MINSK, 21 April (BelTA) - The damage caused by Poland's construction of the fence in Belovezhskaya Pushcha has amounted to some Br52 million, Vasily Rudenik, deputy head of the main directorate - head of the department for control over environmental protection, forestry and Chernobyl issues of the State Control Committee of Belarus, said at a round table at BelTA's press center on 21 April.
“As soon as we saw that Poland was planning to build a fence on the border with Belarus, we informed the authorities and were instructed to do everything possible to prevent it,” said Vasily Rudenik. “In order to determine the size of the damage caused by Poland's wall in Belovezhskaya Pushcha it was necessary to carry out control measures and visit the place. In accordance with the Belarusian legislation, and together with scientists and representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, we calculated the damage - Br51.8 million.”
According to the deputy head, several categories of environmental damage assessment were used to determine the damage caused by the fence in the park. “The first one is land degradation and soil deterioration during the construction of the barrier. The amount of damage during excavation works exceeded Br1 million. The biggest damage was caused by the impact on the upper layers of soil, i.e. the destruction of the living ground cover and fertile soil layer. It amounted to Br44.8 million. The third category is land degradation resulting from the destruction of valuable old-growth broadleaved and black-alder forests. Here the damage is almost Br6 million,” said Vasily Rudenik.
According to him, it is impossible at the legislative level to calculate the negative effect of the ongoing construction works on fauna, in particular on birds, ungulates and others. “It is possible to estimate the size of the damage only by an experienced look of the nature protection organizations at already established populations in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, starting from the biggest bison and finishing by small birds,” the representative of the State Control Committee said.