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2 Feb 2018

Belarus’ Environment Ministry suggests increasing Pribuzhskoye Polesie area

MINSK, 2 February (BelTA) – Belarus’ Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment plans to submit the draft resolution “On the transformation of the Pribuzhskoye Polesie Biosphere Reserve” to the government in February, BelTA learned from the website of the ministry.

The draft resolution provides for an increase of the area of the reserve from 8,000 hectares to 17,200 hectares, including through the addition of sections of the Ramsar site Polesie Bug Valley. A significant part of this area is also a nature protection zone.

World Wetlands Day is celebrated on 2 February. The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) was signed in Ramsar, Iran on 2 February 1971. Belarus signed it in 1999, declaring the Sporovsky reserve its first Ramsar territory. There are now 169 Contracting Parties to the Convention, who have designated more than 2290 wetland sites (the total of over 225 million hectares) throughout the world to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. This list includes 26 wetlands of Belarus with a total area of ​​778,900 hectares.

All in all, 16 wetlands in the world have the status of transboundary. Of them 4 wetlands in Belarus have been recognized by the Ramsar Convention Secretariat as parts of the transboundary wetlands of international importance: Prostyr-Pripyat-Stokhod (Belarus-Ukraine), Kotra-Cepkeliai (Belarus-Lithuania), Vileity-Adutiskis (Belarus-Lithuania), Olmany - Perebrody mires (Belarus-Ukraine).

In Belarus the mechanisms of preservation of the Ramsar wetlands have been legislated. Most of them have been declared nature conservation areas or are subject to special protection (water protection areas, etc.). An important event of 2017 was the establishment of the water-marsh sanctuary Slavgorodsky (14,700 hectares) in Slavgorod District, Mogilev Oblast.

The importance and value of the Belarusian wetlands for the European region have been supported by a number of international projects funded from various international organizations. The project “Peatlands 1” saw the rehabilitation of 28,000 hectares of wetlands that degraded as a result of peat extraction and forest melioration. Another 14,600 hectares were restored under the project “Peatlands 2”. Plans have been made to continue this work as part of the UNDP/GEF project “Sustainable management of forest and wetlands ecosystems to achieve multipurpose benefits “. This time the project will focus on inefficiently drained forest peatlands.

 

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