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29 March 2024, 15:27

UNESCO mission confirms negative impact of Poland’s fence on Belovezhskaya Pushcha ecosystems 

MINSK, 29 March (BelTA) - The UNESCO/IUCN reactive monitoring mission has confirmed the negative impact of the fence erected by Poland on the ecosystems in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Belarusian First Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Aleksandr Korbut told a press conference, BelTA has learned.

The UNESCO/IUCN reactive monitoring mission comprising two international experts paid a visit to the transboundary UNESCO World Heritage Site Belovezhskaya Pushcha on 24-26 March 2024. Joining the work on Belarus’ behalf were representatives the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, the Belarus President Administration, the State Border Committee, the State Control Committee (SCC), the SCC units in Brest Oblast and Grodno Oblast and others.

The monitoring mission visited the site following the decision taken at the 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to assess the impact of the fence erected by Poland on the border with Belarus, which also passes through the territory of the transboundary UNESCO World Heritage Site Belovezhskaya Pushcha, on the ecosystems of the natural reserve.



“For this purpose, the experts spent two days surveying the areas adjacent to the fence in Brest Oblast and Grodno Oblast,” Aleksandr Korbut said. “This was preceded by Belarus’ three-year-long interaction with all international organizations. As soon as it became known that Poland was going to build a fence along the Belarusian-Polish border, thereby cutting through the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, Belarus immediately started working on international platforms. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, as well as other organizations, appealed to various international structures with a request to assist in resolving this issue. UNESCO was the only conscientious and unbiased organization that realized the scale of the tragedy and decided to send its reactive monitoring mission. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection invited Poland to join the work of the mission on our territory, and we were also ready to visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha within Poland’s borders. Unfortunately, the Poles decided not to respond to our proposal. International experts worked separately with the Polish and Belarusian sides.”

According to him, Belarus’ concerns about the deterioration of the state of the ecosystems of Belovezhskaya Pushcha due to the negative impact of the barrier has been confirmed. Both Belarusian representatives and international experts outlined the main areas of the negative impact of the fence on the ecosystems of the national park.
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