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13 Jul 2018

Belovezhskaya Pushcha’s European Diploma for Protected Areas extended by ten years

BREST, 13 July (BelTA) – The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has extended the European Diploma for Protected Areas for the Belarusian national park Belovezhskaya Pushcha, representatives of the national park administration told BelTA.

The decision was prompted by the report filed by Herve Lethier, an expert of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), after visiting the national park in April 2018. During the press conference held after the visit the expert stated he had no objective reasons not to suggest that the Council of Europe should extend the European Diploma for Protected Areas for the Belarusian national park Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Specialists of the European Diploma for Protected Areas reviewed the detailed report filed by the IUCN mission and forwarded a copy of the resolution to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Taking into account the annual reports published by the Belovezhskaya Pushcha administration every year, the report by the IUCN expert, and the opinion of the European Diploma specialists, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has decided to extend the diploma till 30 September 2028 with one mandatory conditions. After the existing management plan expires, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha administration will have to pass a new long-term management plan in 2020 in order to ensure the sustainable management and protection of the forest.

The resolution also gives recommendations on several matters concerning the management of the national park. In particular, the protected area should be expanded to include the entire historical part of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha forest. Attention is drawn to old natural forest stands, continued efforts to restore the hydrological regime and fight invasive species, and cooperation with the administration of the Bialowieza Forest on the Polish side of the protected area.

The Belarusian national park Belovezhskaya Pushcha received the European Diploma for Protected Areas in 1997 for environmental protection accomplishments.

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