Belovezhskaya Pushcha worthily assessed by EU

Belarus’ nature reserves registered on list of most valuable and protected sites of pan-European importance
By Mikhail Velekhov

Natalia Minchenko, the Head of the Biological and Landscape Diversity Department at the Ministry for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus, has told a press conference in Minsk,  “As part of a programme entitled Creating an Emerald Network of Nature Protection Sites, we aim to register a range of Belarusian natural pearls. The Emerald Network features only sites of pan-European importance.” The programme continues the Emerald Network international project, first realised in Belarus from 2009-2011.

Initially, 12 sites of natural beauty were registered, included on a single database run by the Council of Europe: the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Braslav Lakes, and the reserves of Pripyatsky, Narochansky, Vygonoshchanskie Bolota, Yelnya, Zvanets and Olmanskie Bolota, Osveisky, Sporovsky and Srednyaya Pripyat. The Emerald Network also promoted Belarus’ joining of the Bern Convention this February — an international agreement on the protection of wild flora and fauna across European natural habitats.

Using European experience, management methods are to be improved at Belarusian reserves, enhancing the efficiency of preservation activities and the use of our natural resources. Moreover, Emerald Network sites will receive additional opportunities to attract technical and financial assistance from the EU and other international donors, aiming to preserve our unique biological diversity.

The Ministry for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection is working jointly with the Ecological Initiative Belarusian Public Association to implement the four-year programme: from 2013, its total budget is almost 2m Euros.
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