MINSK, 2 February (BelTA) – Protected areas occupy more than 20% of the territory of Belarus, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry.
“In 2018-2020, the size of specially protected natural areas increased by 67,500 hectares to 1.8 million hectares, or 9% of the territory of Belarus. The total area of all protected areas in Belarus (specially protected areas, habitats of endangered species, rare biotopes) is estimated to equal 22% of the country's territory. This level is higher than in Ukraine (17%), Lithuania and Latvia (18%),” the press service said.
Belarus pays special attention to restoration of disrupted ecosystems. “Thanks to international technical assistance, Belarus rewetted more than 15,000 hectares of peatlands in the past three years. Plans are in place to rehabilitate over 5,000 hectares of peatlands in 2021. As a result of efforts to preserve and restore ecosystems, Belarus saw a rise in the number of wild animals and plants,” the ministry noted.
Belarus tops the ranking of countries with the largest number of wild European bison in the world: their growing population already includes more than 2,000 animals. The lynx population grew by 80% to about 900 animals in the past three years. “Belarus is home to around 40% of the global population of the aquatic warbler, 10% of the greater spotted eagle, and 3% of the great snipe. Belarus' Red Book of Endangered Species includes 303 plant species and 202 animal species,” the press service added.