our goal has become to save what remains of a primeval forest and to promote the development of science, tourism and ecological education within its borders.

The current version of our web site is devoted to the problem of protection and conservation of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha. In it we try to provide an objective view of the situation in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha, and to provide an independent analysis that is factual, logical and based on all available evidence. However, we do not plan to limit our content to questions of conservation. As time permits, we will add new sections and materials offering comprehensive descriptions of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's natural abundance. Our dream is to create a resource that rivals the world's best nature web sites. Everyone should be able to find something of interest among the Pushcha's web pages. In the future, this web site will be as versatile and diverse as the Belovezhskaya Pushcha itself.

The web site is called "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - XXI century ". This is a symbolic name: We have to think of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's future. What kind of Belovezhskaya Pushcha will we leave for the next generation? Will it be the same wild and pristine landscape our ancestors saw, or it will become an ordinary wood? Will it be well protected in fact as well as on paper, or will it descend to the level of a specialized timber enterprise? All our thoughts and hopes are directed toward the twenty-first century. The future of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha lies in a civilized twenty-first century.

Help Save the Belovezhskaya Pushcha for Future Generations!

Development Group of the web site