Firs and ashes being saved in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Environmental project to raise ground water level being implemented by APB-Birdlife Belarus public organisation
By Anna Drobova

The project aims to make an inventory of seasonal and temporary water flow in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha, explains the Director of the APB-Birdlife Belarus, Victor Fenchuk. A sharp fall in ground water levels has brought about a dramatic rise in the number of eight-toothed bark beetles and, as a result, to a loss of fir and ash trees.

“As you know, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park has experienced a complicated history. For a long time, it was a hunting forest, so the priority was to increase the population of wild animals and intensify forest management. Many parts of the forest were drained via small channels, to encourage trees to grow better. This led to a significant fall in ground water levels, as seen today,” Mr. Fenchuk explains.

“With the Research Department of the National Park, we’re now creating an inventory of water flow, aiming to then use forestry methods to reduce the impact of temporary seasonal streams.” Mr. Fenchuk adds that conservation of biological diversity is a key objective of his organisation countrywide. “Belarusian marshes are ecosystems of critical importance globally. Fortunately, despite reclamation, we’ve managed to save them. Now, all Europe is watching how we protect them. Sponsorship from the Coca-Cola Company has allowed us to implement a number of measures to conserve our marshes. They’ve set a good example to other commercial companies, showing how they can help minimise negative impact on the environment, improving the situation by implementing such projects. Businesses should be responsible for their actions and work to preserve our countryside,” emphasises Mr. Fenchuk.
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